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May 11, 2017

Essays for IBPS PO 2017 : Vegetarianism - Go Green

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Vegetarianism Go Green

  • Definition and types of vegetarianism. 
  • Animal products leads to greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Benefits of being a vegetarian are many. 
  • Vegetarianism leads to animal welfare and maintaining ecosystem of the environment.
Vegetarianism is the practice of refraining from the consumption of meat, fish, poultry and other by-products obtained from animal slaughter. Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, and poultry. There are different types of vegetarians namely Vegans, Lacto-ovo-vegetarian, Lacto-vegetarian and Ovo-vegetarians. Vegans are the vegetarians who abstain from eating or using all animal products, including milk, cheese, other dairy items, eggs, honey, wool, silk, or leather. 

Lacto-ovo-vegetarians are the ones who eat both dairy products and eggs. This is the most common type of vegetarian diet. Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products but avoid eggs. Ovo-vegetarians are the ones who eat eggs but not dairy products. The most common vegetarian diet includes fruit, green leafy vegetables, whole grain products, nuts, seeds and legumes.

In order to meet the demand for the meat and other animal products, countries across the world are bulldozing huge swaths of land to make more room for animals as well as crops to feed them. Tropical rain forests in Brazil, ancient pine forests in China and many such ecosystems were completely destroyed to fulfil the demands of the animal products. Most of the agricultural lands are used for raising the animals for food and growing grains to feed them.

The production of beef leads to the greenhouse-gas emissions. The greenhouse gases namely the carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide together lead to the global warming. Factory farms also produce massive amounts of dust and other contaminates that pollute the air.

The large quantities of manure which are produced from the farms end up in the rivers, lakes and water bodies, ultimately leading to the water pollution. Even if the manure is used in the fields, it is subsequently washed away into the water bodies. This agricultural runoff is one of the major sources of water contamination and pollution.

This also makes the water unfit for the human consumption. The nitrogen in the animal faeces promotes the algal population at a rapid rate and subsequently there is a very little oxygen left for the other species. This leads to the formation of a dead zone, where there are no water plants and animals except for the algae. Gulf of Mexico has a dead zone where there are no plants and animals.

In order to produce meat, milk and other dairy products, many animals are given harsh medical treatments. They are injected with drugs that fatten them more quickly, and they are genetically manipulated to grow faster or produce much more milk or eggs than they would naturally.

This hampers the natural reproductive cycle and the growth process of many animals. They are kept in cages away from their natural environment. In order to discover new techniques to enhance their outputs, the animals are treated as guinea pigs and subjected to clinical trials.

Thus, it is evident that raising animals for food involves massive consumption of resources and requires a large amount of land, food, energy, and water. The by-products of animal agriculture pollute the air and waterways.

The animals are also subjected to atrocities in order to fulfil the human needs. By avoiding the animal products, vegetarians become de-facto environmentalists and contribute positively towards the environment.
Various benefits of being a vegetarian are :

Health Benefits

  • A vegetarian diet helps to reduce the blood pressure, lower the cholesterol levels and thus prevent many heart related disorders. 
  • The vegetables and fruit are a rich source of fibre which helps to regulate the bowel movement, prevents constipation and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
  • A fibre rich diet plays an important role in losing weight as it keeps one full for longer time. Besides, fruit and vegetables are an important source of vitamins and minerals. 
  • Vitamins and minerals are the protective foods which promote health, immunity and general well-being of an individual. 

Animal Welfare

  • As vegetarian refrains from eating slaughtered animal products, no animal is harmed in order to satisfy their hunger and other needs. This reduces the burden on livestock and meat industry. • 
  • It helps to maintain the natural food chain and ecosystem of the environment. 
  • Besides, the animals flourish in their natural environment and are saved from different atrocities.
There are people who are vegetarian right from their childhood while there are others who have turned vegetarian due to some religious, ethical or health issue. However, it is imperative for all the categories of people to meet their nutrition and dietary requirements in order to stay fit and healthy. The dairy products can be readily substituted by the commonly available soya products. Soya products are rich in proteins. Meat analogues such as tofu and tempeh have the same aesthetic qualities and chemical characteristics as the meat. Flaxseed, walnuts, coconut milk, almond milk and wheat gluten are some of the common substitutes of the non-vegetarian diet. All these fulfil the regular dietary needs of an individual.

Thanks to the advancement in science and technology, there are a large number of options available for the vegetarians. These options are no longer boring and tasteless instead are healthy and tasty to eat. The animals also deserve love and care and we need to be compassionate to them. Incorporating a vegetarian diet in the daily regimen will help to significantly reduce the ecological footprint of an individual. An individual has the power to change the world simply by changing his dietary habits.

Difficult Words with Meanings :

  • Slaughter kill animals for food
  • Abstain restrain oneself from doing something
  • Bulldozing use force insensitively when dealing with someone or something
  • Swaths a broad strip or area of something
  • Guinea pigs a person or thing used as subject for experiment
  • Atrocities an extremely wicked act
  • Imperative crucial
  • Analogues a person or thing seen as comparable to another
  • Aesthetic concerned with beauty.
shared by Nisheeta Mirchandani
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