World Vegan Day is celebrated on 1 November across the world to encourage people to follow a vegan lifestyle and you might be asking yourself: “Why is it so important to celebrate something such as veganism? Or why do vegans get to celebrate their own world day?”.
Well! We are here to let you in on it.
Veganism is one of the most powerful ways in which you can support animal rights, spare the planet, protect your body, and live without any moral compromises.
You might not have noticed, but the planet is struggling lately. Humanity is depleting the planet’s finite resources at a rapid rate, the environment is undergoing unnecessary harm, and people are suffering from a bunch of chronic diseases linked to their diets.
There is a solution to all of these issues, Veganism!
Let’s begin with your Health
Vegan diets can provide all of the nutrients that a person needs, and they can eliminate some of the possible risks that research has associated with harmful animal products.
A large scale 2019 study has linked a higher intake of plant-based foods and lower intake of animal foods with a reduced risk of heart disease and death in adults. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), eating foods that contain animal fats raises cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
According to a 2017 review, eating a vegan diet may reduce a person’s risk of cancer by 15%. This health benefit may be due to the fact that plant foods are high in fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals — biologically active compounds in plants — that protect against cancers.
Another large 2019 review says that following a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The research linked this effect with eating healthful plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.
Finally, most people who follow a vegan or plant-based diet tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than those following other diets.
What about the Environment?
Factory farming contributes heavily towards environmental problems all over the world. Animals in the agriculture industry contribute to the contamination of the water table because of the fecal runoff. They consume tons of water and grain, which must be farmed using yet more water.
The high levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and other GHG produced by animal agriculture generate over 14% of global emissions, greater than all transportation emissions. Some studies show that adopting a vegan diet can cut agricultural greenhouse gases in half.
Animal agriculture impacts the world’s biodiversity by using wildland for soy and maize crops, the primary livestock feed.
The increasing use of land has led to a number of native species being threatened on a global level.
Choosing a vegan diet will go a long way in preventing species extinction by eliminating the need of livestock and factory farm’s feed crops. Veganism provides a more sustainable agricultural model, focused on feeding people, not animals for slaughter.
Livestock requires enormous fossil energy consumption for multiple activities such as the production of feed, breeding, production and spread of fertilizers, electricity use, and farm operating costs.
On the other hand, plant products have much higher energy efficiency, as it’s estimated that animal-based protein requires eight times more fossil-fuel energy than creating plant-based protein.
Besides massively reducing the fish population worldwide, overfishing has changed the characteristics of the remaining fish, causing a dangerous domino effect that puts the complex ocean food chain at risk.
The fish population needs to be balanced in order to affect the ocean’s ecosystem the way nature intended, and Veganism stabilizes the ocean by reducing the world’s increasing demand for fish.
Veganism Vs Humans?
A number of people argue that veganism is only helping animals and the environment but that it does nothing for us as humans even though there are health benefits to this lifestyle. We’d like to argue that adopting a vegan diet also contributes to humanity as livestock feed production also impacts food availability in the areas of the world where many people need food.
Animal agriculture monopolizes the world’s resources, including water and land, to fuel its production: it is estimated that 36% of the calories produced by the world’s crops are being used for animal feed, while only 12% of those feed calories end up contributing to the human diet.
Veganism combats world hunger by cutting animals from the equation, as it would be more practical and calorie-efficient to use our planet’s resources for crops that feed humans, directly.
Growing food exclusively for direct human consumption would increase available food calories up to 70%, feeding an additional 4 billion people worldwide!
Ending Unnecessary Animal Cruelty
There are many ways that the industries or individuals who stand to make a profit from animal exploitation try to hide or tame the facts about how animals are treated in captivity or before they are turned into food and byproducts.
Terms like “ethically sourced,” “humanely raised,” “free-range,” and “cage-free” show up on animal products to put the consumer at ease, but the bottom line is that it’s not an ethical practice to kill a living being that does not want to die just so you can enjoy the taste of their body for a brief moment in time, no matter how nicely you treated them before sending them to slaughter.
Cows, pigs, sharks, fish, chickens, and other animals that often wind up on plates have emotions, just like you and me. They experience love, grief, and fear. They may not be able to verbalize their emotions – but then again, not all humans can, either.
Specifics aside, avoiding animal products is one of the most obvious ways you can take a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation everywhere.
The Bottom Line
You can contribute to benefiting so many sectors of life like nature, humanity, yourself and the animals with something as simple as changing the way you consume products.
If you have been inspired by this article to take a leap towards veganism we encourage you to share this compassionate mentality. You can even encourage brands that you love to choose vegan by getting certified by BeVeg.
Going vegan is easier than ever before with veganism becoming increasingly mainstream as more and more people from all walks of life discover the benefits of living this way.