Why is veganism today?
The reasons for adopting a plant-based diet are multiple. It has many benefits in different fields or causes, protecting animals, the environment, food sustainability, health, and nutrition. We have already discussed these benefits in previous posts, but this time I want to tell you about other benefits that you need to know or have taken into account.
In veganism, you can know your real impact by eating a plant-based diet.
Did you know that there is a calculator where you can determine how many animals live, gallons of water, pounds of grain, acres of forest, and pounds of CO2 you have saved or saved in the time you have been eating a 100% plant-based diet? In veganism, being an ethical stance, having a more concrete idea of the actual impact we cause in the lives of millions of animals motivates us to continue with more compassionate food and consumption decisions. And, if we add to this the benefits to the environment, it reaffirms that we have made an incredible choice.
Veganism contributes to the conservation of species and biodiversity.
According to a report by IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), a platform set up by the United Nations, the rate of extinction of animal and plant species is steadily accelerating.
For current production schemes, large tracts of land are needed to grow crops to sustain livestock. Because of this, habitats around the world are being eradicated and exploited by the food industry. North American grasslands, Amazon rainforests, the Congo Basin, and forests in the eastern Himalayas are some of the ecosystems most vulnerable to deforestation and overuse of freshwater. This environmental destruction affects species such as the jaguar, sloth bear, African elephant, and Bengal tiger (WWF, 2017). In addition, predator species have been severely affected thanks to “predator control” measures, a program to prevent large carnivores from threatening livestock by applying criteria such as hunting and poisoning.
As a result of these effects, the WWF developed the “six Livewell principles” to ensure that the world’s population can meet its nutritional needs and avoid the disappearance of more species simultaneously. Among these principles are a reduction in animal-based foods and increased consumption of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains.
A plant-based diet that significantly reduces or eliminates animal foods is more sustainable.
For example, beef production requires 20 times more land and emits 20 times more greenhouse gas emissions per unit of edible protein than familiar plant-based protein sources such as beans, peas, and lentils. On the other hand, chicken and pork consume fewer resources than beef but still require three times more land and emit three times more greenhouse gas emissions than beans.
Regarding resource use and environmental impacts, the type of food consumed is as important, if not more important, than how it is produced.
To make it easier for consumers to choose a sustainable diet, the World Resources Institute presented a protein scoring table that ranks foods from the lowest (plant-based foods) to the highest impact (beef), according to the associated greenhouse gas emissions per gram of protein. In addition, it is noted that the lowest-impact foods are also the cheapest to buy.
Veganism drives innovation and the development of new food products.
Have you noticed that there are more and more 100% plant-based food options on the market? From animal-based food substitutes to new ways of cooking plant-based ingredients, it is now possible to find products that do not include or require animal-based ingredients to be appealing, delicious, and nutritious. This benefits not only those who eat a plant-based diet but also the edibles market, food innovation, and creative entrepreneurs with ideas to develop and offer quality, locally produced products.
What other unexpected benefits of veganism do you know? Remember to explore the different sections of Love Veg to learn more about eating a plant-based diet and the delicious recipes you’ll want to make.
Share this information and get started today because by then… it’s too late!