- The University of Oxford, suggests that by going vegan we could reduce our carbon footprint from food consumption by up to 73 percent.
- A well-balanced vegan diet has also proven to have a variety of health benefits.
- Fritz Horstmann has created a program that helps ease the switch to veganism for conscious consumers.
Eating a vegan diet may just be the “single biggest way” to reduce your environmental footprint and negative impact on the planet. This is based on the findings of researchers at the University of Oxford, who found that by cutting meat and dairy products out of one’s diet, we could reduce a person’s carbon footprint from food consumption by up to 73 percent.
The study also stated that if everyone on earth stopped eating animal-derived foods, the global farmland use could be reduced by up to 75 percent— an area that is equivalent to the size of the US, China, Australia, and the EU combined.
This would not only result in a significant drop in the total greenhouse gas emissions, but it would also see a vast amount of land being freed up— which can help combat the issue of mass wildlife extinction.
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Professor Edgar Hertwich, the lead author of the international panel of sustainable resource management, said, “Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.”
Understanding the Fundamentals of Veganism
Veganism goes beyond just the prohibition of consuming meat. In fact, veganism is often looked at as a lifestyle instead of a diet. By definition, veganism is “a way of living in which people exclude, as much as possible, all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty.” Apart from the avoidance of consuming any animal-derived products, vegans stay away from leather, wool, fur, feather, or any other item, including those tested on animals or those that might have caused harm to an animal during the manufacturing process.
At first, glance, embarking on a vegan diet might seem overly complicated or highly restrictive. Vegan Nutritionist Fritz Horstmann says that one of the main concerns that his clients who are considering switching to a vegan diet is being able to find suitable vegan alternatives to their favorite foods. But thanks to the advancements in food technology, we now have a wide variety of vegan alternatives that can easily be mistaken for the real thing.
How to Incorporate Veganism into Your Daily Lives
For those that have an ethical conflict over their lifestyle choices, small steps in the right direction are often easier than going all in. Initiatives such as “Veganuary” help to promote the lifestyle and encourage people to try and explore new ways of saving the planet without having to commit entirely.
Fritz advises that simple swaps such as plant-based milk instead of dairy, agave syrup instead of honey, purchasing synthetic leather or faux fur/snakeskin/wool products are ethical options that do not defer too much from their original counterparts. Veganism is about saving the planet and finding new ways to live symbiotically with our ecosystem.
In fact, since consumers are now becoming more conscious of the effects that their purchases have, vegan options are available in almost every grocery store and restaurant, which makes it easier to allow for social inclusivity at get-togethers and larger events.
Understanding the Environmental Benefits of Veganism
As our total population rapidly heads towards an estimated 9.1 billion people by the year 2050, western tastes for meat and dairy-rich diets have proven to be unsustainable, according to a report from the United Nations Environment Programme’s international panel of sustainable resource management.
The UN states that “Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth and the increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation has also stated that the production of food would most likely have to increase globally by around 70% by 2050 in order to keep up with the feeding demands of the world’s surging population. They stated that the efficiency gains that agriculture has seen would be overwhelmed by the vast population growth that is anticipated.
How to Lead a Healthy Balanced Vegan Lifestyle
Studies have proven that there are various benefits to veganism; however, these can only be achieved through a well-balanced diet. One of the key priorities should be getting enough protein. Since meat generally constitutes the majority of protein intake in omnivores, it is vital that meat alternatives are protein-rich.
By intaking foods that are rich in nutrients as well as high in protein and fiber, you can ensure that you receive enough calcium, iron, and vitamin B12. However, planning is critical and will require some research at the start. There is an abundance of information out there; just ensure that you are receiving it from a qualified professional.
Fritz’s programs make it easier to understand how to make the switch to veganism a healthy one– so that you are able to see the benefits of the lifestyle. He shares a wide range of tips and tricks on his social media pages that are useful if you are looking for vegan meal inspiration and vegan resources.
As a vegan fitness coach, Fritz says that “the goal has been to make veganism: accessible, fun, and sustainable. So we can make a positive impact on this planet, save animals, save the environment while avoiding diseases, and do what is best for our health. Our goal as a company is to help 1000s of vegans and then inspire others to go vegan as well.”
With the exponential growth of our population and the rampant effects of climate change, we need to find ways to live cohesively with the planet. This can only be accomplished through sustainable living and preserving the resources that we have so that the earth has a chance to replenish itself. Veganism helps to achieve this goal, and while it can be challenging to commit completely, making small changes can result in a big difference.