As a vegetarian for over 25 years, 15 months ago in January 2018, I took the last and final leap into the world of veganism. For me, switching to a vegan diet has been a huge turning point. I am unsure why it took me so long to make that switch and I cannot be the only one to have asked themselves why they did not make that switch sooner. Suffice to say, I have never felt better about my health, my body and the planet I live on. And I feel so utterly relieved that I have no physical input in the horror story that is the meat, fish and dairy industry. If we all switched that story would end.
What I will tell you is something which I never thought would happen. Last August, my husband watched Forks over Knives on Netflix. For those of you not in the know, it’s an award-winning film and documentary promoting plant-based, whole-food eating and how veganism can literally transform health, reverse health conditions and – literally – save our planet. When my husband announced at the end of the documentary that he was becoming a vegan I did not believe him. These are words that I never thought he would ever say ! But it’s now March 2019 and a vegan he is. The way I am thinking is that if my husband can suddenly wake up one day and embrace the vegan life style than anybody can ! I am so proud he has taken this route and it’s been such an adventure to try out new recipes and different kinds of food with him. To be fair, it’s been pretty easy to eat in and out. Vegan restaurants, cafes, snacks, candy, pre-packed foods, sandwiches. You name it, you can get a tasty and nutritious vegan version. And it appears veganism really is the future as since we turned plant-based, friends and family became vegan too.
On 31st October, it was World Vegan Day. As a
So I made two very simple and easy to wear leaf necklaces in honor of World Vegan Day and my fellow vegan friends. Both in solid bronze on 16 inch bronze chains, one features a single delicate leaf, detailed to both sides. The other features two leaves with contrasting detail. They are available on my website and a booklet on veganism is included with each piece as well as a handcrafted decoupage gift box, made with eco-friendly natural cardstock.
There are clear environmental and health benefits to becoming a vegan, the most compelling ultimately is an ethical one and is the only truly humane choice. If we all turned to a plant-based diet, the decimation of the rainforests would also cease. Whilst rainforests seem a world away for most of us, we know that trees and plants absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in order to produce oxygen. With rapid rainforest depletion, the level of carbon dioxide reduces, which increases global warming. Rainforest decimation means animals and plants lose their food and shelter leading to extinction. Hills and mountains alone cannot hold back water which causes severe flooding and loss of biodiversity. Biodiversity sustains life as we know it.
To sum up, veganism is straight-forward. By following a plant-based diet it is a way of living which seeks to exclude all forms of exploitation of animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. A person who follows a vegan lifestyle will improve their own health and actively help the environment by producing the equivalent of 50 per cent less carbon dioxide than a meat-eater and uses 1/11th of the oil, 1/13th of the water and 1/18th of the land. Australian-born Elizabeth Blackburn, a Nobel Prize Winner in physiology and medicine, found that those switching to a vegan diet for three months caused more than 500 genes in the human body to change, turning ON genes that prevent disease and turning OFF genes that cause breast cancer, heart disease, prostate cancer and other illnesses.
Opting for a plant-based vegan diet will end animal exploitation and save the lives of billions, stop species extinction and rainforest depletion for agriculture, as well as vastly improving human health. Despite what non-vegans like to convince themselves of, humans are not designed to eat animal or dairy products. Humans do not have sharp carnivorous teeth to grip, slice and tear flesh from bone, nor the highly acidic hydrochloric stomach acid which rapidly breaks down that flesh. Only human breast milk is designed for human babies and fewer than 40% of all humans on earth have the ability to digest lactose beyond babyhood. If they do consume lactose they have an abundance of gastro intolerances and allergies stemming from cross-species lactose consumption.
Veganism has skyrocketed in recent years, with more people than ever across the globe choosing to enjoy a plant-based life. If we take a look around the world at polls on veganism, based on 2018 data, 7% of British people are now following a plant-based diet, which is approximately a population of 3.5 million vegans in the UK. These statistics show a huge increase since the last figures published by The Vegan Society in 2016, which revealed approximately 540,000 vegans, over the age of 15, in Britain. There are a reported 1.62 million vegans in the USA, which is remarkable seeing that the USA is 40 times bigger than the UK. In Sweden, a huge 4% of the population follows a vegan diet. In Australia, another vast country, with a population of 24.6 million, 2% state they are vegans whilst over in Israel, which is a tiny country in comparison with a population of only 8.7 million, they have a staggering 5% vegan population, making it currently the highest vegan population in the world. There are many ways to embrace vegan living. Yet one thing all vegans across the globe have in common is the desire to live as nature intended, in harmony with nature, and to lead a natural plant-based life. Try it. You’ll never look