A vegan world is every animal rights activist’s dream. Its not as far fetched an idea as it was, even ten years ago, and the world is definitely moving towards it. From plant based media trends, to medically recommended plant based diets, the move in food is away from meat and this is really great news. Still, the way things are raises questions for alot of people. Why isn’t everyone vegan at that point? Why does even the word vegan still illicit such doubt and derision? And what is plant based or reducitarism eating all about?
People should realize that plant based and vegan aren’t the same thing. Veganism is a life philosophy of not harming animals; plant based is a diet that contains no animal products. Reducatariasm is simply the practice of reducing your animal product consumption. Many people feel they don’t understand veganism and why the difference between it and a plant based lifestyle matters. They lose interest, hung up on these ethical and philosophical points and give up on trying vegan foods because they are confused about veganism and scared of it. It really isn’t rocket science but thanks to mainstream media’s attitude towards it, it often seems that it is.
Mark Bittman’s bestselling ” vegan” cookbook and diet plan- V6, which advocates eating meat and animal products only after 6:00 pm, really didn’t help. It is a ridiculous premise because if you eat meat daily or ever, you’re clearly not at all a vegan. Its not even reducatarian. Veganism is hot, so people are cashing in. Hopefully the vegan message will get through, despite the various motives and interpretations, and people will eventually get over their fears and give it a try.
The truth is that many people will probably never be vegan or want to be. But that doesn’t mean that these people can’t help out our planet and world as well. The familiar green creed” Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” can apply to food as well as products. Everyone may not want to go vegan but everyone can reduce their meat, egg and dairy consumption and that, as well as people going vegan, does help both animals and our planet alot.
The base numbers to continue sustainability and comfort here on earth probably is along the lines of 50% vegan by 2050 and 40-50 % of people having reduced their consumption of animal products. I hope for an all vegan world but realistically that probably won’t happen for a while. I do think its possible and will, of course, continue to advocate for it. But the truth is everyone can reduce, really should and that it does make a big difference.
A world of sustainable eating which advocates veganism and is vegan and reducartarian is a much better and healthier world for all. In practical terms, its a world of reduced health care costs, cruelty, aggression, mass starvation, climate change. It means a world were vegan products are as easily to find, affordable and plentiful as non vegan products. Where every restaurant had vegan options, and vegan restaurants are everywhere. A world in which food companies reduce and replace animal products in their foods for plant based equivalents.
The numbers of vegans in the past 13 years has risen from 2% to 8% and even higher in some countries. That a small but significant rise. The other other good news story is the 30% or more reduction of animal products consumed in the west. These are great trends that indicate real change in how people are eating, and thinking about the foods they eat. There is still the problem of the rise of middle class meat consumption in non western countries. Hopefully this can be stemmed by continued support of plant based eating from global agencies like the UN, medical associations ( the AMA recently endorsed a plant base diet for hospitals and health) as well as the social media and activist presence of vegans worldwide.
In all, there is definitely reason to hope. For animals, both farmed and wildlife, any change towards plant based eating is welcome and a matter of survival for many. Veganism might still be viewed as extreme but the feelings and thinking behind it sure aren’t. The interest and move towards veganism and plant based eating does show that not only activists, but the mainstream, are seeing, caring and trying to help. We are becoming a vegan world.