Why Go Vegan?
People opt for a vegan diet for a wide variety of reasons. Some want a healthier lifestyle. Others watched the documentary ‘Earthlings’ and that’s enough to convert them for life. And some want to help the planet by reducing their carbon footprint. Sounds fair enough but how does it affect your lifestyle and health?
Mind and Mood
There are often misconceptions that going vegan will make you feel a bit left out. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a strong vegan community waiting to welcome you. Social media is filled with vegan groups that you can join who will support and encourage your lifestyle. You can attend vegan events to help introduce you to a whole new world of like-minded people. Most cafes, restaurants, bistros and takeaways offer amazingly tasty vegan alternatives so you don’t need to worry about missing out on dinner dates with friends. You will feel stronger in yourself for sticking to your beliefs and making the change to a plant-based diet whilst taking comfort in the fact that each day you could be saving around 1100 gallons of water. It takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce just one gallon of milk and beef has an overall water footprint of roughly 4 million gallons per ton! I’m still trying to get my head around the waste.
It’s no secret that we are heavily influenced by our favourite celebs and their Instagram posts. Their decision to have a plant-based diet continues to inspire more and more people to give it a try. Joaquin Pheonix recently used his Oscar speech as an opportunity to endorse veganism. He has been a vegan since the age of three and has advocated for animal rights his entire career. It’s not surprising that he is PETA’s person of the year. His powerful speech reached an audience of over 23 million. Other celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron and Ariana Grande also swear by the vegan lifestyle and often encourage their fans to give it a try. Fearne Cotton recently ventured into cooking with her new vegan cook book. It’s bursting with simple vegan recipes to make going vegan that little bit easier.
There’s a whole world out there of amazing vegan foods that you’re missing out on! Why not set a challenge with your friends to go vegan for a month? Or try opting for vegan options when going out for meals. You could also try remaking your favourite meat dishes with vegan alternatives.
Love For Animals
Some people go vegan due to their love for animals. Vegans save around 30 animals each year which is incredibly impressive. In the UK, around 1,000 million animals are bred and killed for food. Your decision to stop purchasing animal products will help reduce the demand for them. This means that less animals will be bred into slaughterhouses. Animal Aid offer a FREE ‘Going Vegan’ information pack. Go check out their website to get your own. And don’t forget to check that your favourite brands are cruelty free!
Being vegan is viewed as a healthy change to your diet. Whilst it does help you to cut out fatty foods, it’s important to make sure that you’re still eating essential nutrients. There are many delicious alternatives to help you achieve this, for example, your iron intake, such as eating nuts and dark green vegetables. Changing your diet will have amazing benefits on your body such as lowering the risk of developing heart disease. It’s important to do your research and make sure that you are taking proper care of your body!
A leading reason for the growth of veganism is the environment. In recent years, as a society, we are more aware about the damage we are doing to our planet. Opting for a plant-based diet will cut down your greenhouse gas emissions. There is a huge amount of energy required to produce meat. By not eating meat you can cut your carbon emissions by half! Eating animals is the biggest reason for extinction and habitat loss and eating meat requires three times more land than a vegan diet. This is having a major impact on the destruction of habitats. And in case you needed any more statistics – by going vegan for a year, you can save the same amount of emissions as taking a small family car off the road for 6 months. So do your part to help save the planet, one meal at a time.
by Eva Curran