Review of 2015: the year of the Vegan
Over the years, going vegan has always gotten a bad reputation for a variety of reasons. Not enough protein, not enough this or that, a stuck up fan base that tells you about their reasons why within 5 minutes of meeting…the list goes on. But with more and more damning information about the meat industry coming out, more and more people are considering decreasing their meat intake. And some of those former meat eaters are now seriously considering going vegetarian or even vegan with the help of pledges like a 30 day vegan pledge coined by The Vegan Society. As the society puts it, taking this pledge or one similar can be a good way to see if veganism is something doable for you and your lifestyle as well as is something manageable for your daily life.
But why are more and more people considering a vegan lifestyle as an alternative more recently? With Beyonce launching a 22-day vegan food delivery or Miley Cyrus making the switch to being 100% plant based, it is becoming more of a talking point in social media and in pop culture. Additionally,Guinness is finally, after 256 years in business, taking the fish bladders out of their filtration systems, otherwise known as isinglass, as well as Ikea launching a vegan meatball to be sold in stores and Ben & Jerry’s looking to launch a dairy free vegan friendly ice cream as part of their product line in 2016. Furthermore, famed chef, Jamie Oliver, broke out some plant based and exclusively vegan recipes, turning out to be some of his most popular of the year. Going vegan has clearly become more popular over the course of 2015, with a lot of help of some great media finally for the movement and for the idea of it in general.
While these are great examples to boost morale for becoming a vegan and shedding light on what it means exactly, there has got to be more than just a handful of celebs taking pledges or beloved brands mixing up a few of their products in order to please some consumers. Recently, the meat industry has not exactly been getting the best press. With foul conditions for the meat packing plants, processed meats deemed to cause cancer at a remarkably increased rate, or animal agriculture being a critical part in carbon emissions and climate changes, it is notable why people have concerns about just what exactly is going into our meat without our knowledge. Some are calling for drastic measures like decreasing the amount of animal meat in schools or hospitals and others are calling for taking pledges or at least becoming knowledgeable where your meat is coming from.
Even with all these strangely terrifying reports on the meat industry, its effects on our internal systems, and the long-term effects on our environment, going vegan can go wrong if not done properly or without the proper nutrients. It is still important to ensure you are getting all of your needed nutrients and the Vegan Society has several resources available-from forums to recipes and more- to ensure you are never alone in feeling like you’re missing something. Or even like you’re missing out on having something non vegan anymore. It can be a great way to feel like you’re contributing to the fight against climate change as well as protecting the animals in factory farms plus it probably has some good karma points going your way as well.
Finally, as with any food movement, veganism has had its ups and downs over the years, with 2015 being a great one for the cause. If you’re considering going vegan, make sure it not only fits with your lifestyle and goals but also that you’re prepared for the hard work it’ll take in the first few weeks.