What it means to be vegan
With Veganism being so widely popular on a global scale now and even having a whole month dedicated to it (Veganuray) here we have decided to look at the history of veganism and how it has become a huge trend for 2018 and what it means to be vegan…could you do it?
The story of Veganism from the early 2000’s from an observers perspective
With Wellness becoming the fastest growing industry in 2018 and the whole world becoming more aware of the planet, regarding many issues such as plastic in the oceans; sustainability; the future welfare of the planet; and animal welfare, there is no time like now to connect with how to live ethically for the good of all
Vegan food has become more accessible with meat and dairy substitutes widely available in supermarkets, not just niche shops. Here at AdventureYogi, we have been watching the journey of Veganism since the beginning of the 2000’s when I became a vegetarian who didn’t eat dairy products (but ate honey so she couldn’t be classed as a vegan) when in those days it was very leftfield and it was more a hippy diet/fad rather than an ethical and sustainable lifestyle choice. The matters of the environment and animal welfare weren’t in the mainstream media like they are today.
The only type of alternative chocolate bar you could get was a carob chocolate bar which was pretty gross and there weren’t any alternatives to all foods like there is now. Raw chocolate is a favourite of mine!
The plant-based diet trend really became more mainstream when, in 2004, Nutritionist Dr. Gillian McKeith who wrote “You Are What You Eat” was the first person to start bringing healthy plant-based diets into the mainstream. She advocated a pescatarian diet with plant-based everything else and the removal of “toxins” to the body – wheat, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and sugars. Deliciously Ella really catapulted the plant-based diet into the mainstream from her own journey starting in 2012 with her blog, which gathered a huge following and now is a worldwide advocate of the plant-based diet. Her cookbook became mainstream and her Instagram with beautiful pictures of her creative and pretty food.
Since then the environment and animal welfare have become very important to the mainstream too and with the digital age, images on social media and influencers being vegan it has made it all a lot more accessible. With the wellness industry being the fastest growing industry now everyone is coming up with new ideas to be healthy, vegan and more conscious. There are influencer wellness vegan weightlifters and bodybuilders, vegans such as James Aspey are pro-animal rights and the environment. The age of Aquarius is upon us!
What does it mean to be Vegan
Being vegan – can you do it? It is much easier these days to be vegan but it takes a lot of preparation and time to make balanced meals so that you are getting all the right nutrients to your body, otherwise, it can have a detrimental effect to your health.
Most vegans give ethical reasons as their reasons for the food choices made, being against the slaughter of animals being the most obvious but also against the ethics of the dairy industry and a belief the diet is better for the environment.
We think this quote from Natalie Portman summarises the vegan belief beautifully. “Everyone has to find what is right for them, and it is different for everyone. Eating for me is how you proclaim your beliefs three times a day. That is why all religions have rules about eating. Three times a day, I remind myself that I value life and do not want to cause pain to or kill other living beings. That is why I eat the way I do.”
I think that you can also live with some vegan principles, that fit into your life so that you are doing something as your bit for the environment and ethical beliefs but it isn’t causng you stress and guilt trips because you aren’t the 100% Angelic Vegan. Do what you can, be aware, conscious, share those beliefs and modify your lofestyle as much as you can – don’t stress about it!
Tips on how to stay Vegan
If you have decided to become a vegan, then it’s time to get serious, but also nourish yourself the right way too, otherwise you can do your body more harm than good. Here are some ideas for you to help convert more easily.
Create a menu plan that has a balance of proteins, carbs, and vegetables so you are receiving the right balance in each meal
Create the time to make the food. make it in bulk and freeze things to help with the management of this diet
Shop in local, organic shops where possible and consider an ethical approach to your shopping
Learn what alternative foods are out there so that the transition isn’t too great
Discover a world of deliciousness when you start to learn new recipes and ways of making foods taste delicious (you won’t miss meat or dairy at all!)