Victoria - Londonderry, New Hampshire
Entered on June 11, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: environment

Vegetarianism. We all know about hippies and their crazy ideas that vegetarianism is good for you. Guess what? They were right, but not only is it good for you, it’s good for the environment and the animals that people eat. That’s right folks vegetarianism is good for the environment. Here’s some statistics. For every one pound of beef 2,500 gallons of water is used, 35 pounds of topsoil lost, one gallon of gasoline used, 10 to 16 pounds of grain, 45% of the U.S. devoted to cattle grazing, and two billion tons of untreated sewage discharged into the environment. Now doesn’t that sound absurd when a farmer could use that same 2,500 gallons of water to produce 16 pounds of broccoli, 25 pounds of potatoes, and enough soybeans for 3 pounds of tofu. That’s 44 pounds of food, compared to one pound of beef that’s almost insane. Shall I go on? I don’t think I need to.

Vegetarianism is good for you too. Health benefits include: losing small amounts of weight a week until you reach a healthy weight and hit a plateau, lower cholesterol in 8 to 10 weeks, and high blood pressure improving in about 6 weeks. Mostly everyone feels healthier after becoming a vegetarian!

Animals also benefit from people being vegetarians. Most animals for food are kept in small pens and fed artificial growth hormones to make them grow faster or lay more eggs. Did you ever think that these hormones actually caused children to start puberty at 5 years old in some cases? I bet not. Most egg laying hens are kept in 1 Ft. x 1 Ft. x 1 Ft. cage for most their lives. When they lay eggs they are dropped on to a conveyer belt. Then they travel to a pasteurizer, packaged and sold to a super market. It’s most likely the consumer didn’t even know that the hen his eggs came from was kept in horrid conditions.

Okay, you’re probably wondering why I care so much about this subject. Well I care because I believe in animal rights, a healthier generation, and a better environment. Vegetarianism can bring all these things change the way the environment is being treated. I know it won’t get rid of pollution but it will cut out quite a bit out of it.

At this point I would be thinking “Well what can I do?”. Well you can organize a Vegetarian group at school where you can support each other, share recipes, and find ways to inform other people about being a vegetarian. Talk to your school lunch official about what they can do to serve a vegetarian lunch instead of one with meat or meat products. If they can’t find a way to meet your request, pack your own lunch. Even if you pack your own, you get exactly what you want and you know exactly what is in your lunch bag. No surprise chicken stock that you didn’t know about in the vegetable soup!

Some people may say that vegetarians are stuck up and they think they are better than you. This is a false assumption because vegetarians aren’t stuck up they just feel better about themselves because they are leading a healthier lifestyle.

So here’s what I want you to do: get out there and become a vegetarian if you choose not to at least cut back on meat. Inform other people about vegetarianism and that it’s not some crazy cultist idea. That even if you don’t choose to be a vegetarian that it is good to make healthier choices in your life. That animals deserve rights and better conditions to live in and that meat is a giant contributor to pollution.

Oh yeah, did I mention that vegetarianism could help with the world hunger crisis, but that’s a different topic.