VegLord

Resources and Recipes for Living a Veg-Lifestyle

Debunked: The Major Myths About a Vegan Lifestyle 10 Jan 2023, 8:51 am

There are a ton of myths about veganism floating out there, and in some cases they’re holding people back from making the best decision of their lives. Don’t be one of those people!

Let’s talk about a few of the most common objections people raise to a vegan lifestyle and debunk each one.

Myth #1: “I’m an athlete, I need to eat meat!”

Nope, nope, nope. Many athletes are embracing veganism and seeing benefits to their performance and recovery by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. Plus, a vegan diet is fantastic for boosting micronutrient intake.

There are quite a few high-performing athletes that are thriving on a plant-based diet, and scientists have shown that a vegan diet can support athletic performance.

Ryan Stills is one example of a vegan powerlifter who competes at the highest levels in his chosen sport. Does he look weak to you?

Myth #2: “Going vegan is too expensive!”

While it’s true that some specialty vegan products can be pricey, a vegan diet can also be very affordable. Whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes are often cheaper than animal products, and can be a budget-friendly way to eat.

Plus, you’ll be better off spending a few extra dollars to buy healthy whole foods in the long run. Heart attacks aren’t cheap, you know!

Myth #3: “Going vegan will kill my sex drive.”

There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support the idea that a vegan diet leads to a lower sex drive. However, a lack of certain nutrients, such as zinc and vitamin B12, can lead to decreased libido and other health problems if not obtained through a balanced diet. Vegans should be sure to include foods rich in these nutrients in their diet, such as fortified cereal, soy products, and supplements.

It’s also important to note that sex drive can be influenced by many factors such as physical, psychological, and social. Diet may play a role in overall physical health, but it is not the only determinant of sex drive.

Plus, what’s sexier than feeling good about yourself and your body?

Myth #4: “I travel a lot and it’s too difficult to stay vegan on the road!”

Well, that’s some plant-based bologna! In fact, it’s never been easier to stay vegan while traveling.

There are generally tons of plant-based options at airports, vegan-friendly restaurants exist at most popular tourist destinations, and you can always pack your own snacks and meals. The abundance of meat alternatives and fast-food options makes veganism a very easy choice, even if you’re always on the go.

Myth #5: “Vegans can’t get enough protein!”

This again? The protein objection is one of the most common and one of the silliest.

There are many plant-based sources of protein, such as beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, nuts, and seeds. A well-planned vegan diet can easily provide enough protein to meet your daily recommended intake. If you’re not getting enough protein, it means you’re not really trying!

Sources of Vegan Protein

Myth #6: “I’ll never be able to stick with it…”

Many people talk themselves out of even attempting a vegan diet by imagining that they’ll have to give up all of their favorite animal-based foods for the rest of their lives.

Another frequent concern is holidays. The veg-curious will talk themselves out of even trying a vegan diet because of one or two big meals per year. The reality is, you can easily have a delicious vegan Thanksgiving or Christmas. And even if you “break” your diet a couple of times per year, going 99% vegan is still a great decision for your health and for the benefit of the environment.

Still not sure? An excellent way to dip your toe into the vegan lifestyle is by committing for a set amount of time, maybe try Veganuary for a month and see how you feel. After that, cut yourself some slack and take things day-by-day.

The post Debunked: The Major Myths About a Vegan Lifestyle appeared first on VegLord.

How to Encourage Your Loved Ones to Go Vegan Without Pissing Them Off! 27 Dec 2022, 9:10 am

Once you become a vegan, it’s normal to want everyone around you to be vegan as well because you want to end animal suffering once and for all!

Convincing those closest you to become vegan can be one of the toughest obstacles in your vegan journey. There’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about encouraging loved ones to become vegan.

If you do it the wrong way, you’ll end up annoying your loved ones and making them even more closed off to veganism. You don’t want that!

Here are some ways to encourage loved ones to go vegan that will not piss them off and can actually convince them to make an ethical change.

Introduce Veganism by Focusing on Yourself

The best approach when first discussing veganism with loved ones is to talk about yourself. That might sound totally egotistical but it’s not! By talking about your vegan journey, your loved ones will better understand your point of view and will begin to understand what veganism is.

Why did you go vegan? Talk about your vegan journey with your partner or family. If they really love you, they’ll be interested in hearing about why you made such a life-changing decision even if they don’t agree with veganism just yet.

Remember, this is the introductory phase. The goal here is to introduce the concept of veganism, explain what it means and why you became vegan.

Don’t try to convince any loved ones to become vegan at this stage and definitely don’t start telling them how awful they are for not being vegan!

You just want them to open up their mind to the idea of veganism and to understand your side of things.

Educate Loved Ones in a Fun Way (Not Pushy)

Make educating your loved ones fun. Don’t be pushy! Say something like, “Hey, there’s a really cool documentary I want to watch, do you want to watch it with me?” Or, “I’m reading an eye-opening book about factory farming. I know you love to read; do you want to read it too so we can discuss it together?”

For movies, you can recommend Earthlings, Dominion, Lucent, Cowspiracy, Land of Hope and Glory, Cow, The Cove, and Blackfish. Peta has a more comprehensive list of movies for kids and adults that will help teach people empathy and about animal rights issues.

If your special someone or family member enjoys reading or listening to audiobooks, they can read Animal Liberation by Peter Singer, In Defense of Animals by Peter Singer, When Animals Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, and They All Had Eyes: Confessions of a Vivisectionist by Michael Slusher. There is also a great list of animal rights books on Goodreads.

For those who have the attention span of a fruit fly, these vegan YouTube channels have excellent, SHORT, vegan content!: Earthling Ed, Last Chance For Animals, Farm Sanctuary, Sea Shepherd, and The Cranky Vegan.

When you come across an article or video about veganism or about how factory farming is causing climate change, share it with your partner or family so they can see all the different reasons there are for becoming vegan.

Food! Food! Food!

