A beginner’s quick guide to Veganism
The Vegan culture has been on the rise in the West. And is slowly becoming a mainstream way of living.
Our Indian culture has always respected and valued animals. Sometimes maybe too much. But it is a deep-rooted fact that we don’t consume meat. At least traditionally. This is, in fact, the biggest myth when it comes to Indian consumption habits. It is a myth that India is, in fact, a ‘vegetarian’ country.
According to a BBC article, based on ‘non-serious’ estimates, it is concluded that about more than a third of Indians ate vegetarian. Based on 3 large-scale government surveys, about 23%-37% of Indians are vegetarians.
However, based on research by American anthropologist Balmuri Natrajan and Indian economist Suraj Jacob, Indians under-report non-vegetarian habits-particularly beef, and over report vegetarian consumption, all due to ‘cultural and political pressures.’
But today’s generation is active participants on several issues, unlike our previous generations. We are inclined on making healthy life choices keeping in mind our environment. And that is why Veganism is making the table rounds.
What is Veganism or being Vegan? Veganism refers to a lifestyle choice which attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation or cruelty from their lifestyle.
The vegan concept’s core virtue is that it enables, through the tiniest efforts, the prevention of vast amounts of animal suffering and environmental degradation.
Why are people turning Vegan? There are several reasons as to why an individual makes an active choice of shifting to veganism. One of the major reasons is ethics. Ethical vegans believe that every creature has the right to freedom and life. They also oppose the psychological and physical stress these animals undergo for food production. They do not wish to part take in such consumption or clothing simply because there are alternatives.
What do they eat? Nuts and seeds, fruits, vegetables, bread, pasta, rice, tofu, beans, and lentils.
What do they avoid? Red meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, poultry, mayonnaise, shellfish, and honey.
Some of the vegan products that are steadily growing are- vegan yogurt, vegan cheese, and vegan ice cream.
Other reasons for adopting veganism are health and environmental factors. Vegan products are also used for their potential health effects. It can reduce the risk of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and premature death.
About 18% of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by farming livestock. With a vegan dominant lifestyle, there could be a 70% decrease in food-related CO2 emissions.
Being an Indian vegetarian makes it slightly easy to convert to veganism. The only catch is that you have to let go of your dairy products and switch to soy or almond milk.
But being an Indian non-vegetarian consumer does not make the transition easy to veganism. After all, we all love our butter chickens.
However, it is needed, to make our lifestyles eco-friendly. Be it in eating habits, clothing habits, accessory habits, or travel habits.
Make active choices for a healthy and better future. Let go of fast fashion and switch to eco-friendly clothing, ensure you do not partake in animal exploitation in tourism and travel, ditch plastic bags, and switch to 100% cotton totes.
To conclude, it can be predicted that veganism will be a dominant culture in the coming years and generations.