Veganism - More Than a Diet

Annapurna Saripella

Jun 30 2022

<div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-size:15px;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p><b><u>The word and wisdom</u></b><br><b>Veganism, as defined by the Vegan Society,</b> “is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as<br>far as is possible and practicable — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing,<br>or any other purpose……” One who has adopted this way of life is called a “vegan”.<br>Veganism has been around for thousands of years- the Brokpa tribe in Ladakh are perhaps the world’s<br>oldest vegans living this lifestyle in the Himalayas for 5000 years. The concept of veganism was<br>introduced to Western societies in the early 1900s.<br>The early perception was that it was an elitist, exclusive movement associated with power and status. Over<br>time, the myths and perceptions revolving around veganism have been debunked; today, vegan diet and<br>vegan lifestyle have become more mainstream with a significant, almost 350 percent, increase in vegan<br>population in the last decade.<br><b>Why vegan</b><br>Compassion is the key reason why many people are moving to a vegan lifestyle. The practice of<br>Ahimsa(non-violence) in faiths like Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Rastafarian is said to be the root of<br>vegan philosophy. Veganism believes in respecting all lives and aims at reducing animal suffering, cruelty<br>to animals and needless slaughtering. Hence, they are opposed to killing animals for their flesh, fur or<br>skin.<br><b>Impact of veganism on environment</b><br>Researchers estimate that 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions—the emissions responsible for<br>warming our atmosphere and accelerating global climate change—come from animal agriculture. <br>Processing meat consumes several thousand gallons of water. Altogether, the production of meat and<br>dairy accounts for close to 20 percent of all freshwater use worldwide.<br>Veganism is credited to making a single largest impact on improving and raising the environment<br>standards. It is also accepted and proven by science that veganism reduces carbon footprints, removes<br>toxic gases produced in animal agriculture, conserves water, stabilizes the ocean, protects rainforests and<br>precious habitats.<br><b>Vegan lifestyle</b><br>Veganism as a lifestyle is more encompassing than a vegan diet which is strictly restricted to food choices.<br>Those following a vegan lifestyle will not only follow the vegan diet but will also consciously avoid<br>consuming animal products used in toiletries and household items, will not wear wool, silk or leather,<br>avoid products tested on animals and not participate in entertainment where animals are involved.<br><b>Vegan diet</b><br>A vegan diet excludes all animal products: red meat, poultry, fish and seafood, eggs, dairy and honey.<br>Vegan diet includes plant-based foods: Fruits and vegetables; legumes and lentils; breads, rice and pasta;<br>dairy alternatives like soymilk, coconut milk and almond milk.<br>Vegan diet has its fair share of challenges and criticisms concerning risks of inadequate protein, vitamin<br>and mineral intake. A vegan diet may not be a suitable diet for those with certain health conditions.<br>Therefore, a prudent approach should be adopted.<br><br><b>Vegan health</b><br>Vegan diet has been attributed to many health benefits, lowering the odds of having certain diseases.<br>Some of these advantages are listed below:<br>Lowers risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure<br>Less likely to get diabetes<br>Lowers risk of certain cancers like ovarian, breast and gastro intestinal tract<br>Reduces obesity<br>Improves mental health<br><b>Guide to veganism and vegan diet</b><br>Veganism is a personal choice and there are many ways you can adopt veganism as a lifestyle. Adopting<br>and integrating to a new belief system cannot happen overnight, for most of us. So, it is important to be<br>practical and patient in the process. Some choices are easy to make, while others can be overwhelming.<br>Start being mindful of purchases: by avoiding everyday household or food products, luxury items, clothing<br>and entertainment that involve animal cruelty, animal ingredients or those that have been tested on<br>animals.<br>For a vegan diet, depending on your current food choices, the transition can be either easy or challenging.<br>You can choose to plunge right in and remove all meat, poultry, eggs and dairy from your diet, or take a<br>more gradual approach by phasing out items, with plant-based foods, fruits and non-dairy options, one<br>step at a time.<br>More often than not, the readiness to change is what makes this journey worth its while. As you<br>understand yourself in this journey, the shift becomes more effortless and smooth sailing.<br></p><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><span></div>

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