Going vegan is good for the environment, society and your wallet
You probably know that vegans do not consume any animal products. Some go beyond this and live a vegan lifestyle, which directly impacts the clothing a person wears and the personal care products they use. Many proponents of a vegan lifestyle say that it can make you not only healthier, but can also save you money while helping the environment and society.
Good for the planet
In addition to boosting your health, veganism improves the health of the planet. Cows produce carbon gas, a potent pollutant. Specifically, the meat industry produces an enormous amount of methane and nitrous oxide. In fact, the livestock contribute more to global greenhouse gas emissions than transportation.
In addition, farming cattle for meat causes 80 percent of all Amazon deforestation. The razing of lands to grow grain to feed these enormous collections of livestock is causing serious harm to biodiversity. This variety of life in specific habitats is important to the planet’s health. When the same crop is produced over too large an area, it causes a cascade of negative environmental effects.
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA looked at the impact of wide-spread veganism. The study found that going vegan across the globe could reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 29–70 percent.
Kinder to animals
A vegan diet can also be inspired by the desire to protect animal rights. People with vegan lifestyles avoid using animals for clothing, shoes or furnishings. A vegan lifestyle also means that a person will not buy any products where animals were harmed or used for experiments during testing or production. This includes makeup and skin care products.
Cruelty toward animals to produce meat and products has developed into a high-profile issue. As a result, many companies have pledged to stop testing on animals for makeup and skin care.
Who doesn’t like to save money? Vegans save an estimated $746.46 each year on groceries. This makes sense when you consider the cost of meat and dairy products.
Vegans also save by not buying animal furs or leathers. There are many inexpensive options, such as faux fur, polyurethane, cotton and linens. Designers are getting creative in answering modern desires for environmentally friendly products, and using items like recycled seat belts and tires to create everything from purses to shoes.
You can also find inexpensive vegan personal care items. And now that labeling is marketed toward those with a vegan lifestyle, it’s not hard to figure out if a product is vegan-friendly or not. It’s possible to care for your hair, skin and overall health without using any animal products…and save money!
Vegans use 219,000 fewer gallons of water every year. This is a significant difference in a world that struggles to provide water for all its inhabitants.
It’s not only third-world countries plagued with poverty that struggle with water supply. California has been in drought conditions for the last few years. Citizens were required to reduce their water by a specific percentage for their landscaping and were asked to use less water overall.
You need 1,799 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat. Water is used not only to feed the animals but also to water the crops grown specifically to feed the animals. The food and beverages we choose to buy make up about half of our water use. So, if a household cuts their animal-based consumption in half, they are halving the water used in their household.
Reduces World Hunger
Some groups, such as PETA, believe that a united global effort to move toward veganism could make a real difference – or even end – world hunger. A University of Minnesota study concludes that growing food directly for people, rather than animals, could feed an additional 4 billion – covering the expected population growth through 2050.
All these reasons can inspire and motivate someone to begin or continue to choose a vegan lifestyle – above and beyond the health benefits. If you’d like to begin or continue a journey based on knowledge that you can transform your life and the world around you, listen to “Change Your Path: An Interview With Rose Caiola,” founder and owner of Rewire Me.