Once viewed as a trivial diet which was difficult to maintain, veganism has now risen from the depths of despair and developed into a mainstream movement. With the number of vegans in Britain doubling twice in the past four years from 0.25% to 1.16%, and the global vegan food market set to exceed $6 Billion by 2023, it’s a lifestyle that’s taking the world by storm.
Vegans practice complete abstinence from the use of animal products in their diets or as commodities. This means that they avoid consuming anything that has been produced using animals; refraining from eating meat, meat-derived products, eggs and dairy products, and even animal by-products such as gelatine.
Therefore, sustaining a vegan lifestyle can be difficult as a great proportion of foods and commodities are produced using animals in one way or another - be that cow’s milk on the shelf at ASDA, animal tested MAC make-up or fur coats in Harrods.
You may be reading this thinking, what’s the point? Just enjoy your Saturday sirloin steak on the sofa whilst wrapped in your sheep skin blanket and be done with it! But, the vegan lifestyle seeks to serve a higher purpose.
Veganism is about so much more than the food on our plate, it represents respect for all life. There are numerous benefits of being vegan which promote adopting a vegan diet and lifestyle;
For the animals
Many opt to become vegan in a bid to prevent the exploitation of animals, either due to having emotional attachments to them or having moral beliefs that all sentient creatures have a right to life and freedom.
Roughly 60 billion land animals and over a TRILLION marine animals are used and killed for human purposes per year, with most of them suffering poor welfare in captivity. The fact that every vegan saves nearly 200 animals per year, avoiding animal products is one of the most effective ways to take a stand against animal cruelty.
For your health
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegans are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure than meat-eaters. Through a plant-based diet, vegans get all the important nutrients their bodies need such as plant protein, fibre and minerals, whilst avoiding all the harmful additives in meat such as cholesterol and saturated animal fat.
Furthermore, vegan diets can help to reduce body fat. On average, vegans are up to 20lbs lighter than meat-eaters which is due to animal products containing much more fat than plant-based foods. Many delicious vegan foods are naturally low in fat, so quantity and calorie restrictions are unnecessary, which means going vegan is more sustainable than fad and yo-yo diets. As a result, veganism is often dubbed the “eat more, weigh less” diet, every foodie’s dream.
For the environment
Eating meat doesn’t just hurt animals, it damages the environment too. To look after animals, it requires tonnes of crops and water – 13 pounds of grain produces only 1 pound of animal flesh, a weak ratio when given the importance of preserving our produce. In addition, the meat industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change due to the vast amount of waste and pollution it produces.
Vegan Recipe Ideas
Feeling inspired? With an abundance of vegan products out there, making quick, easy and most importantly tasty vegan meals has never been simpler.
Roast sweet potato chunks in paprika and cumin for 25 mins, before frying garlic, onion, tomato puree, carrot and celery all together for about 8-10 minutes.
Add red pepper, chopped tomatoes and 200ml of water and simmer for 20 minutes, before adding the beans to cook for another 10 minutes.
Once roasted, add the sweet potato and season to taste, before serving with guacamole, rice and coriander.
Perfect for an on-the-go snack, these vegan flapjacks will tantalise your taste buds and give you a much-needed energy boost.
Start by mixing together porridge oats, flour and your choice of dried fruit. We recommend using SimplySeedz apple and cinnamon porridge to make your flapjacks extra flavoursome!
Melt together vegan butter, soft sugar and golden syrup over a low heat, before stirring the syrupy mixture into the oats.
Tip the mix into a square tin pressing it down firmly and bake for about half an hour. Once beautifully golden, take the flapjack out, leave to cool for 10 minutes and then slice into squares. Voila!