The vegan lifestyle is about more than leaving meat and dairy products behind you. Nutrition is just the tip of the iceberg of this alternative choice. There are many other factors that come along with it, impacting our society on a global scale.
The Immediate Impact
The most sudden impact veganism can have, especially if you’ve only recently taken up the lifestyle or diet, is the one on you as a person.
You’re either making a conscious and often difficult decision to improve your life and your health, or you’re making a sacrifice to help the planet heal and stay alive. Of course, these are just two of many reasons one goes vegan.
Healthwise, the benefits you will feel are immense. A vegan diet can help you lose weight, as well as lower the risk of some cancers and heart disease. It can also aid in reducing the pain experienced from arthritis.
There are many who consider it cool to be vegan, for many reasons. I do it myself, and I have high respect for anyone who can bring themselves from a diet filled with meat to one of only plants. I admit, it’s a difficult transition, yet many feel pressured into it for any given reason.
We mainly get peer pressure from celebrities and other role models in our lives. After all, wanting to be like them is a logical consequence of the status they have in society. This impact is not always a bad thing, but many can see it as a black and white contrast.
The Ultimate Goal
Many vegans have an ideal that drives them towards that lifestyle, and it can differ from person to person. However, in general, the ultimate goal is to create a world where animals are not taken advantage of or treated inhumanely as currently happens globally.
Often, by simply refusing to eat meat and increasing numbers of people around them doing the same, vegans tend to have a way lighter carbon footprint compared to anyone with meat in their diet. The meat industry is one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gasses, mainly methane.
It’s well known and repeated that the vegan community loves the environment. We want to keep it safe for future generations even though it’s a task that’s very hard to achieve.
Yet, society functions as well as it does in its current habitat. As a society, we are basically just another group in the environment that impacts the rest of it.
It’s a cruel thought, but we live in an age where our society can come crashing down from anything. War and politics can be a scary thought, but we don’t always notice the big things that can cause a big disaster – we fail to see the forest from the trees. Vegans as a group are slightly more aware of the importance of preserving the Earth we walk on.
Ethics and Morality
There are over 150 billion animals slaughtered every year for our consumption of meat and other animal products. Worst of all is – that number excludes the fish and marine count. For many vegans, this is a slaughter reign that must end.
It’s very difficult to understand. Consider a cow and your dog. Both are animals we as humans have domesticated. Yet, we find that killing one is cruel while slaughtering the other isn’t. Perhaps it’s about all creatures having souls. It may be something entirely different. Either way, switching to veganism leaves behind those double standards.
In the end, it’s all related. It’s not always the simplest thing to see, but every action causes another action as the sequence repeats itself infinitum.
Vegans have a tremendous social impact because they hold strong views about health, environment, and ethics. It may be one or all three, but these factors cause vegans to encourage more veganism in an attempt to either save what they love or help the people around them.