vegan (noun). a person who does not eat or use animal products.
Whenever someone becomes aware of my veganism, these are their typical responses:
“I couldn’t give up bacon!”
“Do you feel weak?”
“Isn’t it expensive?”
“What about chocolate?”
“What about ice-cream?”
“What about bacon?”
“Where do you get your protein from?”
Although these are all very intelligent reactions, there is one in particular that drove me to write this article; “Isn’t it just another diet?”
Referring to my lifestyle as a diet makes me want to kick you in the head and hope that by some miracle, the impact will reconfigure your brain. I eat the way I eat and I live the way I live for reasons that transcend weight and appearance.
I do not want this article to present itself as propaganda. I really don’t. I understand that when ideas are forced upon you, it is a natural response to reject them. On that basis, I am simply going to share with you my experience and why I chose veganism.
Education… that’s kind of as far as it goes. I educated myself and then changed the way I lived accordingly. I learnt things that made me angry at human race. This education cannot be summarised in one paragraph but I will share with you a little of what I discovered.
- 60% of the world’s usable farmland is being stripped and destroyed by live stock. An acre of prime land can produce 40,000 pounds of potatoes, 30,000 pounds of carrots, 50,000 pounds of tomatoes; but only 250 pounds of beef. If we were all to become vegan, we would would literally end world hunger.
- In the US alone, 28,000 animals are slaughtered per minute. You save 198 lives per year by being vegan.
- Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.
- Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.
- 9463 litres of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef. Yet people thing that taking shorter showers is somehow very conservative.
- Livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land.
- A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.
This list is eternal and I haven’t even gotten into the health reasons or animal well-being reasons yet. Like I said before, I am not trying to convert you. I believe that everyone is entitled to their own way of being. I am just stating that I became educated and therefore changed my way of being. I didn’t become vegan to lose weight or change the way I look. I became vegan to advocate for Mother Nature, the animals and ourselves.
Here are a few documentaries to get you thinking: ‘101 Reasons to Go Vegan’, ‘Cowspiracy’ & ‘Earthlings’. WARNING: YOU WILL CRY.
So what’s it like being vegan? Pretty top notch actually. My energy levels are never-ending, my acne is gone, all of my health issues have subsided, I think clearer, my nails grow faster, happiness is more of a constant visitor and the food is damn delicious. For those of you who regard vegan food as monotone and boring, this is what I have eaten today:
- Oats cooked with vanilla soy milk and topped with mixed berries, banana, maple syrup and cinnamon
- Raw vegan caramel slice
- Oven-cooked rustic potato chips with peanut satay sauce
- Chickpea and potato curry with jasmine rice
In addition to the heavenly food, you will not have to sell your first-born child in order to fund this lifestyle. My grocery bills are much cheaper actually. I can’t say that I have saved money but that’s just because of my inability to be a mature adult.
Take what you will from all of this but please, I beg you… never regard veganism as a diet. A diet infers weight-loss and I sure as hell haven’t lost weight. What I have done is stopped being an active participant in the animal & dairy industry, which is something that I am pretty damn happy about. Also did I mention that Brad Pitt was vegan?