My Topic: For this semester, I chose to research the controversial vegan movement in an effort to find out how it benefits society, the individual, and the animals.
My Essays: For my first research paper, I focused on whether or not a vegan lifestyle is truly a healthy way to live, and how it may be more beneficial than any other diet. I learned that veganism can be the healthiest way to live if the proper foods are being consumed, but can also be unhealthy if the diet is heavy in carbohydrates and fats. In my second essay, I researched how animal production has changed as a result of the industrial revolution, making veganism a more favorable lifestyle than ever before. Not only are the animals being harmed due to production, but the earth’s environment and atmosphere is as well. My final paper will inform readers how they can go about making changes in their everyday routines to lessen their impact on animals, the earth and their own bodies. It may be quite challenging to go vegan all at once, but taking baby steps allows people to ease into the transition at a pace they feel comfortable with.
My Research Methods: Researching my topic was an enjoyable and unique experience because veganism is discussed throughout different sources of media. I was not limited to only scholarly sources, and instead had the freedom to access social media content, advertisements, popular news sources and campaigns. Having a variety of different types of sources to integrate within my work created a diverse platform to support my arguments and provided multiple perspectives. My findings ranged from a Stanford University publication to a dairy company’s Twitter advertisement, but each and every one I found was beneficial to my writing in some way.
Final Observations: Researching this topic over the course of the semester was a fascinating journey, because I have wanted to learn more about veganism for the past few years. By studying it from an academic standpoint, I focused a lot more on the facts and evidence than I would have doing personal research, which likely would have consisted more of opinions. Reading both opinionated and factual sources gave me a better ability to form my on opinion and learn more about what veganism has to offer as well as some of the drawbacks that come with it. For example, I learned that eliminating animal products from the diet can reverse prostate cancer in men. This was astounding information for me to land upon, and was something I cared about personally since this cancer has affected previous generations of my family. My perspective on veganism has become much more positive after this semester’s research, and I have even begun taking small steps to eliminate animal products from my diet and lifestyle. I no longer have dairy milk in my daily iced coffees, and have refrained from buying any new belts, shoes or wallets made of leather. While these adjustments may seem small, if society as a whole could make these minor changes, the positive results would be huge.
For my second essay, I plan to follow the ethical approach of my topic and focus on how veganism affects the environment as well as animals. By focusing on the ethics of this issue, I will describe how animal production impacts the land and atmosphere of the earth, as well as how the animals consumed in most diets are treated and produced. I will begin by finding statistics sources that expose the detrimental effects of modern animal agriculture. These sources, one of which I linked below, are the key to supporting my claim that veganism is the most ethically responsible lifestyle.
I can also talk about how veganism can go beyond eating, but also our skin care and clothing as well. Many people do not even view their leather belt as once being an animal because society is so detached from production. By making the reader realize how we use innocent animals to our advantage, I can persuade them that being a vegan is a much more ethical choice.
“New Report Reveals the Environmental and Social Impact of the ‘Livestock Revolution’.” Stanford University, 16 Mar. 2010, news.stanford.edu/news/2010/march/livestock-revolution-environment-031610.html.
This article from “The Nursing Degree” is an informative source that discusses the proven health benefits of adopting a vegan diet or lifestyle. The advantages of being a vegan are categorized by importance to different areas of the body, such as overall nutrition and disease prevention. One fact that astonished me was that studies show that prostate cancer can be reversed or even cured in men who make the switch to a vegan diet. The statistics that “The Nursing Degree” provided on their page helped in supporting my argument and claim that veganism is in fact a healthy diet. By providing specific health advantages from a credible source, my thesis became much stronger than my opinion alone.
“The Differences Between Being a Healthy Vegan and an Unhealthy Vegan” can be considered both an opinionated and informative source because the definition of healthy can be subjective. When referring to a healthy diet as one that improves overall wellness, this article gives great insight on the difference between eating healthily as a vegan and unhealthily. A vegan diet may contain no animal products, but be filled with carbohydrates and foods with very little nutritional value. Instead, a healthy vegan diet should be diverse, containing fruits, vegetables, grains and more. The article helped my explanation of how a vegan diet can still be an unhealthy one, and allowed me to clarify the proper way to eat as a vegan within my first essay.
This publication from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was accessed from a Rowan Database, and is an informative article describing the effects of livestock production on the environment and atmosphere. The amount of harmful gases, such as nitrous oxide, being released into the atmosphere is discussed as being a direct result of animal farming, with cows having the greatest impact. This information supports my claim that veganism is a great dietary choice because cows are not only consumed as meat, but dairy as well. By providing such statistics, I can persuade my readers that veganism has not only a positive impact on personal health, but the wellness of the earth too.
