Veganism: What’s behind it?
The Health Benefits Behind some of the biggest vegan marketing claims is the seemingly endless list of health benefits which come hand in hand. In summary, well-planned plant based diets are rich in protein, iron, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals, while low in saturated fat, high in fibre and packed with antioxidants. Health problems such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer are thought to be mitigated.
Animal Cruelty It is believed that roughly 60 billion land animals and over a trillion marine animals are used and killed for the food industry every year. Many vegans believe that such killing for human gain alone is not justified. Further, widely documented increases in ‘battery-farming’ have resulted in the extremely poor treatment of farmed animals, leading to mass protest movements and the promotion of veganism. Vegans believe that farmed animals are frequently living in challenging conditions, and are often slaughtered using unnecessarily painful methods, an issue at the centre of mass controversy in recent years.
The Environment With ‘Cowspiracy’ and hordes of copycat films and documentaries being released around the globe, the environmental impact of the animal-product industry has never been more prominent. The production of meat and other animal products places a heavy burden on the environment – from crops and water required for animal feed to transportation and other processes. Grain feed is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction. Studies have shown that a vegan diet requires just a third of the land required for a meat/animal-product diet, a statistic gaining importance as the world population booms.
Celebrity Endorsement The animal-rights sector, filled with organisations such as PETA, has long enjoyed highly publicised celebrity endorsement. Celebrities are always coming up with new ways to better their lifestyles, looks and even spirituality – and veganism is a fresh trend at the forefront. From actors and actresses such as Alicia Silverstone and Joaquin Pheonix; singers such as Jared Leto and Miley Cyrus to comedians such as Russell Brand and Ellen Degeneres, more and more celebrities are jumping on the meat-free bandwagon. This all leads to the promotion of veganism to a wide and varied audience.
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