If you can introduce delicious vegan dishes that your significant other or family member loves, then you will be one step close to convincing them to go vegan. The main reason why meat eaters think vegan food sucks is because they’ve only tried vegan burgers, salads, and pizza. Vegan Western food tends to be bland and meat eaters will always compare vegan Western dishes to the non-vegan versions of those dishes.

There are so many countries around the world that have delicious vegan cuisine. Countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, China, Mexico, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, and India have incredible vegan options.

Hop onto Happy Cow to find local restaurants that serve vegan food from other countries. Ask your loved ones if they want to try a new vegan restaurant with you. You can also order delivery and encourage them to try some of your food. Be adventurous and try something new.

If you can’t cook yet, this is a great time to learn!

Making awesome vegan food and have your partner or family taste test your creations. You can also ask your loved ones to take a vegan cooking class with you or help you out in the kitchen as you try your hand at making new vegan dishes.

Visit a Farm Sanctuary

Taking a trip to a farm sanctuary with your loved ones will help teach them empathy for farm animals and see things from their perspective. If there isn’t a farm sanctuary near you, some farm sanctuaries post videos on YouTube and IG.

Challenge Loved Ones to Veganuary!

Veganuary is growing more popular every year with 629,000 people signing up in 2022! More people are showing compassion for animals and are seeing the health and environmental benefits of going vegan. Encouraging loved ones to try out veganism for a month will seem more doable for them than asking them to do it for the rest of their life. This is a great way for them to dip their toes into veganism.

What if your Loved One Is Just Too Stubborn or Combative?

It’s important to realize that you may not be able to convince those closest to you to become vegan. They need to make that decision for themselves. All you can do is educate them as much as you can and answer any questions they might have.

If they simply refuse to become vegan or ignore your attempts to encourage them, don’t be discouraged. By simply being vegan around them, you’re normalizing veganism and planting the seeds for them to maybe one day make that switch later.

If someone in your life is being really negative or too argumentative, it’s best to distance yourself from them. You should not have negative people in your life. People can disagree respectfully, but if they don’t respect you, then they do not truly love you.

You do not need to be around those kinds of people.

It can be especially difficult if your significant other refuses to go vegan despite all your attempts to show them why it’s important to you. You might need to reassess the relationship and see if you can continue being with someone who isn’t vegan. If you can still continue the relationship with them, that’s totally fine.

Only you can make that decision. Listen to your instincts.

You might be tempted to give your loved one an ultimatum by saying you will leave them or cut them off if they don’t go vegan. Forcing someone to go vegan or using guilt or shame is really the worst way to get someone to go vegan.

If you use negative tactics, they will see veganism as a punishment rather than a lifestyle that will make their life and the lives of other animals better. They are also more likely to be a vegan for only a short time instead of making a lifelong commitment.

Remember, you’re not alone in your frustrations and challenges when trying to convince those closest to you to care about animals and stop contributing to their suffering.

Being a vegan in a “meaty” world is tough, but it’s worth it because you’re helping make this world more peaceful, empathetic, and loving. Simply by existing as a vegan, you are making a powerful statement and changing the world.

The post How to Encourage Your Loved Ones to Go Vegan Without Pissing Them Off! appeared first on VegLord.

Veganuary: The Perfect Way to Taste Test Veganism 27 Dec 2022, 7:52 am

The New Year is swiftly approaching and with it comes another Veganuary!

I’m really excited about this time of year because it encourages people to go vegan in a fun way.

Every January, I hear more and more hype around Veganuary on social media, and even in restaurant and supermarket advertisements. It makes me very happy to see this since I think it is important for veganism to become the norm instead of a rarity so that the whole world will eventually become vegan.

So, what is Veganuary?

A portmanteau of “Vegan” and “January” Veganuary is a non-profit organization that started in England but is now worldwide. Veganuary has created a successful campaign to encourage people to go vegan in January. They also encourage businesses to go vegan or, at least, offer more vegan options.

But this organization does not only operate one month out of the year. All year round, Veganuary offers support and encouragement to people and businesses who want to move towards a fully plant-based diet.

Their aim is to normalize veganism and make it as popular as possible. This is mainly to save the animals, but also to save the environment too.

According to Veganuary’s website:

“Our vision is simple; we want a vegan world. A world without animal farms and slaughterhouses. A world where food production does not decimate forests, pollute rivers and oceans, exacerbate climate change and drive wild animal populations to extinction.”

When did Veganuary start?

Veganuary started in 2014 and was founded by Jane Land and Matthew Glover.

Lane was a former English teacher who became an animal rights activist after she witnessed the horrific treatment of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses. She launched the Veganuary campaign in 2014 with her partner, Matthew Glover.

Before becoming a vegan activist, Glover worked in the window and door industry. His family on his mother’s side were butchers and meat traders, so Matthew grew up watching animals being murdered and he also spent lots of time in butcher shops.

Instead of his upbringing desensitizing him to animal suffering, Matthew realized that killing animals was wrong, so he became a vegetarian and then a vegan.

He met Jane on a vegan dating site. Together, they came up with Veganuary after brainstorming ideas on how to encourage more people to become vegan.

Inspired by Movember

Veganuary was inspired by “Movember” which encourages men to grow a mustache in November to raise awareness about men’s health. Matthew and Jane decided that they wanted to do something similar to raise awareness on animal rights. They put together a website in their kitchen and launched Veganuary two weeks after coming up with the idea for it.

It’s amazing that a couple with no prior activism experience decided to dedicate their lives to helping animals. It’s really inspiring since I want to dedicate my life to fighting for animal rights too.

Veganuary has grown very popular

Jane had thought only one hundred people would sign up, but in the first year of Veganuary, more than  3,000 joined the event. Every year the number of participants has increased dramatically.

In 2022, it’s estimated that at least 629,000 people participated in Veganuary!

To truly see how much of an impact Veganuary has, just look at the numbers.

