Let’s go, Vegans!

All around the world, more and more people have chosen to adopt a vegan lifestyle, excluding all animal products from their diet - including some incredibly commonplace foods such as dairy, eggs, and gelatin. Although the transition from an omnivorous to a plant-based diet can be trying for many - the benefits of it are unparalleled. Veganism as a lifestyle is an advocate not only for the wellbeing of livestock animals, but for the environment, for world hunger, and for your health.

Without a doubt, one of the leading reasons behind individuals deciding to switch to a vegan diet is the welfare of animals. Worldwide, the meat, dairy, and egg industry has been proven to practice production methods that shockingly neglect sometimes even the most basic standards of wellbeing of their livestock. Whilst most vegans disagree completely with the concept of eating the meat of animals prematurely killed for human consumption, vegan diets exclude even products such as eggs, milk, and honey because they are obtained through incredibly inhumane practices which further endanger the animals involved, making them more susceptible to infections, disease, and trauma. Although it can be easy to feel that one person does not make a world of difference, it has been estimated that every vegan helps save more than 100 animals per year by choosing to avoid meat and animal products.

Veganism does a lot more than protest against animal cruelty, however - it also heavily promotes environmental sustainability. The carbon footprints of the meat, dairy, and egg industries are massive. The current mainstream farming methods do not employ renewable resources and are contributing a disproportional amount to pollution and climate change. It has been estimated that the production of meat and dairy products contributes approximately 18 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions around the world, and is responsible for 70 percent of global freshwater consumption and 38 percent of total land use. The production of grain feed for animals in the meat industry has also contributed massively to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction. The industries involved with the production of meat and dairy cause as much damage to the environment as the burning of fossil fuels.

The use of fertile land to grow crops for animal rather than human consumption also worsens the problem of hunger in developing countries, as these communities are growing cash crops to feed animals rather than themselves. Food scarcity is becoming an increasingly dire issue in the world, today - with one in nine people being reported as chronically undernourished. Although poverty contributes an unfortunate amount to world hunger, our allocation of agricultural resources does so as well. These resources are not used efficiently enough to be justified in the meat industries. In fact, it takes more than ten pounds of grain to produce just one pound of animal meat. The food used in these industries to sustain the livestock could be used to feed more than three billion people. The more people that switch to vegan diets, the more malnourished communities may be finally able to feed themselves rather than sacrificing their crops to the livestock.

Perhaps the most enticing aspect of a vegan diet, however, is its ability to pleasantly encourage upon you some very healthy habits with some even more pleasant results. Plant based foods should contain plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Nutrients found in plant-based foods tend to be higher in vitamins, minerals and have been shown to be more packed with fiber and antioxidants and less with saturated fats than their animal-based counterparts - which has proven to be useful in warding off health issues such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Vegan diets, planned properly, are very likely to result, as well, in younger looking skin and increased energy. Vegans also lean towards consuming more servings of fruit and vegetables during the day, which helps reduce your chances of premature death. Studies have shown, actually, that consumption of red meat, both processed and unprocessed, can be linked to raised early mortality rates. Just one more thing vegans need not concern themselves with. Moreover, on average, vegans tend to be up to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters. Meat and other animal products is also the number one source of food poisoning, as these foods are often contaminated with dangerous, pathogenic bacteria which can cause diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.

Some people shift to Veganism by looking for replacement foods and although going vegan can be a big step to take in Western societies, considering their traditional meals and emphasis on meat-centered dishes - Sri Lankan cuisine only needs to be tweaked very minimally - if at all - to be vegan. Oftentimes, meat is only one of the many curries grazing our breakfast, lunch, and dinner tables - and is not likely to be missed considered the myriad of options we are able to substitute it for - a personal favorite being soya. Our vegetarian curries, on the other hand, based in coconut milk (completely plant-based), tend to be vegan already. As Sri Lankans, we would be relinquishing very little of the foods and dishes we know and love when adopting a plant-based diet - which would make the transition incredibly smooth indeed. However, even in western societies, as veganism has gotten ever more popular, more and more companies have come out with delicious vegan food products to meet the increasing demand. There is very little sacrifice to be made nowadays in going vegan. OrganicoGuru fully supports those who choose to live off plant-based diets, and we stock a varied range of vegan foods, ready to be delivered straight to your door to make you love being vegan even more.