More and more people are choosing a vegan diet. Research by the Vegan Society found the number of vegans in Great Britain increased from 150,000 in 2006 to 540,000 in 2016.
A vegan is someone who doesn’t eat or use any animal products. Unlike a vegetarian diet, where people don’t eat meat or fish, a vegan diet avoids all animal products such as dairy, eggs as well as meat and fish. Some people prefer to call this way of eating ‘a plant-based diet’.
Following a vegan lifestyle also means only using or buying cosmetics and clothes free from animal products. The environmental and ethical case for a diet free of all animal products is compelling and there are many reasons people decide to go vegan.
Some of these include:
The United Nations says that farmed livestock accounts for 14.5% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. This is roughly equivalent to the exhaust emissions of every car, train, ship and aircraft on the planet. According to research from the University of Oxford, going vegan is the “single biggest way” to reduce your impact on the planet. Climate change is something that is affecting us all now. It will also affect future generations not yet born.
Some people become vegan because they believe harming any animal is cruel. For vegans, it’s not just about animals which are killed for food, but also concerns about the way that cows and chickens used for dairy and eggs are treated, especially in large factory farms.
By way of an example, one cow gives off enough harmful methane gas in a single day to fill around 400 litre bottles. Another argument used for veganism is that meat and dairy production uses too much land and water compared to growing crops.
Some vegans say they stopped eating meat for health reasons, but some people worry about getting the right vitamins and minerals from a vegan diet. A balanced vegan diet can be enjoyed by children and adults however, it is important to plan meals to make sure that they include enough nutrients.
People think going vegan is really difficult and requires huge willpower. In fact, it doesn’t have to be hard and the easiest way to move over to a vegan diet is not to cut animal products out of your diet, but instead, crowd them out. The main task is to constantly seek out new vegan foods.
As you discover one delicious vegan food after another, this will crowd the non-vegan foods out of your diet. The more vegan foods you sample, the quicker you’ll move toward eating a primarily vegan diet.
Climate change is something that is affecting us now. It will also affect future generations not yet born.
But going vegan isn’t just about us choosing to stay healthy because we’re not eating animal fat that can cause heart disease and certain cancers, but going vegan helps us tackle climate change too.
It’s something we don’t consciously think about as we go about our daily lives, but it’s real. Scientists are frantically making the point, it is important we listen. I’ve heard it said: “I won’t be around to see the effects of what I’m doing to the planet, so it won’t affect me, I don’t care”. It’s missing the point.
Although it may not directly affect you because you may not always be around, it will affect your children and your children’s children, therefore indirectly it does affect you. We are all responsible for saving the planet.
Source: https://vegan.com/info https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround