What would you do if you saw an animal suffering?
Being vegan is simply to live consistently with the philosophy that it is wrong to use and harm animals. It is a lifestyle where our choices reflect that philosophy, meaning that we no longer choose to contribute to animal suffering, exploitation and death through the everyday choices we make.
These choices can range from the food we eat, to the clothes we wear, to the personal care products we use. There are alternatives to all of them, which can be better for the environment, our health, and are completely cruelty free.
But what if the animals are treated nicely?
For the majority of the animals used in the animal products industries, they are imprisoned, exploited and abused before being killed. Although it is questioned by some whether they are given a 'good' life, what is absolutely clear is that they are ALL killed against their will while they are still so young.
This is occurring in astoundingly large numbers, with up to 2.7 trillion land and marine animals killed every year.
Many will also insist that these animals are killed humanely, but to treat another living being humanely is defined as "to show compassion or benevolence". Is it therefore humane to end the life of another living being that doesn't even want to die? Many would consider that cruel and unethical.
But what can I eat as a vegan? And will I be healthy?
Plant based foods can provide us with all of the nutrition we need to not only survive - but thrive. All plants have protein, most have calcium too, and there are also plenty of good sources of iron, B12, Omega 3 and 6, Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium - every vitamin, nutrient and mineral your body needs, with the sun being the best source for vitamin D. In fact, studies are showing that sourcing these from a plant based diet is actually healthier for us, with vegans and vegetarians having the lowest rates of cancers, heart disease and other common ailments that effect humans. You can find out more information on nutrition and health here.
There is a wide variety of delicious foods available from salads and pasta and rice dishes; to meals designed to replicate the taste of the foods that were perhaps eaten on a non-vegan diet such as vegan burgers, vegan mac 'n' cheese, vegan bacon and many, many more. Anything you ate before, can be eaten in vegan form!
For food ideas and inspiration, check out our VGANG Cookbook eBook
But what difference will being vegan make?
Not only are the animal products industries causing harm to innocent animals, but they are also responsible for many problems affecting the well being and survival of our home.
- Land use - livestock covers 45% of the Earth's land, and 1/3 of land is desertified due to livestock
- Water scarcity - over 1/3 of fresh water is used by animal agriculture
- Food waste - over 1/2 of the plants grown on this planet are used to feed the animals in animal agriculture, but the conversion rate from what they eat to what they produce is less, meaning food is unnecessarily wasted
- Water pollution and ocean destruction - waste from livestock getting into rivers, lakes and oceans destroys the oxygen and in turn the life within
- Rainforest destruction - up to 91% is due to animal agriculture
- Species extinction - in destroying the rainforest, multiple species are wiped out
- Climate change - up to 51% greenhouse gas emissions are due to livestock farming
Living a vegan life is a vote against these industries, and the harm and destruction they cause. In making this change businesses respond by creating less animal products, and instead opt for vegan alternatives. We create the demand, and they supply.
It can be the single most significant choice we can make in our day to day lives, and everyday more and more people are making that change, and the businesses are responding with a huge influx in vegan products and restaurants emerging ever more frequently all over the world. This means that as individuals we have the power to change the world, and for the better.
To find out more about veganism and the difference you can make, click here.
Thanks for helping change the world for the better.
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