Linda Johnson is a member of Green Christian and organised a “Green Day” at Beverley on 30 March 2019, at Toll Gavel United Church Beverley – including – a Special Vegan Lunch the Community Hall; Linda is vegan and agreed to write a short article-
Why adopt a Vegan lifestyle?
I took up the challenge of becoming vegan by following Veganuary in 2017 because I wanted to reduce the impact I had on the planet.
Emissions caused by the farming of animals, poultry and fish for food are calculated as contributing at least 14.5% of world-wide CO2 total.
It also seemed to me to be crazy to be using land to produce food to feed to animals which we could eat ourselves, especially as every 100 calories we feed to an animal only provides 10 in return.
Brazilians use 5.6million acres of land* to grow soya beans which are sold to Europe for animal feed – Brazilians are becoming impoverished so that we can feed farm cattle which we then eat. Instead, they could be using the land to grow plant proteins which they can eat themselves. As only a third of the land and much less water is required for a vegan diet, Brazil could probably grow enough protein crops to sustain them and us as well, if we became vegan.
I frequently get asked whether I really think I can get all the nutrients my body needs – the answer is yes!
The only vitamin which is lacking in a vegan diet without supplementation is Vitamin B12 – but Vitamin B12 is added to many products for the general population, such as milk alternatives and breakfast cereals. Many vegan spreads contain Vitamin B12 and nutritional yeast flakes, which have a nutty taste, can be added to soups, stews, quiches, lasagne, dips and burgers. Or there are vitamin tablets, which also ensure there is enough iodine in the diet. Everything else – protein, iron, trace vitamins, omega 3 & 6, calcium etc – is all readily available from the vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds which I eat.
We know there is food poverty in the world, with too many people undernourished or even starving. Yet we waste valuable land by using it unsustainably to produce animal protein. This is without considering the ethics of farming animals for food, which I now think is unjustifiable. Or those CO2 emissions!
Being vegan is a way of life. It’s a way of living which seeks to exclude as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of and cruelty to animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. Vegans avoid meat, fish, shellfish, insects, dairy, eggs and honey as well as products tested on animals, and products such as leather which is only available because an animal has been killed.
I think the commitment to veganism is compelling. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested in 2018 that we have only 12 years left to limit climate change before catastrophe. Saving such a huge percentage of CO2 by eating a plant-based diet is easy.
AND – Because there is a lower incidence of Type 2 Diabetes and raised blood pressure in vegans, it’s healthy, too!
(Ed: provided you choose a healthy vegan diet as opposed to a junk food vegan diet)