The renunciation of meat is a decision that more and more people in Germany meet for themselves. But many even turn their backs on animal products completely and opt for a vegan lifestyle. While completely non-animal products used to be just a small niche that served at most health food stores, there are vegan foods in every supermarket today. It is estimated that between 600,000 and 1.2 million people in Germany have opted for a vegan lifestyle. But to speak of a short-lived trend would be a misjudgment. Because a vegan lifestyle is more than just the renunciation of meat and eggs.
What does vegan lifestyle mean?
Vegans do not take any products derived from animal sources. In addition to meat and fish, this also includes eggs, milk and cheese. The vegan lifestyle includes not only food and products derived from animals, but also from them. This means, for example, that vegan people do not eat honey, but also do not eat e-substances derived from lice. However, the vegan lifestyle is not limited to food but covers all areas of daily life. Even clothing, cosmetics and everyday objects must be free from animal ingredients in the vegan lifestyle. Shoes are made of imitation leather or microfibre, cosmetics are made of herbal ingredients and contains no animal products. Even though the vegan lifestyle has now reached the center of society, the prejudices persist. There is talk of eccentric eco and one-sided diet, which leads sooner or later to nutrient deficiency.
The ethical backgrounds
The step from the meat eater to the vegan way of life usually happens via the intermediate station of the vegetarian diet. Vegetarians reject meat and fish consumption because they do not want to be responsible for the death and misery of the animals. The decisive factor for the switch to veganism is the realization that even dairy products and eggs can not be produced free from suffering and death. Catastrophic conditions of rearing and living prevail in the farms which cultivate factory farms. Not only that the animals are stuffed with hormones and antibiotics. Dairy cows are inseminated artificial so they release the milk. Their male calves turn into veal as fast as possible, while the female offspring also faces the sad fate of dairy cows. A long life is not granted to these cows in the rule. If their milk production declines after a few years, they are degraded to slaughter cattle. The situation with the laying hens is no better, because the male chicks are sorted out after hatching and gassed or still alive in the shredder are thrown, why also eggs from the menu banned belongs. Apart from the targeted killings vegan living also denounce the living and transport conditions of slaughter and livestock. Organic meat and organic eggs are not seen as an alternative, as the standards of animal welfare are not always guaranteed. There is no reason to deny animals the protection that would be applied to humans.
More reasons for a vegan lifestyle
The discussion about the vegan lifestyle is mostly about food. In addition to animal welfare, vegan people have even more good reasons to do without meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. Because environmental protection is also a matter of the heart for vegans. Because factory farming is one of the biggest polluters and resource wasters ever. A particular problem is the emission of nitrogen oxides. Because nitric oxide drives global warming about three hundred times as much as CO2. Emissions from the pet industry are 18% higher than total global traffic. The situation with feed is not better. Around 70 percent of the world’s cereals are used to feed the milk and meat-producing animals. The following calculation illustrates the dimension: to produce one kilogram of meat, 22 kilograms of grain and about 20,000 liters of water are needed. In other words, a vegan’s diet consumes less than 1400 liters of water per day, while a meat eater weighs just under 22,000 liters. From the aspect that both clean drinking water and grain are missing in developing countries, this ethical aspect is absolutely comprehensible for a vegan lifestyle. Since all the livestock need food, whole areas are now deforested, so that the quantities of grain for slaughter cattle can be produced. This destroys the habitat of many species and contributes to climate change. A bill assumes that a vegan lifestyle alone saves 4000 square meters of forest each year. The fertilizers and pesticides used contaminate groundwater, soil and air. The overfishing and exploitation of the oceans also helps to bring the ecosystem out of balance.
Vegan lifestyle is a rejection of globalization
The cultivation of animal feed means that more and more land is being acquired by major investors worldwide. This poses a massive problem, especially in emerging and developing countries. This is where animal feed is cultivated, which livestock is administered somewhere in mass-market farms in industrialized nations. The monoculture not only leaches out the soil, but also the regional agriculture with its principle of self-sufficiency through versatile arable land dies out. Small farmers can no longer act independently and become dependent on large corporations. Traditional knowledge of agriculture and certain regional foods is gradually dying out. A vegan way of life means giving a clear and courageous refusal to globalization, which ensures that the gap between rich and poor in the world continues to grow apart, threatening to undershoot millions of people. Because fact is also that farm animals consume more water, calories and also proteins than they actually produce. The protein taken up with the food ends up not in meat, milk or eggs, but only ensures the maintenance of the body functions of the animals. The bottom line is that a vegan diet makes a bigger contribution to environmental protection and a better world than would ever be possible by bike, on foot, or a green car.
