Talking about veganism very often gives a false impression that all there is to it is a particular diet which excludes eating meat and animal by-products. In truth, veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. Vegans are individuals who try to avoid any form of exploitation of cruelty to animals for purpose of obtaining food, clothing or similar. They are the followers of philosophy about creating a world where no animals are harmed for purpose of serving humans.
What does a Vegan Lifestyle consist of?
Vegan lifestyle consists of veganism practitioners being fully aware of the existence of animals in this world, their part in it and their rights. Animals are not here to supply food for humans, offer them entertainment or take part in the creation of consumer goods from cosmetics to clothing.
The vegan lifestyle goes far beyond food. We could hardly call it human to walk our dog and play with him in the garden or cuddle our cat just before sitting at the dinner table to devour a juicy steak without any remorse at all. Loving animals or not wanting to see them suffer and yet enjoying a plateful of fried chicken can by no means be seen as a friendly and harmless behavior towards animals. They too like to live and we deny them their basic rights.
By adopting a vegan lifestyle, we demonstrate our appreciation of their rights just as much as we contribute to their cause.
Advantages of a vegan lifestyle
As consumer society keeps imposing a very heavy burden on our life every year, more people become aware of possible improvements that can be reached through veganism. To number some of them, we cannot but mention health benefits, less harm on our environment, better usage of our resources and a lifestyle that is just kinder to everything and everyone.
Healthwise, a vegan diet offers plenty of fresh fruit and vegies, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, all of which are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Likewise, it can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, hypertension, stroke, obesity, some cancers including prostate and colon cancer
Although it is healthy for anyone, involving children, the elderly, pregnant and lactating women, certain attention must be paid when planning a diet to avoid nutrient deficiencies that can only be gained from animal-based foods such as vitamins B12 and D3.
Protecting the environment- and human life
Eating meat was a way to survive but conditions have changed considerably since those times and the modern levels of food production impose heavy burden on our environment and things have gone south. Feeding the animals raised for food production requires more than a half of the world’s crops. To add to this unfavorable account of things, we must mention deforestation that is the result of needing more agricultural land. A wider adoption of a vegan lifestyle would mean less air pollution and less stress on natural resources. In other words, it may be of crucial importance for mere survival of our species.
Tips To Stick To Your Vegan Lifestyle
A diet based on veggies, fruits, whole grains, mushrooms, seeds, spices, herbs and legumes does not have to be bland. It can be delicious, as long as you have the right approach and the right tools. Below are a few tips to make a smooth and easy transition.
Start slow with some plant based meals you happen to like before. The next step is in finding a way to veganize your favorite non-vegan recipe such as soya protein instead of meat-based Bolognese or a vegan burger.
Allow your body to accommodate to the new diet by going for a plant-based breakfast first. As a next step, introduce meatless Mondays and slowly keep going until your diet is vegan 7/7.
Ensure you are getting enough protein by reading up on vegan protein sources such as lentils, chickpeas, hempseed, green peas, quinoa, spirulina, etc.
Know your food – Oreos and Diet Cola are not vegan food though you may think so)
Stock up on healthy foods to reduce the odds of falling off the wagon.
Keep your meals fun and exciting by getting a spiralizer to diversify and increase the appeal of veggies. You can also carve out edible decorations out of them. Make theme nights such as French or Italian. Experiment with breakfast food for dinner to spice things up. Change the scenery altogether by having an indoor picnic.
Lastly, do not forget that nothing can be done overnight. Going vegan will take time and patience.
To enjoy the journey, add entertainment, fun and creation to the vegan experience. Making food can be as inspiring as drawing a picture or making a new dress. It requires you to be mindful but more importantly, to get your creative juices flowing. There are many books on the subject, a ton of ideas on Pinterest and Instagram and countless TV cooking shows which will spark the ignition. Now go and make a piece of art that will satisfy your (artistic) hunger!