Over the last two years at Grassroots, we’ve had several vegan converts amongst the staff. It was kind of inevitable. Our store manager Magenta has been vegan since the 90’s, and she just makes such a convincing case for it! I came around to the idea in the fall of 2014 and was followed in short order by former omnivore Kayla and longtime vegetarian Linda. Our reasons were carefully considered, and I’d like to share some of them with you today.
The Vegan Society defines veganism as “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” This is a good example of the animal rights perspective, which is probably the best known reason for ditching animal-based products. It’s definitely an important one for us Grassroots vegans. Simply put, we believe that animals are beings with a right to life, and since we can live happily and healthily without harming animals…let’s do that!
If that doesn’t feel right for you, there’s another perspective: that of the Climate Vegan. Climate Vegan is an organization in Toronto that works to raise awareness that “the most impactful way to combat the climate crisis, the biggest threat to our planet, is to adopt a vegan whole foods plant based lifestyle.” An increasing number of people are choosing plant-based diets for this reason. Animal agriculture requires a ton of resources that our planet is ill-equipped to offer, especially given world population and consumption rates. From Climate Vegan’s site, here’s a breakdown of a vegan’s daily environmental impact:
Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves:
- 1,100 gallons of water
- 45 pounds of grain
- 30 sq ft of forested land
- 20 lbs CO2 equivalent
- 1 animal’s life
Interested in learning more? Watch a documentary like Cowspiracy (available on Netflix!) and check out sites like Climate Vegan, Consider Veganism, and The Vegan R.D. When you’re ready to get cooking, try recipes from blogs like Simple Veganista or Oh She Glows. And don’t forget to stop by your library and borrow one of my go-to’s like Veganomicon, Get It Ripe, or for nutritional information, Vegan for Life.by