I bet you’ve considered becoming a vegan. Maybe you’ve considered taking the vegan route for health reasons, or to save animals or possibly just to be kinder to our planet in general, but chances are that the idea has crossed your mind at some point.
While the UK is quickly becoming much more open to a vegan lifestyle and the benefits of veganism are becoming clearer, many of us still struggle with the idea of completely cutting out meat, fish and dairy products from our diet.
Veganism has recently become very trendy; every year people are choosing to live a vegan lifestyle and it's not just because of animal cruelty or our love for animals. Veganism's benefits include helping the environment and improving your own personal health also.Vegans are usually found to be healthier personally and aware of much more than their diet's impact on animal welfare.
Health Benefits Of Veganism
The health and wellness benefits of veganism are now widely recognized now and difficult to dispute. Followers of the vegan lifestyle claim that it reduces fatigue, curbs over eating, helps maintain a healthy weight and protects against many cardiovascular diseases.
Veganism And Skincare
Aging is a growing concern for most of us, let’s face it we would all love to stay youthful forever or at least look it. Following a vegan lifestyle might be able to assist in the prevention of aging as well as giving you a youthful glow to your skin.
Animal based products can be terrible for your skin, causing acne and blemishes because they are so high in nasty fats that can clog up the pores and cause breakouts.
We need to be 60% water by weight to maintain a healthy body but unfortunately, as we get older we start to lose the ability to stay hydrated; this is why we begin to notice wrinkles and dry skin on our delicate bodies, especially under the eyes. Following a vegan diet, you consume lots of fruit and vegetables which contain plenty of water; this will add up and give your body much more hydration- vegans should therefore expect smoother, healthier and younger looking skin, free of zits, acne and wrinkles.
Keeping a healthy body weight
Cutting out animal products will eliminate cholesterol and many damaging sources of saturated fat out of your diet, drastically reducing your risk of heart disease and contributing towards a healthy BMI.
Researchers have found that veganism is one the best diets to control your weight. When you cut out animal products, you don’t consume high amounts of saturated fats from dairy and meat products, instead choosing low calorie, nutrient rich whole foods with a higher fibre intake.
It seems simple, but by choosing to shun processed foods in favour of more fruits, veggies and plant protein, you'll up your fiber and nutrient intake through low-calorie, nutrient-dense plant-based foods, while lowering your calorie intake at the same time.
Prevention of diseases
Red meat, while a strong source of protein is now linked to many medical problems, including an increased risk of cancer, coronary heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Eating a plant based diet has proven like to substantially lowering the risk of many chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer, with the documentary Forks Over Knives contributing strong evidence of a vegan diet preventing and even reversing both diabetes and cancers.
Diseases That Can Be Prevented Through Veganism
- Cardiovascular disease,
- Cholesterol problems,
- High blood pressure,
- Type 2 diabetes,
- Prostate cancer,
- Colon cancer,
- Breast cancer,
- Osteoporosis and more…
Climate change is one of the greatest problems facing our planet. A vegan diet can drastically effect that rate of climate change, yet it is the least reported reason for people choosing the lifestyle.
Veganism And Air Pollution
Animal agriculture significantly contributes to greenhouse gases, contributing more than all cars, planes trains and other forms of transport combined.
Factory farms release a lot of methane and nitrous oxide and these emissions are largely connected to climate change. Each time we cut down a forest or wild space to build another farm, we're taking away good gasses and replacing them with damaging ones.
Veganism And Water Consumption
Millions of people all over the world do not have access to clean water; struggling with having to ration the use of water, this can be due to drought or just because of bad management of water sources.
It takes 100 to 200 times more water to raise a pound of beef than it does to raise a pound of plant foods. Cutting down on just one kilo of beef saves 15,000 litres of water. And replacing a roast chicken with a hearty veggie chili or bean stew (which has similar protein levels) saves 4,325 litres of water.
People often don't realise how much water is used in the rearing of farm animals and the running of animal agriculture. In the US, farmed animals use more than half the water used in a year.
It takes less water to food a vegan for a year than it does to feed a meat eater for one month. Each day, an average meat eater's water footprint is more than 4,000 gallons, while a vegan's is less than 300.
Veganism And World Hunger
The global population is expected to hit a mighty 9.1 billion by 2050. Right now on this planet, it is estimated that 925 million people are suffering from the effects of hunger. 700 million tons of crops each year are given to livestock to create meat and dairy products, while humans go hungry.
In 2013, scientists from the Institute on the Environment and the University of Minnesota published a study examining agricultural resources, including meat, dairy, and egg production. The research found that if all food crops were fed to humans instead of animals, around 70% more food would be added to the world’s supply, which would be enough to feed 4 billion additional people.
This additional resource would take eight times less energy to raise and would feed over half of all humans on earth.
Veganism And Animal Welfare
The most widely known reason for choosing a vegan diet is for the welfare of animals. All animals are sentient beings and are capable of feeling pain and a wide range of emotions including fear, sadness, and loneliness. Many people choose to follow a vegan diet as a result of becoming properly informed.
The lifespan of an average cow raised for slaughter is between 18 -24 months. A dairy cow lives slightly longer than this, but is constantly inseminated, with its calves being constantly taken from it, and milked for its entire life for human consumption. Both types of cows usually never seeing the outside of the overcrowded barn in which they're kept.
The treatment of chickens in battery farms has been well documented over the last few years, leading many people to a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. With the emergence of mega farms in the UK and the possibility of chlorine farming entering UK trade, now has never been a better time to take the jump to a plant based lifestyle.