What does the term vegan mean?
Veganism is a special form of nutrition, which is related to the vegetarianism. Donald Watson invented vegan from the english word "vegetarian". He simply took the first three (veg) and the last two (an) letters and created the word vegan.
Veganism enholds the entire decline of all products with an animal source. Many fields of daily life, especially nutrition, cosmetics, and clothes are influenced by the vegan lifestyle. Vegan living people do not eat animals respectively their meat, no honey, dairy products and they also do not drink milk. Ethically motivated vegans as well do not buy leather, wool or silk and also avoid cosmetics with ingredients with an animal source or if they base on animal testing.
For many vegans it also means empathy for other animate beings. Vegans do not want to exploit animals for nutrition, entertainment or the personal wellness for ethical and moral reasons.
Currently, about 10% of all vegetarians are vegans 1. The number of of vegans is growing faster than the one of vegetarians.
Versatile vegan nutrition
The vegan nutrition is well-balanced, but also very versatile. You can choose from a large amount of different and maybe before unknown foods. Because the ones who deal with the all herbal nutrition mostly get to know 'new' foods and flavors.
If you want to change your form of nutrition, then first take a look at your habits. How often a day do I consume animal products? Where are they in? Which of the things I eat are vegan already?
So living vegan does not mean having to disclaim something or only eating tofu all day. There is a high number of vegan alternatives, that replace animal products in taste very well.
Veganism based on ethical reasons
The ethics of veganism are based on the idea that animals have a right to life and freedom that should be recognized by us humans. Reducing the exploitation of animals and protecting their rights is therefore also part of veganism.
The vegan ethic takes into account the perspective of animals and considers them as individuals with their own value and interests. This means that animals should live free from pain and suffering and should not be sacrificed for our purposes.
Arguments for veganism based on ethical reasons:
- By adopting a vegan lifestyle, you support the right of animals to life and freedom. Animals should not be viewed as commodities to be used for our needs. Instead, they should be respected as individuals with their own interests and needs.
- Like humans, animals have the ability to feel pain and suffering. If you consume animal products, you contribute to the exploitation of animals. However, by avoiding animal products, you can contribute a small part to reducing the suffering of animals.
- The animal industry is often a profit-driven system in which animals are kept in confined spaces to produce meat, milk, or eggs as efficiently as possible. These animals often have no access to fresh air, daylight, or sufficient exercise, which can lead to serious health problems. By avoiding animal products, you support the fight against animal exploitation in the industry.
- Many people believe that it is wrong to torture or kill animals while consuming animal products at the same time. A vegan lifestyle allows you to act morally consistently and align your values and beliefs.
- A vegan lifestyle promotes conscious consumption of food and other products. By purchasing vegan products, you often support companies that work in a more ethical and sustainable way, contributing to positive change in society and the food industry.
- In conventional meat production, large quantities of antibiotics are used to protect animals from diseases and promote their growth. This has led to the development of antibiotic resistance, meaning that many antibiotics are no longer effective in humans and animals.
- In conventional animal husbandry, hormones and other harmful substances are also used to promote animal growth and prevent diseases. The consumption of meat and dairy products that have been treated with these substances can have negative effects on your health. A vegan lifestyle protects you from the intake of these harmful substances.
- Not only in agriculture and entertainment industries, but also in the wildlife industry, animals are exploited and mistreated. Wild animals are often captured and kept in captivity to sell their fur, feathers, or other body parts. A vegan lifestyle supports the protection of wildlife and avoids the exploitation of animals in the wildlife industry.
- Choosing veganism shows empathy and compassion towards other living beings. You acknowledge that animals, like ourselves, are sentient beings that can experience pain and joy, making you a more empathetic and compassionate person.
Ecological Reasons for Veganism
Here's a list showing the impact that the meat industry has on the environment:
- The meat industry is one of the world's largest polluters. Producing meat requires a significant amount of resources, such as water, energy, and land. Producing just one pound of beef requires about 1,800 liters of water and produces 14.5 kg of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Adopting a vegan lifestyle can help reduce environmental damage and protect the earth for future generations.
- Meat production is associated with high carbon emissions, as animals require feed that often comes from monocultures that need intensive fertilization. Transporting the animals to slaughterhouses and processing the meat also contributes to carbon emissions. Adopting a vegan diet can reduce your carbon footprint, as plant-based foods are generally less energy and resource-intensive.
- In addition, animal husbandry leads to air and water pollution. Livestock farms produce large amounts of waste that is often disposed of in nearby water bodies, leading to water pollution. The use of pesticides and fertilizers in feed production can also contribute to water and air pollution.
- Meat production requires large areas for animal husbandry and feed cultivation. These areas could be used for cultivating plant-based foods or protecting ecosystems instead. Adopting a vegan diet helps to reduce land use and minimize the impact of land use on the environment.
- The meat industry also has an impact on wildlife and their habitats. Intensive agriculture and hunting for meat have contributed to many animal species being threatened with extinction. Adopting veganism can help reduce pressure on wildlife and their habitats.
- The conversion of forests and other ecosystems into pastureland and feed cultivation contributes to the destruction of habitats and the loss of biodiversity. Adopting a vegan diet can reduce pressure on these ecosystems and promote the preservation of biodiversity.
- The fishing industry contributes to overfishing and the loss of biodiversity in the oceans. Pollution in the oceans threatens the health of marine life and impairs the oceans' ability to absorb carbon and mitigate climate change.
However, a vegan diet is generally much more environmentally friendly. Plant-based foods require less water and land and cause significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions than animal products. Many vegan foods can also be produced by local farmers who work sustainably. By choosing veganism, you can often support sustainable agriculture.
Being vegan for health reasons
There are many health reasons that speak in favor of a vegan diet. We briefly list them in this list:
- Vegan diets are usually high in fiber. Fiber helps keep the gut healthy by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and improving digestion.
- Plant-based foods are often rich in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A plant-based diet can provide the body with important nutrients and promote better nutrient absorption.
- The risk of certain diseases can be reduced with a vegan diet. Many studies show that a plant-based diet is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and high blood pressure. Since animal products are often rich in saturated fatty acids, giving them up can lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Inflammation can lead to a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer's, and cancer. Studies show that a vegan diet can reduce inflammation in the body. 2
- A vegan diet can help with weight loss. It can also lead to a healthy body weight that can be maintained. Studies show that vegans, on average, have a lower body weight than meat-eaters. The risk of obesity and other associated diseases can also be reduced.
- Allergic reactions can also be reduced. Many animal products contain proteins that can trigger allergic reactions. A plant-based diet can reduce the consumption of these proteins and lower the risk of allergic reactions.
- Positive effects on skin health are also not ruled out. A balanced vegan diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can provide the body with important nutrients needed for healthy skin.
- Heavy metal burdens in the body can be reduced, as heavy metals like mercury and lead are present in many animal products, especially in fish and seafood.
- Sport performance can also be improved. Plant-based foods can provide the body with important nutrients necessary for optimal athletic performance. Many successful athletes have already chosen a vegan diet to enhance their performance.
What else speaks for veganism
A vegan diet can improve global food security, as plant-based foods can be produced more efficiently than animal products. With the continuous population growth, food security is becoming an increasing challenge, which could be addressed by switching to a vegan diet.
The animal industry and meat production are closely linked to the exploitation of workers, particularly in the meat industry. Often, these individuals work under very poor working conditions and for low wages.