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Contribution of vegetarians to sustainable development

The Contribution Vegetarians Can Make to Put Human Beings on the Path of Sustainable Development

The inquiry-based research project focused on analyzing the contribution in which vegetarians can make to put human beings on the path of sustainable development. In this aspect, the thesis statement notes that vegetarians do not include meat in their diet. This impacts in enhancing their capacity to put human beings on the path of sustainable development through slowing down environmental pollution, promoting scientific and technological development and promote the reduction of national costs. The increase in the number of vegetarians globally is essential to contribute positively to human beings and sustainable development. These supportive points are fundamental to illustrate the positive side of the argument in which vegetarians serve a significant purpose in the world.

However, to produce more balanced research, the consideration of counter-arguments that oppose the significance and value of vegetarianism is provided. The counter-arguments assert that the increase in the number of vegetarians adversely impacts sustainable development through the creation of economic losses to countries that heavily produce meat for commercial purposes. Also, counter-arguments refutes the less consumption of water by vegans since the production of vegetables requires a lot of water. The use of harmful chemicals and fertilizers induces adverse impacts to the water sources, the soil, and the atmosphere. Furthermore, reduction and/or elimination of animals is not advisable since they are a part of the carbon cycle contributing to the completion of the ecosystem. Thus, it provides strong counter-arguments that must be extensively considered in making a concrete decision on the importance and significance of vegetarians towards sustainable development.

Thus, the essay concludes in favor to support the increase in vegetarians. The vegetarians’ activities and consumption practices are essential to human beings. This impacts the capacity to put them in the path to sustainable development because plants are the primary sources of nutritional content essential for the body. Also, concentration on plants contributes to the production of more oxygen than carbon (IV) oxide emissions that increase human health risks and erosion of the environment. The aspects of climate change putting future generations on the path of uncertainty, riskier and unhealthy world are major aspects of countering vegetarianism. The practice to make the world greener is essential towards making it better and sustaining the environment for sustainable development and future generations. Thus, vegetarians play a fundamental role in the conservation of the environment, science, and technology advancements, as well as economic development – key factors of sustainable development.

Supporting Arguments

  • Vegetarians Consume Less Water Every Single Day

The change eating habits to vegan dietary structure impacts positively in the conservation and saving of water in the maintenance of plant foods. Rosi et al. (2017) in the research assessing the impacts of the three dietary groups; the omnivorous, ovo-lacto-vegetarian, and vegan diet find a direct reduction of water consumption from vegan practices and water usage. This is fundamental to sustainable development which is highly required in the world. The human practices of absolute veganism where they eliminate animal products including sea-food (fish), eggs and other dairy products is significant to the world.

Baroni et al. (2018) note that “animal food production entails greater utilization of resources (land, raw materials, energy, water) and produces more pollutants (greenhouse gases, chemical residues, and manure) as compared to plant-based food.” Basically, plant production operates through the use of renewable energy sources as compared to the alternative sources utilized in controlled animal production. The plants contribute significantly to the atmosphere through transpiration in plants. Rosi et al. (2017) note that vegetarians are good for environmental conservation because they use less water in their life. Thus, asserting the low water consumption footprint of vegetarians practices compared to others.

  • Vegetarians Have a Smaller Amount of Carbon Footprint

The practice and habits of vegetarians contribute to slowing down the greenhouse effects. The sustained vegetarian lifestyle emits less carbon (IV) oxide leaving a lower footprint in the atmosphere. According to Bruno et al. (2019) “eating meat produces more greenhouse gases than the consumption of plant-based foods.” Bruno et al. (2019) present that an individual’s capacity to cutting meat and dairy products from their diet contributes to 73 percent of carbon footprint reduction. The transition into vegan eating habits where animal production is limited and controlled can reduce up to 75 percent of global farmland utilized in alternative farming an animal production (Moore 2011). This is a size equivalent to Australia, China, Europe, and America combined.

The transitioning to vegan diets contributes not only to the reduction of the carbon footprint but also reducing the global acidification, land use, water usage, and eutrophication – all of which are critical to environmental sustainability (Bruno et al. 2019). The reduction of global carbon footprint is a significant aspect in which vegetarianism induces global practices. In a world where the carbon footprint is reduced, environmental sustainability is bound to be achieved. Also, the sustainability of a healthy environment in which the protection of future generations can be sustained. The adoption of vegan practices and habits asserts the value of renewable sources of food and energy required in the world. Thus, sustainable development goals can be attained through meeting food security, nutritional value, and healthy lifestyles maintained through diets and consumption habits.

  • Vegetarians Movement Has Driven Scientific and Technology Development

The advancement of vegetarians and the need to meet market demands contribute significantly to scientific and technological development. For example, in order to satisfy vegetarians’ cravings for the taste of meat, scientists have embarked on the development of artificial meat (Worland 2016). The artificially produced meat mimics the taste of meat. Bonny et al. (2017) find the prospects in artificial meat production as a significant development in human history which impacts sustainable development. The practices limit the production of beef – the leading global animal product whose production is associated with high emissions of methane which comes from enteric natural fermentation and nitrous oxide coming from excreted nitrogen. The scientific and technological development are significant aspects that contribute positively to global sustainable development prospects and help in the protection of the world through food production practices.

