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Consuming Animals Essay

2056 words - 9 pages

Consuming Animals
Steven D. McAfoose
DeVry University

It was the fifth of May 1982; a young boy had just turned 12 years old and was very excited. The only thing he wanted for his birthday was to attend the Pennsylvania Hunter-Trapper Education Course, which allowed him to purchase his hunter’s license for the upcoming winter hunting season. He had been shooting rifles since he was eight years old and became a very proficient marksman, so much that when he attended the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, he received his very first Certificate of Achievement for the highest overall marksmanship qualification record in the company of over 600 soldiers. He had ...view middle of the document...

If we were to look at the fuel for an engine, either gasoline or diesel might be used. One of these may cause the engine to have problems. For gasoline, you select different octanes to place in the tank and you can add additives to help maintain the inside of the engine. “Vitamins and minerals are substances that your body needs to grow and develop normally. They are used by the body for any number of processes from building bones, to carrying oxygen, to help regulate various bodily functions” (Vitamins and Minerals, 2012). There are 13 vitamins and 6 minerals that are necessary, of those, 4 vitamins and 5 minerals can be provided by animal meats or by an animal byproduct. The body requires more than just vitamins and minerals, but these are critical. The ones that are provided by meat or animal byproducts are vitamin B3, B6, B12, biotin, calcium, iron, potassium, selenium, and zinc.
What is the most effective and efficient way to provide these critical elements to the body? This is where the debate over veganism and meat eaters comes in. Meats and other byproducts can offer the body critical elements. Let’s take a look at a few of them to determine what source is best and most efficient. Red meat contains iron, and the body uses iron to help red blood cells carry oxygen to the different parts of the body. (Vitamins and minerals, 2012) Red meats provide heme iron, whereas a plant source like lima beans offers non-heme iron. Heme iron is readily available in red meat and is easily absorbed by the body and is derived from hemoglobin. (“Iron”, 2007) “Low iron may lead to fatigue, headaches and dizziness” (McGruther, 2009). To avoid these symptoms using non-heme iron, which is poorly absorbed, would require ingesting large quantities of the plant source in order to get the same effects as red meats (McGruther, 2009). Vitamin B12 is another element that the body needs, and it promotes growth and development. It also helps make the red blood cells the body needs that carry oxygen to the cells (Vitamins and minerals, 2012). Vitamin B12 can be found in almost all animal sources and byproducts. For vegans to ensure they have enough vitamin B12, they would need to take a vitamin supplement that has been processed in some factory. We just have to hope that pharmaceutical companies keep making it for their sake.
Zinc is another mineral that is essential to the body’s immune system and promotes healthy skin, especially for healing (McGruther, 2009). Vitamin B6 helps promote brain function, as well as, provides the body proteins for growth and development (“Vitamins and Minerals”, 2012). Calcium is another mineral that the body requires for strong teeth and bones. Calcium can be found in animal byproducts, such as, milk, yogurt, and cheese. We can also find calcium in non-meat or plant sources such as spinach (cooked), kale, and Chinese cabbage (Chiaro, 2010). But, if we were to compare a cup (8 ounces) of two percent fat milk,...

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