Embracing a vegan lifestyle can help Earth. CFP
Sticking to a vegan diet might sound difficult, especially with many popular dishes containing meat or other animal products. Yet in recent years, veganism has become one of the fastest-growing lifestyle trends in the world.
According to HuffPost, more than 3 million people in the United States are vegans. In the UK, about 542,000 people have chosen veganism over the past decade.
What is driving this growth in veganism? One reason may be that people want to protect the environment. Producing meat and dairy products is known to be stressful for the environment. According to a 2013 study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, global meat manufacturing causes about 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This figure is higher than all the world’s cars, trains and planes combined.
According to BBC News, another reason is that many of today’s young people believe it’s wrong to kill animals for food.
Jess Murray, 22, a student at University College London, said she chose to become vegan when she realized that eating animals is a choice people make, rather than something we must do to survive. “Becoming vegan was an ethical decision,” she told the Guardian.
For many people, veganism simply means eating no meat, cheese or eggs, but going animal-free also applies to fashion and manufacturing. For example, leather is used to make shoes and clothing. Every year more than a billion animals, from cows to horses to snakes, are killed to make leather products from their skins. Now, many brands are looking for other materials.
The sports brand Puma, for example, has made shoes out of pineapple leaves. Tesla, the US car maker, is said to be removing animal-based leather from its seats. Earlier this year, US singer Lady Gaga created the vegan makeup brand Haus Laboratories. On the brand’s Instagram account, it says: “Cruelty-free and vegan, because we love animals and you.”
So, if you’re interested in protecting animals and saving the environment, you might want to give veganism a try.