Today I would like to look at, what is vegan food, what is the difference between vegan and vegetarian, why become vegan and the benefits of doing so. I apologise for those of you who know all of this, but we are fortunate to have new members all of the time. Indeed even meat-eaters who have a desire to become vegan are welcome here. Some more detail can be found on my earlier post ‘vegan diet for beginners’. I only hope I can assist you on the journey. Let us start with why?
We live on a beautiful, wonderous planet, but how do we keep it that way for generations to come?
VEGANISM FOR HEALTH, ANIMALS AND THE PLANET
ONLY ONE OF THE PICTURES BELOW WILL ALLOW US TO KEEP THIS BEAUTIFUL PLANET. THE REST ARE WHERE WE ARE NOW AND ARE HEADING!
Many people believe we are at a crossroads at how we are for looking after the planet. Some will say it has gone too far, but I am a little more optimistic than that. On this website I hope to show how a healthy vegan lifestyle can help protect you and your loved ones from a greater chance of chronic illnesses, protect the many farm animals from the abuses they suffer every day of their short lives, until their savage death that comes with their treatment as a commodity. To keep the seas full of life and cleaning the CO2 from our atmosphere. And I believe it is still in our power to protect the planet if we want to and don’t let greed and instant gratification get in the way.
In turning to a healthy plant based lifestyle, we can all do our utmost to protect this wonderful earth for the generations to come.
Indeed what better reason could there be, than to save the planet for future generations. But some might say, isn’t this all a bit much living on plants, fruits, seeds and nuts? Animals are there to be eaten! But just look at what we are doing to the planet! And eating animals has never been that “cut and dried” as I hope you will see in my website. Many of you reading this would never consider eating a dog, (though admittedly, in some places they do,) never think of eating a cat, a turtle or a dolphin! Yet people readily eat baby sheep, pigs, cows and chickens (and virtually any other animal from our seas.) However, there are many similarities that our pets have to our farm animals.
They all want love and attention, ideally some covered space with the option to go outside. They don’t want to be kept in cramped cages or crates that never see the sunlight. They want to be safe and cared for. Cows want to feed their you rather than having the calf taken away from them on the day of it’s birth. They probably don’t want to be impregnated when we feel it is . They certainly don’t want to suffer, to produce eggs or milk until their bodies are too weak to walk and then be killed. Indeed they don’t want to be killed at all, though admittedly for some it could be a release. Though what does that say about us as a species!
How can we care so much for our dogs and cats yet let other animals suffer as a commodity. Pigs are more intelligent than dogs yet many people see the emotion and love a dog can give, but ignore the suffering of farm animals so we can consume them and their bodies, even though we know the majority of it is unhealthy for us. In the case of a pig often at four to seven months old. So don’t think of it like eating dogs but more like eating puppies. Left to themselves and sufficient food and good health, pigs tend to live to at least 12 years and some as much as 20, though about 15 years is a very rough average. I know about people eating meat and not bothering about how it got to our supermarket. Unfortunately until a few years ago I was one of those people. You can find more details on the about Peter page.
But please, just think for a minute of the differences between a dog, a cow and pig for example. Now what is the difference apart from our own perception?
Should anyone doubt that sheep, pigs, cows, ducks or chickens have emotions and attachment to others, even not of their own species (just like most of us,) just needs to watch a few videos on tiktok, twitter or instagram. Please drop me a line if you are still not convinced.
I have gone into the health benefits at greater depth on other articles but there is now no doubt that a vegan diet is healthy, and why veganism is healthy, though some planning and probably some supplements are needed in most cases. There is clear evidence that it helps to prevent a number of serious diseases and also assists in varying amounts to recovery from these.
So what is the difference between vegans and vegetarians?
Put simply vegetarians do not eat meat or fish but still consume animal products like milk, cheese, eggs and yogurt. They also tend to eat other animal products like gelatine. Some people who nearly fall into this category eat only fish, though technically they are pescetarian. Where vegans eat neither animals or animal products. So nothing from an animal, meat, fish, eggs, cheese, milk or yogurt. Though do not despair there are many items, at least similar to, traditional meat items made from vegetables, pulses and fruit. Some of these “plant based” alternatives attempt -to varying degrees- to copy meat as much as they can, in flavour, texture and taste. However subjective that may be. Just a note here, if you don’t like the first “plant based” imitation beef, (or often referred to as beef-less) burger, do not despair. The list of alternatives are forever growing in quality and quantity. I suggest you just try a few alternative brands before you give up on finding anything similar to your old burger or sausage. There are also very many burgers, for example that do not try to imitate meat, but are still healthy and tasty, not to mention a huge variety of vegan recipes, some of which I will be bringing you on this site. Plant based milk, butter, cream and chocolate can also be delicious!
Vegans also aspire not to wear, or use, animal products, from leather belts, shoes, handbags, wallets and upholstery to woollen jumpers/sweaters. However, for many vegans they have decided it is wasteful to throw these items away, but choose to replace them with vegan products when necessary. Though if this is aspirational for you, I cannot promise it will be easy but please have a look at my other article “how to start going vegan.” There are a few options in that article. Though I see some people have written huge books on the subject! If you decide you would like more information on this, please let me know at the below email address.
So I hope this has been a brief, but informative introduction to veganism and what it entails. There are many more articles on this website as you will see, that take many of the themes deeper and I certainly have more to follow. However, should you want another area around veganism looking into please drop me a note and I will be only too happy to help out. This is a subject that I feel very passionate about and like to think I am getting more knowledgeable with each day, as I practice and research the subject.
Many Thanks Peter Pont