What Vegan Means
"Animals are here with us, not for us!"
Being vegan is not a diet but a lifestyle that seeks to exclude all forms of exploiting (using) animals including food, clothing, furnishing, sports and any other purpose! This means eating no animals or byproducts of animals, not wearing animal skin or fur and not using animals as a source of entertainment, or supporting those that do, such as certain circuses. It was first defined by Donald Watson in 1944 so we can safely say veganism is nothing new!
Around 60 billion land animals are killed every year so people can eat their bodies or what comes from their bodies such as milk and eggs. Reading that number may not sink in, so try to imagine an animal in front of you - just one animal, a pig let's say. The pig is about to be killed for food. Now let's pretend that the pig can talk. What do you think the pig would ask?
"please let me live"
Would you let the pig be killed if they could say the words? That's just one pig. One life. Remember that all animals don't want to die. It is a huge misconception that some animals are not intelligent enough to feel fear, sadness or pain. It is the animals instinct to survive just like it is ours. All animals deserve to live a full and happy life, not just the pets we share our homes with. It is in our human nature to be kind and peaceful to all living beings.
Eating a plant based diet has so many amazing health benefits. To write about them all would fill hundreds of pages! Here is a top 10 list of what we think are the most impressive health benefits from being vegan! If you want to see exactly where we found all this fantastic information, just hover over each one and click! This will take you to a study or an in depth article on each topic that we have found for you. You can check the resources section of our website for further information.
plant based diets...
We all play a part in climate change and so many people are trying to make changes to prevent it, from recycling plastics to cycling to work. Yet a lot of people don't realise the importance of diet on the environment and the single and most impactful change you can make is to live a vegan lifestyle.
Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than from all transportation! So that means all of the cars, lorries, trains and airplanes together make less of an impact than humans eating meat, dairy and eggs instead of plant based foods.
The production of meat and animal products is so vast that there are so many animals who all poop a lot! It also means a lot of crops need to be grown to feed all the animals, which requires a lot of water and a lot of land for the crops! The animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons a year! Timing your showers seems pretty pointless now right? Considerably lower quantities of crops and water are required to sustain a vegan diet, so going vegan is definitely the best way to reduce our impact on the planet. For more information see our resources section of the website.
All those crops that are fed to all the animals need somewhere to grow which results in destroying rainforests for the space to do so! The amount of grain feed required for meat production is a major contributing factor to deforestation, species extinction and habitat loss! In Brazil alone, the equivalent of 5.6 million acres of land is used to grow soya beans for animals in Europe! It's simple, going vegan really does mean going green and saving trees!
So now you have read about how much water we use for agriculture, its pretty easy to see how this water could help the people in need who do not have access to clean drinking water! And of course the crops we are growing for all the animals people eat could instead be crops grown to feed starving people. The amount of grain and water used for one persons serving of beef could instead feed 20 people!
Living a vegan lifestyle means that you are being mindful of your actions and how they affect others including animals and the earth. You can eat each meal knowing it hasn't come from animals and is not destroying the planet. Its feels great being a peaceful vegan!
So What's Next?
Alongside diet, vegans don't support anything that exploits animals, which covers an unfortunate endless amount of things such as wearing fur from wild animals to not buying cosmetics that tests on animals. Work through all the Go Vegan pages and you will learn more about making the world a better place for animals and humans.