According to Veganuary’s “2022 End-of-Campaign Report:

  • More than 4,351 media stories were published about Veganuary around the world
  • More than 800 new vegan products were launched for Veganuary
  • More than 740 new vegan menus were added to chain restaurants
  • Veganuary’s social media channels reached 376 million people

These numbers are incredible and get better every year. The more media coverage on Veganuary, the more people learn about veganism. The fact that so many vegan products are launched for Veganuary shows that companies are realizing they can still make money without exploiting animals.

Making veganism mainstream

By working with chain restaurants like Burger King and Domino’s, Veganuary is making veganism mainstream which in turn makes vegan products cheaper and more accessible to people.

Accessibility is vital when encouraging people to become vegan. I have heard so many people say that they can’t become vegan because they don’t live in a vegan-friendly city or town or because vegan food is too expensive. Many people don’t realize that vegetables, beans, and rice are cheap and vegan!

If people see vegan alternatives to their favorite food that is the same price or cheaper than the animal product version, they will be more likely to buy it. I have seen this happen with plant milk.

I always thought cow milk tasted gross so I started drinking soy milk as soon as I became a vegetarian at eleven years of age. There were only one or two soy milk brands at the supermarket for many years. But now, I am seeing entire plant milk sections at the supermarket and convenience stores with dozens of different plant milk including almond, coconut, oat, and pistachio.

I am also seeing this happen with plant-based meat. The frozen plant meat section of the market seems to get bigger every month and I’m here for it!

How do you join Veganuary?

Even though I’ve been a vegan for eighteen years, I signed up for Veganuary to see how it works. As an animal rights activist, I think it’s helpful to know what strategies have worked well for others so that I can incorporate that into my own activism.

When I signed up, I received a link to the Veganuary Celebrity Cookbook with 25 vegan recipes, plus The Official Veganuary Starter Kit which is full of information about veganism and why going vegan is important. It even includes sections on nutrition, meal planning, common questions, book recommendations, film recommendations, and so much more!

What really stood out to me was this message in the first email I received when I signed up:

“Veganuary is for everyone. No matter your previous diet, or your intentions once your vegan pledge is over, you won’t be judged. I’m here to support you and make eating vegan fun.”

I think it’s important to encourage people to become vegan from a place of positivity and openness rather than criticism.

Because I have been a vegan for so long, I have seen what approaches work best when trying to convince someone to become vegan. Getting into someone’s face, judging them, and criticizing them don’t work. The nicer, non-judgmental approach seems to work a lot better. Be agave nectar, not apple cider vinegar!

If someone is just starting out on their vegan journey, there are so many things they don’t know that will take time for them to learn. You can’t just change your entire lifestyle and mindset overnight, it takes time, especially when you’re undoing decades of social conditioning where you were taught that animal exploitation is ok and acceptable.

Veganism is winning

It makes me very happy to see veganism become normalized. I became vegan in 2004 when there were not very many vegan options and hardly anyone I talked to knew what being vegan meant.

Now, I’m seeing people mentioning veganism everywhere and new vegan products, shops, and restaurants are popping up every month!

Every year, I hear more and more non-vegan people and companies talk about Veganuary and actually get excited about it. This is great news for all the animals that are saved when people stop eating them.

Veganuary is doing an awesome job of making veganism easier for people to understand and digest.

Veganuary is a great way to taste test veganism

Offering a fun and non-judgmental space to encourage people to try veganism for a month helps convince more people to give veganism a chance and hopefully become vegan for life.

People join Veganuary for different reasons. In a survey taken of Veganuary participants in 2021, 46% of those surveyed said that their number one reason for participating was for the animals, 22% said that they wanted to try veganism for health reasons and 21% said they wanted to try veganism for the environment.

These numbers show that more people are realizing that animals are sentient beings who deserve compassion and freedom.

It’s also good to know that most people who sign up for Veganuary end up reducing the number of animal products they consume. Some people even keep up their vegan lifestyle!

In Veganuary’s “2022 End-of-Campaign Report” it states:

“Our follow-up survey of Veganuary 2021 participants found that six months after completing their one-month vegan challenge, 82% of those who were not vegan when they signed up had maintained a dramatic reduction in their animal product consumption. Thirty percent were still eating a fully vegan diet; 38% were eating at least 75% less meat and other animal products than pre-Veganuary; and 14% were eating at least 50% less. We were also incredibly excited to see that 68% reported health benefits, including more energy, better skin and improved mood after just one month of eating plant-based with us!”

When people give a vegan diet a chance, they can see that not only is going vegan easier than they thought it was, but it’s also good for their health and will help them live longer and reduce the risk of many common diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

Dairy industry flops with Februdairy

Not everyone has gotten on board with Veganuary. Unsurprisingly, the dairy industry hates Veganuary and even tried to launch a failed, pro-dairy campaign called “Februdairy” where people drank a pint of milk stolen from mother cows and tagged others to do the same.

Februdairy backfired since vegans ended up using the hashtag to highlight the cruelty of the dairy industry which includes forcibly inseminating cows, taking baby cows away from their mothers, killing the calves for veal, and slaughtering mother cows once they can no longer produce milk.

Those posts included shocking videos and pictures of what millions of dairy cows and their babies go through every day. With receipts like that, the delusional dairy farmers lying about “happy cows” did not stand a chance.

The Februdairy Twitter hasn’t been active since 2020. Good riddance!

So why were dairy farmers trying to attack Veganuary in the first place? Because more people are realizing that animal milk is cruel and disgusting and instead of switching to selling plant-based milk, dairy farmers are doubling down and trying to promote their cruel, pus milk to people and failing miserably.

Due to the rise of the availability of plant-based milk, which tastes way better than milk from animals and does not come with cruelty, the demand for animal milk has decreased sharply.

Unfortunately, the demand for animal cheese has increased, but I hope that changes as more vegan cheese brands become easily available. I just saw a vegan cheese section at a budget supermarket that did not carry vegan cheese at all before. This is progress!

