Vegan or not vegan? There have been a number of celebrities recently claiming to ‘eat vegan’ or ‘be vegan during the week’, and this has sparked debate about the use of the term.
Personally, I go for the principle that everyone can enjoy vegan food, but only those following the lifestyle should describe themselves as vegans.
That said, these days I don’t get as worked up as I used to when people use their own definitions or the ‘wrong’ words. I care passionately that those in the catering industry use the proper definitions when preparing any food which is then sold as vegan, but I have come to realise that people will deliberately or accidentally use the terms vegan, veggie etc inaccurately sometimes – thats human nature and many people are just learning about the vegan lifestyle.
A vegan future? I dream of a vegan future world and I truly believe that one day our future generations will learn in history classes that their ancestors (people we know today) actually ate animals… and they will be shocked.
Veganism is so much more than the food, it is about the use of animals in all forms including clothes, household products, medicine, animal testing, entertainment, sport, the list goes on…. it is quite frankly staggering how many common things around us either contain animal products or required them to be made.
Why focus on the vegan food? Food is central to veganism and beyond a doubt, it is the single biggest factor in veganism that makes the most impact to animals. Eating is something most of us do several times a day and therefore it is a constant reminder and opportunity for us to make a choice… a choice that matters… because every time we choose a vegan meal is a win for the animals and the planet.
Whilst I would love everyone to become vegan right now, I understand this isn’t going to happen and my belief is that it is easier for many non-vegans to choose vegan meals say 2 or 3 times a week, than it would be for a third of non-vegans to convert fully.
Working on this 1/3 principle – imagine the world which IS possible today with
- a third less animals killed
- thats about 2.7 billion animals a year in the UK (Defra 2013 total 8.1 billion)
- a third less carbon footprint from animal farming
- a whole heap more vegan choices offered by restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, etc etc – because customer demand reaches unprecedented levels
That would be HUGE… a monumental shift… a turning point.
But with a relatively much lower impact on individuals, by simply choosing vegan options 2 or 3 times a week.
Why would people eat more vegan food? Not many people are attracted to change because someone simply tells them to, it is a process which we all go through during periods of change in our lives which have both push and pull factors.
There are a lot of pro-vegan arguments which could be ‘push factors’ for some non-vegans, but focus on the ‘pull’ factors:
- its easy
- its affordable
- its tasty
- there is SO much choice, the more you look – the more you will find!
- health benefits, many people claim improved health benefits when they ensure a balanced diet
- it’s great for the animals, the environment and us all
- the list goes on!
So why does every vegan meal matter? Because it is a step in the right direction, a positive action, and all of these actions when done by enough people WILL make the critical shift that is surely coming, to create the vegan world of the future.
We can build on positivity and encouragement, as a strong foundation for sustainable change. Where hearts and minds work together to ensure people are empowered to make great choices, and where, hopefully, those choices are vegan!