Vegan living is one of the fastest-growing lifestyle movements in the UK, with a whole month (January) being dubbed ‘Veganuary’. With growing reasons from health- to planet-benefits there are more and more of us making the change. If you are ‘vegan-curious’ but still on the fence, here’s our breakdown of three reasons to go vegan, whether it be part-time or full-time.
Reasons To Go Vegan: For The Animals
Without going into the details of the unmentionable conditions of slaughterhouses, in many industrial farms animals are kept in cramped, cruel conditions, and will never experience anything that’s natural to them, i.e foraging for food and raising families. For example did you know that dairy farms separate calves from their mothers shortly after birth, redirecting the milk being produced for the offspring to human consumption.
Vegans also avoid using products that contain animal derivatives or companies that test on animals, opting for vegan skincare and vegan makeup brands, as well as sourcing vegan materials, i.e faux-leather. It’s now becoming easier than ever to find switches for your bathroom cabinet and your wardrobe, as more brands are becoming vegan-friendly. While none of our products are tested on animals (look for the CF badge for those who have additional third-party certifications), you can Shop by Vegan by looking for the VE badge.
Reasons To Go Vegan: For The Health Benefits
When the vegan diet is done well, the health benefits can be great. Plant-based diets have been shown to reduce the risk of obesity as well as type 2 diabetes*, heart disease, and cancer**. Research from Harvard University found that eating around 50 grams a day of processed meat is associated with about a 20% increase in colon cancer. The health benefits associated with a plant-based vegan diet is one of the major reasons to go vegan.
Eliminating meat and dairy will also push you to be more creative in the kitchen, by introducing more colour and variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains that have their own beneficial properties. The right plant-based foods can be excellent sources of protein and other nutrients. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics stated that a vegan diet could provide all the nutritional requirements for adults, children and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Reasons To Go Vegan: For The Environment
A global switch to diets that rely less on meat and more on fruit & vegetables could save up to 8 million lives by 2050, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds, as found by Oxford University researchers.
Animal agriculture is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for 30% (more than all transport) according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This includes the grain that must be grown to support livestock production – 4.5pounds per one pound of chicken meat. The number of farmed animals in the world has also quadrupled in the last 50 years, at present modern agriculture is far from sustainable, with the meat and dairy industry contributing to environmental issues such as deforestation, overfishing, wildlife destruction, and reduction of freshwater resources. Rearing livestock for animal-based products requires more land, water and energy than producing grain; 27kg CO2 is generated per kilo beef in comparison to 0.9kg per kilo of lentils.
Want to learn more about the reasons to go Vegan? For a more in-depth view on how meat & dairy products affect the planet and our health, check out the following documentaries such as Forks Over Knives and The Game Changers, which are available on Netflix.
*NCBI, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Diabetes Care.
**‘Cancer and diet: What’s the connection?’ Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School.
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