Veganuary has been a huge success

Veganuary is responsible for getting non-vegan companies to offer vegan options and has gotten huge brands to get on board.

Veganuary started in their 2022 report:

“In the UK alone, more than 770 new vegan products and menu items were launched with reference to Veganuary in January 2022. The highlights included vegan versions of Babybel and Philidelphia cream cheese; three new vegan Krispy Kreme donuts; new vegan offerings at McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, and Nando’s; new vegan pizzas at Domino’s, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut and Pizza Express; vegan fish and chips at Wagamama; and new vegan sandwiches at Costa, Starbucks and Caffè Nero – with Starbucks also dropping their surcharge on plant milks permanently. “

And in the United States, about 250 brands, restaurants, and retailers promoted Veganuary!

There’s even a Veganuary workplace challenge where Veganuary worked with different businesses and companies to encourage their employees to try going vegan in January. They worked with over one hundred companies, including Harrods, Aveda, Volkswagen Group UK, Superdrug, Sky, Adept Care Homes, Papa John’s, PWC, Allianz Germany, EY, M&S, Higgidy, and Quorn. All of these companies encouraged their employees to try going vegan in January and provided more vegan options in the workplace.

Going vegan is smart for so many reasons

More and more people are going realize that the way we have been treating animals is horrific and that the only way to be an ethical human is to become a vegan. Likewise, people are also realizing that going vegan is a major way to combat climate change and save the environment.

Those millions of new vegans and veg-curious will need help with transitioning to a vegan lifestyle and learning all the ins and outs of veganism. I’m very happy that organizations like Veganuary are not only promoting veganism in the media but are providing support to people who are interested in becoming vegan.

Their “Vegan Start Kit” and follow-up emails with tips, encouragement, recipes, and information make it much easier for people to make that compassionate switch. I did not have all that info sent to me when I first became a vegan, I had to search for it by myself.

Had I been sent the “Vegan Starter Kit” and seen vegan cheese and other products in the supermarket when I was a child, I probably would have gone vegan much sooner!

If you’re reading this and aren’t already a vegan, sign up for Veganuary!

You will get all the information and encouragement you need to get started on your vegan journey.

Going vegan is the best decision I have ever made. Do it for the animals, do it for the environment, and do it for yourself! You’ll be so glad you did!

The post Veganuary: The Perfect Way to Taste Test Veganism appeared first on VegLord.

If You’re Struggling with Veganism, Don’t Give Up 22 Dec 2022, 9:26 am

The struggle is real!

I grew up eating meat and five years ago, I made what has become one of the best decisions of my life: to transition to veganism.

It was a difficult process, as I faced vegan struggles along the way such as how to get vegan-friendly food options and how to cope with social pressure from my friends and family.

Nevertheless, I stuck with it and I’ve never looked back. My diet is now much healthier, which has resulted in improved overall mental health and increased energy levels. On top of that, it’s been incredibly rewarding to know that my habits are contributing towards reducing animal cruelty and promoting global sustainability.

As veganism becomes more mainstream, challenges such as finding vegan food options continue to decrease, making vegan living more accessible than ever before. To other vegans out there or those interested in joining this positive lifestyle change—you won’t regret it!

Five years have passed since I adopted veganism into my life, and the experience has been completely transformative in all aspects of life.

 

I found it hard to get enough protein and other nutrients

As a new vegan, I quickly realized that finding ways to get enough protein and other essential nutrients can be challenging. In the beginning, I worried that my dietary choice would lead to nutritional deficiencies.

After some research, however, I found a variety of sources of plant-based proteins like beans and legumes that not only filled me up but also provided key vitamins and minerals lacking in a vegetarian diet.

To make sure I was meeting all of my nutritional needs, I started supplementing with key vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D and B12 as well as essential fatty acids. Furthermore, I worked to integrate other useful sources of nutrition like nuts, seeds and leafy greens into every meal.

Through careful monitoring and creative problem solving, this approach has allowed me to fill any gaps in my diet while still allowing me to enjoy a diet mainly based on plants!

I also missed meats, and had cravings for it

I made the transitions gradually. First off I cut red meats, chicken, fish and the last was dairy products.

This helped my body to adapt to a new lifestyle.

As someone who’s vegan, I know that transitioning away from meat and dairy can be tough. Even though I was making the switch for ethical and health reasons, giving up my favorite foods was a difficult adjustment. My strategy was to take things slow; when I first started making vegan meals, I phased out red meats first, closely followed by poultry and fish.

The hardest thing for me to let go of was dairy products – especially the cheese on pizza!

To help lessen sudden changes to my diet, I tried vegan substitutes like vegan cheese and nut-based milks. After a few months of eating vegan food, it didn’t feel foreign anymore – it felt comforting for me to know that I was adhering to my vegan lifestyle in an ethical way.

Though it’s still challenging sometimes to be vegan, setting myself up for success by gradually removing certain food items from my diet made transitioning much easier.

It’s an everyday decision

But I decided to stick with it because of all the good benefits but also because it’s an everyday decision.

When I decided to become vegan, I knew I was in for a bit of a challenge. Eating vegan means more than simply cutting out meat and dairy; it’s an entire lifestyle shift.

I had to learn about vegan ingredients, vegan cooking methods, and vegan nutrition to get the most benefit from my vegan eating habits. But despite the challenge, I stuck with it because of all the good benefits that veganism brings: no animal cruelty or environmental damage due to industrial agriculture, better health outcomes due to higher consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, improved digestion from including more fiber in my diet.

All that plus more—I felt like veganism was something really worth doing. It hasn’t been easy making sure I stay vegan every day; there are so many tempting foods out there! But this commitment has definitely kept me motivated.

Credit: Shutterstock

The struggle is real, but you can do it!

There are plenty of ways to make veganism work for you.

It can be tough to adopt a vegan lifestyle, especially if you’ve grown up eating meat.

There may be some days that it seems impossible to stick to veganism and it’s perfectly normal for us all to slip and fall every once in a while. That doesn’t mean veganism isn’t right for you, it simply means that veganism is hard and requires a bit of trial and error before adopting it fully into your life.

