Our first blog post of 2021! Happy New Year from everybody at ARK Skincare. We are not sad to be leaving 2020 behind!
Each time the new year rolls around, there is often lots of conversation around setting new year resolutions or thinking about goals we might like to achieve. These goals usually include things like drinking more water, focusing on fitness targets or making more time to see friends and family but have you ever heard of Veganuary?
In this three part blog-post series, we focus on what being a vegan means, what benefits there are and suggest ways that you might like to get involved in the annual Veganuary challenge.
What is Veganuary?
Veganuary, founded in 2014, is a non-profit organisation that encourages people worldwide to try veganism for January and beyond. Throughout the year, Veganuary continues to encourage and support businesses alike to move to a plant-based diet as a way of protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering and improving the health of millions of people.
What does the term veganism mean?
'Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and a philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. An individual who follows the diet or lifestyle is known as a vegan.'
What are the benefits of being a vegan?
There are many different benefits of following a plant-based, vegan friendly diet:
For the animals
Roughly 60 million land animals are killed and used as commodities every year just to satisfy human taste preferences. Many people believe that the killing of animals is unjustified and so choose a vegan life-style to help prevent the exploitation of and cruelty towards them.
The Vegan Society encourages the use of words like ‘other animals’ or ‘non-human animals’ in their language to acknowledge that humans are animals too and we share a lot more with other animals than some of us might realise or like to admit.
Just like us, cows, sheep and chickens are living beings who have a desire to live and enjoy their freedom like we do. These animals don’t give consent to being slaughtered and in over 95% of cases, are killed prematurely once they are no longer considered profitable. Vegans do not financially support animal agriculture industries by choosing to buy or grow plant-based alternatives instead.
For your health
Confirmed by the British Dietetic Association, despite many myths, it is possible to follow a well planned, plant-based, vegan friendly diet which supports healthy living. Lots of the nutrients your body needs are naturally found in vegan foods such as fruits, vegetables, pulses, grains, nuts, and seeds.
Some research has also linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
For the environment
Animal agriculture is responsible for a significant amount of global commissions. To put it into perspective, the transport sector accounts for 13% of greenhouse gases, while animal agriculture, is responsible for almost 4 times as much at 51% - a significant amount more than you might first think!
Researchers at the University of Oxford suggest that eating a vegan diet could be the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce environmental impact on the earth. They found that cutting out meat and dairy from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint by up to 73%.
Switching to a vegan diet can also help to reduce water consumption. The Vegan Society explains that it takes at least three times the amount of water to feed a meat eater compared with that used to feed a vegan. For example, it takes 15,000 litres of water to produce 1 kg of beef, compared to180 litres for 1 kg tomatoes and 250 litres for 1 kg potatoes.
One person who goes vegan can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year.
Just like veganism is the sustainable option when it comes to looking after our planet, plant-based living is also a more sustainable way of feeding the human population. A vegan diet only requires ⅓ of the land needed to support a diet of meat and dairy.
With the global food and water insecurity increasing due to many different environmental issues, choosing plant-based options is a great way to adopt a more sustainable way of eating. You can read more about how vegan diets can help people here.
While some people may choose to adopt a fully vegan friendly, plant based diet straight away, others might find it easier to ease themselves in slowly. You can still make a huge contribution by switching out meat and dairy options for vegan ones where you can - even if it is just a few times a week! Keep your eyes peeled for next week's blog post where we share our top tips on how to get started.
ARK Skincare are proud to be an entirely vegan brand who never have and never will test on animals. If you would like to learn more about our vegan skincare products, head over to the ARK Skincare website!
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
British Dietetic Association (BTA)
The Vegan Society