Becoming a vegan or vegetarian is not for everyone. The reasons for doing so and for adopting a more plant based diet vary from person to person, but are often driven by health and / or ethical issues. Here, we touch on some of these issues and also share some of the best related resources we’ve come across recently. If you’re interested in this way of life or if you’re wondering why veganism is such a hot topic in the media at the moment, hopefully you will find this article useful.
Why choose veganism?
Thanks to programs like Cowspiracy and an array of websites, social media pages and television programs, there is an increasing awareness of the devastating effects of animal agriculture on our planet.
Meat production is potentially the largest contributor to worldwide greenhouse gas emissions – producing more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, planes, trains and ships combined. It causes habitat fragmentation and destruction, results in loss of biodiversity and species extinction, wastes huge amounts of water, and pollutes air and waterways. In order to produce animal products – land, water, and energy are required to grow, harvest, and transport the feed that is then fed to the farmed animals. Our rainforests to our oceans, natural habitats and the plants and animals that live here are disappearing at an alarming rate. Our population is predicted to grow by a staggering two billion – from five billion to seven billion, in a mere 35 years… yet the earth for us to live on is shrinking.
The meat industry has also been blamed for world hunger. 805 million of the Earth’s seven billion occupants are suffering from chronic hunger every day. We currently produce enough calories to feed 10-11 billion people worldwide, however, the majority of this food goes to feed livestock, not hungry people.
Many experts really do feel that preventing catastrophic global warming is dependent on tackling meat and dairy consumption. Though the world is doing very little about it. A lot is being done on deforestation and transport, but there is a huge gap on the livestock sector. Perhaps there is a fear that it is not the place of governments or civil society to intrude into people’s lives and tell them what to eat.
In a nutshell, these arguments and the increasing publicity of them, are causing many environmentally conscious people to opt for a more plant-based diet.
If you’re interested in reading more on the above topics, links to the original resources are at the bottom of this article.
Do you have to eat meat to get complete protein?
“Oh my god oh my god oh my god. You want me to jump off this building don’t you. First of all, protein is made by plants. It is not necessary to to eat animal tissue to get protein. Any protein you get is simply recycled plan protein” – Doctor Milton Mills.
This is the opinion of one doctor, but it potentially forces us to question previous preconceptions about sources of nutrients.
(See infographic at the bottom of the page for more information on alternative protein sources)
Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet
Here are some of the health benefits of a more vegan diet commonly promoted:
- Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease
- May improve symptoms of psoriasis
- Lowers cholesterol
- Reduces risk of stroke
- Reduces chances of obesity
- Less chance of developing kidney stones
- Reduces risk of some kind of cancers
- Improves skin condition
- Can reduce risk of ageing
- May improve mood
Plant Based News
Plant Based News is an excellent resource for those interested in veganism. They recently shared “probably the most fun vegan vegan guide you will ever own” – another eye-opener to alternative meat-free sources of nutrients.
We Love… these plant-based cook books
- Medical News Today
- Global Healing Centre
- I Love Vegan
- The Guardian
- ABC News
- Scientific American
- One Green Planet
- Institute on the environment
- Take Exctinction Off Your Plate