If slipping isn’t an option consider exploring the other parts of veganism such as fashion, beauty or lifestyle choices without having to cut out meat. There are tons of options in vegan food as well that could help transition slowly by finding vegan recipes of your favorite foods so explore them and find new favorite dishes!

Lastly, talking about veganism with friends or like minded people can provide support, insight, motivation and even accountability needed as a vegan lifestyle journey progresses. At the end of the day just take all these tips into consideration on how veganism can work for you because we know that this journey is not an easy one but the effort will guaranteed be worth it in the long run.

So keep going, even if you stumble from time-to-time!

Every little step counts. Best of luck on your own vegan journey! 🙂

The post If You’re Struggling with Veganism, Don’t Give Up appeared first on VegLord.

Your Decision to Go Vegan Can Help Fight Global Climate Change 11 Dec 2022, 7:47 am

An average American consumes about 7,000 animals in their lifetime! By going vegan, you are saving thousands of innocent lives! Even though going vegan for the animals is incredibly important, there are also other benefits to a vegan diet.

It’s also better for the planet.

Animal agriculture is not just horrific for the animals killed and forced to produce milk and eggs, it’s also devastating for the environment. Animal farming is a major contributor to climate change, air pollution, water pollution, water shortages, land degradation, and loss of biodiversity.

In fact, the United Nations stated in a report that, “The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. ”

Why is animal farming so harmful to the environment?

First, the land used for animal farming takes up 26% of the ice-free land on earth. So much natural space on this planet has been destroyed in order to clear the space for animal farming. It’s even destroying the Amazon rainforest!

In an article by Time magazine, they note:

“At least 427 species of mammals live in the Amazon rain forest, but one now dominates in terms of raw numbers: the cow. Cattle farming accounts for up to 80% of deforested land.”

Destroying the Amazon is resulting in a massive loss of biodiversity, but it is also causing climate change. The Amazon helps absorbs one-fourth of the CO2 absorbed by all the land on Earth. It is referred to as the “lungs of the Earth” for a good reason!

Not only does animal farming take up an extremely high percentage of land on Earth, but the plants used to feed these animals also takes up most of the land used for plant farming.

According to Our World in Data:

“The majority (77%) of the world’s soy is fed to livestock for meat and dairy production.”

Soy has a bad reputation for being harmful for the environment, but pro-animal farmers purposely overlook the fact that most of the world’s soy goes towards feeding animals on farms, not people. If we all became vegan, there would be much less land used for farming and that would save natural habitats and the animals that live there.

But destroying forests to make way for animal farms and the food to feed those animals is not the only reason why animal farming is so destructive for the Earth. Animal farming causes air pollution that is so bad, that it’s directly killing 17,900 humans every year in the U.S. alone!

If you’ve ever driven past an animal factory farm, you’d know you were close to a farm simply by the horrible smell. People who are unfortunate enough to leave near animal farms end up risking their health and sanity by smelling that foul stench everywhere they go.

Factory farm air pollution is caused by poor waste management. Animal waste is stored in open lagoons which emit harmful greenhouse gasses. The gas coming from the animals themselves is bad for the environment because there are so many animals crammed together in one area. The New Zealand government even tried to propose a tax on cow and sheep gas because of how harmful it is to the environment.

In the US, animal waste contributes 50 to 85% of ammonia emissions. These emissions are harmful to your lungs and can cause serious respiratory problems.

The ‘water wars’ are coming

Along with causing harmful air pollution, factory farming is also responsible for water pollution and water shortages. About 1/3 of the world’s freshwater consumption is used for animal agriculture. This huge amount of water consumption is causing water scarcity.

According to a report from the United Nations:

“As a direct consequence of the expected increase in demand for water, Rosegrant, Cai and Cline (2002) projected that by 2025, 64 percent of the world’s population will live in water-stressed basins (against 38 percent today).”

We’re already seeing water scarcity all over the world, including parts of the U.S. The World Health Organization estimates that over 2.1 BILLION people lack safe drinking water. This is a very serious problem that is only going to get worse unless we address it immediately and stop wasting water on animal agriculture.

The waste from animal farms also pollutes nearby rivers and streams which hurts the environment, animals, and humans.

More from Science Direct:

“Cattle, pigs, and chickens are responsible for 74–88% of these pollutants in rivers. One-fourth of the global sub-basins can be considered pollution hotspots and contribute 71–95% to the TDN, TDP, and oocysts in rivers.”

Major gas corporations like Exxon Mobil are notorious for causing water pollution, but Tyson foods, one of the biggest meat producers in the world, actually dumps more toxic pollution into the water than Exxon! When animal agriculture is more harmful to the environment than using gas, you know something is seriously wrong.

Fish populations are in serious peril

Some people mistakenly think that eating fish is more sustainable but fishing is ruining the ocean’s ecosystem and making it more vulnerable to climate change. The Global Fishing Index says half of the fish stocks they assessed are overfished and 1 in 10 have collapsed.

Humans are depleting the oceans of sea life to meet the global demands for fish and other sea animals. “Bottom trawling” is a common fishing technique where the sea floor is scraped with huge, heavy nets, and yanks up everything in its path, including threatened and endangered species and habitats that are thousands of years old. By overfishing, destroying ocean habitats, and causing extinction, we are creating an imbalance in the ocean that will impact climate change.

Measuring your impact

To really see just how important it is to be vegan, check out the Vegan Calculator. Input how many years you’ve been vegan or want to go vegan and you can see instant data on how many animals you have saved as well as Co2, forest, grain, and animals saved.

Climate change and pollution are very serious problems, but there’s an easy way for each of us to help. Simply by becoming vegan, you’ll not only save thousands of animal lives, but you can reduce your carbon footprint and help save the planet.

The post Your Decision to Go Vegan Can Help Fight Global Climate Change appeared first on VegLord.

What to Expect in Transitioning to a Vegan Lifestyle: Health Benefits, Temporary Mental Fatigue 1 Dec 2022, 6:13 am

You may have decided to go vegan for a number of reasons. Maybe it was to protect animals, the environment, or your own health. Whatever your motivation, going vegan is a great decision!

A vegan diet has been shown to have a lot of benefits to improve your health. Plus, it’s delicious! Let’s take a closer look at the positive benefits of a vegan diet—both physical and mental—as well as some tips for smoothing your transition to a vegan lifestyle.

Lower cholesterol levels

First, let’s talk about the physical benefits: Lower cholesterol is one of the most significant health advantages of being vegan. Research has shown that vegans tend to have lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol than those on omnivorous diets. This can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Vegans also tend to have lower blood pressure, which helps prevent hypertension. Additionally, studies have found that vegan diets may help protect against certain types of cancer and other chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes.

Improved heart health

A vegan diet can also help improve heart health. The fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are great for your heart! And since vegans don’t consume animal products like eggs and red meat which can raise cholesterol levels, their risk of cardiovascular disease is usually lower.

Boosting mental health

Going vegan isn’t all about physical benefits though—it can also have a positive effect on your mental health. A plant-based diet has been linked to improved mood and cognitive functioning. One study even suggested that vegans may have an increased ability to focus and make decisions quickly. Studies have also shown that a vegan diet might be beneficial for people with depression and anxiety. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is known to improve your mood as well, since these foods contain essential vitamins and minerals needed for overall good health. Following a healthy vegan diet can lead to improved focus and concentration too!

Physical benefits

If you’re thinking about transitioning to a vegan diet, there are some physical benefits you can expect. For one, your energy levels will likely improve as you switch from a processed and animal-based diet to one rich in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. You may even find that your digestion improves—vegans typically consume more fiber which helps keep the digestive system running smoothly. Furthermore, many people report feeling lighter after switching to a plant-based diet since it generally contains fewer calories than an omnivorous diet.

Making a smooth transition to veganism

Making the transition from an omnivorous diet to a vegan lifestyle is not always easy, but it doesn’t have to be difficult either. Start by slowly adding more plant-based dishes to your meals—think salads and veggie burgers instead of meat.

Over time, you’ll find that you no longer crave animal products as much and your taste buds will start to adjust.

You may even surprise yourself with how creative you can get in the kitchen! As long as you are getting enough protein, vitamins, and minerals through plant-based sources, you won’t have any trouble meeting your nutritional needs while following a vegan diet.

Making the transition to a vegan lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult—all it takes is planning and commitment.

Depending on your current diet, you may experience some symptoms as your body adjusts to the change.

These symptoms can include:

1. Weight loss or gain

It’s important to note that not all vegan foods are created equal. A vegan diet that consists mainly of processed vegan junk food will likely have a different effect on weight than one that is based on whole plant foods. So, if you’re thinking of making the switch to a vegan lifestyle, don’t worry too much about your weight. Instead, focus on eating healthy vegan foods and getting plenty of exercises. Your weight will take care of itself in time.

2. Cravings for animal products

If you find yourself dealing with cravings for animal products or missing the taste of meat or dairy, there are plenty of vegan substitutes available. Many grocery stores now sell vegan cheese, milk, and even meat products that are surprisingly realistic. With a little exploration, you’re sure to find vegan versions of all your favorite foods.

3. Mood swings

Switching to a vegan diet may cause some temporary mood swings as your body adjusts. This is normal and should subside as you become more accustomed to eating vegan foods. To help ease the transition, it’s important to get enough sleep, take time for yourself, and stay hydrated with plenty of water

4. Headaches and fatigue

Headaches and fatigue are common during the transition to a vegan diet. This is because your body is adjusting to the change in diet and may need time to adjust. Eating enough healthy fats, protein, and vitamins can help reduce headaches and fatigue.

These symptoms are normal and should subside as your body adjusts to the new diet. Make sure you eat plenty of healthy plant-based sources like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Additionally, consider supplementing with vitamins B12 (found in nutritional yeast) and D if needed. With a little bit of planning and dedication, transitioning to a vegan lifestyle can be an incredibly rewarding experience!

Overall, going vegan has some amazing health benefits—both physical and mental— which makes it a great choice for anyone looking to improve their overall wellbeing. If you’ve been considering making the switch, now is the time to do it! With some careful planning and creative cooking, you can easily transition to a vegan lifestyle and start reaping all of these amazing benefits.

Most importantly, remember that there is no “right” way to be vegan. Every person’s journey is unique, so don’t compare yourself to others or try to fit into someone else’s definition of veganism. The most important thing is that you do what feels right for you — and know that there is an amazing community of vegans out there who are always ready to support and welcome you.

The post What to Expect in Transitioning to a Vegan Lifestyle: Health Benefits, Temporary Mental Fatigue appeared first on VegLord.

Vegan Holiday Celebrations Can Offer Fun for Everyone 23 Nov 2022, 8:58 am

While being vegan during the holidays isn’t much different from being vegan the rest of the year, there are some extra things to consider.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you still get to enjoy whichever holiday you celebrate during this time of the year. From setting yourself up for success to giving awesome vegan gifts, there’s no reason why you can’t also have a very happy vegan holiday.

Throw your own plant-based party!

If you know you won’t be able to make it through attending a non-vegan holiday party, you can host your own vegan holiday celebration. Not only will you have complete control of the vegan holiday meals you serve, but you also get to choose who you invite to celebrate with you.

While at first, this plan may ruffle some feathers, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you can set boundaries on what you feel comfortable with. And, you’ll probably be surprised by the number of people who still show up, because most people realize that the true value of friendship and family transcends lifestyle and other personal choices.

So, go ahead and start planning!

Go for a non-traditional celebration

If you want to host a celebration of your own, but don’t want to deal with cooking and putting together an official vegan holiday party, you can choose to host a non-traditional celebration of sorts.

