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Veganism: What, How & Why?

Updated: Jan 28


Veganism, the term, was coined by Donald Watson in 1944. The term is gaining popularity as people are coming in tune with the environment, animals and themselves. There are huge groups of people who are continuously spreading awareness about veganism. The word may sound simple, but it has potential to bring the change that the environment is waiting for. Come, let’s know what it actually is.


What is veganism?


Veganism is a philosophy. It is an assurance of good life not only for human beings, but all living creatures and the environment. The core principle of this philosophy is to refrain from activities that exploit, harm and abuse animals and the environment.

Veganism is not only a diet, like vegetarianism. It is a lifestyle. It is a step towards a positive and peaceful living. By following this lifestyle, you are not just changing your life rather you are saving billions of lives, you are saving innumerable families (of animals), you are helping in conserving and preserving the environment, you are helping in ending cruelty, torture, and immoral activities that are killing our surroundings. Furthermore, you are walking the path of becoming a good human being.

A person who follows veganism indulges in certain activities that further ensures animal welfare and helps the environment to flourish. Veganism is an awareness that can change the lives of many.



How to go vegan?


To start the vegan journey, one has to follow some necessary steps.

Step-1: Stop eating meat, eggs, milk and milk products, honey and all animal derived products. Eat fruits, vegetables, pulses, lentils, cereals, and everything plant-based. This is the first and most important step.

Step-2: Stop using clothes, products, accessories and artifacts that use animal hides (skin), fur and feathers. For instance, stop using leather shoes, jackets, purses, belts, wallets and so on, stop use of fur and feathers for fashion, etc.

Step-3: Don’t use products that are tested and experimented on animals. Make informed choices while purchasing soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, and many more products. Check whether the product is cruelty-free or not. Look for the label(s) like “vegan”, “no animal testing”, or “peta certified”.

Step-4: Stop visiting zoos, seaquariums, SeaWorld, and all places where animals are kept captive.

Step-5: Don’t pay for animal abuse, such as, rides (elephant rides, horse, camel riding, etc.), sports (racing, rodeos, etc.), don’t watch tv shows that use animals as mere commodities, such as Fear Factor and so on.

Step-6: Start eco-friendly living by saving natural resources (like, water, wilderness, mineral, fossil fuels, flora, etc.), reducing pollution, planting more plants and trees, energy conservation, following 8 R’s of sustainability, and many more.

Step-7: Voice up against animal abuse and environmental damage.

By following these 7 steps-guide, you can begin your vegan journey.

Is it difficult? Well, to some point yes, but once you start it and are strong willed, trust me you’ll pass all the difficulties. Some steps are easy to act on. I’m not suggesting you do all of this now, take baby steps. For instance, first stop eating meat then eggs then dairy then shop rationally, and just go on. You are making an impact on the world, it’s a big responsibility. If you face some problems, don’t lose hope because every tiny step is marking a difference and changing lives.


Why go vegan?


This question will be on your mind, right? Everyday, through the media and social media, we come across news, say effects of climate change, deforestation, wildfires, zoonotic diseases, pandemic, like COVID-19, floods, drought, storms, earthquakes, and so much more. All these issues are related to the environment and anthropocentric activities.

Human beings are indulged in a number of immoral and hazardous activities that are not only damaging the environment, but also all biotic and abiotic components of it. These damages are not done to the environment per se but also to us. The chief examples are pollution and activities contributing to climate change.

To control this, we need to change our lifestyle and veganism is a probable solution.



Go vegan for animals


Veganism is primarily connected to animals because animal agriculture is the major cause of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water and carbon footprints. Moreover, animal exploitation and abuse are the principle trigger to go vegan.

Animal agriculture for food and animal products are the main culprits of animal suffering and killing. The living conditions inside factory farms are unbearable and horrible. Billions of animals live in confinement without proper food, water, and clean surroundings. These operations are violating animals’ rights.

Veganism is a step to end animal suffering, and a step to give them a good and free life. Therefore, we should go vegan for animals.


Go vegan for the environment


Animal agriculture contributes 14.5% GHG emissions to the environment, which is a major contributor to climate change, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) [1].

Climate change is responsible for floods, storms, drought, global warming and so on. Climate change can prolong the time of transmission of infectious diseases from one place to another.


By transitioning to veganism these damages cannot be undone, but can be reduced to a considerable level.


Go vegan for yourself


By going vegan, you are not only saving the lives of billions of animals, but yours too. You will be helping the environment to regenerate. In doing so you are saving yourself and the upcoming generations.


By not eating animal products you are saving yourself from cancer, cardiovascular diseases and other illnesses [2]. By this transition, contribution to climate change will reduce and its effects too. You’ll be preserving natural resources for the future. Your this step will help nature bloom again. When nature blooms your life blooms as well.

So, in doing your bit for the environment and animals, you are doing the bit for yourself and the future.

Veganism might be new for you, but nature conservation is not. Most people know animal suffering, but still don’t take action to stop it. Since, the coronavirus pandemic came to being we came across other deadly viruses spread. It is high time to stop the consumption of animal meat and secure the lives of billions of humans and animals.

Go vegan now.


When are you going vegan?


Sources:

[1]"Red meat consumption linked to increased risk of total, cardiovascular, and, cancer mortality", Harvard School of Public Health, 12 March 2012.

[2] Food and Agriculture Organizationhttp://www.fao.org/3/a-i6171e.pdf

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