"What difference would I make?" Is a common thought when you are considering a lifestyle change, You question yourself, whether it's decreasing your carbon footprint by buying less products that contain single use plastics or brushing your teeth without leaving the water running. When it comes to choosing to follow a vegan diet, the difference is significant.
Let's start with the unpleasant truth: most meat comes from animals that have spent their short and unhappy lives in cages and will have had their genetics altered, subjecting them to a great deal of stress. Some of the facts below make for some sad reading as to how animals are mistreated within the meat and dairy industries:
- Cows have to be artificially fertilised every year to obtain dairy products, as they, like people, can only produce milk when they have young to feed.
- A dairy cow's newborn is taken away from her after 9 months of pregnancy to be slaughtered or utilised for something else, guaranteeing that her milk can be pumped and sold to people instead of her baby.
- Piglets are either slaughtered soon after birth for meat or utilised to generate additional piglets whilst Pigs that make it to adulthood are often kept in dirty, tight pens that never see daylight.
- Because male chicks born into the egg industry are unable to lay eggs, and therefore have very little value in industrial farming, they are generally destroyed at the age of just one day.
Taking these things into consideration it's pretty clear to see that the meat and dairy has a catastrophic effect on the welfare of animals, however many people overlook the extent to which switching to a plant based diet going vegan can stop animals having to suffer.
We used a vegan calculator and worked out that within the first month of eating a vegan diet you will save the equivalent of 30 animals lives. That equates to saving one animal each day from a horrific fate just by you becoming vegan.
You'd save 30 animal lives, 915 square feet of forest, 33,481 gallons of water and 281 kilograms of damaging carbon dioxide emissions, by adopting vegan diet for just one month.
Veganism is the single most effective strategy to lessen your environmental impact on the earth, according to research carried out by Oxford University. Consider this: 1.5 acres of land may produce either 170 kilograms of beef or almost 17000 kgs of delicious vegan food. What do you think is more appealing?
"Won't it take a long time for things to genuinely change even if I go vegan?" you might be thinking. Plant Based diets have a longer-term impact. A bigger view is needed. Of course, being vegan will not save the 70 billion land animals and billions of fish slain overnight, but by choosing to follow a vegan diet, you'll be joining a growing movement who are cutting the western world's reliance on meat, eggs and dairy products.
"Veganism has expanded by a startling 360 percent in the previous decade in the UK alone," according to leading website Million Dollar Vegan, "while the amount of vegan items accessible in Australia grew by 90 percent in 2021" accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the global Meat Substitutes market size is estimated to be worth USD 4940.6 million in 2022, while the global non-dairy milk market is worth approximately $30.03 billion in 2022 and growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.2%. Meanwhile, fresh meat, fresh milk, and fresh cheese sales are all down - meat sales in the United States have been dropping for a decade, and the trend is spreading globally."
We can also underestimate the influence that our lifestyle choices have on others. Your family and friends will at first be intrigued when they start to adopt a plant based diet. They'll ask you why you're doing it, how difficult it is, and a variety of other questions. Why not use this as an opportunity to educate them positively about the benefits following a vegan diet can have not just for the animals but for the environment and their overall health.