Go vegan for January
I have a request. For the first month of 2018, go vegan. It’s not often I suggest people change their lifestyles: usually I present my own choices and leave others to make up their own mind. But this time I am making an exception, because in all the actions I take to tread as lightly on the world as possible, I am most passionate about veganism.
Reasons I am vegan:
- The meat and dairy industry accounts for 20% amounts of global carbon emissions – more than transport
- Our farming practices are brutal, barbaric and show little regard for any life other than a human’s
- Rearing meat for food is wasteful of land, water, and energy
- Vegetarianism doesn’t go far enough: rearing animals for meat is not the only way to inflict suffering
- Keeping animals in close proximity facilitates the rapid spread of disease, leading to over-use of antibiotics, reducing their efficacy in both animals and humans
- Lentils kick ass (who knew there were so many varieties?)
- The conditions in which intelligent animals such as pigs are kept is torturous
- Artificially inseminating cattle (with what is genuinely referred to in the industry as a ‘rape rod’) then forcibly parting them from their young just so we can drink their milk, that we don’t even need, does not sit well with me
- Toxic run-off from silage pollutes our landscape and environment
- It’s cheaper
- It takes over 600 gallons of water to make a beef burger – almost a hundred times the amount it takes to make a bean burger
- 91% percent of deforestation is caused by livestock, much of it through growing feed – we could just cut out the middle ‘man’ and simply eat the feed
- No one ever said eat less veg for your health
- I used to be an ‘ethical eater’ and though organic, free range, single-reared meat/dairy has a much lower impact on the planet and the animal, there is no way you could feed 7 billion people in this way. It’s just easier to be vegan.
A word of guidance: I don’t bother with tofu or ‘cheez’. If I’m not going to eat meat I don’t want to eat something pretending to be meat. And honestly, those products are so yuck, it would put anyone off veganism. I eat vegetables, lentils, bread, crisps, wine, chocolate, potatoes, beans, pulses, salads, grains, falafel, oat cakes and chips. And anything else that has ever been grown. There is an entire world of non-animal food out there.
And a word of reassurance: I am strong and healthy, and don’t feel deficient in anything. It is marketed to us that meat is the only source of protein, but there is more protein pound for pound in the humble lentil (although eating a 12oz portion of lentils is possibly more arduous than eating a 12oz steak…). Milk is packed full of calcium, but so is broccoli.
Try it: Veganuary. It’s only a month. But it could just change your life.
For more info and recipes go here: https://veganuary.com