What are the benefits of going vegan?
The UK has seen a huge rise in veganism in the last decade, a massive jump of 350%! ‘Vegan is the new black’ is a slogan seen on every high street.
In May 2016, 542,000 people in the UK were vegan – that’s a lot of meat and dairy free shoppers! The recent explosion in veganism can be put down to the growth of awareness of the benefits of going vegan through social media and bloggers sharing the benefits of a vegan diet and the cruelty of the meat and dairy industry.
Even if people cut down on meat and dairy, there will be a huge impact on farming practices and the environment. Farming has developed to accommodate greed and excess, if people adjust to a more balanced way of eating it will make things better for animals and humans.
Want to know why going vegan makes total sense?
It helps the environment.
- We Can Feed a Growing Population.
- With The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimating that one in nine people are chronically undernourished. It is the time to change from inefficient meat and dairy farming practices to more efficient plant-based food production.If this was to occur then we could ensure a growing population was fed properly. The 2017 Revision of World Population Prospects claims that world population is expected to grow to 9-11 billion by 2025 from currently 7 billion. Surely, we must make sure all those new mouths are fed!
- Less Greenhouse Gas Emissions. By choosing to go vegan, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced. This is due to the production of food for animals, the heating of the barns they live in and the processing and packaging of the animals. According to the Environmental Protection Agency in 2015, animal farming is the fifth biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. By opting for a plant-based diet, your carbon footprint can be significantly reduced, reducing the rate of climate change.
- Less land is used.
- Another benefit to the environment is that fewer areas of forest will need to be cleared for production of animal feed. In just Brazil alone, 5.6 million acres of land is used to grow soya beans for animal feed in Europe. This significantly contributes to habitat loss and the extinction of species. According to Global Greenhouse Warming, the Sahara Desert spreads at 1.5 million hectares a year, the huge demands of land required to sustain meat and dairy production are simply unsustainable. Whereas, a plant based diet requires just one-third of the land that a dairy and meat based diet requires, therefore leading to less habitat destruction.
There are numerous health benefits
- By changing to a plant based diet, you can avoid some of the negative effects of consuming meats and dairy products. for example increased risk of some forms of cancer from eating red meat and processed meats as stated by the World Health Organization.
- Also, many whole foods typically eaten by vegans such as walnuts and lentils contain high amounts of antioxidants. These play an important role in neutralising free radicals in the body.
- It’s Good for the Heart. Many plant based products are high in high-density lipoproteins (good cholesterol) which removes low-density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol). This leads to less of a risk of a build up of plaque in the arteries, reducing your risk of coronary heart disease (which causes heart attacks).
- Opting for a vegan diet can also help to reduce blood pressure according to the American Heart Association.
- Vegan Recipes are Cheap to make compared to meat. Many vegans’ diets are based on beans, grains and legumes, these can be bought for a relatively low price in bulk. Some of the money you may have originally spent on meat and dairy can be spent on other activities.
Don’t forget vegan food tastes amazing too, why not give these vegan cookies a go?
Author: Jake Joint