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Veganism- lifestyle or just fashion statement?


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Veganism, more than a lifestyle, is becoming a trend. An increasing number of  people are being influenced by this movement and changing their eating habits accordingly.

There are two main reasons for people to become vegan: 

First, because of health issues. Vegan diets are known to contain less satured fat and a higher content of many important nutrients like fibre, vitamins C and E and magnesium. Even though obesity does not have a direct connection with meat consumption, vegans are usually healthier.

Second, there are some undeniable health benefits. People turn vegan because they want to lose weight and despite the controversy, it actually works. Thed diet is rich in fibre, which delays stomach emptying and feelings of hunger. Vegans are also in less of a risk of developing colorectal cancer as well as less likely to suffer from high blood pressure and arthritis.

Additionally, there is the ethical perspective. Killing animals or torturing them to feed humans is just incomprehensible for a vegan. Sustainability is also a key point: the environmental benefits are considerable, such as the more efficient use of land and water or the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and global hunger. Statistics back this up: raising animals for food uses 45% of Earth’s total land and is responsible for up to 91% of the Amazon forest destruction; 80-90% of the water consumption is due to animal agriculture and, last but not least, 82% of the starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals while they are eaten by us.

The most common argument of a non-vegan is that one single person can’t really make a change. If everyone had the same viewpoint, however, there would be no hope. It is true that one person is easier to ignore, but millions of people together aren’t. In the UK, 2.6% to 3.3% of the whole population is vegan, which does not seem to be much, but there are countries that go up to 40%.

But not only these facts make veganism a trend after all. Documentaries, books and celebrities do. Social media is always a great platform to spread the word and there is a huge circulation of information about veganism out there. Whenever a celebrity speaks out or posts about it (and many do, such as Natalie Portman, Lea Michele or Jessica Chastain), they are influencing possibly thousands of people to become vegan, as they do on any topic.

The number of Instagram pages and blogs focused on this lifestyle is also rising sharply and there is an increased awareness about the importance of having a healthier lifestyle, exercising more and eating organic foods. While the strong reasoning for becoming a vegan is fading, as some people merely want to look cool, trendy and fashionable, the word, in one way or another, is being spread.

It obviously depends on each person’s views to make that choice and we certainly should not judge anyone for it, even though sometimes following trends can be dangerous. Without a strong reason to completely change the way they eat, people force themselves to adopt certain habits because it merely looks trendy on social media. Some end up giving up and others fake it till they make it, but in any situation following trends should be combined with a wide understanding of the matter and should not be just a way to gain followers or to stand out in society.

When the desire for a fashionable lifestyle change is combined with adoting a nutritious trend, there is usually a lack of knowledge and people can end up eating the wrong nutrients and restrain their bodiesof vital diet ingredients. An unbalanced diet can lead to serious health issues as the lack of important nutrients that animal products provide is crucial to the body’s system.

However, information is out there and an appealing variety of vegan foods are now available on the market. Vegan food, which was once perceived to be boring and tasteless, is now being revolutionised (just chek our Vegan Recipes Weekly). Food blogs and books, which keep us engaged with professional photos and compelling recipes, are becoming increasingly popular,l eading to a greater expansion of vegan foods in supermarkets, with better quality and more diversity at more affordable prices.

The population is now assisting to a significant increase in trendy vegan restaurants and coffee shops, inspiring customers to be more conscious when buying their meals and snacks.

However, veganism is still perceived as too extreme, and that is why the “part-time veganism” exists. It’s understandable that cutting off all animal and dairy products might be tough in the long-term, threfore people decide to simply include healthier foods in their meals or eat less meat. This is not going against the real meaning of the concept just because not all requirements are followed. It only means that people are starting to really care about their health and are perhaps more aware of the impact that veganism has to the world.

The future is clear: while veganism as a lifestyle trend tends to be more of a fashion statement rather than a mere way of living, people are motivated, more aware and certainly more concerned with their own eating habits which, in any situation, is undeniably positive.

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