The 1st of November is World Vegan Day, celebrated globally, this day aims to celebrate the benefits to a vegan lifestyle and plant-based diet. You don’t necessarily have to be vegan to take part in celebration but can contribute towards the overall goal of raising awareness.
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! When thinking about trying vegan lifestyle it’s important to ponder the reasons how this lifestyle can be beneficial for you.
Many people succumb to all-or-nothing thinking when it comes to contemplating dietary change. That is, if they decide they aren’t ready to go vegan, they’ll take no action at all. But even the smallest steps can deliver important results, while laying the groundwork for future progress. So, if you’re not ready to commit to major dietary change, even small shifts are worthwhile
HEALTH BENEFITS OF A PLANT-BASED DIET
A vegan diet can be one of the healthiest ways to live. Plant-based diets contain plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Because vegan diets often rely heavily on these healthy staples, they tend to be higher in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber. 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.
A plant-based vegan diet can reduce the risk of mortality from conditions such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Ischemic heart disease
- 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. It’s important to note that vegans need to pay special attention to their diets to avoid specific nutrient deficiencies.
EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT & USE OF RESOURCES
There was a time during our evolution when eating meat was necessary to our survival. In fact, it’s one of the reasons we’re here today! However, our environment won’t be able to support our current level of food production for much longer. In 2010, the UN released a report encouraging a global move away from animal products. The report states, “Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people must eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”
Breeding, raising, and feeding animals for food is a tremendously inefficient use of our natural resources. Animals raised for food production are fed over half of the all the world’s crops. As our population grows, we require more and more agricultural space. 60% of worldwide deforestation results from land being converted for use as agricultural land, much of which is used for grazing cattle. An estimated 14% of the world’s population (over 850,000,000 people) suffer from undernourishment while we continue to waste valuable agricultural land and resources to produce animal products, therefore obtaining only a fraction of the potential caloric value.
Following a vegan lifestyle contributes less air pollution and puts less stress on our natural resources by requiring less land, fossil fuels, and water. As the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, a widespread movement towards vegan lifestyle is the most effective way to reduce pressure on our environment and may be crucial to our survival as a species.
- Following a plant-based diet is healthy for our bodies and the environment.
- We simply do not require animal products for sustenance, clothing, or shelter.
- Plant-based vegan diet can boost your mood. Plant foods are high in antioxidants that help to prevent damage to cells and decrease inflammation.
- Eating a plant-based diet can be the best choice when it comes to your hormones. It can throw the hormones of humans off balance and may create problems such as insulin issues, mood swings, and even cancer growth.
- The diet can improve athletic performance, as well as reducing inflammation, speeding up recovery, and decreasing the risk of chronic disease and many more.
The purpose of World Vegan Day is to recognize how far the movement has come since starting in 1994 by Louise Wallis, the then Chair of The Vegan Society in the UK. It was founded to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vegan Society, but the lifestyle of not eating animal products was around long before this time.
Above all, enjoy yourself. Food is undeniably one of life’s great pleasures. Gravitating toward plant-based foods emphatically should not entail feelings of deprivation. To the contrary, the experience is all about discovery. Just by trying new foods frequently, your diet will automatically move in a positive direction.