Like an enthusiastic keen bean who publicly announces their intention to run a marathon, and instantly regrets it; I told everyone I’d gone Vegan on the first day of deciding myself. Way to set yourself up for a fall! Here followed daily inquisitions into my nutritional intake, challenges on my personal ethics and persistent questions like: “But if we didn’t eat beef or cheese, wouldn’t cows be extinct?” In hindsight, I probably should have given myself some time to gather my thoughts on my ethics and beliefs, before opening myself up for public judgement.
But then again, I could never have predicted that people would get so darn defensive about what I (not them, I might add…) chose to consume!
But just to rewind a little so you can have a better picture of my previous lifestyle (that’s what I define Veganism btw, as it’s more than just what you eat), here’s where I was 8 weeks ago…
I have always loved meat, fish, butter and cheese; milk and eggs I could give or take. But growing up just me and my mum on a budget, I have always been aware that these products, specifically meat and fish, can cost much more than a vegetable based meal. As such, I’ve tended to lean toward more of a vegetarian diet and considered these things as a bit of a treat. But by no means have I been strict about what I eat; and that has certainly affected my weight and health over the years. Cheese and wine is a big weakness of mine, and I’ve never really put much thought into how things were made, just that I liked how they tasted!! A running joke amongst my friends was that I was the “world’s worse vegetarian”, due to my veggie claims being constantly interrupted by roast lamb, crispy chilli shredded beef and fish and chips…..
But all this changed when I started to investigate what actually went into the production of animal products, and the implications not just for the animals, but for the health of those that eat them too. Now…I think we all know by now that my “investigations” or “research” are as lazy as they come, and revolve around Google searches, Netflix documentaries and other peoples blogs…but why do the hard work when someone out there already has?!
So without further ado, here are the 5 reasons I decided to become vegan (so you can all stop asking!):
1. Animal Ethics
Like millions of people across the world, I have pets who I love as though they were my children. Knowing that the 2.5 million farm animals, that are slaughtered daily, have the same awareness and level of feeling as my cats makes me adamant that eating meat is just not worth it ethically. But what about animal by-products? Well, by the nature of the business, you can’t get milk, cheese, eggs – and other “vegetarian” animal products – without some impact on the animals welfare. I will at some point be posting more details on animal ethics in general, including the research and facts about animal products, but for now my stance is: if it’s been produced and taken away from an animal for human consumption; it’s not going near my plate/glass/body/home.
Meat consumption as it stands is not sustainable. Fact. Whilst the greedy western world is increasing its demand for animal products -in which any green or human ethic have decreased in order to keep up – other parts of the world are suffering from disastrous famine and water shortages. Land which could be used to produce nutritious crops to feed the whole world, is used not just to keep livestock; but to produce their food and store their waste (The US has about 89,000 pounds per second of livestock poo to sort through, ewww!) The United Nations has reported that currently 30% of the world landmass is used for meat production alone….that doesn’t leave much left to grow veggies, enjoy recreationally or even live on!! Thats not even mentioning the carbon foodprint, toxic gases (like methane from cows bottoms!) and pollution related to the whole meat industry.
You can read more on Meat productions’ impact on our planet on PETAs website
If you do it right (which I admit, I’m probably not quite there yet…) you can get absolutely everything you need to be healthy on a vegetarian or vegan diet. In fact, whilst I have been a bit lazy so far with my diet and not really explored the amazing range of Vegan friendly ingredients on offer, I already know that what I eat now is way more varied and naturally healthier than when I ate meat and cheese!! Though studies vary and the world of nutrition is always promoting new fad diets, Veganism is consistently ranked as one of the most healthier lifestyles you can lead. And avoiding animal products has been suggested to reduce your chances of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The main thing to add, as a lazy lady, is that being vegan means I don’t actually have to try very hard to be healthy (though I have just discovered Jammie dodgers are vegan!!) and my weight is finally, after years of yo yo dieting, starting to balance itself.
Since I have gone Vegan, my weekly shopping is half the price it used to be. Ok, I won’t lie…my first shop was pretty pricey; as I stocked up on seeds, nuts, lentils, vegan alternative etc. But once my kitchen was fully stocked, my weekly fruit and veg shop is actually very reasonable (and as previously stated in Lazy Organic Eating , getting my veg delivered is super easy and lazy!)
Challenge – why do’t you try going a week without buying any animal products and see just how much money you save?!
5. Because I want to
Despite the benefits of veganism for animal welfare, the planet, my health and my wallet…I actually quite like my new lifestyle. I feel happier and healthier than I ever have before; and knowing that I can make a real difference every single day, without even really noticing, makes it the easiest, and laziest way to live a greener life! That doesn’t mean I will judge people who aren’t vegan, or will try to turn them like some kind of crazy evangelist; but if you, even having one or two days a week of avoiding animal products will have a bigger impact than you could imagine – an easy way to go green! And besides, we are all free to do whatever makes us happy and feels true to ourselves, no matter how unconventional it may seem….
Finally, to sum up the above reasons – plus a few extras that I was too lazy to write about – check out this very twee (and only slightly cringy) film about how Veganism is a more sustainable way to live: