Vegan diets are more than just a fad in this day and age. People are seeing a real difference when they switch to a vegan diet — they don’t just lose weight, they feel and perform better too. And not all people are focused on switching entirely over to vegan meat substitutes. In fact, about 40% of consumers right now are trying to include more vegan foods into their daily meals. Though they’re starting gradually, many people are slowly discovering that going vegan doesn’t mean giving up great, flavorful food.
In many ways, going vegan is easier now than it ever was! This is in part because vegan friendly meat products have made a lot of progress over the past few years. These products used to be fairly general and not particularly flavorful. But now, vegan meat substitutes are made to replace specific types of meat. Move aside, tofu — now people have access to plant based beef products that taste like real beef, vegan pork that’s remarkably close to the “real thing”, and plant based chicken that… well, tastes just like chicken. But still, some remain unconvinced. If you aren’t ideologically worried about the meat industry, it may be difficult to switch to a vegan diet. Let’s look into some of the biggest reasons why you should try vegan meat substitutes.
1. Environmental Benefits
If you aren’t worried about the meat industry in general, you may still want to think about how the existence of the industry affects the world at large. The massive of animals utilized by the meat industry do affect the environment, and often negatively. For one thing, these animals take up a lot of space. Thousands of acres are taken up by grazing cows, and even when these animals are kept in relatively small conditions, the sheer volume of animals that play into the meat industry means that they will consume a sizable portion of the environment. For that matter, these animals aren’t just consuming products, but creating negative emissions. It’s estimated that 18% of greenhouse gas emissions are produced by livestock, and that includes 9% that is carbon dioxide, 37% that is methadone, and 65% that is nitrous oxide. Concerns about the environment are part of why the number of vegans in the United States has increased by 600% over the last three years.
2. Health Concerns
Yes, a vegan diet can be a healthier one. Some have concerns about a vegan diet — thinking that it means a lack of protein, and therefore a lack of strength. In fact, plenty of vegan proteins exist, and many supplement their vegan diets with protein shakes and protein mixes. But there is an undeniable health benefit to going vegan. It’s estimated that vegetarian women live 6.1 years longer on average, and vegetarian men live 9.5 years on average. With that being said, a lot of people make a transition to vegan diets because, while vegetarian diets are healthier, vegan meat substitutes also cut out a lot of allergy triggers, like lactose. Many find that their vegan diets are much “cleaner” than their previous diets, and they have an easier time processing vegan meals than they did meals based on animal products. In fact, many may find that their doctors advise them to cut out certain meats — red meat is often connected to heart conditions.
The fact is that the meat industry is not incredibly sustainable. As livestock take up a large amount of land, the rising human population needs more land as well — and additionally, more water that is also taken up by this livestock. Meat is more expensive, due to the costs of raising livestock, than vegetables. Mankind at large would benefit from a reduction in the number of livestock animals. It would also be much easier for many farmers to farm plants versus livestock — certainly, these products could be farmed with less of an investment of time, money, and energy.
Vegan diets aren’t for everyone — but if it works for you, there could be positive benefits for society at large!