A recent report showed that global interest in veganism has become more popular than vegetarianism, so we asked Vegan Events UK festival organiser, Victoria Bryceson why she thinks this is. 

Victoria Bryceson

Victoria Bryceson

Because you’re not contributing to any animal cruelty if you’re vegan. Many people may be unaware that after a few days, a dairy cow’s calf is taken away from her, causing extreme distress.

Hens in egg factories have a large portion of their beaks cut off with a burning-hot blade without painkillers. Millions of male chicks are thrown into high-speed grinders, called “macerators,” while alive.

Sheep shearers are usually paid by volume, which encourages them to work faster, resulting in frequent injuries. Pieces of skin, tails, teats, and ears are regularly cut off.

It’s the most impactful thing you can do to help our planet. A study published in Climatic Change sought to estimate the difference in dietary GHG emissions between self-selected meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK. It concluded that dietary GHG emissions in self-selected meat-eaters are more than twice as high as those in vegans and that it’s likely that reductions in meat consumption would lead to reductions in dietary GHG emissions.[1]

It’s good for you! You’re less likely to develop heart disease and get certain types of cancer if you follow a healthy vegan diet. Dr. Kim A. Williams, president-elect of the American College of Cardiology, often sees patients who are Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. One of the things he advises them to do is to go vegan[2]. Plus the British Dietetic Association states that, ‘...well-planned plant-based, vegan-friendly diets can be devised to support healthy living at every age and life-stage.’[3]

You can lose weight. As long as you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet, you can keep slim and trim on a vegan diet. However, make sure you do your nutritional research first. A good book to start with is Becoming Vegan (Express Edition) by Brenda Davis & Vesanto Melina. And if in doubt, consult with a state registered dietician. 

You’ll eat a wider variety of foods than you ever did before. Vegans typically eat a much wider range of foods than your average vegetarian or meat eater, which means meal times are way more interesting. There’s currently a plethora of cool vegan recipe books to choose from such as ‘The Vegan Cookbook: Over 80 Plant-based Recipes’ by Tony Bishop-Weston and Yvonne Bishop-Weston.

It makes you feel happy! In my experience taking the faces off your plate makes for happier eating. I recently heard about Matthieu Ricard, an expert on happiness who has been called the 'happiest man in the world', after neuroscientists discovered that Ricard’s brain produces a level of gamma waves "never reported before in the neuroscience literature." Ricard recently teamed up with PETA to urge people to go vegan - suggesting it’s the only way to find true happiness.

It’s cool and trendy to be vegan. Everyone’s going vegan these days! Vegan celebrities include Jennifer Lopez, Miley Cyrus, Jared Leto, Ariana Grande, Jay-Z & Beyoncé, Tobey Maguire, Emily Deschanel, Woody Harrelson, Thom Yorke, Alicia Silverstone, Ellen DeGeneres, Anne Hathaway, Brad Pitt, Pamela Anderson, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Leona Lewis, Demi Moore and Natalie Portman.

It’s easy to be vegan! You don’t have to miss out on familiar tastes you already enjoy. There are loads of gourmet vegan cheeses such as Vegusto, vegan alternatives to bacon, eggs and milk chocolate. And most places now cater for vegans with a separate menu, such as Wetherspoon’s, Toby Carvery and Loungers.

Vegans are a friendly and supportive bunch! There’s a massive support network for vegans, on social networks, at local vegan groups and from charities such as Viva!, Veganuary and Animal Aid.

Vegans know how to enjoy themselves! There’s a huge number of vegan events up and down the country, where you can meet other vegans and try new vegan foods and dishes. I help organise many of these, with my charity Vegan Events UK, which is run in partnership with animal welfare charities including Miracle's Mission. With the vegan lifestyle really starting to go mainstream there’s a massive demand around the country for my vegan-friendly events.”

All Victoria’s vegan festivals include a feast of mouth wateringly delicious food, a wide range of fantastic stalls, world food caterers, exciting cookery demos, inspirational talks, interactive workshops, yoga and children's activities. Entry is from £3 (under 16’s free). VIP tickets, £15, include fast track entry. For a full listing of all the events and more information please visit www.veganeventsuk.co.uk or www.facebook.com/VeganEventsUK

References

https://qz.com/1217067/vegan-is-now-more-popular-than-vegetarian-on-google-search/

[1] Peter Scarborough & Paul N. Appleby & Anja Mizdrak & Adam D. M. Briggs & Ruth C. Travis& Kathryn E. Bradbury &Timothy J. Key, “Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK”, Received: 24 October 2013 /Accepted: 31 May 2014 You can read and download the article at:

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-014-1169-1

Published online by the journal Climatic Change

[2] https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/advice-from-a-vegan-cardiologist/

[3] The British Dietetic Association, ‘Memorandum of Understanding between The Vegan Society and the British Dietetic Association’, 12th March 2014.


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