Health and Food – World Vegan Day

*Disclaimer: I am in no way qualified to give nutritional advice. I am also not trying to promote or pressure anyone into pursuing a specific lifestyle. The goal of this article is to bring awareness to different lifestyles and ways of eating.

Every year on the 1st of November, vegans around the world celebrate their lifestyle and encourage non-vegans to join their movement. These strides towards veganism began from The Vegan Society which was formed in November of 1944. Now every year, the formation of The Vegan Society is celebrated in the form of World Vegan Day alongside the month of November being designated as World Vegan Month.

With November marking World Vegan Month, we could all benefit from learning more about the lifestyle and how it is impacting our world. Veganism is a lifestyle which seeks to exclude all forms of and cruelty to animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. A 600% increase in the number of vegans occurred in America between 2014 and 2017, causing the number of vegans in the USA to grow to 19.6 million.

Veganism is said to be extremely beneficial regarding many aspects of life, and though not everyone experiences the same results while pursuing the lifestyle, it is important to understand the possibilities the vegan diet can bring. Obviously, going vegan directly correlates to the prevention of the exploitation of animals, and remains the key factor in many individual’s decision to pursue the lifestyle. That aside, a well-planned vegan diet which follows healthy eating guidelines is said to contain all the nutrients that the human body requires. Research has also linked the vegan diet to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. The vegan diet also provides ample opportunity to discover more about nutrition and cooking, as you must learn how to get your nutrients from plant-based foods, whole grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds, which are all packed full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

The global climate crisis has become a hot topic regarding world issues, especially among our nation’s youth. The production of meat and other animal products, including the crops and water required to feed the animals, transportation of the goods, and all other processes involved in getting the animal products from farm to fork, places an extremely heavy burden on our environment. The billions of animals who are crammed onto factory farms each year produce outrageous amounts of methane gas, which is more than 25 times as effective as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in our atmosphere. Methane is produced when cows, sheep, and goats digest their food, and is also emitted from the cesspools filled with the feces of pigs, cows, and other animals. It has been said that eating a vegan diet could be the “single biggest way” to reduce your environmental impact. Researchers at the University of Oxford found that eliminating meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73%. Additionally, plant-based living is simply a more sustainable way of feeding the human family. The vegan diet requires only one third of the land needed to support a meat and dairy diet, and with global food and water insecurity rising due to countless environmental and socio-economic issues, there has never been a better time to try this sustainable way of living.

Many people assume that going vegan is an extremely difficult process, but speaking from experience, I can honestly say it’s not. When I decided to pursue the vegan lifestyle, I went all in. I did not slowly reduce my animal intake, I went cold turkey, for 2 years. Veganism simply involves being constantly aware. Every time you eat or shop, just stop and think, “How did this item get here?” You may find yourself realizing how much animals are exploited for the production of something as simple as a makeup product or sandwich. Vegans choose to help the animals, the environment, and their own bodies, and with veganism becoming increasingly mainstream, going vegan is easier than ever before. If it’s possible to live a sustainable life full of delicious food and drink, a healthy lifestyle, the reduction of animal exploitation, and leaving a smaller carbon footprint, then why don’t we do it?

During World Vegan Month, I encourage you to try the vegan lifestyle. Whether it be just for World Vegan Day, for a week, for a month, or for the rest of your life, every person who reduces their consumption of animal products is helping the cause. To inspire you to try veganism, I have listed some of my favorite vegan recipes below. Hopefully you can see that just because its vegan, doesn’t mean it cannot be delicious.

Delicious Vegan Banana Bread – This banana bread is the perfect treat for any time of day. I personally like to add chocolate chips to make it even sweeter!

Tropical Bub Smoothie – Scroll down to see my favorite energizing smoothie. Don’t be afraid of the colour, it seriously tastes like a slushy!

The BEST Vegan "Cheese" Sauce – The possibilities are endless with this delicious sauce! My personal favorite is using it as a mac and cheese sauce with some broccoli on the side.

Vegan Chickpea Salad – This salad is so versatile! Eat it alone, put it in a sandwich, just be creative with it!

Crowd Pleasing Vegan Caesar Salad – You’ll never have trouble deciding what to bring to your next dinner party when you try this super easy and tasty vegan caesar salad.

Written by Maddie Falk

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