There is this new hype in town that “vegans are killing the planet,” but this is quite a claim that demands a deeper analysis on what could be the possible reasons. As we all have been growing up, hearing that eating vegetables is far healthier than meat, how could it be that healthy food eaters are now defamed as the destroyers of this planet?
We know that, as time passed, the world has changed tremendously, telling us that all the things that we learned then are not beneficial for us anymore. There are some factors which make us believe that vegans may be killing the planet in one way or another including;
1. Soil Depletion
The soil we have been using for decades is no longer fertile enough to produce nutritious food consistently. This phenomenon of declining nutrients and minerals essential for the healthy growth of crops is called soil depletion, which is the first, foremost reason for the claim “vegans are killing the planet.”
Our land is not giving our food enough minerals anymore, which is vital for our well-being. Eating vegetables and fruits will not provide us with all the vitamins and enzymes which are significant in retaining our health. So vegans who think they have a healthy diet are, as vegetables grown in such low-mineral soil, not as healthy as they should be. The fruit and vegetables we eat today will not deliver the same good amount of magnesium which the old broccoli and spinach used to have in them for example.
There is another reason linked to the production of less-nutritious organic food in the era of modern agriculture, which is the idea of monoculture playing a vital role in creating less-fertile soil.
Monoculture is the concept of farming the same crop in the same field again and again, without rotating the different crops as rotation provides natural nutrients to the soil resulting in more nutritious and wholesome harvests.
But farmers are fond of monocultures as this process lets them spend less on a single type of seeds and a simple harvesting method leading to more efficiency and profits. Monoculture is also causing a lack of biodiversity. This comes from only growing a single type of crop or food as monoculture focuses on producing only the same crop over an extended period, thus only providing a particular nutritional value, which of course cannot compensate the nutritious elements lost by not growing other plant species.
So with modern agriculture, vegans are only capable of having a few specific types of seeds and grains which are being grown under the monoculture system with fewer nutrients and health benefits.
A monoculture of soybeans
3. Use of Chemical Fertilizers
This third reason also arises from the monoculture approach which destroys the natural soil resistance by taking away the soil’s proficiency in coping with bacteria and producing different insecticides naturally. By making the ground much more vulnerable, farmers have to counteract by using more fertilizers and synthetic chemicals to eradicate the bacteria and insects, which would otherwise destroy the harvest.
As their soil is not producing sufficient resistance against bacteria, crops are more prone to bugs and microbes so more and more chemical fertilizers are now being incorporated in retaining the crops, which turn out to be more unhealthy and harmful for the consumers of the food. Farmers are not only using chemicals in fertilizers, but also water contaminated with animal feces which produces bacteria that affects the roots and even the leaves of vegetables like spinach and lettuce. This causes the leaves of these products to be filthy to the extent that they cannot be germ-free by washing them before consuming, as the dirt is absorbed in the roots and leaves. Modern agriculture is trying its very best to destroy the human lives as much as it can to make the industry more profitable at our expense.
4. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
Modern agriculture does not confine to the innovations of chemical fertilizers and monoculture but is also doing a marvelous job in producing GMO (genetically modified organisms) which is the result of genetic engineering.
Crops are genetically modified to resist other herbicides, insects, and cold or hot conditions, which leads to the lesser use of pesticides but new research regarding genetically modified food suggests, that it is not healthy, neither for us nor the environment. Genetically modified food has fewer proteins than regular food crop and can cause allergies.
Another study suggests that organisms are modified using antibiotic-resistant genes, which in turn increases antibiotic-resistant bacteria in people, and adding to the death rate of people dying from antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A number which has escalated in the last few years. So the modernization of agriculture, in turn, is resulting in the deaths of more and more people. So if the fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts are all infected to this extent, one can easily understand how vegans may add to killing the planet.
5. Humans Are Omnivorous, Not Vegans
Lastly, we should try to live a life that suits us naturally, and according to the human anatomy and evolution, we know that we are omnivores and our nutritional needs require both plants and animals to lead a healthy life.
By only eating plants, we would not be able to survive for long as our bones and other systems require a non-veg diet as well. So to save our planet, we humans now need to reconsider the modernization in agriculture and should try to produce healthy and organic food as much as possible, especially in the era of Global warming and climate change, since these changes have put us in an unnatural and disastrous environment.
For all the reasons mentioned here, and for much more we haven’t mentioned, it is quite evident that growing vegetables and fruits in such conditions and methods are no longer healthy, for neither humans nor the environment. More human deaths and an increasingly polluted environment will surely result in the destruction of our mother earth. The statement that vegans are killing the planet, believing that the diet they are consuming is healthy for them, is certainly not an exaggeration.
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