Can our society go vegan?

live vegan

Veganism - just a hype or a real alternative?

Why a vegan lifestyle is a sensible future model for more and more people and how we can all benefit from a life without animal products.

Eating animals is out, something out of it. Vegan cookbooks are right at the top of the bestseller lists (Amazon alone lists them on over 75 pages; Italian cookbooks on the other hand only on 20 pages ...) - and more and more meat alternatives are being offered on the supermarket shelves. Fortunately, by the way, as we think. Because a purely plant-based diet has many advantages. Not only for the animals or each and every one of us, but also for society as a whole.

But because many still believe that we vegans are such a small, simple-minded bunch of plant eaters, we researched some hard facts. Facts that prove exactly the opposite. Our steep thesis after looking through the numbers: veganism (and with it the plant-based alternatives in the diet) has meanwhile arrived in the middle of society. Don't you think so? Then take a look at what we have found on the website of the Vegetarian Union Germany (VEBU).

Veganism in Germany - almost a giant bamboo

The giant bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants. He can do about 70 centimeters more per day. Veganism is not growing that fast in Germany, but we find it more than impressive what the veggie movement has achieved in recent years.

Fact 1:
We vegans are getting more and more. Every day around 200 people in Germany say goodbye to meat consumption and turn to veganism. Around 8 million people in Germany now have a vegetarian diet and 1.3 million people completely vegan. Incidentally, it is assumed that around 1 billion people around the world are vegan-vegetarian, i.e. around one in seven world citizens. Wow!

Fact 2:
Vegan food is finally taking place in the supermarket too. We all still remember the times when we only got our plant-based nutritional alternatives in well-stocked health food stores. Those times are over now, as a look at the numbers shows. According to Nielsen, the vegan range in discounters grew by 40% (supermarkets + 17%) and the meat alternatives increase in sales by almost 30% every year. Incidentally, we did not expect such increases before our research.

Fact 3:
People are becoming more and more open to veganism. Because in a study by the market research company Mintel it came out that almost one in five of the 16- to 24-year-olds find meat alternatives really good.

Fact 4:
Vegan restaurants are taking off. Finally we can enjoy delicious vegan dishes outside of our own four walls (and hey, we're talking about more than just a collection of loveless vegetable side dishes on the plate). The VEBU recorded an increase in vegan restaurants in Germany of almost 30 percent in 2016. Most of them are currently in Berlin: according to VEBU, the capital has no fewer than 48 vegan restaurants. Our tip at this point: a vegan gourmet short trip to Berlin!

Fact 5:
It is no longer just about a vegan diet, but a consistently vegan lifestyle. Because veganism is finding its way into more and more areas of life - and a lot of them think that's really great, by the way, we do too. Numerous glossy magazines already show vegan fashion, countless magazines deal exclusively with the topic of veganism in the areas of cooking, fashion and lifestyle, vegan cosmetic products have become an indispensable part of the shelves of drugstores and perfumeries, some energy companies supply us with vegan electricity and vegan gas home and the various veggie fairs attract visitors in droves across Germany.

So then, as we said at the beginning: in our opinion veganism has long since ceased to be a niche, the ethical treatment of animals is now an indispensable, integral part of our society.

The health benefits of living without animal products

We don't know how you are: but we noticed that our vegan diet has a noticeably positive influence on our subjective health perception. Since we have been on a purely vegan diet, we feel fresher, more thirsty for action and fitter. Of course, at the beginning we also had vegan substitute products on our plate, which were vegan, but unfortunately not necessarily healthy. Who does not remember his first vegan steps with purely plant-based burgers, vegan currywurst or vegan gyro plates. Fortunately, we have taken the next vegan development step and now cook differently: mainly with vegetables, legumes, nuts and fruit - and largely forego vegan substitute products, which unfortunately is not always possible. (Especially not if you want to achieve a certain taste or a special consistency.) However, we think that you will certainly feel the health benefits of a vegan diet yourself. Nevertheless, we did a little research on the internet and discovered a couple of very interesting connections between the topic of health and vegan nutrition, which cannot be dismissed out of hand at first and are also great as an argumentation aid for veggie critics.

