More people turn to a vegan diet everyday for different reasons; improving their health status, saving animals, or protecting the environment.
Veganism is not just a diet, it is a way of living that seeks to exclude the exploitation of animals of any form including food, clothing and any other purpose.
The truth is veganism benefits everyone! Whatever your real reason behind becoming vegan (or thinking of becoming vegan), you are/ will be saving our planet and protecting its biodiversity.
For those who are still not well convinced by this lifestyle, here is a list of facts to help you guide your decision.
A vegan, meat-free diet is based on fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. These food groups are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, lean proteins and antioxidants, which reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases (heart disease, diabetes and cancer), reduce inflammation(UTIs), improve bowel movement, promote better health, assist in weight loss, promote fitness levels, and extend life. A study by Oxford university revealed that adopting a vegan diet could avoid 8.1 million deaths by 2050.
A well planned vegan diet is claimed by the Academy of nutrition and dietetics in the US and the British dietetic Association as suitable and beneficial for all life stages including childhood, breastfeeding and pregnancy.
Farm animals are living creatures that have thoughts and feelings; they experience joy, pleasure, fear, and pain without verbalizing. Billions of these beautiful creatures, are tucked together in steel cages and slaughtered to be on someone’s plate.
Consuming dairy products and eggs is not protecting our animals either. Millions of hens and baby chicks, and billions of cows and calves die every year after suffering in the egg and dairy industries.
Hens spend their 18-24 month life in a very narrow space unable to turn around or stretch their wings, they are malnourished and sometimes starve to the extent of ingesting each other’s feathers.
Cow’s milk which is naturally intended to feed their calves, is used for humans. Calves are detached from their mothers’ hours after birth, male calves are slaughtered for veal and females get prepared to be milk production machines when ready. Both cows and hens are slaughtered after their production of milk and eggs decline.
Predators are not an exception, tens of millions of wild animals are killed every year at the request of the agriculture industry to protect the animals raised in their farms for human food consumption.
Protecting the climate and the environment
Meat production places a huge burden on our environmental resources. Feeding farm animals requires a huge amount of grains, water supply, and vast spaces. This is a major contributor to deforestation (91% of Amazon forest destruction is due to animal agriculture), habitat loss and species extinction (137 insect, animal, and plant species are lost every day).
In addition, livestock and their by-products account for 51% of our worldwide gas emission, which negatively affect the global warming, sea levels, temperatures, animal cycle shifts and food chains.
Contrary to these major environmental disasters, a vegan diet can save 11000 square ft of forest and 7,300 lbs carbon dioxide production yearly.
World hunger and food-borne illnesses
1 billion people, including 6 million children worldwide are malnourished and starve to death. Half of our world’s grain production is used to feed animals for eggs, milk and meat production instead of providing food for humans. Furthermore, livestock animals require more food than they produce; 13 pounds of crops is used to produce one pound of meat.
The same space can be used to grow fruit, vegetables and grains for direct human consumption for larger populations to reduce hunger.
In addition, livestock increases food-borne illness by contaminating the soil and water through animal feces (E. coli, Salmonella) which puts humans under a huge risk for food epidemics.
Researchers in the food and environmental fields are increasingly recommending a vegan lifestyle and the public is shifting in this direction each inspired by a story or personal experience. Julia, the Founder of HappyBites tells her story of how she became vegan:
“I’d been vegetarian on and off for most of my life mostly because I didn’t like the thought of eating animals. When I watched Cowspiracy a documentary by Kip Andersen on animal agriculture I was at first hesitant to believe all the things that were mentioned. Some of the things almost seemed impossible to a point of being ludicrous. However, Dr. Richard Oppenlander had such incredibly detailed and meaningful points to make about our health and the sustainability of the planet. As the author of Comfortably Unaware (title says it all) his book goes even more in-depth about the related problems to omnivores. Additionally, Michael Klaper, a physician, described milk as ‘baby calf growth food’ and I’ve not been able to unthink that comment ever since. After more research and truly understanding the massive impact animal agriculture has on the sustainability of the planet, I simply decided to go vegan in an ‘uncomfortably aware’ style."
What about you? What were your main reasons to become vegan or what are your concerns if you are not yet? Let us know.
At HappyBites, we believe that vegans are the people who are saving our planet. We want to empower them in a simple, enjoyable and healthy way. HappyBites are 100% natural snacks loaded with all the nutrients to complete a plant-based diet (Vitamin B12, D, Omega-3, Iron, Calcium, and Zinc).
- Happy news