Every day more and more people are making the decision to go vegan, and for good reason. Vegan lifestyle or veganism is defined as a way of living that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, whether for food, clothing or any other purpose. Many people choose a vegan lifestyle for ethical, environmental or health reasons. There are so many amazing ways that veganism can improve our lives – fantastic health benefits, less stress on our environment, more efficient ways to use our resources, and many more. The list below reviews some of the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
Health benefits of vegan lifestyle
A vegan diet being a plant-based diet includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Vegan diet tends to be higher in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fibre. Healthy vegan diets are abundant with vitamins B1, C and E, folic acid, magnesium, and iron while also being low in cholesterol and saturated fats. Vegan diet can reduce the risk of mortality from conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, hypertension, stroke, obesity, some cancers including prostate and colon cancer.
Vegan diets can be healthy for anyone of any age, including children, pregnant and lactating women, and the elderly. However it is important to note that vegans need to pay special attention to their diets to avoid specific nutrient deficiencies. In case you are wondering about protein intake when you turn vegan, you can go for some healthy vegan protein bars; check out a list of vegan friendly protein bars
Environmental benefits of vegan lifestyle
We all know, the environment around us is facing increasing stress and damage, often caused by human actions. Production of meat and other animal products places a huge burden on the environment in many ways. Adopting a vegan lifestyle can go a long way in reducing the stress on our environment, some of which are discussed below.
1. Cuts your Greenhouse Emissions
The impact of animal agriculture for the purpose of food and other animal products on greenhouse gas emissions goes a lot further than just cows producing methane gas. Meat production requires vast amounts of energy. You not only have to grow the crops to feed the animals, but fossil fuels are also burnt in the raising, slaughtering and transportation of animals. Livestock and their by-products account for 51 per cent of annual worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.Following a vegan lifestyle could be the single biggest way to reduce your impact on greenhouse gas emission. Researchers found that cutting meat and dairy products from your lifestyle could help to reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73 per cent.
2. Preserves Habitats and Species
Eating animals is the largest contributing factor in habitat loss and extinction. Producing meat requires large amounts of land to raise animals on. Overall, it is estimated that eating meat requires three times more land than is needed for a vegan diet. Poorly managed animal waste products from the meat industry are polluting our environment and destroying our environment and destroying habitats.
3. Conserves Water
Food choices have a big impact on water demand. Raising animals require vast amounts of water. This is because animals need water to drink, wash, clean their living spaces and cool themselves during hot periods. While it may seem that water is plentiful, especially on very rainy days, fresh water is actually a very scarce resource. Only 2.5 percent of all water on our planet is freshwater, and only 30 percent of that is available to us. Water scarcity is very real. This situation begs the question, why are we wasting so much of freshwater in producing animal products when we can get all the nutrients we need from plant-based foods. By removing animal products from our lifestyle and going vegan, we can play our part in reducing humanity’s damaging impact on our environment.
4. Vegan lifestyle promotes Animal Welfare
Adapting a vegan lifestyle is about living a lifestyle that does not cause suffering, harm or death to animals, and allowing animals to be free to choose the way they want to live. Veganism holds the principle that animals are sentient beings like us, with their own needs, desires and interests. Animals are also aware of the world and what happens to them matters to them. Their lives have intrinsic value they are not inferior beings nor just here as resources or tools for human use. The use of animals for food, clothing, entertainment, pets or experimentation involves utilising animals against their will, and in the vast majority cases involves their suffering and deaths. We are brought up to believe in our current society that we need to consume or make use of other animals as sentient individuals whose lives have meaning and do not consume, wear or use animal products or take part in activities which exploit animals.
There will be many people telling you to follow or adapt one lifestyle or the other. A vegan lifestyle does have its own benefits which are reviewed above and these are not just random claims by friends who follow a Vegan lifestyle. Vegan lifestyle can help to prolong life, promote animal welfare and help in preserving and conserving the environment. It is important to consider the pros and cons while you are on the go to follow a healthy and balanced lifestyle.