What is veganism?
Veganism is a way of life, a way to live that involves excluding all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals whether that is by animal food, produce, by products or cruelty.
Why are people going vegan? Well it certainly is becoming more and more popular. More of you are wanting to know what it is, and why is it so popular. Lots of celebs are adopting and promoting a vegan lifestyle. Being or just dipping your toes into being vegan has never been easier.
People are adopting certain parts of veganism into their lifestyle at the end of the day we all need to do what works for us, we all know we have habits and learnt behaviours. Could you change yours? A good place to start is to think about why you eat what you eat, do you need it? Or do you want it?
Have you thought about where it comes from, the journey that, that chicken nugget has gone through to be on your plate for example. Once I really started unpicking and thinking about where my food comes from, I realized I had more questions and I didn’t have the answers. I don’t want to be in this scenario again hence my mantra:
Learn, Teach, Educate.
Think, Adapt, Change.
Be Kind, Live, Love.
So, educate yourself I started by watching documentaries and talked to vegetarians and fellow vegans and listened to podcasts and began to open my mind to the bigger and ever growing picture.
Introduce yourself slowly to new ideas and concepts you don’t have to dive in head first. You can start small, why not try meatless Mondays, or vegan before 6 o’clock. A small start can in the long run make a huge difference. There are plenty of fantastic vegan cookbooks out there, find out about my top vegan book books.
Why do people choose to go vegan?
There are 3 reasons why you should consider being vegan and why others have already made this decision:
- For your health
- For the environment
- For the animals
If you decide to adopt a vegan lifestyle then the above three reasons are going to massively improve. You would prevent animal cruelty and slaughter.
When you live a vegan lifestyle the environmental footprint that you then create will reduce due to the huge carbon footprint that is created to fuel and sustain a carnivorous diet.
Meat and dairy is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse emissions. If you choose to follow a vegan diet your carbon footprint will be 60% smaller than someone who eats meat and 24% smaller than someone who is vegetarian.
Vegan food is tasty and nutritious, it can be enjoyed by all and if planned and thought about conscientiously you may well be able to improve your overall fitness and reduce the risk of getting many horrid diseases.
What are the health benefits of going vegan?
Here is a snapshot of what the science says about going vegan:
A vegan diet is richer in certain nutrients, when you are eating lots of fruit and veg and less meat your body is going to take in these nutrients quicker and more efficiently.
Of course if you are doing this and planning home cooked meals that have more veg then you will have more energy and through that exercise will become easier and you will become fitter and lose weight.
It has been said that it can protect against certain cancers, it can reduce the risk of heart disease whilst also reducing your blood pressure.
Is it healthier to go vegan?
As with all diets if you are considering a vegan diet you will need to think carefully about you and your body and what works for you. Putting more fruit, vegetables and less fatty foods into your body will improve your health.
Thinking about what you are eating and why and how you’ve cooked it will help to support any of the health benefits that you can gain with being vegan.
However there are plenty of fatty and non nutritious foods and meals that you can buy or cook that may not be as healthy as a non vegan meal.
Since I have been vegan I have noticed that I have more energy, I am less bloated, my skin is better and my body appears to recover quicker after a workout.
I know that within my vegan lifestyle I still need to consider and think about what I am eating as quite a lot of my diet has fat, all though it is healthy fats like avocado, hummus and oils. I am continuing to educate myself on new Vegan foods and alternatives, but as a start I always look at packaging and where possible try to eat whole foods rather than packaged and processed.
I try to balance these foods out and ensure that I don’t eat lots of the processed meals regulary and try to stick to home cooked meals the majority of the time which are balanced with all the things my body needs.
What are the benefits of going vegan?
The academy of nutrition and dietetics have stated that vegans are less likely to develop certain diseases. These include cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Their blood pressure is unlikely to be high in comparison to those who eat meat.
If you eat a healthy vegan diet ensuring you eat things with nutrients in for example plant protein, fibrous foods with minerals and you aren’t eating meat then you are more likely to see the benefits of a vegan diet.
As meat has lots of things that can slow your digestive system down with extra cholesterol and saturated fat found in animals. Meat, especially chicken is one of the most common causes of food poisoning found in the world today.
Why do vegans avoid eggs?
Fundamentally an egg is not meant for human consumption. It is an animal product. An egg is produced as part of their natural reproductive cycle. Vegans deem this to be unethical.
Why don’t vegans eat honey?
Again the same as why vegans do not eat eggs. Honey is not produced for human consumption. Bees make honey for them. Therefore vegans believe that taking their honey is exploiting them and is therefore against veganism.
Lots of people think that bees produce honey for their food, this is true. They generally feed on pollen, however in the winter pollen is sparse if not nonexistent and therefore that is when a bee relies on their honey as it contains its essential nutrients.
Honey is actually regurgitated nectar from the hive. So in other words honey is bees sick, nice!
Is it expensive to eat a vegan diet?
A common misconception is that a vegan diet is an expensive diet. It isn’t meat and dairy are far more expensive to buy in comparison to vegetables, pulses and beans. Pulses and beans can often be bought in bulk and can be stored for a long time.
Are you convinced to try going Vegan?
Going Vegan does not need to be as shocking as many non vegans believe, by making small changes you can really change your health and the planets. Start small and see where it takes you. Just take each day as it comes thinking about the changes that you can make to live a healthier better you.