  • Vegetarians Contribute to National Waste Saving

The reduce of land use utilized in animal husbandry can contribute positively to sustainable development in the world. The animal food production through animal husbandry puts enormous land resources to wastage. Bruno et al. (2019) assert that the capacity to minimize animal production can contribute to 75 percent saving of land use committed to animal husbandry. This is a vast chunk of land that can be productive in growing plant-products. The transforming of land use from animals to plant production contributes to saving the depletion of the natural resources towards sustaining the environment. Overgrazing, deforestation, among other depletion of natural resources in animal production, may have devastating effects on the world. For example, tornadoes, drought, famine, and other natural disasters are associated with bad land-use practices. Thus, saving the land and natural resources from depletion contributes significantly to the realization of sustainable developments (Baroni et al. 2018).

The vegetarians’ practices contribute to the enrichment of the environment through the transforming of plant products into organic byproducts that enrich the environment. Unlike animal production that has the reputation of vast pollution of the environment among food production systems, plant production provides a sustained environmental cycle (Bonny et al. 2017). For example, plant wastes can be allowed to decompose and provide organic manure and minerals that enrich the soil for the production of other plants. Also, crop rotation practices help maintain the soil rich in minerals vital to the growth and production of other plants. Thus, it provides a sustained cycle and a better world to live in while meeting food security and dietary demands.

  • Extensive Health Benefits

The consumption of plant-based food products impacts sustained health benefits to human beings. The adoption of good eating habits and lifestyles impacts on the health of human beings. This impacts the socio-economic aspects which maintain human beings productive. The reduction of health risks associated with animal product consumption minimizes the sustenance costs of meet health demands. Rosi et al. (2017) maintain that dietary regimens are key aspects to control the intake of food products into human bodies. The plants are the primary sources of all nutrition required in the body. For example, substituting animal proteins from eggs, meat, and dairy products with plant products such as cereals is critical for healthy eating habits. Also, one specific plant product is rich in more than one nutrient compared to the animal product. Furthermore, animals acquire the nutrients from the plants they consume making humans secondary consumers. Thus, sustaining plants as primary sources of nutrients is integral to meeting sustainable development in health benefits.

Counter-Arguments

  • Increase in Number of Vegetarians Impacts Directly to Economic Losses

In the contemporary world, the market for meat production is so large that if the number of vegetarians increases it will lead to production surplus. This has adverse impacts on the market-leading to economic losses. In the process, countries and households that rely on the production and selling of meat products are left with no income. In research conducted by Liu et al. (2016) notes that food with meat is more competitive in the market. This presents evidence that supports the need for continued meat selling as it brings more economic benefits and profits. Thus, the advancement of vegetarianism adversely impacts the market and economic benefit acquired from meat selling.

The loss of economic opportunities through eliminating or reducing animal products has a negative effect on sustainable development goals. The need to enhance economic opportunities is deterred by the practice of vegans which impede meat and dairy products (Liu et al. 2016). The key products being beef, eggs, and milk can profoundly suffer. This negates the economic benefits associated with vegetarian habits and lifestyle. In the long-term presents conflicting interests towards the realization of sustainable development.

  • Growing and Production of Vegetables Requires a Lot of Water

The growing and production of vegetables and plant products consumed by vegetarians require a lot of water. The agriculture activities such as irrigation account for 70 percent of water use globally. The demand for water used to sustain irrigation purposes puts the world in a competitive race. Yuan and Shen (2013) note that “due to continually over-pumping, groundwater resource continues to be greatly depleted leading to great challenges in sustainability development. Water is a significant global resource that requires to be protected and sustained by all means. The adoption of plant production requires more land for agriculture to meet global food security demands. As a result, continuous to put the world at the risk of water shortage and increase of land resources put to agriculture purposes. Consequently, undermine the sustainable development goals that aim at achieving sustained environmental objectives.

  • Use of Chemicals and Fertilizers

Agricultural activities worldwide remain to be a major source of water pollution. According to Joyce et al. (2012), growing a lot of vegetables, as well as, plants for food production requires the use of chemicals and fertilizers. These products comprise of harmful materials that pollute the water sources and prove to be harmful to the environment. For example, Samet (2018) outlines pollutants such as mercury, arsenic chromium, aluminum, lead, phosphorous, among other chemical elements discharged to water bodies’ impacts on its pollution. Also, these harmful materials cause pollution to the soil and the atmosphere contributing extensively to environmental pollution. This induces gross problems to the world such as causing diseases as a result of contaminated products and increased cases of health issues (Samet 2018).

This impedes the use of plant-based food sources as a safe approach to a healthy environment and sustainable development. The extent to which water sources and soil are polluted through the use of fertilizer run-off and pesticides calls for concerted efforts to make better farming approaches. The control of farms and agricultural activities is fundamental to make the plant products worthwhile sources of food. The course pursued by vegetarians negates the significance of plant products as clean sources of food with minimal or less environmental implications. Thus, calls to caution in the products championed in vegan diets as safely produced and fit for consumption.

