Every year, across the world, more and more people are turning towards a plant-based diet for a myriad of different reasons. Many as a result of the Veganuary promotions at the start of each year; some for health reasons, some for environmental reasons and some, of course, for the animals. We have put together some interesting facts that you may or may not know about veganism.
- A plant-based diet may considerably lower your personal carbon footprint – animal agriculture is often reported as a leading cause of climate change – but not the only one, by any means.
- The meat industry uses a huge amount of water– and yet there are over 4 billion people in the world who do not have clean or running water.
- According to various medical studies, eating a plant-based diet decreases your risk of heart disease and strokes, and could add up to four years to your life.
- In 2012, a study by the University of Minnesota found that humans across the plant produce enough grain to feel the whole world. But with so much of this grain being fed to animals being raised for the meat industry, it isnt going far enough, leaving communities in the poorest areas short of food.
- Veganuary 2020 saw the highest number of new vegan products being launched – you would have to have been living in outer space to not have heard about the Greggs sausage roll!
- The younger generations are catching on quick to plant based nutrition. 30% of all UK youths aged between 16 and 24 now agree that a plant based diet is the best for the environment, and according to a survey done by Foodspark, one in 10 children aged between eight and 13 now identify as vegetarian or vegan.
- Whilst it is easy to see that meat products, dairy and eggs are not part of a vegan diet, there are many other foods with hidden ingredients that may cause you to think twice if you are keen to avoid animal exploitation – marshmallows can contain gelatine from pigs or cows, gummy sweets can contain gelatine too. There is a great debate over honey with lots of opinion either way on whether or not the bees suffer due to human consumption. And some beers and wines are filtered with a substance made from fish bladders.
Veganism is always going to be a subject for debate and is likely to be portrayed in the media in a negative light – but anything that reduces impact on our animal friends, on the planet, and helps us live a longer and healthier life surely can’t be a bad thing?