Veganism is undoubtedly on the rise, with the number of people following a plant-based lifestyle having quadrupled between 2014 and 2019.
It’s a trend that shows no sign of slowing down, either. The Veganuary movement – people going vegan in January – saw over half a million people sign up in 2021.
There are many benefits, both personal and more widespread, to going vegan – here are just a few.
It helps the planet
Cutting out meat and fish from your diet can help contribute to stemming the effects of global warming, as pastoral farming can release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in many different ways.
Intensive herding of animals, particularly cows, results in large amounts of gas, such as methane, being released into the air, while transportation of these products also has a huge impact.
Considering the requirements for refrigeration, and other machinery involved in processes such as milking, it’s not hard to see how the problem can soon get out of hand. Use this tool to get an idea of how your diet impacts your carbon footprint.
It’s not just the atmosphere that suffers, but of course, animals themselves do too.
Battery hens crammed into unsanitary housing for their eggs, selective breeding putting animals at risk of disease and cruel slaughter processes are all reason enough to stop funding those who operate in this way.
It can make you healthier
The naturally lower cholesterol of a vegan diet is a great way to ward off heart disease while eating a balanced selection of different colour fruit and vegetables will offer plenty of iron – something that is often incorrectly connected to vegans having a deficiency in.
Vitamin B12 is something that vegans may need to think about supplementing their diet with, especially if children are following a plant-based plan.
This vitamin helps stimulate nerve growth and can easily be sourced through supplements or fortified foods.
If avoiding certain types of food in the name of veganism, it can ward off conditions like diabetes, acne, and arthritis.
It gets you back in the kitchen
If you’re thinking about going vegan and you love cooking, it will give you so many types of cuisine to try!
Some cultures are deeply ingrained in the vegan culture, with many Indian recipes naturally lending themselves to meat-free ingredients and the Jamaican Ital diet consisting solely of fruit and vegetables.
You might even want to try growing your own fruit and veg in the name of sustainability. Even in a small kitchen, a herb box or a chilli plant won’t take up much room and can give you crucial ingredients to bring your vegan dishes to life!
If you’re thinking about going vegan, what are the benefits you’re most looking forward to?