Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Paleo, Gluten-free, Flexitarian, Fruitarian, Vegan… and so on! We can get so confused with how many dietary choices there are these days, but January (or Veganuary) is focussing on the lifestyle considered the greenest and one of the most extreme, Veganism! It is a diet that eliminates the use or consumption of ANY animal-related products like meat, dairy, eggs, honey, leather, wool, etc…
Veganism: We Weigh Up the Pro's and Con's of the Vegan Lifestyle
Quick lil side note: This one may be wordy, but it's worth it, we promise!
Veganuary is now in full swing and don’t we know about it! If your work colleague isn’t doing it, your aunty is. It's everywhere and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The Vegan Society, the official partner for Veganuary, stated that over a quarter of a million people pledged to go vegan in 2019 compared to 3,000 in 2014! Wowzers.
Disclaimer! We're not dieticians at ROR HQ, but we are interested in finding out more about this topic and the impact that our diet choices have on our planet. Let's discuss!!
Why We Are Talking About It... Veganism and adopting a healthier lifestyle is an especially important topic to discuss as it’s National Obesity Week as of the 13th of January. Some forms of obesity (not all) are caused by an unhealthy lifestyle and a vegan diet typically promotes the opposite, clean living and healthy diet choices. It also promotes a very aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed full of smoothie bowls and bean burritos. YUM. Obesity is a problem worldwide and the topic of weight and health regularly has a negative spin on it, but here at Rock on Ruby, we are always promoting body positivity and self-love regardless of your shape or size. The main aim is to be happy and healthy.
We are all about improving ourselves with confidence, encouragement and the right guidance. So we’ve decided to find out a bit more about Veganism. It’s perfect that National Obesity Week has coincided with the start of a new year, a new decade and Veganuary. Although lifestyle habits can be changed at any time of the year, what better time to start than at the very start of a brand new decade? 2020 is the ultimate clean slate. We’re not trying to convince you to go over to the green side and to go vegan, but looking at the pro’s and con’s to this lifestyle is a good place to start.
We Want to Hear From You!
Many of you that are taking part in Veganuary will be halfway through your journey by now and we would LOVE to hear how you’re getting on, anything you’ve learned along the way and if you think you will carry it on into 2020!? New year, new you vibezzz!
Making your choice
You don’t need to invite livestock into your home like on Channel 4’s Meat the Family to make the decision to ditch the dairy or not… We’ve collected a few sides of the argument to bring an all-rounded understanding of the lifestyle so you can decide if you want to join the V-gang completely, dip your toe in orrrrr not at all!
A lot of processed and unhealthy meat and dairy products are cut out of your diet! Don’t get us wrong, Veganism isn’t always healthy… Burger King and KFC have just released their new vegan options which are deffo not a ‘healthy’ option despite being vegan! Thanks, guys…
But still! The unhealthy vegan food is typically better for you than meat or dairy products due to the lack of saturated fats!
Meat is said to be too acidic for our insides and dairy bad for your skin due to all of the supplemented hormones put into the animals. (sorry, we know, a bit gory!) So if you’re looking to have a detox and increase your overall health, this diet sounds like it's for you.
Better for the Environment The meat industry contributes to 18% of climate change! It's more of a contributor to the planet's carbon footprint than the whole of the automobile industry...
Animal Welfare This point pretty much speaks for itself! You can have a steak or your Sunday bacon butties without the death of a cow or pig. As brutal as it sounds, the truth hurts!
Let’s Get Creative!
If you’re looking to SPICE up your food (see what we did there?), going vegan is a great way to push yourself out of your cooking comfort zone and test how creative you can be! Stray away from ‘meat and two veg’ (we're looking at you, our fellow northerners…) and try to create something completely plant-based. Many vegan staples such as tofu or soy-based mince rarely have a flavour to it if is unseasoned, meaning it soaks up whatever spices, herbs or sauces you wish to mix it with, giving you full flavour control!
We’re Good, Thanks…
Too Extreme of a Lifestyle?
Although said to be better for the environment and the animals, it might not always be the best thing for you.
- You may not have the time to be researching and exploring Vegan alternatives or new meal recipes due to busy work, social or family life! Ain’t nobody got time for that...
- It takes a lot of research into what you can supplement typically non-vegan items for. As a vegan diet isn’t as calorie-dense as a non-vegan diet, you need to eat more to make up for what you might lose in your previous diet! Although it is typically seen to be a healthier diet, it takes a little bit more of an effort to make sure you’re getting the right vitamins and minerals that you need! If you don’t eat enough of the right plant-based foods, you could either lose weight at an unhealthy rate or you may need to introduce supplements!
- If you already have certain dietary requirements that you have to abide by (eg allergies) you may want to give this lifestyle change a miss... If your choice of food is limited already, you don’t want to restrict yourself even further. We’re all for saving the environment, but make yourself the top priority when it comes to health!
- The important thing to consider is where is your food coming from?? Eating chicken from your local farm shop may be more sustainable than an avocado that has been flown half way around the world...
The great news about a vegan diet is that it's now easier than ever to try it! There are LOADS of amazinggg replacements for meat and dairy products now on the market - even M&S ICONIC Percy pigs are now vegan, yasssss!
Vegetarian, Vegan, Flexitarian, none of the above… either way, we’re only here for the food!
Let us know your thoughts, if you’re vegan, doing veganuary or none of the above.
Thanks for reading! Love Emma @ ROR x
(Source: Science Magazine & FAO – ‘Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options’)