A group of individuals enjoying a vegan food spread.

How to tackle the negativity of being a vegan

When you tell somebody you’re planning to go vegan or are already vegan, you may not necessarily get the response you were expecting.

Some may be pleased for you. Some may be excited. And some may be curious. Meanwhile, others may be confused about why you should go vegan or potentially even disappointed by your decision.

If you’re already vegan or are planning to become one, you’re obviously doing it for a reason that resonates with you. For those who aren’t quite on the same page as you just yet, be it your gran or your best friend, here’s a reminder of some of the benefits of going vegan, including some interesting vegan facts:

You’re not alone

Veganism is on the rise. According to research carried out by Ipsos Mori on behalf of The Vegan Society, the number of vegans in the UK alone quadrupled to 600,000 in 2019 from 150,000 in 2014. 1

You’re probably never going to be alone

A Future of Food report carried out by supermarket, Sainsbury’s, says vegans and vegetarians look set to make up a quarter of the British population by 2025.2

Being vegan is better for the planet

According to the UN, meat and dairy livestock accounts for 14.5% of all manmade greenhouse gas emissions. But it’s estimated that if everybody went vegan, the world’s food-related emissions would plummet 70% by 2050.3

It can help lower the risk of heart disease

It’s believed vegans are 42% at less risk of dying from heart disease and at 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure. This is due to the fact that most vegan diets are full of fresh fruit, veg, beans and fibre that can help in both of these areas.4

Everybody’s reading about it

Waterstones have 9,030 book titles with the word 'vegan' in them available for sale (as of December 2019) compared to 944 in August 2018.5

Eating a plant-based diet is more affordable than eating meat

A study by Thinkmoney found that people who eat meat spend 645 extra a year on food, compared to people who don’t eat meat.6

It’s possible to still eat a healthy diet

Guidance published by the NHS says, ‘You can get most of the nutrients you need from eating a varied and balanced vegan diet.’ Eating a healthy, balanced vegan diet just involves that bit more planning to make sure your body still receives all of the nutrients it needs.7

Going vegan can help you stay trim

Research on the health benefits of a vegan diet has found vegans tend to be thinner and have lower Body Mass Indexes (BMI) than non-vegans. Several studies have revealed that vegan diets are more effective for weight loss than the diets they were compared to. What’s more, one particular study found that people who followed a vegan diet and ate until they felt full, lost more weight than people who followed a calorie-controlled diet.8

It’s not an ‘exclusive’ club

Anybody and everybody can go vegan if they’d like to. If a friend or family member isn’t convinced by your decision, then why not cook a delicious vegan dish for them and then see what they say? They may not like the thought of not eating meat, but in reality, they may actually be pleasantly surprised! (Why not give these dishes a whirl? ‘Three easy protein-packed vegan recipes.’)

Last, but by no means least….

Choosing not to eat meat or animal by-products means you are potentially saving animals, who are bred for food production and taking an overall stand against animal cruelty and exploitation, which is being made on a global level, with the help of organisations, such as The Vegan Society.9

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Last Updated: 23rd September 2020