Human beings have different eating habits. There are those that have embraced consumption of both animal product and vegetables while others have restricted themselves to avoid animal foods, vegans. The debate whether veganism is the only option towards a healthy living, especially for spiritual people has been going on for years. There are those that believe that animal products are a necessity while others feel vegetarianism is healthier. Based on Katie Williamson’s case, this article examines the various significance of animal food as it seeks to take a stance on whether veganism is a good practice or not; did she make a good decision?
Katie’s case demonstrates how it is difficult for a person to make a choice of being a vegan or enjoy the animal products that come with Mother Nature. She started to be a vegan some years back when she started practicing yoga, and as a nutritional therapist, she has had to stick to the fact that she cannot consume animal foods. However, until recently, she moved to Peru and realized she could not stick to her veganism anymore. Therefore, based on pros and cons associated with veganism as explained by Katie, I would argue that she made a good decision
Arguments for both animal and plant food
Mother Nature has provided both animals and plants as a source of food for humans. If people never consumed these animals, it is likely that they would overpopulate the earth. There are many farm animals domesticated all over the world and most of them are reared for meat purposes. Therefore, millions of animals would be in excess all over the globe to create pressure on the biological ecosystem.
The nutritional value of animal foods cannot be disregarded. The foods have micronutrients that are very important to the body. Furthermore, ii is almost impossible to obtain these nutrients from plant food sources alone. Some of the nutrients found in plenty in animal foods are vitamin A, calcium, zinc, and iron among many others. These nutrients are normally very low in vegetarian diets (Murphy and Allen 58).
Katie Williamson talks about traditional cultures that have fed on animal foods for thousands of years in a respectable, sustainable, and spiritual manner. She also explains the study carried in regards to diets of indigenous tribes from all over the world. The study showed that none of the indigenous group totally relied on plant food as each one of them includes animal products in the diet. Some cultures value animal products to the extent of considering them sacred hence use them on special groups, such as pregnant women due to their healthful purposes.
There is no doubt that most people compared to a small number of vegans take at least some animal or fish food. Vegans would always find themselves the odd ones out when they go to places as people tend to prefer animal products out of their nutritional values. Katie had maintained her practice but on arrival at Peru, she found it hard to resist eating the fish that was prepared for their lunch. She was embarrassed after explaining that she was a vegan. She kept regretting why she refused the meat that came out of fish that was obtained just after a few hours from the water.
Refutation of Arguments for Veganism
Vegans dislike the brutal slaughtering of animals that would be used to provide them meat. They believe that an animal would be killed for them to get meat hence they better not eat it. Even Katie Williamson talks about how farm industry crudely treats animals when producing their food products. The animals can be harshly confined in their quarters not to see even the sun. However, people can decide to rear or buy the animal products from areas they believe they are treated respectfully. For instance, going to the shores to buy fresh fish that has not been tampered with can be a nice way to enjoy an animal product (Virtue, Black, and Virtue 89).
Vegetarians also argue that animal foods make humans grow fat and unhealthy. However, the real reason behind growing fat is diet imbalance. Nutritionists believe that animal products have more nutritional effect on human body that cannot be equated to plant foods. Katie herself believes that she is now healthier after she started taking animal foods again. She had felt sick in her gut but the animal foods she detested before nourished her back to a healthy life (Beitz 135).
The ancestors have led beautiful lives through ages by eating animal products. We can avoid the negative impacts than can come along with eating animal meat but it does not need us to quit eating the products. There is no need of leaving the nutritional value to observe unhealthy feeding of plants only. In any case, by logical reasoning, humans are meant to feed on animal foods. Animals in the wild feed on either plants or animals or both. Therefore, why should human beings restrict themselves to only plant food?
Beitz, Donald. Animal Products in Human Nutrition. Oxford: Elsevier Science, 1982. Print.
Murphy, S. P. & Allen, L. H. A greater intake of animal products could improve the micronutrient status and development of children in East Africa. In: Small Ruminant CRSP. East Africa Livestock Assessment Workshop Proceedings. 1997. pp. 188–196, University of California, Davis, CA.
Virtue, Doreen, Becky Black, and Doreen Virtue. Eating in the Light: Making the Switch to Veganism on Your Spiritual Path. N.p., 2013. Print.