I believe in a world devoid of isms. Most conflict we see today, political or religious are characterized by isms that have polarized the masses. Yet, Veganism is the one movement that I believe is good for humans, animals and the planet earth in totality. Veganism is a lifestyle which rules out all sorts of exploitation of animals for food or any other purpose. A vegan is someone who has given over to a veggie-based diet. This might sound dreary but actually it is scrumptious and is also the healthiest diet on earth.
Right from the ‘raw food vegans’ to ‘junk food vegans’, there are different versions of veganism to suit the masses. Yet one thing all vegans have in common is a diet excluding animal foods like meat, fish, insects, dairy products, eggs and honey. Vegans also avoid using animal products like leather and wool.
So what do vegans eat?
For all non-vegans – you’ll stumble on a whole new world of lip-smacking foods opening up to you. A vegan diet includes all varieties of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, pulses and beans – which can be prepared in umpteen combinations so that you’re never bored. Be it a cake, curry, burgers or pizzas, all your relished dishes are apt for a vegan diet, if they’re prepared using plant-based ingredients.
Besides, vegans avert mistreating the animals for any purpose, compassion being a major reason many opt for a vegan lifestyle. The idea of being a vegan is worthier for the environment and it has become a matter of wonted wisdom.
Over half of the world’s population does not have access to clean water. Livestock is one of the largest polluters of clean water. In fact, the pace at which we are breeding animals for food is a threat to the planet. Cutting back on just one kg meat saves over 14,000 liters of water. Moreover, substituting a roasted chicken with a rich veggie or bean stew (having equal protein levels) saves over 4,2500 liters of water.
Looming animal’s exploitation is not the only reason for adapting a vegan lifestyle. Increasingly, people are becoming vegan owing to the health benefits: glowing skin, boosted energy, and eternal youthfulness are some of the affirmations from the passionate plant eaters.
The trend of dropping meat consumption in the diet has surfaced new prospects to target vegetarians, vegans, non-meat eaters and non red-meat eaters. At present, the largest vegan food labeling market is the United States ($1.76 billion), followed by Germany ($615 million), Britain ($508 million) and Australia ($ 136 million).
Statistics from Euro monitor International, a popular market researcher, state that over the past few years the amount of veggie and vegan foods sold in Australia has surged. Between 2012 and 2017, the number of Australian adults sticking to almost a vegetarian diet has risen from 1.7 million people (or 9.7% of the population) to almost 2.1 million (11.2%).
When people make a conscious choice to not exploit animals, it changes the collective perspective of the society as a whole. We must ask ourselves that when it is possible to live a life where we can eat healthy and delicious food, achieve better health, leave a minor carbon footprint and avoid exploiting other creatures – then why don’t we?