A vegan diet is about compassion. You should try it because it is better for your body, for animals and for the planet. Vegans are people who think and feel deeply about the consequences of what they eat. They avoid any exploitation of other living things and avoid all animal products including fish and dairy and honey. The concept of being vegan more or less evolved in 1944 when the Vegan Society began. Its aim was to free animals from exploitation by man. Today, a vegan diet is more than this and you should try it to become healthier, more energetic and have a lighter impact on the Earth.
Eating a plant-based diet offers easily digested proteins, iron, calcium and essential vitamins and fatty acids and should be balanced to incorporate all of these things. A vegan diet is low in saturated fats, high in fibre and brimming with antioxidants. Being a vegan means there is less risk of getting diabetes, cancer, heart disease, obesity and other diseases of the organs. Vegans eat things like plenty of fruits and vegetables, preferably raw; nuts and seeds; whole grains, beans and pulses, tofu and other sources of protein. There are plenty of special plant-based drinks these days including milks like soy, rice, almond and others. Get your Vitamin B12 from yeast or a supplement. Avoid processed foods like breads and cakes and other additives in fake meat products.
Meat places a heavy load on the environment as it uses so much energy to produce – animals need crops to eat, water to drink and transport. They need to be treated for disease and managed to avoid injuries. Animals are fed grain which is a huge industry and takes up land and is sprayed with chemicals to stop pests eating it. Animals fart a lot contributing to global warming! Killing and disposing of animals uses energy and releases gases into the environment too. Cash crops are being grown to feed animals instead of starving poor people world wide. Meat contains a compound called carnitine which causes atherosclerosis, the hardening or clogging of the arteries. Processed meats cause cancer and charring meat on a braai or barbeque increases toxins (nitrosamines) that can cause stomach cancer. Meats are treated with ammonias and meat glues (called transglutaminase, these are enzymes created by fermenting bacteria) to make them last longer and look better on the shelves. Diets too heavy in animal products can cause diabetes 2.
Now that you know what a vegan diet is and why you should try it, go ahead and do it. Switch from meats to more vegetables and fruits, more nuts and seeds, beans and pulses. Drink nut milks and eat nut pastes. You will feel a whole new you! And as more people turn vegan, so it becomes a worldwide trend that makes space for compassion for animals and the environment. And human health benefits too.