Why Go Vegan
Adopting a plant-based diet is the best way to help animals, the planet and your health. Not only will you be sparing animals from suffering, you will be doing your bit to help reduce our impact on the planet. And with such a huge boost in the availability of plant-based options, it is no surprise that more and more people are choosing to ditch animal products.
There really is no downside!
We all love animals. And yet, so many of them are needlessly forced to suffer and die so people can eat them. Like humans, animals experience pleasure and joy, and pain and suffering. And just like humans, no animal deserves to be put through unnecessary suffering.
Billions of animals suffer so people can eat them and their secretions. The majority of
animals who are raised for ‘food’ will have spent their lives on a factory farm, where their basic instincts are denied; there’s no grass, seldom any natural light and no fresh air. And regardless of where the animals or animal products you eat come from, no animal wants to die.
Meet the lucky ones
Our planet is in danger. Researchers say that we have about 11 years left before the effects of climate change become irreversible, but what does this have to do with veganism?
Well, farmed animals produce a lot of methane and this has resulted in meat and dairy production being one of the biggest causes of greenhouse emissions. In fact, animal farming is responsible for an estimated 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
The carbon footprint of a vegan diet is as much as 60% smaller than a meat-based one, and 24% smaller than a vegetarian diet.
Not only this, animal farming is one of the biggest causes of deforestation, fresh-water use, water pollution and species extinction, globally.
But don’t take it from us! In 2018, Joseph Poore from Oxford University stated:
“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use.”
“With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs.” – NHS Live Well Guide.
“A balanced vegan diet can be enjoyed by children and adults, including during pregnancy and breastfeeding, if the nutritional intake is well-planned.” – British Dietetics Association.
“[A]ppropriately planned […] vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. [These diets] are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.” – American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
As you can see, a well-planned plant-based diet provides all of the nutrients we need to live a happy, healthy life. There is also research to suggest that those following a vegan diet are at reduced risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and even certain types of cancer.
Animal products such as meat and cheese are expensive, whereas plant-based protein sources are some of the cheapest foods available. So save money by opting for products like beans, pulses, legumes and whole grains. Not only will you be helping animals and the planet, this will do wonders for your bank account!
For some really exciting and cheap vegan recipes, see Animal Aid’s ‘Meat-Free! Feed Four for Under a Fiver’ booklet.
So what do vegans eat?
Well, anything that you currently eat, you can also eat as a vegan! There are vegan alternatives for literally anything these days, meaning you can still enjoy all of your favourite treats – from ice-cream to chicken nuggets – without having to harm animals.