Vegan for the planet
We are all encouraged to make environmentally conscious choices, like turning off unnecessary lights and taking reusable bags to the shops.
While these steps help, it is increasingly becoming clear that the impact of animal farming on the environment is a far more pressing concern – animal agriculture has a greater carbon footprint than all transport combined. It is in our diets, therefore, where we can make the biggest difference.
Amanda discovered veganism through a desire to protect the planet. ‘It was the huge environmental impact of animal farming that finally pushed me to fully commit to vegan living’, she said. ‘Despite always recycling and not owning a car, I found I was still using far more than my global share of natural resources because I was still consuming animal products.’
It takes enormous quantities of land, water and energy to grow crops to feed to the farmed animals we then eat. At a time of rapidly growing population and resource scarcity, it’s far more efficient to grow crops to eat ourselves.
Vegan for the animals
Animal rights remains a key reason to go vegan. Documentaries like Earthlings have informed and educated hundreds of thousands of people about the reality of animal farming, while social media continues to provide a popular platform for raising awareness around the treatment of animals.
Many choose to avoid eating meat because they want to avoid harming animals, but more people than ever are now realising that other animal products, like milk, cheese and eggs, also contribute to immense suffering.
Ian said, ‘I went vegan after discovering the cruelty behind the dairy industry. I couldn’t believe it. I used to think that cows naturally produced milk for humans, but this isn’t the case. Like humans, cows only produce milk after getting pregnant, which they become typically through artificial insemination.
‘Their calves are taken away from them moments after birth, and the males are killed. Although I liked the taste of dairy products, once I became aware I couldn’t justify contributing to an industry that causes so much pain and suffering.’
If you want to learn more about a vegan lifestyle, sign up to The Vegan Society’s 30-Day Vegan Pledge, a free service that sends daily emails with info, tips and advice with delicious recipes. It could be the best decision you ever make.
Click here to find out more about the Vegan Society.