Opinion by Grace Purvis
In a society that is always on the hunt for the best and quickest way to lose weight, be healthy and be the best possible version of themselves while also causing minimal damage to the environment, it is clear that the answer is right in front of us.
It is veganism, a plant-based diet that avoids all animal products such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey and gelatine, and it is growing in popularity
This is for good reasons.
Roy Morgan Research found that between 2012 and 2016 the number of Australians that implemented a vegetarian diet rose from 1.7 million to almost 2.1 million. Some of these have gone further and eliminated all animal products: they are vegan.
The benefits of going vegan are being seen by so many people around the world and are undeniable.
Implementing a high volume whole foods vegan diet has shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, prostate cancer, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce overall body fat, improve skin, increase energy levels and create a clearer mind.
As the popularity of veganism grows, so does the evidence of profound positive effects on an individual’s body and mind.
Cook at Café Nurcha, a fully vegan café on the Sunshine Coast, Laura Briggs, said everything in her life improved for the better since becoming a vegan.
“I’ve been vegan for almost two years and I feel amazing every single day, I have a clean and clear conscience knowing that nothing has to be harmed or killed in order for me to live,” Miss Briggs said.
“I have developed such compassion and empathy for all animals and people, allowing myself to also realise humans need fighting for too, therefore now being a human and animal rights activist.
“Going vegan has also expanded my knowledge of health, food and cooking immensely and opened up my love of being it then kitchen.”
Despite the fact that going vegan can improve your mental and physical health it is also the best possible action we could do to improve and benefit the environment.
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, it takes 908498 litres of water to produce just half a kilogram meat, which is something like 50 full bathtubs.
Animal agriculture (animal product production) is responsible for 18 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than all exhaust pollution from transportation combined.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction The impact that animal agriculture has on the environment is devastating and it doesn’t just affect factory farm animals, it affects me and you.
It affects your kids and your grandchildren who might grow up in a world with fishless oceans.
According to a study done by National Geographic, fishless oceans may be a reality by 2048 with 90-100 million tons of fish being pulled from our ocean each year.
I don’t know about you but I want my children to grow up in a healthy sustainable world surrounded by animals and all different types of plant life.
But unfortunately this isn’t a reality with the rate that animal agriculture is destroying the earth and our bodies.
It all comes down to sustainability: what’s sustainable for our bodies and what’s sustainable for our earth.
Everyday a person implements a vegan diet they save 4163.953 liters of water, 20 kilograms of grain, 2.8 square meters of forestland, 9kg of CO2 equivalent and one animal’s life.
So, with all that being said, doesn’t it seem a little bit crazy not to start implementing a vegan diet or even just cutting down on animal products?
If eating less meat and animal products reduces the risk of a number of diseases and health risks, while also improving overall wellbeing and weight loss and also reducing harm caused to the environment, would it be a bit naïve not to give this diet a go?
This isn’t tomorrow’s issue; this is our reality.
This is our responsibility.
Start by cutting meat out by one meal a week and slowly progress. For more information, visit www.vegansociety.com for helpful tips and guidance.