October 30 2018 – Cecily Morgan
Veganism has never been such a hot topic. The tie-dye and tofu stereotypes linger, but the vegan lifestyle is becoming mainstream, with tons of options in the supermarket and more and more people swapping steak for seitan.
Everyone knows that embracing veganism can save the lives of cows, pigs, and other livestock animals but it’s not only these creatures that benefit from its impacts. A reduced consumption of meat and animal produce is one of the best ways to save the planet, and every single creature on it.
Responsible for a host of environmental issues, the production of meat and animal produce has become the planet’s most major plight. Animal agriculture is responsible for a third of global water consumption, as well as being one of the leading causes of water pollution. The meat industry is also responsible for deforestation, especially in the Amazon where 91% of deforestation has taken place to make room for cattle. The said cattle then emits more greenhouses gases than ships, planes, trucks, cars and all other transport put together, making it a major source of the greenhouse gas emissions that plague the planet.
Deforestation is particularly bad news for the earth’s critically endangered species, whose habitats are being heartlessly ripped down. It is thought that up to 137 species of plant, animal, and insect are lost each day due to deforestation. The situation is especially dire when it comes to the Amazon rainforest, an area known for its biodiversity. Thus, many people are adopting a vegan diet in an effort to reduce their carbon footprints and help prevent further destruction of our planet.
Veganism’s positive impact on the world, animals, and the health of humans is celebrated on World Veganism Day, which takes place annually on 1st November. It was founded in 1994 by The Vegan Society to mark the 50th anniversary of its establishment and the coinage of the terms ‘vegan’ and ‘veganism’. Although launched in the UK, World Veganism Day grows every year and is now celebrated across the globe. It’s the perfect excuse to go for dinner in a local vegan restaurant or devour a packet of Oreos guilt-free (yes, they’re vegan!).
So, the best way to celebrate World Veganism Day is obviously to go vegan, even if it’s just for the day, but in the long-run, adopting a more plant-based diet is important for everyone. Ditching meat and all animal produce may be a step too far for some, but if everyone made small changes to their diets the environment would benefit hugely. For example, taking part in Meat Free Monday, a campaign encouraging omnivores to eat veggie on Mondays, and being more careful with dairy consumption can make a hugely positive impact on the health of the planet, and our bodies.
So, on World Veganism Day, and every other day of the year, embrace your inner vegan. Enjoy a coconut milk latte, eat some falafels, and maybe even sport a pair of vegan-friendly Critically Endangered Socks. The planet and the animals will thank you.