Whether you opt for a holiday-themed movie night (where you serve “neutral” treats like popcorn), or a fun bonfire (where you can opt for vegan marshmallows, read no one will ever know), you can still enjoy spending time with those you love without the stress of coordinating a huge bash and without the worry over potential disputes about your decision to go vegan.

What’s more, you may end up starting a whole new family holiday tradition.

Give awesome vegan gifts

Since Christmas and many other holidays are known as the season for giving, you can find awesome vegan gifts to give to your loved ones.

Not only will they know you still care, but you’ll also be sharing a little bit about all the great things you enjoy as a vegan.

Some gift ideas include vegan bath bombs, eco-friendly supplies, such as straws and utensils, and vegan essential oils. If you’re looking for larger gift ideas, you can venture into giving gifts, such as instant pots and high-powered blenders. You can even offer to show your loved ones some of the awesome recipes they can whip up with their new appliances.

Happy celebrating to you and yours!

The post Vegan Holiday Celebrations Can Offer Fun for Everyone appeared first on VegLord.

How to Field Awkward Questions from Family and Friends About Veganism 23 Nov 2022, 8:06 am

A tricky part of changing your diet and lifestyle for many new vegans is the questions that you have to field every time someone new finds out that you’ve gone vegan.

Naturally, people have questions about your recent dietary and lifestyle changes. But, it can definitely feel overwhelming when there are several people asking questions all at once, especially if you’re not sure how to answer all of them.

So, here are some questions that you may be asked. And, if you’ve never researched these topics before, this is your chance to prepare in advance.

Don’t we need meat to be healthy?

You will be asked this. And the answer is no, absolutely not. There is no biological need for humans to eat meat, or dairy for that matter. What’s more, consuming animal products has been linked to various health concerns, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

If someone has concerns about certain nutrients, rest assured that a vegan diet rich in fruits and vegetables is sufficient enough to provide you with everything needed to be healthy.

Of course, everyone should discuss these concerns with their medical provider. But, generally speaking, the only supplement recommended for vegans and vegetarians is Vitamin B12, which is lacking because produce is washed to avoid exposing people to the bacteria found in the soil.

If we stop eating meat and drinking milk, won’t we be overrun by animals?

Sounds crazy, but this is a very common question that people often throw out in the middle of the “but, why vegan?” conversation.

One thing that this question fails to consider is the fact that the majority of animals on the planet are bred with the specific purpose of producing meat. With decreased demand, production would naturally have to slow, which in turn, will decrease the number of animals we see on factory farms and elsewhere.

You can learn more about this here.

Where do you get your protein?

If this isn’t the pinnacle question that all vegans deal with, then we don’t know what is.

Everyone you talk to from now on is suddenly very concerned about your protein intake!

Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that lots of food contains protein. And, because the idea that you need meat and eggs to get your protein has been shared for so long, squashing this question seems to be somewhat of an uphill battle for vegans and vegetarians worldwide.

However, as you can see on this list of all of the best protein sources, there are so many foods that vegans can eat to get protein.

Tip: Turn the tables!

One trick to stop all the (mostly dumb) questions is to start asking your own.

If the person is particularly rude in their questioning, you might say something like: “Aren’t you concerned about high cholesterol leading to erectile dysfunction later in life?”

That is a conversation ender!

For a more reasonable person you might ask something along the lines of: “How much protein is in your diet, as a percentage?”

They probably won’t know and won’t want to think too hard about their own choices.

Whatever happens, don’t allow people to make you feel attacked or shamed for eating healthier.

Making choices that will help you live longer and avoid animal suffering is just a no-brainer, and anyone who has a problem with that probably isn’t someone who cares about those things.

Source: Shutterstock

The post How to Field Awkward Questions from Family and Friends About Veganism appeared first on VegLord.

Great Dessert Options For a Vegan With a Sweet Tooth 22 Nov 2022, 8:58 am

Are you a vegan with a sweet tooth? You’re not alone! Many vegans have trouble finding delicious desserts that fit their dietary restrictions. But don’t worry, there are plenty of great options out there.

In this blog post, we’ll share some of our favorite vegan-friendly desserts. So if you’re looking for something sweet and cruelty-free, be sure to check out this list!

Vegan cakes

We’ll start with vegan cakes. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or just want a special treat, vegan cakes are always a great option. There are lots of recipes for delicious vegan cakes online, and many bakeries now offer vegan cake options.

The cakes may contain:

1. Almond or coconut-based vegan butter
2. Plant-based milks like almond, oat, or soy
3. Coconut cream and/or oil for richness
4. Agave nectar or maple syrup for sweetening
5. Aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas) as a replacement for eggs
6. Unrefined sugars like coconut sugar
7. Healthy whole grain flours

Vegan cookies

Next, we have vegan cookies. You can find plenty of vegan cookie recipes online. Again, many stores now offer vegan cookie mixes so you don’t have to do any baking from scratch. Just mix the ingredients and bake!

Here are some of the flavors you may find:

1. Oatmeal Raisin
2. Chocolate Chip
3. Peanut Butter
4. Coconut Macaroons
5. Shortbread
6. Gingersnaps
And more!

Vegan brownies

Another classic vegan dessert is the brownie. There are lots of recipes online for traditional and unique versions, so you can easily make your favorite flavor at home with vegan ingredients. Not only do these taste great on their own but they also make delicious foundations for ice cream sundaes, parfaits, and other desserts!

The brownies may contain:

1. Plant-based milk and vegan butter
2. Flax eggs or chia eggs as an egg replacer
3. Coconut sugar or dark brown sugar for sweetness
4. Unrefined whole grain flour such as oat or spelt flour
5. Cocoa powder
6. Chopped nuts, coconut flakes, chocolate chips (vegan), etc., for texture and flavor

Vegan ice cream

Vegan ice cream is another delicious option if you’re craving something sweet and cold. Many brands now make non-dairy ice creams that are just as creamy and flavorful as the traditional dairy varieties. Vegan ice cream contains coconut, soy, or almond-based milk, coconut cream for richness, and flavoring ingredients like vegan chocolate chips, fruits, nuts, etc. There’s also an ever-increasing selection of ice cream flavors available.