The impact of vegan food on weight and digestion

Plant-based foods are usually low in fat and calories and have a high proportion of fiber. This is why vegan dishes are usually more filling. So you have to eat less to be full. The result (if vegan burgers or vegan currywurst are avoided): Vegans therefore have a lower risk of obesity and often a better body mass index than meat eaters. In addition, the dietary fibers also have a positive effect on digestion and calm the intestines, which can have a positive effect on our general well-being and ensure a good mood.

A vegan diet can also have a major impact on blood pressure. Since the potassium, which is abundant in vegetables and fruits, makes our blood more fluid, the heart does not have to pump as hard, which lowers blood pressure. Since blood pressure also rises with increasing BMI, the lower risk of obesity also has a positive effect here. Therefore, it is assumed in numerous studies that people who are vegetarian-vegan are significantly less affected by hypertension than people who also consume animal products.

Hundreds of thousands of people die every year as a result of high cholesterol levels. Deposits in the vessels lead to cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks or strokes. However, according to the Oxford Vegetarian Study, vegans tend to have better cholesterol levels than meat eaters. Those of vegans are almost in the optimal range, those of meat eaters, on the other hand, are usually slightly higher. Foods such as oatmeal, beans, artichokes and pumpkin, which are often used in vegan cuisine (as we love them) and have a cholesterol-lowering effect, certainly contribute to this.

Incidentally, people who are vegetarian-vegan also have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. This is because this metabolic disease is usually triggered by a high-fat diet. Which brings us back to the first point: fiber. But there is another crucial point: almost all fruits and vegetables have a low glycemic index. This can have a positive effect on the carbohydrate metabolism. As a result, carbohydrates are metabolized more quickly and literally do not set in.

And there is still something positive to report. Secondary plant substances such as yellow-orange-red vegetables and fruits, green-leaved vegetables, wheat germ, nuts, legumes, soybeans and onions and leeks have various health-promoting effects and can in particular prevent the development of some types of cancer. In contrast to (red) meat, which is suspected of promoting certain types of cancer.

We think these are a whole bunch of great health benefits that can be achieved with just a little greens. Or to put it another way: by how many billions of euros could we reduce our medical costs in Germany if everyone (maybe only now and then) were vegan? Which brings us to the social effects of veganism.

What advantages “meat-free” has for our society

Living vegan is good for nature. A single hamburger alone takes up an area of ​​around 5 square meters of rainforest. Almost 20% of our greenhouse gases are caused by factory farming - more than all cars and airplanes put together. If we were all vegans in Germany, we would also save around 240 million tons of liquid manure, which is disposed of in the fields and gradually minimizes the fertility of the soil. 240 million tons, any questions?

Living vegan works against food shortages. Because instead of growing plant-based foods in order to later export them as animal feed to the industrialized countries, the agricultural areas could be used to feed the population of the affected countries with a consistently vegan lifestyle. Corn for eating - instead of corn for feeding is the motto. If we were to eat all of the plant-based foods that are grown around the world instead of feeding them, all people around the world would be full every day. All people all over the world - every day, any questions?

Living vegan is real animal welfare. Those who eat plants do not encourage the perversions of factory farming, but consistently oppose them. We vegans are not responsible for billions and billions of cattle slaughtered. We vegans are not responsible for all the suffering that pigs and chickens do in stalls that are far too small and without proper exercise. We vegans are the solution to this ethical problem. Because we don't see animals as a commodity, but as what they really are: wonderful living beings who, like us humans, have a right to live in peace for a long time.

Our conclusion

So, after all that we think: the best way to live well as animals is without any animal products. That's why we both don't believe that veganism is just an alternative to a life with meat. If you look at the full effects of meat consumption, it quickly becomes clear: Veganism is the only sensible way!

Until next time.

In veggies we trust!

Photo: iStock.com/UberImages

vegan life overview