I’m sure most of you have heard of a vegan or know of someone that is following the vegan movement, but before you think think that we are all hemp wearing, tree hugging hippies living in the ’60’s, (even if most of us are!), I’m going to explain why we are much more than that and why we are all more alike than you may realise.
But you’re probably wondering who are these vegans and what does it all mean?
Well to put it very simply it’s someone who does not want to cause any harm to ANY living beings (including humans) – but you would normally think of this as someone who uses no animal products (food, cosmetic or fashion). Now you’re probably thinking “oh yeah! Vegans are those crazy people that don’t understand how amazing cheese and bacon tastes!”
Well actually, most of the vegans you meet now were not raised vegan! Take myself for example, I used to add cheese to breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner! So that may lead you think “oh vegans are just trending and they’re on a diet”. Ok so you may actually lose some weight and be healthier on a vegan diet but that again is not the main reason.
The main reason people chose to go vegan is compassion (or love) … they’ve decided that no other being needs to be harmed or killed for their own momentary pleasure…. it’s not something we actually NEED but something that society has always told us that we must have (that goes for everything – cows milk for strong bones, leather shoes, newest make up etc).
Ok so you’re next argument for drinking cows milk or consuming eggs may be “well the animals aren’t harmed… I buy organic or free range. Plus that’s what they’re meant for”. Now here’s the big shocker…. organic and free range means nothing really as it attempts to paint a beautiful picture of the life a farm animal lives until the time has come for the animal to “serve” its purpose and be “humanely slaughtered”! Have you then wondered that does another beings life have another purpose or just for us humans at the end of the day to decide that we will take something that doesn’t belong to us like their life or their baby’s milk … so I beg to ask “are you a baby cow?” No didn’t think so. As for the “they’re not harmed” argument – if you really believe that then I would say please go educate yourself a little … if you are able to YouTube it or google it and watch videos like Dairy is Scary or Earthlings, without it stirring something inside you then I’d be surprised.
The reason veganism is becoming “trendy” isn’t because the latest celebrities are doing it or because it will get you more followers on Instagram. It’s because people can not watch videos of dairy production or meat production or egg production without crying… without feeling something. Again if this is an uncomfortable topic for you and you really want to close down this window then have a think about why that is… is ignorance really bliss??
Ok now onto “I love animals and I don’t use plastic straws”… and for that the planet truly thanks you! It really does! Your actions make a huge ripple effect. But I’m just asking you one question… do you love all animals or just the fluffy cute one? Do you love the pig that is now in your sandwich? The cow skin that you wear on your feet? The baby cow that had to die so you could drink your tea with milk? The 1 day old male chicks that died for their sisters to provide the fried egg you had in the morning? … just something to ponder over.
Now onto every vegans favourite questions “but where do you get your protein from?!” Cue every vegan facepalming! Again the answer is very simple… we get it from where your ‘protein’ originally gets it from! Simple! We just cut out the middle man (or animal so to speak!). Plants, beans, seeds… oh there’s so many places you can get your protein from and it’s so so much better for you (no added hormones or antibiotics or genetically modified feed! Because every animal has been fed some sort of antibiotic or hormone supplement).
Now maybe you’ve made it this far and you’re not really into the whole saving animals idea… sure! But how about the planet we live on? How about your favourite holiday destination? How would you feel teaching your kids there once used to be coral in the sea and polar bears in the North Pole?
Do you see where I’m going yet? No. Ok… a recent study by Oxford university showed that cutting dairy and meat out of your diet could reduce your carbon footprint by 73%, whilst reducing the strain on tropical forests and freeing up 76% of existing farmland back to nature. Now think about if huge numbers of us starting going vegan just for one month! What would that do to CO2 emissions?! We could actually help the one planet we have.
That leads me nicely onto the next point I do often get “oh but I’m just one person… what difference does it make?”. Now I ask you, imagine if 8 million people had that exact same thought! But instead they decided they would make the change… now one small person is a huge ripple. Never think you’re too small to make a change!
Ok so if you’ve made it this far I really do applaud you! Thank you for reading and learning a little bit more about your food… now I’ll tell you about a little challenge! How would you feel about just trying it out for 30 days? From 1st January – Veganuary. You can sign up to their website and they’ll send you recipes and helpful hints and tips or scroll through this website for some great tips.
It’s just 31 days… 31 days to make a difference… 31 days to save the planet and some animals… 31 days to feel lighter, healthier and hopefully happier.
Being vegan is nowhere near as hard as it used to be! Being vegan is easy and if you really aren’t convinced I urge you to just type #vegan into Instagram and see the millions of posts that come up.
You CAN make a difference!
A & K