Disclaimer: You don’t have to go vegan… but it’s definitely time to have a think about cutting down on meat. I’m a vegan, and I feel better for it.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard about veganism in the news, met a few vegans and have maybe even passed a vegan food fair in London. Veganism is best described as a movement, it’s a diet, arguably a mindset and a way of life that seeks to look after the animals and the environment. Not every vegan is an activist, some just have sympathy for the animals and choose to change their diet and lifestyle. Then there are some vegans that don’t eat animal products. Just to confuse you further; there’s also some technical vegans that shrug the name and instead claim to be plant-based.
Being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, as more time passes there are more vegan alternatives to our favourite junk foods. The healthiest diet is a plant based diet, as this involves eating mostly natural foods. Both flexitarians and vegans can be on a plant based diet, so there’s really a lot of grey area there.
Recently, Burger King has released a vegan Whopper alternative to appeal to the changing food market. Smart move on their behalf, as when Greggs released a vegan sausage roll; it actually boosted their sales. I’m sure I helped with this, I’ve had so many since it was announced. I’m sure of this; I think I can tell that the sausage meat is smaller than it was at first. I think we can expect a lot more food vendors to jump on the vegan wagon. Hot on their heels, Starbucks are releasing a vegan friendly Cadbury Creme Egg Frappe, to get one you’ll just need to put it a special order. Lastly, Subway is now offering a Vegan with Garlic Aioli wrap in stores. Of course there are plenty of vegan options on sale in places like Itsu and Leon (self-proclaimed healthy fast food vendors), but to be honest, it is nice to see these giants heading that way.
It’s easier now more than ever to go vegan and many more have joined the movement this year for “veganuary“. If you’ve been vegan since January you’ll have saved: 90 animal lives, 1,629kg of grain, 374,751 litres of water, 819kg of CO2 and 252 square metres of the forest.
Switching straight to the vegan thing might be a little too heavy for some, and fair enough – why not try taking the flexitarian step in between? A flexitarian chooses when to eat animal products and when not to. For those of you that are considering trying veganism, this is a great first step. Going flexitarian will be good for your body and good for the environment. The agriculture industry is taking a huge toll on the environment and it is essentially being ignored. Watch Cowspiracy – The Sustainability Secret to find out more.
There’s a lot more choice now, as vegan restaurants are popping up all over the place, vegan food festivals are following suit. It’s not a case of eating avocado toast and cauliflower rice everyday. Vegan meat companies like Beyond Burger, Impossible Burger are attempting to give the meat industry a ran for it’s money – literally. Smart companies like Quorn, Linda McCartney and Iceland have released vegan friendly options, there’s lots of choice in plant milks (Oatly, Alpro, Rude Health) and vegan cheese is readily available – granted it doesn’t taste the same, but it pretty close. If you’re on the fence about taking the leap because you’ll miss your current diet, you don’t have to. Substituting plant meat for animal meat is the best decision you could make.
Some of you nay-sayers may be thinking “is that good for you?”, “how will you get enough protein?“. I have two words for you, plant milk. I’ll admit I was a little worried about the loss of nutrients at first, but I’ve found I can get my fill by having some oatmeal (with oat milk), some bulgarwheat and some spinach during the day. I’ve even had a blood test just to check that I am doing okay internally and the results have come back fine. I can confidently say that going vegan has been a good thing for my health.
I understand that you may need more convincing, so I won’t leave you hanging. Here are a few documentaries you can watch to learn a little bit more.
If you have any questions about my vegan journey or would like to know what I eat, please get in touch or follow me on Instagram. If you have any questions about veganism in general, have a look at Plant Based News or Live Kindly Co.