By: Caroline Roethlisberger
With the holidays quickly approaching, I’ve begun to wonder how I am going to manage eating amongst my carnivorous relatives. Because this Thanksgiving will be my first major holiday celebration as a vegan, I foresee active experimentation with food options and a lot of explaining about my dietary restrictions. While I have received a lot of support from my friends and family, there are the occasional cynicists and aggressive carnivores that cannot comprehend my animal-free diet. So, for those of you who have scornful meat-eaters for family members, I put together some useful facts and reasons to pursue veganism that you can share with those relatives at the dinner table while they criticize your lifestyle choices. There are a ton of reasons to support vegan diets, so I listed a few arguments I found brief yet compelling that may pacify any contention relating to your holiday meal.
In regard to the environment, animal farming uses an astonishing 70 percent of Earth’s fresh water. That’s 15,500 liters of water per 1 kilogram of beef! Additionally, animal waste contributes to both water and air pollution, and we cannot forget about the energy used for processing and transportation. Animal farming is responsible for 14.5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions!
For those who deny climate change, these facts may not be very considerable; however, its hard to argue morality! Because vegans abstain from eating (and often using) any animal products, no animals are killed or mistreated in order to fulfill their dietary needs. This means there’s no guilty conscience about what we eat and where our food comes from!
For health purposes, there is some evidence that vegan diets lead to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, rates of heart disease, certain types of cancer and type 2 diabetes. You’re consideration and commitment to your long-term health will surely impress (and maybe inspire) your family!
For additional information, check out the Vegan Society website. They even have a printable brochure that you can pass around the Thanksgiving dinner table; however, because we are sensitive to our impact on the environment, a link shared on Facebook might be just as effective.
Also, look forward to upcoming editions, in which I will be trying some vegan holiday recipes. If you have any of your own favorites or ideas for fun dietary experiments, let us know!
Photo via Pixabay.