Veganism is a diet in which individuals evade animal and animal by-products in their food. However, veganism also extends to clothing worn, household products used as well as cosmetics and skin care.
Veganism started in 1944 after a vegetarian community in Britain decided to differentiate between vegetarians who consumed animal by-products, such as dairy, from those who abstained completely. People adopt veganism for a variety of reasons including health, environmental considerations or for animal rights.
One of the main reasons many adopt a vegan diet is for the health benefits associated with it. Studies have revealed the consumption of animal fats and proteins increase the potential for developing a range of health challenges ranging from cardiac implications through to cancer. A study by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) shows following a plant-based diet alongside exercise may reduce medical conditions even for those who are later in life. This is supported by an article in Food Technology which reveals the possibility to reduce or eliminate the potential for long standing physical challenges through a plant-based diet.
Furthermore the nursing catalogue, Nursing Degree, lists the many benefits of a vegan diet including improved BMI, healthy skin, improved symptoms related to PMS, greater feelings of energy as well as longer life. Various studies have shown compared to those following a carnivorous diet vegans live anywhere from three to six years longer.
An article featured in Psychology Today by Emily Deans tells how those following a plant based diet are also less likely to smoke, drink and generally care more about the quality and ethics of their food and where it is coming from. On top of the health benefits to the individual it has been revealed through numerous organisations the vegan diet has a positive impact on the environment.
As highlighted in an article in Medical News Today, a vegan diet is good for the environment as the land and natural resources are used in a much more productive way compared to the farming of livestock. This is due to the amount of land which is used in comparison to output as a carnivorous diet necessitates five times the amount of land than this of a vegan diet, as cited by the Vegetarian Society.
In addition to this the Water Education Foundation tells it takes just under two and a half thousand gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, although only twenty-five gallons to produce one pound of wheat. Therefore it may be seen water preservation through a re-allocation of natural resources may benefit the health of the individual, and also of the larger population through veganism.
Although individuals adopt veganism for a variety of reasons it certainly may be a diet which is advantageous for the health and overall wellbeing of the individual as well as the planet.
How may veganism be a productive concept for the individual and the environment?