HERE ARE THREE REASONS WHY
It is no longer possible to imagine discussions in private with friends and family without vegan food, but it is also increasingly taking place in public. This was recently the case with the initiative of the VW company, which offers its employees a meat-free canteen and removed currywurst from the menu list in Wolfsburg. Both supporters and opponents of the vegetarian and vegan movement used this impulse to express their agreement or lack of understanding.
In the course of various discussion impulses, we have certainly all dealt with the different motives for vegan nutrition. The debate is multifaceted and often emotionally charged. In addition to the ethical justifiability of animal product consumption and the supposed health benefits, the increasingly present climate impacts are also included in the debate. We shed light on these aspects for you and take a close look at the impact on the climate in particular.
Table of Contents
1. VEGAN FOR ANIMALS
The most decisive motivation for many vegan people is ethics: their own enjoyment is not placed above the life and death of an animal. This point of view in particular leads to a hardening of the fronts in discussions, as mixed-foodists could be accused of being ignorant. However, those who do without animal products spare many animals a life of confinement and suffering. The animals' space requirements are tightly calculated and the health interventions for life in the barn are radical. Chickens have their beaks shortened, cows have their horns taken off and pigs have their short tails removed. All this so that the animals do not injure each other in the small shared barn space.
The very personal accusation of supporting this suffering through one's own consumption makes it difficult to continue a neutral and objective discussion. However, the habit of eating meat is often just as difficult to break as other unpleasant eating habits. We regularly resolve to break our own routine for the new year on New Year's Eve at the latest, and it requires a great deal of discipline and change of automatic mechanisms to keep this resolution. Indulgence and informative food for thought are more effective here than unrestrained confrontation. Education is important and for some, health-related arguments are a more effective impetus to gradually change one's diet.
2. VEGAN FOR HEALTH
"If you live vegan, you live healthy." That is the widespread credo. But is that true? Aren't nutrients and building materials missing to be really healthy if all animal products are excluded? The vegan chef Niko Rittenau has tackled all the clichés of vegan nutrition in a comprehensive, well-founded book. The result is a comprehensive guidebook with detailed explanations that neutrally shows: vegan nutrition is not only healthy, but also easy to implement. Even athletes are not disadvantaged by any protein or nutrient deficiencies. The strength athlete Patrik Baboumian, who has been living vegan for 10 years, shows in a particularly impressive way that this does not stand in the way of muscle building. The clever combination of different foods results in an optimal protein supply, which is crucial for muscle building. As with any form of nutrition, individual adaptation is possible and necessary for every athlete, especially with regard to competitions or personal goals.
Furthermore, the plant-based diet has some clear health advantages over the mixed diet. For example, vegans are less likely to suffer from coronary artery disease and cancer. Vasoconstrictor diseases are also less common due to the low cholesterol content of the plant-based diet, and conventional diseases of affluence, such as gout, are even treated with a plant-based diet.
3. VEGAN FOR THE CLIMATE
But a vegan diet also seems to have health benefits in other respects. The long-term effects on the environment and climate catastrophe have a direct effect on physical health. The climate balance of a vegan diet turns out to be significantly better than that of a mixed diet or a vegetarian diet. This is according to information from the UN, which seeks solutions to the catastrophe at regular climate summits. If the entire world population were to stop consuming animal foods, greenhouse gases from agriculture would fall by 67%. That is more than half of all emissions associated with the production of our food. The reason for this is the complex animal husbandry with stable ventilation and the high energy consumption of the facilities, but also the production of feed and the by-products that arise.
Added to this is the loss of energy during feed utilisation by the animals. The food calories consumed by a fattening animal are far greater than the calories that the animal's meat, milk or eggs can provide. The area under cultivation, the water for the feed and for supplying the animals, as well as the transport routes are avoidable factors with regard to the impending climate catastrophe.
THE OMNIBARS CONTAIN NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS AND ARE MADE FROM 100% ORGANIC INGREDIENTS.
Significant here is the use of water for the production of animal foods. One kilogram of beef requires 15,400 litres of water during the production process. A single egg requires slightly more than 200 litres and 1 litre of milk requires 1020 litres of water. In comparison, the amount of water we can save by not taking the occasional bath in the bathtub seems comparatively small.
In addition, there are the enormous transport distances that not only the animal covers on its way to slaughter, but also the feed that reaches the animal.
The common argument against the use of alternatives is the climate impact of the cultivation of soy, for which rainforest areas are cleared. Yet only 2% of the cultivated soy is integrated into human food (soy sauce, soybeans/edamame, tofu, milk substitute), the rest is used for feed for fattening animals. In addition, soy is now grown in Europe. This avoids deforestation, saves transport distances and can compensate for the nitrogen content in the soil caused by previously intensive cultivation.
The vegan diet is not only good for our conscience, but also for our physical health and the planet. However, our eating habits and traditions are not so easy to turn inside out. But even without an "all or nothing" attitude, we can make a contribution. Through trial periods, such as the "Veganuary" or introducing vegan options into a family buffet or establishing meat-free / vegan days of the week, we can try out dishes and make a contribution. In addition to the traditional vegan dishes of Asian, Oriental or African cuisine, there are also various variations of traditional dishes from Germany. Meanwhile, the classic meat dishes can still be prepared with ease, as there are alternatives from different manufacturers for many preparation methods. This makes it easy to adapt the menu through a little trial and error.