The first instance of the word ‘vegan’ dates back to 1944 and was coined by Vegan Society founder Donald Watson. This was a statement against vegetarians who still ate dairy products. With more and more people taking the plunge and opting for a plant-based diet, you may be wondering what motivates people to go vegan?
It could be for health reasons, animal cruelty or environmental concerns. Whatever the reason, there is a lot of good information out there on why you should consider going vegan! We take a look at 6 reasons to go vegan below.
Veganism is better for the planet
One of the main reasons people choose to go vegan is for environmental concerns. The meat industry places a considerable burden on our environment in three significant ways: land use, water and climate change emissions.
Animal agriculture is responsible for an estimated 14.05 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. As a species, we aim to cut our carbon footprint by reducing emissions from things like fossil fuels, so it makes sense that we also explore the impact our diet has on the planet.
The UN noted that a global shift to plant-based diets would significantly reduce the impact of climate change and help ensure food security. It’s all about reducing waste, preserving resources – including water – and caring for planet Earth.
The Health benefits of going vegan
As well as benefitting the environment, going vegan also has benefits for your health. Vegan diets are linked to a reduced risk of obesity, high blood pressure, type-II diabetes and heart disease.
Veganism offers ways to fight cancer, with some studies suggesting that vegans may have up to 40% lower rates of all cancers combined than those who eat meat or dairy products.
A vegan diet is also good for our mental health, with it being beneficial to stress, anxiety and depression.
A vegan diet can also lower our risk of cognitive decline in later life – by as much as 50%.
So, if you want a happy heart, healthy weight or just feel like treating your body well, going vegan could be the best decision that you ever make!
Eliminate cruelty to animals
One of the most common initial reasons for turning to a plant-based diet is to reduce animal cruelty. Many people assume that eating animals is just something we do because it’s what humans have been doing for centuries, but this simply isn’t true.
Animals suffer in the meat, dairy and egg industries on a daily basis. Many animals are kept in confined spaces where they can’t move or act naturally, making them more prone to disease and sickness.
A vegan diet helps eliminate animal cruelty by not participating in the consumption of products that have been made from factory-farmed animals. This includes meat, dairy, eggs, fish and honey.
Vegan food tastes great!
Gone are the days of limited options and having to create everything from scratch. The range of vegan products on the market, from ready meals to sweets and snacks, is ever-increasing.
There are plenty of resources on the internet, like this blog which will be expanding over time to incorporate lots of vegan recipes. Eating out is no longer a problem as most eateries have vegan options on the menu.
Many places are innovating to include more and more tasty plant-based options on the menu. Take Burger King, for instance, who released a range of plant-based burgers.
Alternatives to the foods we know and love are becoming tastier and more readily available. There are alternatives to meat, dairy products and even clothing such as faux leather, which is hard to differentiate these days. This means there are less downsides to a plant-based diet and even more reasons to go vegan than ever!
Save the oceans
Overfishing leads to the depletion of the oceans. Marine life in these areas is often killed before they reach maturity meaning they never get to breed and replenish fish stocks.
The ocean is an ecosystem that is vital to the survival of humankind. For instance, it produces oxygen that we need and absorbs carbon dioxide, which would otherwise be detrimental to our health.
It’s a finely balanced system. Overfishing can lead to underpopulation of some species and overpopulation of others, destroying natures balance. The coral reef is a perfect example of this.
The oceans are also home to many endangered species such as whales that call the water their habitat. For the ocean to be healthy, we need to enforce sustainable fishing practices, so we are not catching more fish than can replenish themselves.
The solution? As simple as changing your diet! Whether you’re a meat-eater or a pescatarian the ocean is one of the biggest reasons to go vegan. The more people excluding seafood from their diet, the lesser the demand.
Make a stand
Many people are aware that certain industries test on animals, but there are also animal products in things you would never even realise. Take fabric softener, for example. It wasn’t until I saw an ad for Smol’s vegan-friendly fabric conditioner that I realised animal products were used ordinarily in fabric conditioners.
By taking a stand against these practices, companies will be forced to innovate and find more sustainable ways to manufacture their products.
Every vegan helps make a difference. Small changes multiply for the greater good. Of course, there are many more reasons to go vegan, but these are 6 of the main ones. If you have any of your own to add, be sure to put them in the comments section below.
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