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Becoming vegetarian or vegan, is it good?

Do you eat crabs, fish, chicken, beef, or any form of meat? Vegetarians and vegans do not. Both have cut meat out of their diets for the benefit of the environment and animals.

Are they the same? No.

Vegetarianism and veganism are two completely different lifestyles that have become more popular in the last few years. Here is a more in-depth exploration of the two.

Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism is a lifestyle that avoids the consumption of meat. Vegetarians often cut meat out of their lives due to religious reasons, health reasons, or maybe because they don’t like it. However, a large-spreading reason why many people are becoming vegetarian is to boycott the meat industry. The meat industry is responsible for the mistreatment and slaughter of animals and is known for its negative environmental impacts.

Veganism

Vegans cut meat and dairy products out of their diet, and also eggs. Any product that exploits animals is not part of a vegan’s lifestyle— including non-foods like leather handbags and watching horse or dog races (3).

Veganism is “[a] way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose,” as said by the Vegan Society.

Veganism, Vegetarianism, and its impact on the environment

Is being vegan good for the environment? What about being a vegetarian?

Being vegan and vegetarian has a beneficial impact on the environment. By having these diets or adopting the lifestyle itself, carbon and greenhouse gas emission percentages will lower. Also, because vegans and vegetarians both do not eat meat— their diet uses less water and land!

Eating a veggie diet means 2.5x fewer carbon emissions than a meat one. A chicken breast takes over 400 liters of water to produce.

So, is being vegan good for the environment? What about being a vegetarian? To conclude— yes! Veganism and vegetarianism have positive effects on the environment. It is a progressive lifestyle. And although veganism and vegetarianism have a good impact on the environment, they are not perfect in other aspects. If you want to adopt a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, do more research on how it will impact you and what it means to YOU.

Veganism and vegetarianism is an influential step towards making our planet healthier. No solution is flawless. These lifestyles do more good for the environment than harm!

How do vegans get protein?

This comes up a lot. Typically, meat and dairy are associated with protein, however, vegan lifestyles have endless protein options, such as pea protein, soy protein, almond protein, and so on! Plants are known for proteins and there are millions of different types. For example, many vegan options have 10+ grams of protein per serving! There are even vegan protein pancakes, shakes (a few brands are REBBL and OWYN), and tons of ice cream and yogurt brands. 

Want to be a vegetarian or vegan?

Educating yourself on vegetarianism and veganism can give you a sense of which direction you want to go with your eating plan. I, myself, have tried to go vegetarian and it lasted a few weeks. Even now,  I try to switch out my food with vegetarian options, but it can be very hard to cut meat completely out of one’s life depending on how one lives. Everyone is different. Some people can slowly transition into a vegetarian/vegan and others can take in the lifestyle overnight. You can go at your own pace— even if that means just eating less meat, not none.

Of course, there is no push or pressure for people to be vegetarian or vegan. But if at this time YOU want to try it, I encourage you to. If you are a young person and can’t make major grocery decisions, it is okay. Educating, learning, and understanding are important too.

Vegetarianism and veganism have a positive impact on the environment— as well as a negative. Maybe you are reading this article because you want to adopt a non-meat diet or maybe you just want to educate yourself on veganism and vegetarianism. Regardless, it is important that you did read and learn about the two lifestyles.

Continue exploring the website and learn more about our environment. Our mindset, our decisions, and our lifestyles matter. Read more, sign petitions, and watch videos at https://www.ecolearners.org/

Links to view for more research:

  1. https://www.landhealthinstitute.org/single-post/2020/07/27/environmental-effects-of-the-meat-industry#:~:text=While industrial agriculture as a,more greenhouse gases than transportation.&text=The scientists believe that meat,and preserve land for biodiversity.

  2. https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/definition-veganism

  3. https://academy.plantbasednews.org/blog/what-is-veganism

  4. https://www.americanostrichfarms.com/blogs/news/is-veganism-sustainable-vegan-diet-environmental-effects

  5. https://vegsoc.org/info-hub/why-go-veggie/environment/

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The Diet

What do vegetarians eat if not meat? Vegetarians eat fruits, vegetables, etc, and get their source of protein from other foods such as beans, nuts, and grains. Vegans? Vegans do the same but cut out dairy and eggs. They get their protein from lentils and seeds also.

In addition, there are vegan and vegetarian substitutes for burgers and other originally meat-filled foods. For example, Beyond Burger is a plant-based burger that looks and tastes like meat although it is not! Like Beyond Burger, there are many other sustainable brands and options to replace meat that can be healthy for the environment.

Remember that a vegan and vegetarian diet is customizable to the person.