Can I be a part time vegan?
Can I be a part time vegan? Is this the question you ask yourself? Today, saving the planet is a must topic of discussion and something really needs to be done to take action. It is easy to bury our heads in the sand but there won’t be a planet left if we carry on at this rate. According to Sir David Attenborough, we only have 20 years to save planet Earth and some contributing factors of this global crisis are from the meat and dairy industry, travel, food wastage, fast fashion, and using materials such as plastic. Climate change is happening fast but what should we be doing in terms of how we eat?
The Meat And Dairy Industry
The meat and dairy industry has a vast impact on global warming. Cutting down on red meat reduces our carbon footprint but going vegan dramatically helps. Not only is vegan food healthy but it takes far less energy to produce and uses less land. Fishing nets in the ocean are also affecting our marine life and this all springs from a non-vegan diet.
The Vegan Diet
The vegan way forward is amazing but is this all a too great a change right now? I have to say I love vegan food, but I have not become 100% vegan myself. I try to eat the majority of my meals plant-based which I still think is a step in the right direction. I am not ruling out becoming vegan in the future, but I still think if we ALL ate less meat, fish and dairy then this would make a HUGE difference. Rather than have the minority of people being 100% vegan, by all incorporating plant-based food into our diet, this would make an overall greater impact in my opinion. Just think, if you ate a 60-80% vegan diet then this would be incredible. And the more vegan food people eat, the more it becomes known about how delicious and interesting it is. Who knows, vegan food may be the norm and it will become even more accessible and easier for people to buy and cook.
How Can I Start?
There is a great article on eco-age on which plant-based milk is the best for sustainability. I really recommend you reading it as I found it so interesting! Eco-age is a great website by the way if you are conscious of sustainability. Since discovering more vegan based eating, I have opened my eyes up to even more flavours, colours and textures in my food. I love to eat interesting food and vegan food is definitely this. It is not bland and boring; it is vibrant and inspiring. Why don’t you make a list of all your favourite meals / snacks and ask yourself the question “How could I make this vegan and better for the environment?”.
I’ve already made a lot of swaps in my diet and this includes drinking more plant-based milks on my cereal (almond milk, oat milk and coconut milk are my favourites). I also eat Vegenaise instead of mayonnaise (I really cannot taste the difference). These days I actually prefer eating vegan chocolate as it is richer, creamier and so delicious. My favourite vegan chocolate brands are Rhythm 108, Pana Chocolate, Vego, Ombar… I also love the Waitrose Dark Coconut Chocolate. Other vegan swaps are lunch fillers like falafel, hummus and salad sandwiches… For meals, think of making more stews using chickpeas, lentils and beans. Chilli and spaghetti bolognaise are great using soya mince, lentils and beans. There are so many great foods out there! I could easily do a whole post on my favourite plant-based foods. Let me know if you would like this?
Check What You Are Lacking
If you are eating more plant-based foods just bear in mind you may need to take vitamin tablets for nutrients you are missing like omega 3 and vitamin B12. Nutritional yeast contains vitamin B12 and chia seeds contain omega 3 but still be careful you are getting the correct amounts. Your doctor is probably the best person to ask if you are concerned. Some tests that check nutritional levels are not accurate and lead to false results.
Other ideas to help with the global crisis include wasting less food (meal plan and buy only what you need), shopping more sustainably in terms of fashion, travelling less and walking more, cutting down on the energy used in our homes by insulating them better. Can you think of more to add in the comments below?
What are your thoughts on the vegan diet?