What Does It Mean to Be A Vegan?
First off, we mustn’t confuse veganism with vegetarianism. Vegetarians have a wide range of definitions that might avoid red meat altogether, yet vegetarians could include dairy products, and some variations like pescatarianswill eat fish.. It depends on food allergies and beliefs. Some vegetarians shun animal meat altogether, however remain true to farm-raised eggs and dairy. Vegans, on the other hand, rely solely on food from the earth.
The Powerful Decision to Go Vegan
Vegan protein staples are completely meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free. Every food choice is based on sound organic and natural practices of green growing and healthy attention to chemical usage, and hopefully, the lack thereof. Vegans have the luxury alternative of being adventurous and creative with cooking, as the lifestyle warrants exploring all the ways to attain enough vitamins and minerals to sustain sound bodily functions. Vegans also remain devoutly true to their practice. Once the decision has been made to switch over to this lifestyle, it’s rare to go back, unless medical reasons or unhealthy forward momentum make it necessary.
To be a vegan is to choose foods that are helpful for the earth. There’s a long list of top reasons why becoming a vegan is good for you and our planet. Let’s take a look at why going green can be the ultimate way to save endangered species and rivers, and reduce overall unhealthiness in our bodies:
- Global warming reduction - One of the most serious threats posed to our world is global warming. In all of human history, greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide emissions are the main culprits of global warming. By adopting a vegan diet and reducing the practice of raising animals for food, we can alleviate more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.
- Saving large quantities of water - The amount of water required to produce a kilo of wheat or corn is somewhere between 1000-2000 liters. For the same amount of beef production, the amount of water needed is between 13,000, up to almost 100,000 liters. Enough said. Water is a precious resource. The more we can save, the better the chances of restoring the environment.
- Less destruction of wildlife habitats and endangered species - The livestock industry is responsible for widespread deforestation and vast unused lands. With all the cultivation of these tracts of land, it devastates an animal’s natural habitat by forcing them from their homes and causing long-term harm to our wildlife.
- Avoidance of further pollution to our streams, rivers, and oceans - Manure from livestock contains contaminants that pollute our streams and rivers. The ecosystems from animal farms produce about 130 times the excrement compared to the human population. Factory farms don’t have the sewage treatment systems as our cities and towns, therefore the concentration of manure ends up destroying our topsoil and contaminating our air. These pollutants can travel far. Most end up in every outlet of our water sources, depending on how close the factories are to each, and whether or not the nitrogen, phosphorous, antibiotics, and pesticides reach the waterways. Either way, the large amounts of animal waste causes major problems.
- Reduce ecological footprint - By choosing a vegan diet instead of one heavily laden with animal products and byproducts, you can dramatically reduce the amount of land, water, and oil resources consumed, as well as the amount of pollution that is otherwise caused by eating meat. Switching to a vegan diet can also save an exorbitant amount of animals each year from the cruelty of slaughter and inhumane practices from the meat industry.
It’s Up to Us to Take Responsibility
Climate change is real. It is the greatest challenge and our gravest threat to the environment. If opting for a vegan diet seems daunting at first, consider the long-term consequences of all that you enjoy about living on our fine earth. It is up to humans to adopt responsible practices to maintain a healthy world for generations to come. If you’re serious about protecting the earth, stop eating meat, eggs, and dairy products. It’s that simple. Yet for those individuals who are struggling with the concept of eliminating lifelong meat-eating choices, there are other ways to gradually introduce veganism into your dietary habits.
- Alternate one day on/one day off from meat-centered meals. Choose soy or wheat-based meat substitutes (seitan) slowly into a well-rounded spread, with other vegetables and grains.
As speciesism is on your radar, consider donating time and energy to volunteer work at sanctuaries or shelters where their main care is for the welfare of species preservation. Sometimes the emotional shock to the system of kindness towards animals can change behavioral traits in us humans over time.
- Schedule a session with a vegan coach - Just as there are lifestyle coaches and personal trainers to tend to your exercise needs and overall relationship decisions, so too are there vegan coaches who can guide you into proper food combinations and creative meal planning. They are experts at what they do, and their knowledge about the environment is leaps and bounds above a standard dietary counselor. Do your research and ensure who you choose is legit.
- Shop at natural foods markets, farmers markets, and other healthy organic stores that cater to vegans and their needs. Ask questions about the growing practices of local farms and learn how seasonal vegetables, fruits, and grains require different tactics and methods versus meat farms. Farmers markets are optimal locations to grasp what goes into the soil and to learn about how often certain foods can be harvested. They give wonderful perspectives on how being vegan can contribute to the wealth of our earth.
- And lastly, pay a visit to a slaughterhouse. This is difficult to fathom, however one trip to witness the cruelty to pigs, chickens, turkeys, and cows is enough to turn most meat-consumers into vegans. It’s a disturbing experience, and leaves an indelible imprint on how animals are treated. There’s yelling, there’s blood, there’s beating, and it’s difficult to stomach. The agricultural industry comes under scrutiny when animal abuse is present and not enough whistle-blowers are there to manage the farms.
Your Dietary Decisions Affect the Earth and All Life that Inhabits It
At Bhu Foods, we are committed to vegans and their lifestyle. We take a stand against human rights violations of animal agriculture and abide by all healthy traits of making certain our environment and earth are well protected through food choices. All plant foods contain essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Eating high-protein plant foods daily, such as legumes (peas, peanuts, beans, lentils) and soy (tempeh, tofu, soy milk) can be incorporated into your diet at your own pace.
Making abrupt changes aren’t necessary, as that alone will disrupt your bodily systems and possibly cause upset. Take your time. Study veganism and its impact on the environment further. Gather data and put heart into it. Veganism is a movement that’s growing, and millions of animals are spared in the process, as well as a resurgence of our earthly pleasures.