As I have began researching veganism and topics that pertain to it, I have found a valuable article named “The Differences Between Being a Healthy Vegan and an Unhealthy Vegan” published by “One Green Planet,” a website that promotes ways to improve societal impacts on the earth and environment. The article discusses how a vegan diet can be an extremely healthy lifestyle change for both the world and the individual. However, it also emphasizes that the diet can be unhealthy if a wide assortment of fruits, vegetables and other nutrient dense foods are not included. I agree with the arguments made about unhealthy vegans, and I feel that they give the lifestyle a bad reputation, making acceptance from society more difficult.
A second article that I found on the web was published by the “Nursing School Catalog,” a source referenced by nurses and doctors all around the world. This article was titled “57 Health Benefits of Going Vegan,” and provides a long list of the advantages that come with switching to a vegan diet composed of nutritional options. For example, because dairy and red meat are the main sources of saturated fats, vegans typically eat much less of them. As a result, they usually experience a decrease in cholesterol levels and a lower risk of heart disease. I like how this article clearly provides the benefits of veganism with research and studies to back up the claims.
Both of these articles talk about the healthiness of choosing to go vegan, and what the diet should consist of in order to maximize results and benefits. The article by “One Green Planet,” however, also discusses how the lifestyle can be unhealthy if the correct foods are not consumed. Eating white bread and sugars every meal may be considered vegan, but it certainly is not a smart idea for someone looking to improve their wellness. Instead, dieters must be conscious about the foods they choose to eat and be sure that they contain essential nutrients and vitamins that are necessary to survive.
“The Differences Between Being a Healthy Vegan and an Unhealthy Vegan.” One
Ten years ago, the vegan diet was seen as an inconvenient and extreme way of eating practiced by very few people. Today, there are 1.6 million Americans who report that they follow a vegan lifestyle. This is the highest amount of people practicing veganism in the country’s history. This information leads me to ask the following: Why is this diet on the rise? Is it the healthiest option? What are the drawbacks? I chose to research this topic in an attempt to answer such questions. One likely reason why veganism is becoming more prevalent is the increased education of food production on social media and the internet. The public now has more access to knowledge about where their food comes from and what it contains. Even a dairy company, Bolthouse Farms, has released a non-dairy line of products to keep up with consumers who choose to partake in a vegan lifestyle. Their advertisement for the new product, as seen below, boasts that it contains “50% more calcium than dairy milk.”
The dairy alternative also contains two more grams of protein per serving than cow’s milk. Bolthouse Farms even goes as far as claiming that plant-based milk is “the future of milk.” Coming from a company that still produces dairy milk, and profits tremendously from it, such a statement is very bold. It will be interesting to see if their prediction of the future comes true, and the dairy industry becomes out-shined by the plant-based alternatives.
Kuper, Arthur, et al. “Vegan Demographics 2017 – USA, and the World.” Vegan Bits, 23 May 2017, veganbits.com/vegan-demographics-2017/.
Reese, Jacy. “Even a Company That (Currently) Uses Animals, @BolthouseFarms, Is Now Advertising #Plantbased as ‘the Future of Milk.” HT r/Vegan Pic.twitter.com/XudYQZFNZi.” Twitter, Twitter, 9 Feb. 2018, twitter.com/jacyreese/status/961767725076008960.
In my third and final essay I plan on writing about not only one but two or more possible policies that could be put into effect in order to bring an end to animal abuse. As to what the policies are at this moment I don’t know. They will be somewhere along the lines of punishment whether that be arrests or jail time for repeat offenders, I’m unsure. I plan on creating a survey to ask people their feelings about the topic and whether or not they agree with different branches of the issue. The last question on my survey will be what they think a policy
should be in order to stop animal cruelty and abuse. I am going to include this on my survey because I feel that this policy/proposal paper should be broadened to not only include my opinion but others as well. I feel like this is the most effective way to get the message across and include the most ideas that could really help the issue.
My writing process will include an outlining style. I will be using this process in order to organize all of the results and answers from the survey and just where in the essay I want to include them. It will also help me to organize the policies from a small to larger scale. In order to avoid repetition, I will, for the most part, only be focusing on the different policies and what exactly this policy will bring an end to rather than discussing each part of animal cruelty in depth like my last two papers. I feel like discussing the different types of animal abuse is not really needed in this paper rather than just to reference them to the policies. I will be using the Report Animal Cruelty page provided by the ASPCA in order to expand on certain policies and inform readers where they can go when in comes to reporting any animal abuse they may witness. I feel that this site may also come in handy when it comes to making or coming up with new policies.
The image above shows the close up of an elephant that has not yet had any of its tusks removed by poachers. The picture is accompanied by the quote “No one in the world needs an elephant tusk but an elephant”. This visual argument was created and published by Insight Timer. Insight Timer is an app that helps people meditate. The community that surrounds Insight Timer are people whose mission is peace and they have created groups on different forms of social media such as Facebook in order to get others to join them. With this being said, it is possible that there is some bias behind the posting of this picture. Since the communities mission is peace then it can be inferred that they would want peace when it comes to animals as well.
