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What difference can one person make by going vegan?

Many times, when contemplating changing your lifestyle about something, you ask yourself “what difference would it make?”. Whether it’s reducing your carbon footprint by using less plastic, or not running water while brushing your teeth, you ask yourself “what difference would I make?”. When it comes to going vegan, the answer is A BIG of difference. Let’s start with the ugly truth, the majority of meat comes from animals that undergo a lot of stress, genetic modification, and spend their short and distressed lives locked in cages. To get dairy, cows are artificially impregnated every year since they can only lactate when they have a baby they need to feed, like humans. After enduring 9 months of pregnancy, a dairy cow’s newborn is taken away from her to be slaughtered or used for something else, ensuring that her milk can be pumped and sold to people instead of her baby. Male chicks born into the egg industry are deemed worthless since they can’t lay eggs. They are then killed in various gruesome ways at only one day old. Pigs live in filthy, cramped stalls where they never see the light of day. Piglets are either killed soon after they are born and used for meat, or they are used to produce more offspring. We are all aware of the fact that the way meat is created is not pretty, but what a lot of people don’t take into consideration is the extent that switching to being vegan can save these animals. Using a vegan calculator, it was calculated that the average person who goes vegan for just one month can save the lives of 30 animals. That is basically one animal a day that can be saved of that cruel fate simply by going vegan. Imagine the number of animals you could save if you became vegan indefinitely! Animal lives are not the only things that would be saved by going vegan. I am sure you have noticed the massive clime change we are currently experiencing. It turns out that animal agriculture is the leading cause of climate change. Producing meat and dairy uses a massive amount of land and water. By going vegan for a month, you would not only save 30 animal lives, but also 620 pounds of harmful carbon dioxide emissions, 913 square feet of forest, and 33,481 gallons of water. According to Oxford University, going vegan is the single biggest way you can reduce your environmental impact on the planet. Think about it, 1.5 acres of land can either produce 375 pounds of meat, or 37,000 pounds of plant-based food. What sounds better? You may now be thinking “even if I go vegan, won’t it take forever for things to really change?”. The effect veganism has is more so a long term one. More so a bigger picture. Of course, going vegan may not save the 70 billion land animals and trillions of fish being slaughtered today, but by opting into plant-based foods, you would be a part of the large collection of people that are reducing the demand for meat, dairy and eggs. The bigger picture is that the fewer animal products that are sold, the fewer will be ordered by stores, which in turn would decrease the demand for animals. That means there will be less pigs, chicks and cows that would have to face the fate they are in these slaughterhouses and factories. According to Million Dollar Vegan “ In the UK alone, veganism has grown by a staggering 360% in the last decade, while the amount of vegan products available in Australia grew by 92% in 2016. Globally, the meat-alternative market will reach $5.2 billion by 2020, and the global non-dairy milk market is expected to reach nearly $11 billion. Meanwhile, sales of fresh meat, fresh milk and fresh cheese are all down – in the US sales of meat have been declining for a decade, and that trend is spreading across the world.” People often undermine the impact their lifestyle change can have on other people. When your family and friends see you going vegan, it will spark their curiosity. They will ask you what motivated you, how hard it is and various different questions of the sorts. After telling them everything you know, they may or may not get inspired to join you in this journey. A lot of the things in our world that masses are taking a part of were due to people’s influence on each other. Genesis Butler, the American activist and leading figure in the Million Dollar Vegan campaign, was only 10 years old when she gave her TEDx talk about her vision of veganism healing the planet. That video has been watched over 70,000 times and has inspired countless of people to switch to plant-based meals. The main take away from this is that EVERY SINGLE PERSON MATTERS. It may be hard to see the true impact of such a seemingly small thing as going vegan, but the bigger picture is inspiring. When you adopt a vegan lifestyle, the animals, your health, and the environment win! So, the next time someone asks you “Why vegan?” tell them what you have learnt and ask, “Why not?”

Read more about 5 ways to care for the planet.

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