Veganism has exploded over the last coupe of years and it wasn’t too long ago that vegans had to struggle to find suitable options when they ate out and had to cook nearly every single meal from scratch.
But things have now changed dramatically – as the demand for vegan food has grown, restaurants and other food company’s have adapted to offer delicious vegan options. There are pizzas, ‘beef’ burgers and even donner kebabs available now just to name a few options. Five years ago nobody would’ve believed that Greggs would have a vegan sausage roll but this shows how much can change in a relatively short space of time.
So what is the rise of veganism all about? Is it just a fad that will be cool for six months before something else comes along? Or is it something more than that, that is here to stay for the long term and could it be one of the biggest social changes that we witness in our lifetimes?
The three main reasons why people decide to change to an animal-free diet is either for their own health, to help animals or to help the environment. They are three rather powerful reasons for a person to want to change.
Of course a vegan can still eat as much junk food as they like but this isn’t the healthy vegan diet that health conscious people switch to. A wholefood vegan diet including fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds and nuts has been reported to reduce the risk of chronic illness including heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. A wholefoods plant based diet has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and in some cases it’s even been known to reverse the disease.
As for people taking up veganism for the animals, it is known that each year the human race kills seventy billion land animals and trillions of marine animals in order to satisfy the demand for animal products. Many people have looked at this and decided to stop funding the process and many hope to see a world where we can eat plenty without the use of and death of innocent animals.These vegans have looked at the way meat, fish, dairy and eggs get to their plate and don’t want to contribute to these industries. Vegans also think about other areas of their life such as purchasing of furniture and toiletries and eliminate products that have exploited animals during their production.
There are strong arguments as to why veganism helps the environment also. It is estimated that livestock production is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse emissions which is a greater than all of transportation around the world combined.Here is a paragraph took from the BBC’s article ‘What would happen if the world went vegan?’:‘A meat-eater’s diet requires 17 times more land, 14 times more water and 10 times more energy than a vegetarian’s, according to research published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This is principally because we use a large proportion of the world’s land for growing crops to feed livestock, rather than humans. (Of the world’s approximately five billion hectares of agricultural land, 68% is used for livestock.)’Just imagine what we could do with all of this extra land, water and energy.
A popular question on veganism is ‘where would all the billions of animals go?’ if the world were to go vegan. It isn’t like the world is going to stop eating animals over night and seventy billion animals are going to be released into the wild!
If the demand for animal products continues to reduce, farmers will stop breeding as many animals into existence and year after year the amount of livestock animals will fall. If the world were to ever go completely vegan it would happen over many years and the numbers of animals bred for food would reduce each year along with the demand. Eventually no animals would be bred for food and wouldn’t have to face the same fate as the trillions of other animals that have been sent to slaughter.
Farmers could still make a living through farming plants instead of animals to cater to the huge new demand for vegan products.
The Less Meat Bought, The Less Animals Will Be Bred Into Existence
Veganism has it’s critics who argue that a vegan diet is deficient of some key vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin B12 but this isn’t only a vegan issue. Many people regardless of whether they are vegan or not are deficient in B12 and it is easily accessible in supplement form for very cheap.
Vitamin deficiencies of all kinds are a very common thing regardless of what bracket a person falls into with their diet. Surely it’s every individuals responsibility to carefully plan their diet and make sure that they are not compromising their own health and this is the case whether vegan or not. The British Dietetic Association has confirmed that a well-planned vegan diet can support healthy living in people of all ages.
Animal Products Aren’t A Necessity For Health
It’s unfortunately a fact that regardless of what we do in our lives we will always cause some amount of unintentional harm. Just by eating lettuce for instance, we are causing the death of insects and potentially small animals in the harvesting process as well taking over and using land that would otherwise be left to nature.
It is accepted by the vegan community that some amount of harm is an inevitability just by humans living on this planet. However, just because some harm is caused in the production of vegan products and nothing can be `100% vegan` a vegan diet reduces harm caused to animals, insects and the environment.
If the world were vegan, there would be considerably less crop fields being created and harvested as there would be no livestock to feed. This would result in far less insects and animals being killed due to crop harvesting.
Even Eating Lettuce Isn’t ‘Harm Free’ But We Should Aim To Do Our Best To Cause As Little Harm As Possible
We at APE believe in anything that can help Animals, People and the Environment (it’s in the name!). Veganism certainly ticks all of these boxes and we ourselves (Ollie and Jake) are vegan for these reasons.
We hope to see a more caring world for animals going forward but we must remember to be patient and celebrate each positive step forward. Whether people are vegan or not, there is certainly an awakening going on and people are starting to look at the impact the choices they make have on our planet and those living on it.
Thank you for reading