Why should you be vegan considering cheese, meat and dairy just taste so good?

A few arguments that you might not yet have taken into consideration

The most obvious reason to renounce animal products is of course of ethical nature and regards the immense suffering that every animal kept and killed for humans must experience. When thinking about so-called organic or free-range farming with alleged better farming conditions as an alternative, one still has to ask the question why humans should have the right to exploit and kill animals just for their own pleasure.
It must be pointed out that this is a very priviliged perspective from a wealthy industrial nation such as Germany where the consumption of animal products is in fact pure luxury and (almost) not necessary from a dietary point of view. In many countries of the so-called global south as well as generally in marginalized groups (also of the global north), many peoples’ existences do depend on animal farming and the consumption of animal products. Those people either can’t afford expensive vegan substitute products or don’t have the time and the luxury to cook wholesome vegan meals.
This among other things is why we are opposed to rolling off the responsibility for the topic of veganism onto individuals, especially marginalized people, but rather see the necessity of a political and societal system change. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that individual persons, especially privileged people, can be absolved from any individual responsibility.
The following arguments are therefore supposed to criticize commercialized and industrial factory farming and the dispensable consumption of animal products by people who in fact would be privileged enough to renounce them and who because of this privilege bear more responsibility for the suffering of animals than structurally oppressed groups.

In Germany, the most common cause of death are cardiovascular diseases [1], most often resulting from insufficient physical activity and malicious diets. A vegan diet can reduce the risk for such diseases by up to 32% [2].

To farm and feed all the animals in Germany, we use 10,6 million hectares of land which is nearly a third of the total area of Germany [3]. Without animal farming, there would be an area twice as big as Lower Saxony which could be used for additional forests, wild meadows, nature reserves etc..

Without animal farming, it would be a lot nicer to drive along our roads, for they wouldn’t just go through crop monocultures but through diversified, beautiful and climate-friendly landscapes!

Without animal farming, Germany wouldn’t actively demand 4,6 million hectares of the Amazon rainforest for feed production [4] so that the rainforest as a planetary basis of existence could remain and the indigenous people wouldn’t be exploited and deprived of their living space any further.

Without animal farming, the climate catastrophe would be a lot smaller since the emissions of such an inefficient production form are enormous. For people in Germany, a vegan lifestyle can reduce their diet-related emissions by two thirds. Furthermore, the soil overacidification resulting from “normal” diets is twice as high as for vegan diets [5].

Without animal farming, there would be so much additional space on the planet that by revegetation and reforestation, 8100 million tons of CO2 could be absorbed naturally over the next 100 years [5]. That would be six times the amount of CO2 currently stored by the Amazon rainforest [6].

Without animal farming, multi-resistant germs, which is one of the biggest medical issues of this century, wouldn’t be as big a problem because farm animals are being administered tons of antibiotics every day [7].

Without animal farming, Germany could use millions of Euros for other projects since the animal industrie is being massively subsidized. With this kind of money, we could for example help thousands of refugees get out of the inhumane refugee camps and actually do something against this humanitarian crisis which is simply tolerated by the EU.

Last but not least: Without animal farming, zoonoses like bird and swine flu, SARS and especially COVID would never even have emerged at all. Primarily by deforestating the rainforest humans are advancing into the last natural retreat areas of rare and unknown animals which makes the animal-human-transition of new and dangerous pathogens more likely.

And all this is not even everything…

Hopefully, this could show that there are many good arguments for a vegan diet. To be honest: Taken together, all those reasons outbalance the good taste. Habits can be changed!

Text template: Lukas Strauss
Adjusted and extended by: Students for Future Hildesheim

[1] https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/240/umfrage/verteilung-der-sterbefaelle-nach-todesursachen/

[3] Picture: https://mediathek.fnr.de/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/a/b/abb_180_2020_0602.jpg

Scientific Sources:
(a) https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/479/publikationen/globale_landflaechen_biomasse_bf_klein.pdf
(b) https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Branchen-Unternehmen/Landwirtschaft-Forstwirtschaft-Fischerei/Flaechennutzung/Publikationen/Downloads-Flaechennutzung/bodenflaechennutzung-2030510197004.pdf;jsessionid=9D49AC33ED9AF4E7228E9A4420C732DA.internet8731?__blob=publicationFile

[4] https://www.wwf.de/fileadmin/user_upload/WWF_Fleischkonsum_web.pdf

[5] https://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/987

[6] https://www.rainforesttrust.org/climate-change-series-part-1-rainforests-absorb-store-large-quantities-carbon-dioxide/