by Loren Howarth
Most Australians are well-known for their love of meat and many of my family and friends couldn’t think of anything better than a Saturday night barbecue consisting of snags, rissoles and steaks. But this year, Australians have googled the word ‘vegan’ more times than any other country. So, I thought that you might like some insight into what this trending lifestyle is actually about.
Unlike vegetarians, vegans eliminate all animal products from their diets and don’t purchase goods such as clothing or shoes if they contain animal products. Vegans also avoid all personal and household products that have been tested on animals.
So if vegans don’t eat any animal products, what do they eat? Many people have the assumption that vegans have a restrictive diet that only consists of eating salads and fruit. But trust me, there is a lot of variety in a vegan lifestyle. Due to the demand for more plant based foods, vegans can now enjoy ice cream, donuts, hot dogs, pizza and even cheese! Now, there are plant based alternatives of basically any food that contains animal products. Don’t worry about not getting enough protein either. Quinoa, tofu, lentils and beans are high in protein and can be easily added into meals.
Despite the wide range of tasty vegan products available, many people still question as to why someone would want to go vegan. Many people decide to become vegan for the animals, as they no longer want to eat meat or any by-product of an animal. This was the case for me, as well as the health and environmental benefits that this lifestyle offered. Since becoming vegan I feel more energetic, focused and overall I have become a happier and healthier person.
Being vegan can also save you money. Rice, potatoes, legumes and other vegetables and fruits are some of the cheapest foods on the market and are easily accessible all-year round. Since becoming vegan I’ve also tried foods that I would have never eaten before such as black beans and tofu, which can be used as a protein rich meat substitute in your favourite dishes!
Plant your own veggie garden to keep you busy during the holidays, or maybe even visit the local farmers market in your area for fresh produce. Not only is it cheaper, but you’ll be supporting your community.
If you’re interested in living a vegan lifestyle, give it a go! You’ll feel so much better from all those extra greens and delicious summer fruits, plus you’ll have more energy for all of those holiday adventures. Since you’ll be saving money on food, you’ll have more cash to spend on summer activities. It’s a win, win.
So if you’re up to it, here’s a little challenge from Buzzfeed where you’ll learn how to eat vegan for a week. If you want to try your own dishes, there are a number of websites and YouTube channels to give you inspiration.
Image source: finda.photo