"Vegan Eating is set to be a 'Mega Trend"
Let's talk Plant-Based!
The time has come. Plant-based diets are all the rage at the moment. If you are on social media, you'll see the words plant-based/vegan/vegetarian popping up left right & centre. To be honest, even just by walking around town these days you will most likely see the shift in cafe & restaurant menus. McDonald's have released their first vegan burger in London, & even more exciting is the fact that Ben & Jerry's have released their first dairy-free ice cream. I definitely think Ice cream beats burgers anytime unless of course sweet potato fries are involved!
Vegan restaurants are on the rise all around the world, along with our mission to start looking after our planet (it's about bloody time if you ask me). London has just got its first plastic-free grocery shop, along with its first all-vegan grocery shop which is super exciting.
2018 is the year! It's the year that Vegan Eating is set to be a 'Mega Trend' & plant-based food sales are forecast to continue rising. Which means the supermarkets & food chain restaurants have no option but to follow suit. So keep your eyes peeled for all the up & coming tasty, animal by-product FREE goodies that are going to be filling the shops up before we know it.
Being a Sheep... Ironic I know
To some people, it may currently only be a trend, & they are probably only doing it because someone they idolize is. But do you know what? That's ok. We all have to start somewhere, right? & just like ALL animals, we learn through watching others. I definitely think it's one of the best trends to date, if not THE best. Think about it, there are so many benefits to introducing plant-based eating into your diet (some of which I'll list below).
I'm not saying you have to go completely animal free in one go, or that you have to do anything at all for that matter. In fact, I went about it in the most unconventional way ever & I'm still working on getting to where I want to be. It's a daily process, & there's always room for improvement where looking after the planet is concerned. I will, however, tell you all what I believe the benefits of a plant-based diet to be, & share my knowledge the best I can.
The Benefits of Eating Plant-Based
Besides the obvious of keeping the animals happy, there are many benefits of living on a plant-based diet:
We all know that vegetables are good for us right? Well, just to break it down for you, plants contain our main three macronutrients - carbohydrates, unsaturated fats & protein (YES protein). They also have the added benefit of containing micronutrients including fibre, minerals such as potassium, & vitamins such as folate, B, C & E.
Before any of you start panicking about not getting the same level of protein from veggies as animals think about where the animals get their protein from? Yep, you guessed it, plant-based sources!
Producing meat & animal products requires an unsustainable amount of plant protein. We are currently producing 70 billion farmed animals for 7 billion people. That is a hell of a lot of animals for less of a hell of a lot of people.
"According to the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification, it takes up to 10 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of meat, and in the United States alone, 56 million acres of land is used to grow feed for animals, while only 4 million acres are producing plants for humans to eat." - - PETA
Those are some very high statistics, but it doesn't have to be this way. There are over 20,000+ edible plant species. That's a hell of a lot for us to choose from. So don't worry about running out of things to eat. There's always something for everybody. With plant-based eating becoming so widely spread, there are more & more yummy food options now than there was even this time last year. Think amazing vegan cheeses, chocolates & ice creams. You can pretty much get anything you're craving, just animal bi-product & guilt free. We don't have to miss out anymore, so there are no excuses.
Due to the animals living in such poor conditions & in such close proximity to each other, it makes it very easy for them to pass around diseases. Because of this, the meat industry uses antibiotics to not only reduce the risk of disease but also to promote unnatural growth in the animals.
Through consuming antibiotics through the meat industry we are making ourselves resilient to the use of human medication. We are then having to produce stronger & stronger chemicals to put into our bodies to get rid of health issues we are causing through most likely the consumption of the animal products in the first place.
It's definitely a vicious circle, & one that could be very easily avoided with the reduction of meat consumption/dairy farming.
Heart Disease is the number one cardiac killer in the world & there is no surprise to find out that the cause of it is large consumption rates of both saturated fat (high levels are found in meat & dairy ) & sugar.
Fat is one of the main macronutrients we need to live, but through over-consumption of saturated fats, we are causing ourselves pain. Yes, there are a few natural plant sources such as coconut oil that are high in saturated fats, but it is mainly down to the consumption of dairy foods such as butter & cheese, & large amounts of meat that we are over-consuming these types of fat.
Maybe many plant-based eaters are more aware of the reproductions of over-consumption, or maybe they are just more health conscious, I don't know. But it is a lot rarer to find a plant-based eater with heart disease than it is a meat eater. I don't know about you, but that aspect alone definitely makes me start to think about things.
Overfishing is a massive problem. We are taking fish out of the ocean at a rate faster than they are reproducing. This is leaving an imbalance in the underwater world. Unfortunately, the major fish we consume such as tuna are in the medium-sized fish category, which means there is now an abundance of little fish. This is causing an increased growth in algae which is putting the coral at risk.
Want to do your part to help #savethefishies? Buy friends & families Christmas presents from responsible clothing companies such as Sand Cloud (use code AnnaShaw25% for discount) 10% of your purchase goes to helping Marine charities. My Mantra Active uses recycled plastic bottles to create their amazing ocean inspired active wear (get 10% OFF with code MyMantra). Give back this Christmas & Shop Responsibly.
If you haven't already, make sure you check out the new documentary Chasing Coral on Netflix. Also, keep your eyes peeled for my next blog post where I'll be talking about my experience Scuba Diving in the Great Barrier Reef.
Thanks to documentaries such as Conspiracy, & Before the Floods by Leonardo DiCaprio, we are learning more & more about these controversial issues that have previously been brushed under the carpet. The age of the internet & technology has allowed us to teach & be taught. It has allowed us to spread knowledge far & wide throughout the world. It doesn't matter where you are, information spreads because of the new digital age.
There's so much to learn & there are so many different ways you can do your part. If cutting animal products out of your diet just isn't for you at this point in time of your life, then there are definitely other ways you can do your bit. The fashion industry has a massive effect of on planet & also the human race, find out how you can help:
If you're into your meditation/yoga/fitness you have to check out Cork Yogis these awesome yoga mats not only get better the more you sweat, are eco-friendly & made out of recycled material, but money from each purchase goes toward helping Women in India GET OUT of the Sex Slave Industry.
Last but not least
Always remember to think like the Swedish Ex-Pig Farmer who believes Veganism is the Future of Farming - "It is kinder, healthier, more efficient, less wasteful, and more climate-friendly"
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