The intended audience for this image are the followers of the Insight Timer Facebook group and people who want to work to help protect animals. Even though this picture was created by Insight Timer and posted to their page, it has been shared 651,582 times. Each share of the picture allows more and more people who may or may not follow the Insight Timer page to see the picture. This spreads the word and the message behind the image with people all over the world. Another possible intended audience are people who believe that animals should not be killed just for things that are considered to be “wants” rather than “needs”. The difference being things that you can live without and things that are essential to life. An elephant tusk can be lived without as long as you are not the elephant. The elephant uses its tusks to defend themselves, attack others, dig, lift different objects , gather food and strip bark off of trees for them to eat and chew on (Britannica). Humans use elephant tusks for making things such as billiard balls and piano keys. They are also used for making statues and carvings from the ivory of the tusk.
The picture is showing a elephant that is walking through what appears to be its natural habitat of grassy plains. The presentation of this image represents an elephant that is both strong and powerful in many different ways. Even though this large and majestic animals looks beautiful and elegant, it also looks down at the ground which makes it seem as if the animal is upset. This image also represents what an elephant should look like. The elephant in the picture still rightfully has both of its tusks fully intact.
What this image does not show are all of the elephants who do not have their tusks. I feel that the image could have had a greater effect if the elephant was one who had been missing one of its tusks. This would make the image even more serious and would possibly make the quote more effective than it already is. The image also does not fully represent just how important tusks are to each individual elephant and how vital they are to the elephants survival. However, even without all of these things, the image is still one that draws attention.
The use of a black and white filter adds to the seriousness of this picture. It makes the elephant look older and as if it has been through a couple of fights in order to keep itself safe. The use of the black and white also allows the words on the picture to stand out and allows the reader to be drawn into the picture by first focusing on the words and then moving onto the elephant and then finally onto the background environment of the elephant.
I feel that this visual argument was created with simplicity but it also is a strong and powerful way of getting a message across to an audience. This image could be used for advertisements, logos, banners, and commercials all around the world in an effort to help bring about an end to animal cruelty.
“Animal Cruelty Facts and Statistics.” The Humane Society of the United States. The
Humane Society of the United States, 31 Aug. 2015. Web. 08 Mar. 2016.
The article Animal Cruelty Facts and Statistics is about who abuses animals, how often animal abuse is done, who most of the cruelty is done against and possible links between animal cruelty and domestic abuse. The purpose of this article was to inform readers about where animal cruelty occurs and why it may occur. It also discusses specific states within the United States that have adopted laws that make animal cruelty a felony. When researching animal cruelty I think that this source is a good one to look at because it provides causes, effects, and punishments of animal cruelty. I believe that this source is very useful and reliable when being used to talk about either animal or domestic abuse. I used this source and will continue to use this source to discuss why people tend to abuse animals. I will also use this article to discuss laws that are being put into place that prohibit the abuse of animals. I feel that this article will shape my essays and research and provide a good amount of information about animal cruelty.
“Species List.” WorldWildlife.org. World Wildlife Fund, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2016.
The World Wildlife Fund’s website’s page Species Directory provides a list of all of the animals that are considered endangered throughout the world today. The page is composed of three columns: Common Name, Scientific Name, and Conservation Status. The common name column lists the animals known names, the names that they are called on a daily basis. The conservation status column specifies whether the animal is, least concern, near threatened, vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. The purpose of showing the conservation status is to let everyone know which animals are in danger of extinction. It is also a way of knowing which animals are protected against hunting and poaching. This source is useful when researching extinction, endangerment, or poaching/hunting. I believe that this page can be extremely useful when it comes to giving examples of endangered animals and this is how I used this page in my first essay. I consider this source reliable because the World Wildlife Fund is a world-wide well known organization that is built around protecting these animals and informing people about how they can protect these animals. This article was helpful to me by providing specific animals/species that I could use as examples of animals that are becoming endangered due to some poaching/hunting. It also provided me with animals that I would like to look into and expand upon in the future.
Composing an annotated bibliography is something that the importance can vary from writer to writer. To me I feel that it is more important when writing larger and more concentrated papers. When writing more concentrated papers, an annotated bibliography allows an individual to arrange all of their sources and clearly see how they used each source or will use each source. I also feel that the annotated bib is helpful because you can write it before or after writing a paper. In a way, it can be written as a way to pre-write or review a paper. I feel it is more helpful and that it does not tend to hinder an individuals research process but I can see that it is possible that someone could become overwhelmed when trying to write an annotated bibliography and that is could cause more problems than solutions.