World Vegan Day is the 1st of November kicking off a month long commemoration of what it means to be vegan, encouraging people to give it a try by raising awareness of why being vegan is believed to be fundamental to increasing our health and wellbeing, prolonging our own lives (as well as the animals) and saving the life of our planet!
If you are already one of the growing number of vegan and vegetarians World Vegan Month is a great excuse to get out and discover a new eatery in Chester with vegan delicacies on offer or you may simply be inspired to order something meat free to mix things up a little.
As veganism has become more mainstream as a nation we are getting more educated and even keen meat eaters are becoming progressively more curious to explore why it is being championed by top athletes, dietitians, personal trainers, health professionals and environmentalists as well as discovering that on top of it’s overwhelming list of benefits to ourselves and others vegan food is also incredibly delicious!
Vegan choices have never been so accessible and Chester’s food and drink scene has a wealth of options for vegans and vegetarians and all those wishing to sample the delights of a plant based dining experience! Whether your intention is as grandiose as to do your bit to save the world or simultaneously expand and please your palette Chester’s restaurants and eateries have plenty of vegan dining options and even wines ready for you to enjoy.
The UK’s going vegan!
The number of vegans in Great Britain actually quadrupled between 2014 and 2019 and we are now one of the easiest places to sustain a vegan diet as more vegan products are being launched in the UK than in any other nation in the world.
2020 has seen retail and hospitality stepping things up to meet the increase in demand with every top UK supermarket creating their own vegan range and all top UK restaurants adding a vegan or plant based offering to their menus.
They are right to move with the times in this way as this choice is no flash in the pan and is growing exponentially with no sign of ever slowing down now it has such momentum. 1 in 3 Brits have already either stopped or reduced their meat consumption and it is predicted that by 2025 these flexitarians (semi-vegetarians) will account for almost half of the UK’s consumers with vegans and vegetarians making up a quarter of our population and by 2040 only 40% of the entire world’s population will be eating meat!
Give veganism a go this November
There are a number of campaigns by The Vegan Society and other similar organisations throughout November and also January (aptly named Veganuary) designed to get people started with exploring a vegan diet.
They are as much aimed at educating people to understand why making less meat based diet choices can make such a significant impact as they are trying to make complete converts to hardcore veganism so it’s something that we can all give a go.
The most popular is signing up to the vegan pledge where individuals and families take up the challenge to go vegan for 30 days and get a real flavour of the benefits of ‘feeling healthier, lighter and more vibrant’ as well as doing your bit to save lives and reduce your carbon footprint. Motivation, help and advice including recipes and an app with daily videos and tips is provided making the process of testing the water or starting on your vegan journey super easy and fun.
Chester’s eateries make it easy to try or go vegan with many purely plant based places to eat and vegan and vegetarian menu options well catered for on most menus. Gone are the days of one token option, these days vegans and vegetarians choices are leading the way!
Important reasons to try going vegan
Here are just a few of the compelling arguments put forward by authorities like The Vegan Society and PETA which form the basis for many people choose to become vegan or at the very least eat less meat which really does make more impact than you may think.
*Warning you may find some of the facts presented below in regards to the animals quite disturbing…
It saves money!
– Some believe that vegan food can be more expensive based on some dairy and meat substitutes however the reality is that the staples of vegetables and grains are incredibly affordable and those who eat meat spend a whopping £645 extra a year on food, compared to those on a meat-free diet.
– The Vegan Society help people transition to a vegan diet through their campaign ‘Live Vegan for Less’ by getting into good buying habits to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need on a budget with cost effective way to create delicious and nutritious vegan meals and cost comparison research highlighting powerful plant proteins that are the most affordable sources of protein on the market.
Your health and longevity
– Research demonstrates that vegans and vegetarians eating a balanced diet of of wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables, beans, lentils and peas not only have longer life expectancies than meat-eaters, but they grow old with fewer health issues
– Countless studies have shown that vegans tend to weigh less and are less likely to suffer from common chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer due to the fact a balanced vegan diet is linked to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure and body mass index.
– Vegan diets have been linked to lower rates of type 2 diabetes and there is much clinical evidence that they can help with the management of this type of diabetes
– An enormous amount of top athletes swear by vegan diets such as Venus Williams who took up a plant based diet after being diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder, Lewis Hamilton in recognition that meat consumption creates an even bigger carbon footprint than racing Formula 1 and Carl Lewis as the winner of a 10 Olympic gold medals fueled purely on a plant based diet.
Environment and sustainability
– A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as it could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73%
– Animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland – countries are bulldozing the equivalent of seven football fields of land every minute to make more room for animals and the crops to feed them
– Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon rainforest destruction
– If every family in the UK removed the meat from just one meal a week, it would have the same environmental impact as taking 16 million cars off the road and eating a plant based diet is 4 x more beneficial for the environment than recycling
– The fishing industry is responsible for half of all plastic in our oceans
– Raising animals for food produces billions of pounds of manure that ends up in lakes, rivers, and drinking water, along with the drugs and bacteria it contains for example a dairy farm with 2,500 cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people
– Scientists believe more than half of all wildlife could be extinct by 2020 due to land being cleared for animals to graze or grow feed for them making it one of the leading causes of modern species extinctions
Eradicating world hunger
– Humans around the world drink 5.2 billion gallons of water and eat 21 billion pounds of food each day whereas cows around the world drink 45 billion gallons of water and eat 135 billion pounds of food each day – nine times as much water and seven times as much food as all humans therefore if we just fed the humans the food directly there would be more than enough to go around
– We currently produce enough calories to feed 10-11 billion people worldwide however the majority of this food goes to feed livestock instead of hungry people
– The world’s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people, more than the entire current human population of the Earth
– 82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals who are then eaten by Western countries
Kindness compassion and non-violence
– Eating meat, fish and dairy makes us compliant in an industry that inflicts unspeakable acts of cruelty and unnecessary suffering on innocent creatures that are every bit as intelligent and able to feel fear and pain as the animals we share our homes with
– Many prominent vegans highlight the connection between human suffering and animal suffering and their unwillingness to support any forms of oppression, whether that be to humans or non-humans
– Nearly all animals raised for food are taken from their mothers (usually so humans can drink their milk) and spend their abbreviated lives in crates, pens, or warehouses or are crowded onto feedlots
– 40 million day-old male chicks are killed in the UK by either being gassed or being thrown into a macerator – this practice occurs in all egg farming systems, including organic and free-range
– For every 1 kg of fish caught, up to 5 kg of unintended marine animals are also caught and then discarded as by-catch
– Every year around 95,000 male dairy calves are shot soon after birth and discarded as a by-product due to the fact that they are of no use to the dairy industry
– Over 90% of chicken production in the UK is in intensive windowless sheds which house 20,000-50,000 chickens each and 51% of eggs produced come from chickens in battery cages with free-range hens living out their entire lives in an overcrowded indoor farming unit as farmers can legally house 16,000 ‘free-range birds’ in one building
– We kill between 1 and 2.8 trillion fish every year – this is 143-400x the amount of the entire human population and experts predict we could see fishless oceans by 2048
All the societies promoting a vegan lifestyle certainly present very compelling arguments for giving a vegan diet a go at the very least for November and educating ourselves about what we put into our bodies, the impact it has on our health and the world around us.
Get out exploring all the vegan and vegetarian eating options in and around Chester today and tantalise your taste buds with something different!