Veganuary 2021: Why Go Vegan?
Did you know that most of In A Pickle’s products are vegan? If you’re doing Veganuary this year, or even just trying to eat less meat and dairy generally, then our delicious chutneys, pickles and relishes can be a brilliant way to add a flavour boost to your recipes. You can find out whether your favourite jars are vegan on each individual product page.
But why should we all be cutting down on meat and dairy in our diets? Well, there are a number of different benefits associated with a vegan diet. Industrialised animal farming has an enormous impact on the environment, with the UN estimating that the greenhouse gas emissions of the industry as a whole are equivalent to the exhaust emissions of every vehicle on the planet – which is quite a staggering statistic.
There are also the ethical implications to consider – rapid growth in industrialised animal farming over recent years has led to widespread issues with animal welfare, and the conditions in which animals are kept when they’re farmed for meat or dairy products. Of course, there are plenty of smaller farms putting in the effort to ensure the welfare of their animals, so if you’re looking to reduce your impact without giving up meat and dairy entirely, why not research local farms and buy from them? If you eat less meat and dairy, you can afford to spend a little more to ensure you’re supporting high-welfare farming.
There are plenty of individual benefits to a vegan or vegetarian diet too, because if you get the diet right it can be much better for you – higher in fibre, lower in cholesterol and salt. Research has shown that vegans and vegetarians have a reduced risk of heart disease, too.
However, it’s not quite as straightforward as simply swapping meat and dairy products for vegan alternatives – some popular vegan staples also have a significant environmental impact. Producing avocados and alternative milks such as almond and rice milk requires a huge amount of water. According to the WWF, soya is the second largest agricultural driver of deforestation worldwide, after beef. And a lot of popular vegan choices, like jackfruit and many other exotic fruits, have to be imported, resulting in higher food miles. Health-wise, it’s just as easy to eat an unhealthy vegan diet as a non-vegan diet, with plenty of vegan junk food on the market.
As always, the important thing, when you’re making a lifestyle change like reducing the meat and dairy in your diet, is to do a little bit of research and don’t go too extreme all in one go. There’s no question that eating a few more vegan and vegetarian meals can be really beneficial for you and for the environment, as long as you put a little thought into it.