Monday, 7 November 2016

4 Reasons You Should Definitely Switch to a Vegan Diet

You may have noticed that veganism is definitely in vogue and seems to be everywhere you look these days, whether on social media, YouTube vlogs, blog posts, magazines, newspapers or in supermarkets, cafes and restaurants. This is a conversation topic that keeps on increasing as the vegan movement keeps on growing.


Statistics suggest that more and more people are becoming vegetarian, vegan or cutting back on their meat and dairy intake drastically across the world. Rather than just a fad this really does seem like a long term trend that will only become stronger as people are increasingly realising the benefits of turning vegan for themselves and the planet.

Here are 4 reasons you should definitely switch to a vegan diet:

1. You are helping to save the planet!

What many people don't realise is just how destructive animal agriculture and therefore the consumption of meat and dairy is to the environment. Through some vloggers I follow on YouTube, I discovered the documentary Cowspiracy which is both essential viewing and incredibly shocking. It seems that the billion-dollar corporations behind animal agriculture in the US and other so-called developed nations are behind a massive cover up. We are often led to believe that the use of fossil fuels, such as when we drive our cars are the real culprit in terms of destructive climate change.



While the use of oil, gas and coal is indeed very destructive due to greenhouse gas emissions, the production and consumption of animal products is an even bigger threat to the environment, and this is something the industry has been desperately trying to cover up.

"Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation." This is just one of a whole host of facts (with sources) on the Cowspiracy website showing how incredibly destructive animal agriculture is for the environment, and how the consumption of meat and dairy helps to perpetuate this.

An article in The Guardian newspaper highlights the results of a recent study conducted by a team at Oxford university, the first global analysis of this issue, that has concluded that a climate tax on meat and dairy would lead to huge and vital cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions and also save lives, through the reduced consumption of unhealthy food.

2. You can eat with a clear conscience.

While most people will claim, quite understandably, that they either love animals or at least believe that their unnecessary suffering is wrong, this is quite ironic as most of the world still chooses to consume animals and animal products. No animal chooses to be killed and all are individual sentient beings capable of thoughts and the ability to experience a variety of different emotions, including strong levels of fear when they can sense they are going to be killed.

This is why they back away and fight with all their strength and energy to escape when they are being harmed or led to their deaths. Every year it is estimated that over 56 billion farmed animals are killed by humans. This does not even take into account fish which are killed in such large numbers that they are simply measured in weight!


Despite most people feeling some level of compassion for animals as fellow living beings, unfortunately we have been conditioned from childhood to view animals such as cows, pigs, chickens, sheep and fish as simply sources of meat, eggs and milk instead of thinking beings that each value their life as much as we value our own. One way many people overcome any guilt they have is by kidding themselves that animals are somehow killed "humanely," but this has been completely debunked by various secret footage videos of the appalling treatment of animals including being stamped on, thrown around, suffocated, stabbed, beaten, boiled and burnt. There is a great quote from Paul McCartney: "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.’

I also believe that many more people would turn vegan if they knew what was going on inside dairy farms, where female cows have their calves stolen straight after birth and spend their entire lives hooked up to machines sucking their. Chickens are kept in tiny cages where they literally can't move and are treated as egg laying machines. Male chicks are considered useless and are thrown into a grinder and ground up alive! The dairy industry contributes greatly to animal suffering.

By turning vegan it is estimated that you can personally save up to 95 animals per year and thousands during your lifetime, so you are literally saving lives!

Chicken Stare


3. It is so much easier than you think!

I decided to turn vegan over a year ago, after watching Cowspiracy. Personally, I have found the transition very easy and after a couple of weeks it felt completely natural. I rarely if every miss any meat or dairy, especially after seeing so many videos online that have totally put me off the thought of eating these products. I do often get asked though "Isn't it difficult being vegan?" or "Isn't being vegan so limited in what you can eat?"

There are vegan alternatives to almost everything you might associate with dairy including burgers, sausages, mayonnaise, milk and even bacon! These are available in increasingly large numbers of supermarkets as the popularity of veganism increases exponentially. The quality and taste of these products are constantly getting better and better.




I believe from my own experience that being vegan is only difficult if you let it be. Of course you are not going to be able to eat everything that you once ate in restaurants or from the supermarket, but this actually makes life a lot easier. This cuts down the choice and therefore time wasted food shopping. It also means you can cut a lot of the unhealthy crap out of your diet and focus on buying healthier vegan options. There are delicious vegan options if you are eating out either at chain restaurants such as at Pizza Express:



Or independent cafes like at the Café Bar Marzano in Norwich:

A photo posted by Simon Turkas (@simonturkas) on


As increasing numbers of people are choosing a vegan diet there are more and more resources online to help you make your own delicious vegan meals, either via YouTube videos or fantastic websites such as http://hedihearts.com/

4. You can look and feel great.

There is growing research and scientific evidence to suggest that switching to a vegan diet is not only good for animals and the planet, but also our own personal health. This includes weight loss, increased energy levels and younger looking skin. A well-planned plant based diet is rich in all of the essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals that your body needs including protein, iron and calcium. It is a complete fallacy for example that you need to eat meat for protein, with many vegan friendly sources of protein such as nuts, seeds and beans.

I have always enjoyed keeping fit and living a healthy lifestyle, but after a 5 month stint in an office job, I really felt that my health had deteriorated. I decided to get back to the gym and get back in shape. I definitely feel that becoming vegan has given me more energy and made me feel more motivated to go to the gym regularly. When I go to the gym I try and train as hard as possible as I want to stay in the best shape I can.



Many of the world's biggest health concerns are on the rise such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer and much of this is being attributed to the spread of a Western diet rich in meat and dairy consumption being pushed on the rest of the world. The plant-based sources of the previously mentioned nutrients are packed with antioxidants, high in fibre and low in saturated fat, thus helping to prevent the growing global health epidemic that currently exists. Don't worry about that stupid stereotype that vegans are all weaklings as many of the top athletes in the world are vegan including professional tennis players, MMA fighters, pro surfers and Iron Man champions.

So if you want to save the planet, save animal's lives and get in the best shape of your life then you definitely need to switch to a vegan diet. Plus it's much easier than you think!

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