You hear the word vegan, and your mind skips to diet! Yes, it is true that one of the most important aspects of a vegan lifestyle includes not eating meat or any animal by-products. However, veganism in its true sense is much more than just food – think making conscious choices while buying skincare products, finding alternatives to leather shoes and wallets, not wearing fur or wool; the list is fairly expansive.
So, are you Vegucated enough?
In this post, we decode why and how you could be choosing Forks Over Knives not just while following a vegan diet but in every aspect of your lifestyle whether that’s giving up on a limited edition of leather sneakers to find a more sustainably made alternative or staying away from animal-derived products and switching to vegan products in your skincare ritual.
Vegetarian v/s vegan
First and foremost, it is important to understand that all vegetarians are not vegans. A vegetarian does not eat meat or eggs; however, if you’re a vegan you’d also refrain from consuming dairy, honey or using products that directly or indirectly sourced from animals – leather, wool, silk etc.
Why adapt a vegan lifestyle?
A person may turn vegan for tons of reasons – some do not like eating meat, some might find healthy vegan food options and some feel that it’s a more sustainable way of living. If you’re wondering how to be vegan and why, here’s a start.
Vegan Diet. Healthier? Yes.
Is a vegan diet healthy? Research says if you go vegan, you’re less prone to heart diseases, high blood pressure, cancer or diabetes as compared to an average meat-eater. Turning vegan can also bid goodbye to stomach flabs and unwanted quarantine carbs. What do vegans eat? Given the protein-rich options available (tofu, chickpeas, kidney beans, green peas or avocadoes), even the protein deficiency myths have been proven to be unfounded. After all, there’s a reason why the world’s top athletes are increasingly turning vegan. Think Kohli?
Veganism and ethical consumerism
A lot of us like to believe that all living things on earth should have equal rights to life. However, the meat industry in general isn’t really ethical or sustainable. Animals are often kept in slaughterhouses in deplorable conditions, sometimes even genetically modified to yield more meat. A vegan lifestyle can help you save 200 animals per year on an average!
Say yes to sustainability
Meat production is not environment friendly. It is a major cause of global CO2 & Methane emissions and is one of the driving forces behind global warming and climate change. You may think switching to greener modes of transport may reduce your overall carbon footprint but giving up meat for a vegan diet is a rather effective alternative.
How to fit yourself into a vegan lifestyle?
Fad or forever?
Why are you choosing to be a vegan? Is it because it’s the newest cool thing in town or rather because you’re against animal cruelty? Whether you love animals or are rooting for environment sustainability – you need to be mindful of your reasons.
Before you start imbibing vegan practices in your lifestyle, you need to do your research. What foods can you swap for their vegan options? How is your body going to react to cutting off a certain item? Swapping meat for plant-based alternatives, finding ethically produced fashion (Vegan Stan Smiths, remember?), ditching a pure leather wallet for a vegan leather one – all of it needs research.
You can’t turn into a vegan overnight; you’ve to slowly - get your body and mind adjusted to the new choices you’ve been making. If you’re an avid meat eater- don’t stop immediately; rather, try and cut it out for a week first. Switching to clothes, shoes, vegan beauty products on the other hand are easier. More with brands large and small, across the globe urging customers to be more ethically conscious.
There’s no right or wrong way to mould yourself into a vegan way of living, just how there’s no set order in which you should be making your lifestyle choices. Giving up on a conditioned diet may be hard but switching to ethically made vegan beauty products isn’t really difficult. Neither is buying a faux leather jacket or wallet instead of one made from real leather. At the end of the day, every bit of your effort counts while you’re on your journey of how to become vegan.
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