Going Vegan : Why it is Good for Our Environment

May 10th, 2011

The Modern Vegan

Even in the 21st century, there are a lot of eye-rolls and questions about the topic of veganism. There are certain stigmas attached to being a vegan. Most vegans will not smear your fur coat with bright red paint as you walk to an event, not all vegans are sage-burning hippies, and most will sit next to you while you enjoy a fine steak and mind their own business. In fact those who sustain a vegan lifestyle are largely savvy and well-educated, and better still, conduct themselves gracefully while remaining passionate about their lifestyle. Certain extremists have given veganism a bad reputation – this article is intended to stomp out some of the misconceptions.  Why? Because veganism is really good for our planet!

Sustaining a Vegan Life:

Of course, there is the obvious practice of not eating meat or other animal bi-products, not wearing leather or silk, and not using products that test on animals in any way.

Going vegan is a conscious choice made by millions, for many reasons. Some are crusaders for the ethical treatment of animals, some believe that this is the healthiest diet for their bodies; others practice in honor of their religious beliefs, and some are seeking to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing excessive consumption of land-mass here on Earth.

Examples of Over-Exhausting our Earth’s Resources Due to Animal Farming:

Animal farming requires immense use of land, resources and energy; exhausting natural resources and contributing to climate change, land degradation, and water pollution. The quantity of green house gases (measured in CO2) dedicated to livestock is nearing 19% according to various global studies. The amount of grain and corn used to bulk up the livestock is ten-fold of that which is created by the livestock itself.

On top of that, millions of gallons of water from our earth’s supply are diminished daily because of toxic nitrate run-off that contaminates water so badly that it becomes impossible to filter for drinking.

Want to be mindful of your impression on our Earth but can’t fathom the idea of giving up a diet enriched by meat? You are certainly not alone!  Switching to a vegan lifestyle is not a viable option for all people. It is not a practice that most of world supports or even understands, and most vegans know how difficult finding a suitable menu when traveling is… a major headache.

How you can help:

You can make an enormous impact just by going vegan when possible. For example, there are many amazing personal care products on the market that are vegan and luxurious. Why not try a couple and see if you can’t make the switch?!  Avoid buying clothing created by animal hide.  Love designer fashions? Designer Stella McCartney is a leading advocate.

It should be a top priority to reduce consumption of animal products when possible.  And while it is understandable that going vegan is not for everybody, each person can reduce their imprint by going “green” every now and again. Every little bit helps.

- Stefanie Payne

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