Google searches for ‘vegan’ have increased by 380% in the last six years (according to Peta, who may be slightly biased) and, whether you’re on board or not, no one can deny the sudden surge of interest we have seen in recent years in the plant-based lifestyle. The lifestyle seems to have particularly resonated with the younger generation, with many taking to social media to share tasty vegan recipes, encourage others to make the change and generally spread the animal love. If you’ve been thinking of taking the leap but you’re not yet fully convinced, you’re in the right place: today we’re looking at the top reasons you should take it up.
MORALS & VALUES:
While you may think cutting meat and dairy from your diet completely is, well, just a bit dramatic, veganism as a lifestyle probably fits in with most of our values without us even realising. Most of us would consider ourselves animal lovers, so it certainly makes sense to think about at least cutting down on the animal products you’re consuming – as some vegans point out, it does seem a bit hypocrticial. Switching your diet up all in one go probably wouldn’t last long, so your first step could be taking part in events such as Meat Free Monday – exactly as it sounds – or Veganuary – going vegan for the whole month of January.
There are many ways a plant-based diet can be beneficial for the environment: more and more of us are making an effort to recycle and choosing greener ways to get to work, yet cutting out meat and dairy products can aid the planet more than you may initially realise. Avoiding animal products will instantly lower your carbon footprint, as considerably lower amounts of crops and water are necessary to sustain a diet without meat and dairy. If the fate of the planet is a concern for you, going plant-based is your chance to practice what you preach. Most people are keen to be socially and ethically responsible, so is vegan living the perfect fit?
A vegan diet has been linked to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and a lower BMI, alongside the fact that it gets so much easier to reach your five a day. With your options slightly more limited, the likelihood of eating fruit and veg more often is high, rather than a plate of beige some of us may be far too used to dishing up. Furthermore, and contrary to popular belief, vegan food is actually rich in protein, iron and calcium – helping you feel fit and ready to take on your long list of assignments!
For a lot of people, the idea of going cold turkey (sorry) and cutting all animal products out from their everyday diet is understandably a daunting one, but is something many can achieve gradually with just a little bit of willpower. Perhaps 2019 is the year you’ll give it a try.