The Economy and Veganism

It is a common belief and misconception that a vegan diet would create a weaker and less stable economy. This is because the economics of the food industry have changed dramatically in the last several years. Americans have started to change their diets to better their health and society’s well being. This has boosted local economies and US health rates altogether.

As the government industries push for larger, more intensive farming operations, larger corporations have begun creating a monopoly over the products they produce. This in turn enables the handful of larger corporations to control what consumers get to eat, how much they pay for the food, and how much farmers get paid for their crops and livestock. Because the food economy has created somewhat of a hierarchy, the large corporations hold the ability to hide many things from the general population. Subsequently, local farms have folded and gone out of business, which has created a highly detrimental situation for rural communities who depend upon local farming. In a study done at the University of Oxford they estimated that if people continue to follow current trends of meat consumption, rather than shifting to a more balanced or plant-based diet, it could cost the U.S. between $197 billion and $289 billion each year—and the global economy up to $1.6 trillion—by 2050. The US alone could could save $180 billion if the population ate according to recommended guidelines, and $250 billion if it eschewed animal food products altogether. This is because meat consumption actually paves the way to many health and environmental problems that cost a lot of money to fix.

In many ways small, locally owned farms have somewhat of a multiplier effect: for every dollar the farm spends, a percentage stays in the local economy. This proves that by adopting a plant-based lifestyle we are reducing the demand for meat, which creates a difficult situation for the large corporations that depend on meat consumption. This opens up the opportunity for local businesses to continue serving their community in a more efficient manner. In an article on sustainabletable.org, it is said that sustainable farms support local economies by providing jobs for members of the community and purchasing supplies from local business.

It’s no secret that Americans’ taste for meat and animal products is putting them at greater risk for a range of health problems. A strong body of scientific evidence links excess meat consumption, particularly of red and processed meat, with heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, certain cancers, and earlier death. This is because of high saturated fats and cholesterol contents. There is still no specific guideline that says how much meat is healthy to consume and therefore should not be consumed. As well as helping local farms, diets high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans can also help prevent these diseases and promote health in a variety of ways. Veganism helps our society live a healthy and efficient lifestyle. As we reduce meat consumption in the US, we not only change US health rates, but animal welfare and the environment. It’s important that Americans take the steps necessary to help our society and themselves.

Veganism as a whole is an ethical way to prevent multiple atrocities from continuing in our day-to-day lives. By committing to a plant- based lifestyle, we are also committing to creating a more efficient, stronger society. By reducing our intake of meat and other animal byproducts we are bettering the lives of the animals chosen for our consumption and bettering the lives of our own species, which is currently corrupted by large meat corporations and environmental danger.

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The Economy and Veganism
by Cheryl is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This article was prepared by a young writer through Youth Voices, an exciting initiative helping students find their own voice in the digital world.