Here are some of the flavors you may find:

1. Chocolate
2. Vanilla
3. Strawberry
4. Salted Caramel
5. Mint Chip
6. Cookies & Cream
7. Fudge Ripple and more!

Pies, Cobblers, and Crumbles

Let’s not forget fruit-based vegan desserts like pies, cobblers, and crumbles!
These are perfect for those who want a delicious yet healthy treat that is free of
refined sugars and animal products.

Here are some of the toppings you can use:

1. Oats
2. Coconut flakes
3. Nuts
4. Dark chocolate chips (vegan)
5. Dried fruits
6. Maple syrup or agave nectar for sweetness
7. Your favorite fruits such as apples, peaches, cherries, blueberries, etc.

Fruits

Fruit is always an excellent choice for vegans. Fruit is naturally sweet and contains
lots of vitamins and minerals. For something extra special, try making a vegan fruit
pie or tart – it’s sure to be a hit with everyone! You can place them in the freezer
and use them in your favorite smoothie.

My favorites are:

1. Banana
2. Strawberries
3. Blueberries
4. Mango
5. Pineapple
6. Peaches

Vegan Protein Smoothie

If you’re looking for a nutritious vegan snack, then why not try making a protein
smoothie? Protein smoothies are packed with essential nutrients and can be made
using plant-based proteins like hemp seeds, chia seeds, and nut butter. They are
also great meal prep ideas as they require minimal effort to make. Just combine all
the ingredients into your blender and enjoy!

Some of my favorite ingredients include:

1. Plant-based milk
2. Frozen fruits
3. Nut butter
4. Hemp or chia seeds
5. Coconut flakes
6. Cinnamon or other spices for flavor

Vegan Pancakes

Pancakes are a classic breakfast treat for vegans and omnivores alike. If you’re looking for a vegan pancake recipe, there are plenty of options online. You can use plant-based milks like almond, soy, or coconut milk instead of cow’s milk and use flax eggs as an egg replacer.

Some other ingredients that you might include in your pancakes are:

1. Whole wheat flour
2. Coconut oil
3. Baking powder
4. Vanilla extract for flavor
5. Nutmeg or cinnamon for added flavor
6. Unrefined whole grain flour such as oat or spelt flour to add nutrition and texture to the pancakes!

Real fruit Jelly

Nothing says summer like a delicious jelly. But if you’re vegan, regular jellies may not be an option for you. However, there are plenty of vegan-friendly brands that use real fruit instead of gelatin or other animal products to make their jellies. Look for ones with organic ingredients and natural sweeteners, such as maple syrup or agave nectar. You can also make your own jelly using fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

You’ll need:

1. Fruits
2. Pectin (vegan)
3. Lemon juice
4. Natural sweetener such as maple syrup or agave nectar

With so many vegan dessert options available, you can indulge in something sweet without sacrificing your values. Try out some of these delicious vegan-friendly desserts, you can have your cake and eat it too! So go ahead, and indulge in some cruelty-free deliciousness!

We hope this little guide has given you some inspiration and some ideas for tasty vegan-friendly. From cakes to cookies to ice cream, there are plenty of delicious options out there. So next time you’re looking for something sweet and cruelty-free, be sure to check out these great recipes! Happy baking!

The post Great Dessert Options For a Vegan With a Sweet Tooth appeared first on VegLord.

Planning Your Plant-Based Thanksgiving 20 Nov 2022, 9:23 am

Planning a vegetarian or vegan Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many wonderful options that veg-eaters can enjoy, and it goes well beyond Tofurky!

Plus, your vegetarian thanksgiving can be healthy and nutritious. So go ahead and grab seconds, even thirds.

Cultural norms of Thanksgiving

You may have many cultural norms and traditions with Thanksgiving that you are accustomed to. But you can go ahead and throw those out the window because your vegetarian Thanksgiving can be whatever you want it to be. Don’t be afraid to make your own traditions and put your own culture into the day.

If you still want a traditional “turkey” style Thanksgiving meal, there are many meat substitutes that you can swap. However, this is totally optional. Don’t focus so much on the bird, let each dish be a star and have its own special qualities.

At my house, we often do quinoa chili, with “cheesy” mashed potatoes, wild rice casserole, roasted portobello mushrooms, and some type of salad.

Inviting others to your vegetarian Thanksgiving

Hosting a vegetarian Thanksgiving can actually be easier in some ways because it’s your house. You can cook on your own turf and play by your own rules. Of course hosting any dinner can be stressful, whether it’s plant based or not. But, you can always invite or even challenge your friends and family to bring their best plant-based cooking. If they’re bad cooks just tell them to bring the drinks.

Your friends and family may be excited to help out and try new recipes and cooking techniques. If they’re not into it, they don’t have to come. No more passive aggressive remarks from your conservative uncle about bacon and steak, or showing of “concern” for your “protein deficiency.”

Again, it’s your house, your rules. Your guests may even discover a new holiday favorite.

Attending a Non-Vegetarian Thanksgiving?

This one can be tricky, but there is also much room for opportunity.

Some people have big family get-togethers over the holidays. It may be a bit unrealistic to expect everyone to stick to your vegetarian criteria. However, it always helps to let people know in advance. If you’ve been vegetarian for a longer time, people just know to expect it. Friends and family are usually happy to make at least a couple of purely vegetarian or vegan options.

Thanksgiving is about being thankful

The key to living your best vegetarian life is being generous and gracious with your cooking. And, to show gratitude towards others for incorporating vegetarian cooking into their lives and sharing with others.

Eating tasty, nutritious plant-based food, and spending time with others can make Thanksgiving a truly wonderful holiday for everyone.

The post Planning Your Plant-Based Thanksgiving appeared first on VegLord.

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