Veganism Is More Than Just a Temporary Trend

Veganism Is More Than Just a Temporary Trend

Examining the Growth in Vegan Identifiers and Consumers in the U.S.
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Many popular trends have come and gone, proving themselves to be mere fads within an era. Short-lived, often seasonal, and sometimes impractical. Diets stand as one of the leading trends typically chosen by people to follow. However, one plant-based diet is making strides for the long haul by changing the way people view food production, distribution, and marketing which lends itself to wonder how significant the impact of going vegan has and will affect the U.S.

Though avoidance of meat and animal products as food has shown to be a lifestyle standard for over 2,000 years, we present day health-conscious nuts have Donald Watson and five fellow non-dairy vegetarians to thank for our modern day vegan movement for. In November of 1944, they came together to discuss their non-dairy vegetarian lifestyles and consequently dubbed their lifestyle change: The Vegan Movement.

According to an article titled, Veganism in American Culture, Watson strung together the first three and last two letters of the word vegetarian to come up with the word vegan referring to the vegan diet as, “the beginning and end of vegetarian” (The Vegan Society, 2015). Now, nearly 73 years since this communion, people across the world have decided to make the change toward a vegan diet and lifestyle.

As mentioned by the website Rise of the Vegan, 6% of Americans currently identify as vegan and according to a report from 2012, the consumption of meat has decreased to 12.2% since 2007. Interestingly enough, the majority of vegan consumers are women, making up a 79% mass within the vegan identifiers group (The Raw Food World, 2015). Though this does not mean that only women are vegans.

At its core, Veganism is a lifestyle choice that eliminates the consumption of not only meat products, but also animal byproducts such as dairy, eggs, honey, fur, leather or wool, and cosmetics made from animal products (The Vegetarian Resource Group, 1996-2017).

With such restricted choices, the alternative to go vegan spans a variety of reasons all specific to the individual. For some, opting to embrace a vegan diet stems from the desire to live a healthier life with studies showing that those who eat a majority of red meat were 26% more likely to die of nine major diseases than those who eat the least amount of meat (Rise of the Vegan, 2017). Though grim, statistics like this exist to show the long term effects of a primarily meat consumed diet.

Nonetheless, many people choose a vegan lifestyle to detract from contributing to the damaging impact that meat manufacturing and distribution has on the environment. Not only has it been shown that animal agriculture makes up 18% of greenhouse gases (Cowspiracy, 2014), but the use of fresh water on animal agriculture largely outnumbers the amount of water used for plant agriculture according to a 2011 study from National Geographic.

  • 1,799 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef,
  • 576 gallons of water to produce one pound of pork,
  • 468 gallons of water to produce one pound of chicken,
  • 132 gallons of water to produce one pound of wheat and
  • 216 gallons of water to produce one pound of soybeans (Henning, 2011).

Furthermore, if the U.S. reduced animal consumption by half its amount, the U.S. dietary consumption of water would decrease by 37% (National Geographic, 2015-2017).

Of the most widely reported reasons for pro-veganism, a stance against animal cruelty is one of the more sympathetic perspectives. Ethical reasons to support animal life and well-being is a prominent factor for many people to undertake the transition to a vegan lifestyle. With growing information regarding the mistreatment and exploitation of animals within large animal agricultural corporations, it is easy to accept one’s belief in a more sustainable and guilt-free way of life.

With veganism on the rise, it is clear to understand the upward progression in popularity that has taken shape in the past decade. Unlike most crazes, veganism appears to have established itself as no mere fad, but as a trend worth hopping on board for those who are willing and desire to make necessary lifestyle changes toward a healthier diet, for the well-being of all life, and for environmental improvement. Considering the increased awareness in food cultivation and preparation, veganism will surely remain formidable as a lifestyle choice for generations to come.

Cover Image Credit: Plant Based News

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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A Love Letter To My Air Fryer

And why you would love an fryer too...

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In a previous article, I wrote about how love to use Trello.com for organizing things. I'm still loving Trello. I've haven't grown bored of it and stopped using it (like I have with some other organizational systems). This time, I'm going to share another item that I love, and it's for one of my favorite things, food! I finally gave in and bought an air fryer, and after my first use, I literally said that it's wonderful! I bought a small air fryer. It only holds about two quarts, but it's perfect for quick lunches.

I thought I'd love the air fryer if it could dry fry food with little to no oil, and it does just that. I'm also in love with the air fryer, because I could simply put the food in it, set the timer and live my life for a few minutes until the food is done. I don't have to stand over it and watch the food cook. That makes the air fryer a winner! Did I mention that it really does work?! Yes, it does work. Now, you could buy foods that are already breaded and throw them in the air fryer, but if you want to go the healthier route, you can use bread crumbs, flour, and eggs to make your own crispy coatings for your foods. Dipping your food in your own homemade batter cuts out some of the salt and added chemicals in the frozen pre-fried foods.

You can also fry foods that do not even need a homemade batter. Without using the batter, I've made sweet potato French fries and burritos in it. The tortilla for the burrito turned out nicely crispy, but I didn't leave it in the air fryer long enough for it to be crunchy. The sweet potato fries came out nice. I've tried making crispy chickpeas with Italian seasoning, but they weren't to my liking. However, I have loved everything else that I've made in the air fryer. Sometimes I just put a quick meal in it, just to re-heat it, since I don't use a microwave. I just think that using the air fryer is healthier than using microwaves, and I love that I don't need to put my food in a special box or anything for it to be really crispy. If you love fried chicken or fried fish, you'd love this little machine as much as I do!

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