By Anuragini Barman
Age 13, April 2022
for The Vegetarian Resource Group’s annual essay contest
I believe that being vegan is one of the best ways to save the world. Being vegan saves animals, the planet, and our bodies. In the United States alone, approximately 9 billion chickens and 29 million cows are killed per year according to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). That is more than 1 million chickens an hour. If people stopped eating animals, imagine how many innocent lives could be saved!
- Raising livestock accounts for 14.5% of the total human-created greenhouse gas emissions on our planet according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. Decreasing meat consumption is a huge and easy way to slow global warming.
- Being vegan is a great way to stay healthy. Studies show that vegans and vegetarians have stronger immune systems and are less likely to get certain diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer
- I have been vegan my whole life. I have always understood why my parents and I are vegan, and I have always been proud that we do everything we can to help animals. I choose to be vegan because it is a great way to change the world. I am very lucky that my parents are vegan. Having the support of your family and living in an all-vegan household makes being vegan really easy. However, not everyone is so supportive. Some of my relatives in India do not approve of my being vegan. They worry that I do not get enough nutrients like protein. On the contrary, many plant foods such as beans and tofu are loaded with protein, and vegetables and fruits are full of nutrients! When my mom is not around, they try to smuggle me milk or cheese, or even meat. I always decline as politely as possible and remember that their intentions are good, even if misguided.
While I do not pressure people to become vegan, I do share the benefits and how easy it is. Every two months I present a show on Facebook and YouTube called So Many Kids in the Kitchen with five of my friends. We show kids how to make easy, yummy, healthy, vegan meals.
I think that the reasons for being vegan are obvious. You just have to find out what nonvegan foods are really made of. On a camping trip a few weeks ago, one of my friends asked why I eat vegan marshmallows instead of regular ones. When I told her that non-vegan marshmallows have gelatin, which is made from ground-up skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments of cows, pigs, and other animals. She said that she would never eat a non-vegan marshmallow again.
Being vegan saves animals, the planet, and our health. It is super easy to be vegan, and there is really no downside!
Be sure to check them out at SoManyCooks.com!
1 peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food, accessed April 28, 2022
2 fao.org/news/story/en/item/197623/icode, accessed April 28, 2022
3 see, for example, vrg.org, pcrm.org, or nutritionfacts.org