  • Animals are A Part of the Carbon Cycle

The reduction of grazing is not advisable as animals are a part of the carbon cycle. For a well-sustained environment, the ecosystem must comprise of both animals and plants. This allows the completion of the carbon cycle in which animals product the essential materials used in plant growth and development to attain safe vegan diets. As well, the completion of food webs is essential for the growth and development of every species. Thus, it amounts to a sustained ecosystem that impacts to a better world.

Summary

The adoption of vegetarian practices and eating habits impacts profoundly in the conservation of the environment and the realization of sustainable developments. The main challenge that impedes the efforts of vegetarians arises from the production approach of food products that are plant-based inducing harmful impacts on the environment. These include chemical residues and elements from the pesticides among others used for spraying that cause water, soil, and atmospheric pollution. Also, the use of harmful fertilizers that are a major cause of environmental pollutions. The adoption of the organic family largely contributes to better farming practices that minimize water and soil pollution. As a result, makes the food production consumed by vegetarians healthy and safe for consumption. Thus, vegetarians extensively impact the human capacity towards the realization of sustainable developments.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I strongly support the importance of vegetarians in the contribution to sustainable developments. The pursuit of sustainable development comprises of human activities that focus on economic development through approaches that do not deplete natural resources. The vegetarians often consuming diets refrain from the consumption of animal byproducts. This contributes to the aspect in which the production and rearing of animals become minimal and more controlled. The research informs that animals are major pollutants to the environment from water usage for their consumption and maintenance, increased carbon (IV) oxide emissions to the atmosphere, and cause extensive depletion of natural resources. This negates the very objective of sustainable developments that pursue economic developments without depleting natural resources.

Therefore, it is of profound importance for the change of lifestyle and eating habits that characterize the global appetite for meat and animal byproducts. The vegetarian lifestyle contributes to sustainable development through maintaining natural resources or improving them via the planting of plants. More plants imply more oxygen and reduced carbon (IV) emissions. The vegan diet comprising of plant products provide food rich is vital nutrients essential to the body. Also, the consumption of plants byproducts implies that humans consume nutrients from the primary source as compared to animal byproducts that are secondary sources. Moreover, vegan diets have extensive health benefits than animal byproducts that expose human beings to vast health risks. Consequently, it proves the extensive impacts of vegetarianism towards sustainable developments and benefits to the respective individual and the society at large. Thus, vegetarians prove to have great potential in environmental conservation, scientific and technological advancements, as well as, economic developments.

References

Baroni, L., Filippin, D., & Goggi, S. (2018). Helping the Planet with Healthy Eating Habits. Open Information Science2(1), 156-167.

Bonny, S. P., Gardner, G. E., Pethick, D. W., & Hocquette, J. F. (2017). Artificial meat and the future of the meat industry. Animal Production Science57(11), 2216-2223.

Bruno, M., Bruno, et al. , M., Pulselli, F. M., Patrizi, N., Marini, M., & Caro, D. (2019). The carbon footprint of Danish diets. Climatic Change, 1-19.

Environmental impact of omnivorous, ovo-lacto-vegetarian, and vegan diet. Scientific Reports (Nature Publisher Group), 7, 1-9. Doi:  http://dx.doi.org.proxyau.wrlc.org/10.1038/s41598-017-06466-8

Joyce, A., Dixon, S., Comfort, J., & Hallett, J. (2012). Reducing the environmental impact of dietary choice: Perspectives from a behavioral and social change approach. Journal of environmental and public health2012.

Liu, T., Hamid, N., Kantono, K., Pereira, L., Farouk, M. M., & Knowles, S. O. (2016). Effects of meat addition on pasta structure, nutrition and in vitro digestibility. Food Chemistry213, 108-114.

Moore, H. (2011, Jul 25). Squash your carbon footprint: Go vegan. McClatchy – Tribune News Service Retrieved from http://proxyau.wrlc.org/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.proxyau.wrlc.org/docview/878951607?accountid=8285

Rosi, A., Mena, P., Pellegrini, N., Turroni, S., Neviani, E., Ferrocino, I., … & Maddock, J. (2017). Environmental impact of omnivorous, ovo-lacto-vegetarian, and vegan diet. Scientific reports7(1), 6105.

Samet, C., & Valiyaveettil, S. (2018). Fruit and Vegetable Peels as Efficient Renewable Adsorbents for Removal of Pollutants from Water: A Research Experience for General Chemistry Students. Journal of Chemical Education95(8), 1354-1358.

Worland, J. (2016, March 21). How a Vegetarian Diet Could Help Save the Planet. Retrieved from https://time.com/4266874/vegetarian-diet-climate-change/.

Yuan, Z., & Shen, Y. (2013). Estimation of agricultural water consumption from meteorological and yield data: a case study of Hebei, North China. PloS one8(3), e58685.

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Contribution of vegetarians to sustainable development . (2022, September 23). Essay Writing . Retrieved September 27, 2022, from https://www.essay-writing.com/samples/contribution-of-vegetarians-to-sustainable-development/
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