Living healthier through vegan diet
Most civilization diseases today are due to an unbalanced diet. Mostly, the causes of type 2 diabetes, allergies, metabolic diseases and cardiovascular deficiencies are an unbalanced diet. Too much carbohydrates, unhealthy fats and masses of proteins, but too little ballast and vital substances. In times when the pharmaceutical industry has a pill on the market for every ailment, old knowledge about the healing powers of nature and the importance of fresh vegetables and herbs are increasingly being lost. When a vegan lifestyle is done properly and all the necessary nutrients are consumed regularly, the organism is supplied with everything it needs. Vegan people almost always have excellent cholesterol and healthy, well-balanced blood sugar levels. In medical practice, it has often been shown that a vegan lifestyle causes certain diseases such as diabetes, arthritis or Crohn’s disease no medication needed to be given. The vegan lifestyle with its plant-based diet also boosts the immune system. In the case of cancer and multiple sclerosis, it has been found that a vegan lifestyle leads to a positive course of the disease and supports healing. If you live vegan, you also have a lower risk of developing certain cancers. A vegan lifestyle also seems to guarantee sexual life into old age, because men with this type of diet are much less likely to complain of erectile problems and impotence.
A diet that demands creativity
Of course you can call a man who nourishes himself exclusively with pasta with tomato sauce and fries as vegan. However, this is not a vegan way of life. After all, this form of nutrition is only healthy if the whole spectrum of plant-based foods is exhausted. Central components of the diet are in addition to fruits and vegetables also legumes, cereals and nuts. This results in meals based on complex, high-fiber carbohydrates with lots of healthy iron and keeping the energy level constant throughout the day. Admittedly, switching to a vegan lifestyle is difficult at the beginning. Many dishes that one was used to can no longer be cooked or converted with extreme effort. With vegan lifestyle, creativity and imagination are in demand, soon arrive at new, previously unknown ingredients such as chili, ginger, oriental herbs and spices or Far Eastern in the kitchen. These ingredients have the advantage that many of them can positively affect metabolism, brain and even mood. Also smoothies, especially the green smoothie with its concentrated nutrients of wild herbs, grasses and chlorophyll-containing vegetables is an innovation of vegan cuisine. You do not have to do without sweets in this diet. Because the less sustainable and health-endangering white industrial sugar can easily be replaced by vegan sweeteners. Many also report that after the change in diet, coffee soon became unattractive.
Animal Free is sleeping better
Several studies have shown that a vegan lifestyle is an ideal body mass index ( BMI ) from 20 to 25 leads. In times when 55 percent of all Germans are considered to be too fat and 16 percent of them even as morbidly obese, not only animal welfare, but also health is a striking argument to switch to this diet. The statistics show that vegans are on average ten kilos lighter than Mischköstler. However, veganism is not a diet, although abstaining from meat and dairy products can trigger feelings of deficiency that are characteristic of a diet. However, once the first hurdles have been overcome, the versatility of vegan nutrition is discovered and appreciated, as the principles of this way of life are easy to internalize. The weight loss takes place only slowly and the typical for crash diets Jojo effect does not occur because no relapse follows old dietary patterns. But not only the metabolism is brought by the vegan lifestyle at full speed. Because a good diet is largely responsible for a good night’s sleep. At night, a lot of purification and purification processes take place in the body. When the organism has to work hard, because the digestion is difficult and many foreign substances must be broken down. New vegans regularly report that their nighttime sleep has improved significantly. The vegan lifestyle is also psychologically interesting. Many feel emotionally relieved by abstaining from meat consumption and animal products. Some have experienced sustainable support in their meditation practice through the vegan lifestyle.
Vegan in all walks of life
If diet and clothing are vegan, but the power comes from nuclear power, that is a contradiction to the vegan way of life. Because the treatment of the present generation with the environment and its resources plays a decisive role in the ecological footprint that will be left for the offspring. Vegetarians, environmental activists and animal welfare activists want to move away from nuclear and coal power and therefore prefer alternative power generation. Green electricity has become a popular buzzword in recent years. The electricity still comes from the outlet like the conventionally produced electricity, but instead of lignite and nuclear energy, attention is paid to environmentally friendly and sustainable power plants. However, there is a problem for those who want to do without animal products. The alternative generation of electricity also relies on electricity from biogas. This is not acceptable for a vegan lifestyle, since biogas is off plants which are only cultivated in the plant for incineration. Or alternatively from manure, which is obtained from factory farms.
Green electricity is not necessarily vegan
In the green electricity is unfortunately not always what the name suggests. The term is not protected, which is why companies with the green power, which operate neither ecologically nor sustainably, also promote. This is called greenwashing, because the eco-friendly coverlet often conceals companies that are economically tied to corporations that rely on nuclear power. Some also package their electricity in certificates and thus try to calm the ecological conscience. But there is something like that vegan electricity provider ? Vegan electricity means that the energy is sourced only from wind and hydroelectric power plants or from solar energy. But even here, the devil can lie in detail. Again and again it comes to wind power plants to dying birds in the rotors. Vegan electricity providers must then take appropriate action to minimize the impact on birds and other species such as bats. For hydroelectric power plants, it is mandatory that fish ladders pass the turbines to ensure animal welfare. The easiest way to do this is with solar power, as this method of energy production ensures that it does not kill birds or threaten other animals. Incidentally, there is now also a solution for biogas. Instead of manure, sugar beets can simply be used here. This does not support monocultures, is climate-friendly, sustainable and 100% vegan.