Veganism is one of those terms that is often misunderstood. VeganXperts summarize veganism as:
“A way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
This means vegans do not consume meat, dairy products, eggs, or honey. Nor do they willingly purchase or wear products that come from animal’s suffering, like leather, fur, or animal-tested products.
It is a common misconception that veganism is a diet. While food plays a vital role in being vegan and offers many health benefits, the vegan movement is a lifestyle and stance against industries that profit from animal exploitation.
Ultimately, going vegan is a shift to align moral values with actions.
For the animals
While not the only reason for going vegan is to avoid animal exploitation, it is for many people the most important factor in their decision to go vegan and stay vegan. Emotional attachments with animals may be one reason, but many people believe that all sentient beings have a right to life and freedom. Aside from the specifics, rejecting animal products is one of the most visible ways to oppose animal cruelty and exploitation worldwide.
For your health
Well-planned vegan diets adhere to healthy eating rules and provide all of our bodies’ nutrients. According to the British Dietetic Association and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, they are suitable for people of all ages. In addition, some research has linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol and lower incidences of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and various cancers.
Veganism is a fantastic way to learn more about nutrition and cooking while also improving your diet. Plant-based nutrition frees up more space in your diet for health-promoting foods like fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and vegetables, which are high in beneficial fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
For the environment
We are all aware of ways to live a greener life – from recycling our household trash to cycling to work. Avoiding all animal products is one of the most efficient ways a person may reduce their carbon footprint. This is much more than just a case of cow flatulence!
Why are meat and dairy so bad for the environment?
The production of meat and other animal products has a significant impact on the environment – from the food and water needed to feed the animals to the transportation and other operations involved from farm to fork. The huge amount of grain feed needed for meat production contributes to deforestation, habitat degradation, and species extinction. Soya beans for European livestock are grown on the equivalent of 5.6 million acres of land in Brazil alone. This land contributes to hunger in developing countries by forcing poorer people to produce commercial crops for animal feed instead of food for themselves. However, vegan diets require far fewer crops and water to maintain, making the conversion to veganism one of the simplest, most fun, and most successful methods to reduce our impact on the environment. See our environment section for more information on why veganism is the way to go for the environment.
Plant-based living is a more sustainable means of feeding the human family, just as veganism is a more sustainable method of looking after our planet. A plant-based diet requires only a third of the land that a meat-and-dairy diet demands. There is never been a better time to adopt a more sustainable way of life than now, with increased global food and water insecurity due to various environmental and socio-economic issues. Avoiding animal products isn’t just one of the simplest ways to decrease the burden on food and other resources. Still, it’s also one of the simplest ways to speak out against inefficient food systems that disproportionately harm the world’s poorest people.
Why vegetarian is not enough
The suffering caused by the egg and dairy industries is likely to be less well recognized than that of factory-farmed animals. The production of dairy products entails the slaughter of innumerable male calves who are of no use to the dairy farmer and the slaughter of cows whose milk output begins to decline. Similarly, even ‘ethical’ or ‘free range’ eggs need the killing of ‘unnecessary’ male chicks when they are barely a day old in the egg industry.
It’s tempting to believe that the meat we eat is ethical, that our ‘food animals’ have lived full, happy lives and haven’t been subjected to any fear or pain at the slaughterhouse. However, all living things, including those labeled “free-range” or “organic,” share our fear of death. When it comes to slaughter, no matter how they are handled while alive, they all have the same fear.h