Veganism is on the upswing, with one study finding that the number of vegans had increased by 360 per cent in the previous decade. Last year, plant-based diets grew in popularity around the world as more people became aware of the links between disease and animal intake. Vegans have increased by 40% in the United Kingdom since 2020, with 1.5 million people predicted to be vegan.
Let’s look at the advantages of going vegan, as the number of individuals interested in veganism is expanding and more people are simply wondering about what a vegan diet comprises.
What is a vegan diet?
Animal items such as meat, eggs, milk, and honey are not allowed in a vegan diet. It is entirely made up of plant-based products, however many non-vegan foods have plant-based equivalents.
Veganism is a lifestyle for some people, not merely a diet. In this situation, individuals should avoid animal-tested beauty items, avoid wearing real fur or leather, and examine whether anything has had a negative influence on animals before purchasing it.
Many people have become vegan as a result of the inhumane treatment of animals on factory farms, where they live in publicly condemned conditions,” he explains.
Vegans think that the production of animal products causes animals to suffer or die prematurely for ethical grounds. In this situation, a person’s determination to avoid animal suffering at all costs may lead them to live a completely vegan lifestyle.
A vegan diet has numerous advantages, including increasing heart health and lowering the risk of diabetes and cancer, as well as supplying critical vitamins and nutrients for a long and healthy life.
What are the advantages of a vegan diet?
Science sure doesn’t lie when it comes to talking about the benefits of an all-plant diet. Plant-based diets have several positive impacts on various facets of life.
Impact of Veganism on health
- Vegan diets are rich in fibre and micronutrients. Moving to a vegan diet and including plenty of wholes, plant foods will increase your intake of dietary fibre. Fibre plays a crucial role in the healthy functioning of your digestive tract. Researchers stress the importance of good gut health aids in critical functions, like immunity, skincare, hair health, libido and sleep, as well as mood.
- Soy milk is the best vegan alternative to cow’s milk. Soy milk has many health benefits, being low on cholesterol and free of lactose. Soy foods have also been linked to a lower incidence of breast cancer. According to research conducted in Shanghai, women with breast cancer who take 11 g of soy protein per day can reduce their mortality and recurrence risk by 30%.
- A plant-based diet has been demonstrated to lower the risk of cancer in people. Because it excludes dairy, a vegan diet can lower the risk of breast cancer. Studies have connected high-fat dairy products to an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer when ingested regularly. The National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the World Cancer Research Fund concluded in research that drinking a cup of cow’s milk every day increases the risk of developing breast cancer by 50% in women. That is why it is smart to switch to soy milk.
- People live robust and active lifestyles well into their 90s and 100s in places of the world where populations eat largely plant-based diets, and certain diseases are nearly unheard of.
- When compared to animal products and processed diets, whole plant foods have a lower energy per weight. This means that the same amount of food will contain significantly fewer calories and significantly more fibre, water, and phytonutrients. A whole food vegan diet is a terrific way to eat if you prefer to fill your plate and feel filled at each meal.
- According to science-based facts, switching to a vegan diet can help in managing and even reversing diabetes type 2. About 80 % of persons with diabetes type 2 are overweight. It is no surprise that veganism and vegetarianism reduce obesity. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds are all part of a vegan diet. Because those substances make up a larger percentage of a diet than animal products, they naturally contribute to a higher intake of specific nutrients.
- According to the American National Renal Foundation, a plant-based diet minimizes the risk of kidney disease and can even prevent early kidney disease from worsening.
- Turning vegan can help our joints too. The nutrients in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains may aid to relieve rheumatoid arthritis discomfort and inflammation. According to a study, people suffering from moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis showed significant relief in symptoms after following a low-fat vegan diet for some weeks. A change in diet relieves joint pain, stiffness, soreness, and oedema.
- Veganism is also good for our mental health. Plant products are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. Fruits and vegetables are natural, affordable and non-invasive treatment strategies to improve mental health.
- There may be a connection between dairy and acne. Switching to a plant-based diet eliminates elements that aggravate skin problems. It also leads to a higher intake of nutrients that benefit the health of your skin. The more fresh, plant-based meals you eat on a vegan diet, the more nutrients you’ll get, which will help your hair and nails grow stronger.
Impact of Veganism on Environment
- Dr Marco Springmann, the senior researcher on environmental sustainability and public health at the University of Oxford, says, “There are many different sectors that have an impact on emissions, and the food system is without a doubt one of the most important because it is responsible for about a third of all greenhouse gas emissions globally.” That is why researchers suggest switching to veganism to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses.
The beef and dairy industry leads to an overwhelming majority of emissions. Without changing the manufacturing of such products, it is impossible to control the emission of harmful gasses. The best option to control the “cows emit methane” problem is switching to vegan dairy products.
- In 2018, experts researching the impact of farming on the environment discovered that avoiding meat and dairy products was the single most effective approach to lessen our environmental impact. The study found that if meat and dairy consumption were eliminated, global agriculture use could be decreased by more than 75%. A combined area similar to the United States, China, the European Union, and Australia would still be fed by opting for a green diet.
- Blaming individuals, according to Frank Mitloehner, professor and air quality extension specialist at the University of California, blames individuals’ choices for the environmental decline. If you decide to be vegan for two years, you can save the same amount of money as one flight from Europe to the United States.
Veganism for animal safety
- Veganism is one of the most effective ways to help stop animal suffering. Refusing to pay for animal products lowers demand, resulting in fewer animals being bred to suffer and die on farms and in slaughterhouses.
- Mother cows are typically forcibly impregnated on dairy farms, and calves are removed from their mothers shortly after birth so that milk intended for them can be bottled for human use. Again, regardless of welfare, this occurs on all farms, and when the mother cows are no longer profitable, they are slaughtered.
- Huge nets the size of football fields are used to haul fish out of the ocean. Non-target species, such as dolphins, whales, and turtles, are frequently caught and killed. Tuna, for example, are speared on hooks at the end of long lines and dragged to their deaths slowly. As their food source – fish – diminishes, some sea birds are becoming increasingly vulnerable to famine. The life of farmed fish are also horrible; thousands of fish are confined to factory farms, where sickness and cruelty are rampant.
- Eating vegan also helps to alleviate animal suffering while also benefiting and protecting our health. PETA is urging world governments to include meat and dairy products in any plans they create to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but we’re also encouraging people to take responsibility for a healthier planet by going vegan.
Everyone can improve their health, help mitigate climate change, and protect animals simply by eating delicious plant-based foods. In fact, according to a study published in New Scientist magazine, turning vegan can lower the number of greenhouse emissions that a person’s diet contributes to climate change by up to 60%. Take a smart step and switch to veganism.