The past few years have witnessed a paradigm shift towards a Vegan lifestyle. With more and more people following a plant-based diet, the ‘aggressive’ demand for Vegan products is equitably evincing in the market as well. On top of that many Hollywood A-listers are joining the list and sharing their own experiences. Recently, the world’s youngest billionaire and owner of Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner informed her 225 million fans on Instagram, that she is “really trying to not eat meat.”
But why is it that veganism is taking the world by storm? Let’s dive headfirst!
Health Reasons? It's A Yes!
As stated in PETA’s article, 7 fantastic health benefits of eating vegan, “Eating processed meat increases our chances of developing cancer, and research suggests that consuming animals’ flesh, milk, and eggs could be as detrimental as smoking.” Consuming saturated fats is one major cause of heart diseases and cancer. Researches have shown that an average vegan has way less probability of acquiring cardiovascular diseases than an average non-vegetarian. As the world battles with a pandemic, top organizations urge people to switch over to a vegan diet.
Common vegan foods contain almost all the required nutrients that are needed by us to remain fit. Although, the lack of B12 in vegan foods was a matter of controversy until infamous entrepreneurs Ethan Brown and Patrick O’Reilly Brown developed cultured meat in labs which are said to have all the nutrients present in animals’ flesh. Additionally, plant-powered pills are available in the market at affordable prices. An array of vitamins and nutrients can be obtained. Vegan diet comes in with a variety of everyday products: from vegan milk to ice-creams, plant-based bacon to Tuna. Eggs, meat, chicken, beef -along with other thousands of products- complete the long list.
Benefits The Environment
On February 18, the United Nations published a report titled “Making Peace With Nature: A scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies ”, which explicitly emphasized opting measures for saving the planet, with veganism being one. Professor Edgar Hertwich, the lead author of the report said, “Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.” This drives in a lot of opinions and thoughts.
Stirring up the numbers, 18-year-old firebrand environmental activist and founder of the movement Fridays For Future, Greta Thunberg, in a recent interview with Democracy Now, talked of why she chose veganism and how it correlated with environmental benefits. This awareness made Greta educate her family members in turn and consequently, her father joined the Vegan team, while her mother is almost at the brink.
Unethical Practices Of Animal Agriculture
Many animal rights activists went undercover in farms of some of the most prominent dairy giants. What they witnessed was later published on various social platforms and printed outlets which went on to cause havoc in society later. Videos showed farmers ‘snatching’ male calves from mothers on the same day of birth which then ended up either getting stabbed on the head and left in open to die or sent to slaughterhouses. The dairy has been alleged to be using artificial ways to impregnate cows in the early years of their life, which accounts for their early maturation and in turn, reduced life expectancy. Worldwide criticism was faced by the dairy industry back in the early twenties as a new cattle disease called Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) came into notice. The human variant, Variant Crueltzfeldt- Jacob Disease (vCJD) was later discovered in the 1990s with the first human death reported in May 1995 of a 19-year-old boy called Stephen Churchill, although the UK government strongly assured the public about the safety levels of British beef.
The pork, turkey, and chicken industry face the backlash likewise, but the fish industry found itself in clusters of heated debates after the documentary film 'Seaspiracy' premiered on Netflix in March 2021 and hit off the charts right away. Unraveling the hidden realities of ‘sustainable’ fishing, the documentary presents some shocking scenes that stay in your head for days and weeks. Statistical data has been an integral and apparently controversial part of the documentary. Becoming the most-watched film in the UK, the film made many celebrities -around the globe- contemplate and urge their fans to watch it themselves.
Alternatives: A Business Warfare
Witnessing the ‘aggressive’ demand for vegan products and alternatives, company giants have started revolutionizing their product range. Skincare, beauty, clothing, and other MNCs have become a hundred percent cruelty-free by saying no to animal testing in labs. Recently, actor Robert Downey Jr. invested $40 million in a US plant-based startup called ‘Atlast Food Co.’
The demand isn’t central to food but is witnessed in every sphere, thus compelling famous brands to make urgent reforms. Sportswear giant Nike launched its Move To Zero range, making the most sustainable sneakers over the years. Produced from eco-friendly material, these shoes are completely sustainable and successfully lead the company to new horizons of growth and fame.
In a society with varied views and opinions, veganism sometimes finds itself in the ravines of speculations. However, through the cohort of efforts of activists, increased awareness among Gen-Z and the urgency of climate change eradicates complacent behavior of people and therefore begins the chain of change.