What it means to be vegan
Veganism has become an increasingly popular lifestyle on a global scale, even having a whole month dedicated to it (Veganuray) an annual challenge run by a UK nonprofit organisation that promotes and educates about veganism by encouraging people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January.
We have decided to look at the history of veganism and how it has become a huge trend in 2018. What does it mean to be vegan…and could you stick to it?
The story of Veganism from the early 2000’s from an observers perspective
With Wellness becoming the fastest growing industry in 2018 and the whole world becoming more aware of the planet, regarding many issues such as plastic in the oceans; sustainability; the future welfare of the planet; and animal welfare, there is no time like now to connect with how to live ethically for the good of all.
Here at Adventure Yogi, we have been watching the journey of Veganism since the beginning of the 2000s when Michelle King, founder of Adventure Yogi became a vegetarian who didn’t eat dairy products (but ate honey so she couldn’t be classed as a vegan) when in those days it was very leftfield and it was more a hippy diet/fad rather than an ethical and sustainable lifestyle choice. The matters of the environment and animal welfare weren’t in the mainstream media like they are today and vegan food has become more accessible with meat and dairy substitutes widely available in supermarkets, not just niche shops.
The only type of alternative chocolate bar you could get was a carob chocolate bar which was pretty gross and there weren’t any alternatives to all foods like there are now. Raw chocolate is a favourite of Michelle’s!
How Did Plant-Based Diets Become Popular?
In 2004, Nutritionist Dr Gillian McKeith who wrote “You Are What You Eat” was the first person to bring healthy plant-based diets into the mainstream. She advocated a pescatarian diet that was plant-based on everything else and recommended eliminating “toxins” from the body, such as wheat, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol. Since 2012, Deliciously Ella has catapulted the plant-based diet into the mainstream with her blog, which has attracted a huge following and now is a worldwide advocate. With her cookbook and Instagram, she became a household name for her beautiful and creative food.
Since then the environment and animal welfare have become very important to the mainstream too. Furthermore, with the digital age, images on social media and influencers being vegan it has made it all a lot more accessible. With the wellness industry being the fastest growing, everyone is coming up with new ideas to be healthy. The understanding is vegan is more conscious. There are influencer wellness vegan weightlifters and bodybuilders leading the way. Vegans such as James Aspey are pro-animal rights and the environment. The age of Aquarius is upon us!
What Does it Mean to be Vegan?
Being vegan – can you do it? It is much easier these days to be vegan. However, it takes a lot of preparation and time to make balanced meals. Ensure that you are getting all the right nutrients, otherwise, it can have a detrimental effect on your health.
Most vegans give ethical reasons as their reasons for the food choices made. The slaughter of animals is the most obvious but also against the ethics of the dairy industry. Ultimately, it is a belief that diet is better for the environment and life in general.
We think this quote from Natalie Portman summarises the vegan belief beautifully. “Everyone has to find what is right for them, and it is different for everyone. Eating for me is how you proclaim your beliefs three times a day. That is why all religions have rules about eating. Three times a day, I remind myself that I value life and do not want to cause pain to or kill other living beings. That is why I eat the way I do.”
I think that you can also live with some vegan principles, that fit into your life so that you are doing something as your bit. Whether for the environment or ethical beliefs but isn’t causing you stress and guilt trips because you aren’t the 100% Angelic Vegan. Do what you can. Be aware, and conscious, share those beliefs and modify your lifestyle as much as you can. But honestly, don’t stress about it!
Tips on How to Stay Vegan
If you have decided to become a vegan, then it’s time to get serious! Learn how to nourish yourself the right way otherwise, you can do your body more harm than good. Here are some ideas for you to help convert more easily.
Create a menu plan that has a balance of proteins, carbs, and vegetables. Ensure you are receiving the right balance in each meal
Create the time to make the food. make it in bulk and freeze things to help with the management of this diet
Shop in local, organic shops where possible and consider an ethical approach to your shopping
Learn what alternative foods are out there so that the transition isn’t too great
Discover a world of deliciousness when you start to learn new recipes and ways of making foods taste delicious (you won’t miss meat or dairy at all!)