The vegan movement was started in 1944 by Donald Watson and has been growing ever since. It has gained greater popularity in recent years with a rise in consumer awareness about the ill effects, health consequences, and ethical and environmental impact of consuming animal products.
According to a recent study, nearly 6% of the US population claims to be vegan. Additionally, 39% are striving to incorporate plant-based products into their diet.
Veganism is often confused with a vegetarian diet; however, one needs to understand the two are significantly different.
Where vegetarian diets don’t restrict animal products entirely; vegan diets maintain a strict boundary when it comes to animal products. It is a strict form of vegetarianism wherein individuals keep diets completely devoid of animal products and incorporate dietary supplements. Anything animal-based be it dairy, eggs, or meat is prohibited.
Veganism is spreading like wildfire with the benefits that it offers and the delectable variety that it comes in.
Here we shall talk about a few benefits that veganism offers, making it a smart choice to live a healthy life.
A] Health Benefits
Since most people recognize veganism as a form of dietary practice; let us get acquainted with what makes a vegan diet a healthier choice.
Adoption of a vegan diet or consumption of plant-based products is believed to lead to a higher intake of a few beneficial nutrients such as fiber, antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and E, and so on. They are also loaded with magnesium, potassium, and iron. A vegan diet incorporates healthy staples like plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, seeds, and nuts.
Help in Loss of Excess Weight
It has been identified that vegan diets consist of low cholesterol and saturated fats. Studies have reported that people who follow veganism tend to have a lower body mass index when compared to the rest of the population. Animal foods are frowned upon for being high in fat and calories, which is why consuming a vegan diet can help individuals manage their weight.
Lower Chances of Chronic Diseases
Blood sugar and heart diseases have become very common in today’s times. Both blood sugar and heart disease are related to some extent since high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels can act as a catalyst for heart diseases. The vegan diet is believed to reduce the risk of blood pressure by about 75%, which will, in turn, reduce your risk of falling prey to heart disease.
Apart from this, a vegan diet is believed to decrease the symptoms of arthritis and according to a study, it is expected to reduce the chances of cancer by 15%.
B] Environmental Impact
When human civilizations were in their state of infancy; consuming animals was a necessity. Today; however, this is becoming a significant problem for the environment since feeding, raising and breeding animals for consumption is exerting tremendous pressure on our natural resources.
According to a rough estimate, over half of the world’s crop production is fed to animals. To graze and rear cattle; forest lands are being converted to agricultural lands by deforestation. Continued consumption of animal-based products will definitely put a strain on natural resources, which will be unsustainable.
Vegan foods narrow down air pollution and lessen the depletion of natural resources. The crops included in vegan diets often called regenerative crops are grown with minimal natural resources. For instance, they make use of a small land area, water, fossil fuels, etc. Many manufacturers like WhatIF foods work with the motive of utilizing regenerating principles. They replenish, restore and reconnect when fabricating products.
All in all; a vegan lifestyle is a feasible and easy way to reduce the stress on the environment and might be an important step for the survival of our species.
C] Animal Welfare
Over the years animal welfare has been a topic that is coming to the forefront. Many people are talking about the cruel treatment given to animals.
In the meat industry; animals are kept in crammed-up areas, and filthy environments and are forced to breathe air filled with the smell of ammonia and bodily waste. Their injuries, burns, and lesions are often not paid heed to and kept untreated.
No care is taken to make the slaughter process painless, which causes a great deal of suffering to the animal. The animals are also given steroids to spurt their growth and make them bulky. When it comes to dairy; the animals are repeatedly and forcibly artificially inseminated. There are several other practices that will definitely disturb you.
Veganism; which is commonly centered around the diet, goes much beyond it. It is very much a philosophy; a way of life that tries to ensure animal and environmental welfare. Not only does it imply eradicating animal derivatives from your food but also indicates that you make an effort to live without harming other sentient beings.
This covers abstaining from even wearing or purchasing animal-made clothes. Veganism is a whole new life in itself; the benefits offered are too vast to be put into words; the only way to understand it completely is to be Vegan!