Is Veganism Truly Sustainable?

Is Veganism Sustainable

Veganism has taken the world by storm in the past decade. While the increasingly popular ideology aims towards saving the world, is veganism really sustainable in the long-run?

Veganism is an ideology that discourages the consumption of any animal products in diet or daily life. This ideology is gaining massive popularity as startups explore the market for vegan products and services. The boom in easily available vegan products is making veganism a more achievable lifestyle than before. Thousands of people across the world have adopted such a lifestyle for various reasons in recent years. While some hope to adopt a healthier and more environmentally-conscious lifestyle, some become vegan to express their stance against animal cruelty.

The plant-based lifestyle in and of itself can be healthy and eco-friendly. However, it is not the environmental cure-all that some have heralded it to be. As of 2020, The global vegan food market was worth about US$15.4 billion. The over-industrialization of the lifestyle to meet growing demands begs to argue that a vegan lifestyle is not an inherently greener one. So, is veganism truly sustainable?

Effects of the vegan diet

Pros

  • Veganism can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the overall amount of animal products being processed and produced.
  • Reduction of heavy grazing animals like cows can solve the issue of soil compaction, which prevents plant growth and rainwater absorption and causes erosion and loss of fertile topsoil.
  • Elimination of animal agriculture would free up vast tracts of land, that can be used for agricultural purposes or be left to return to its natural state to counteract climate change.

Cons

  • The importing of produce to maintain holistic vegan diets will result in harmful emissions via transport and shipping. Processed vegan products like meat substitutes also contribute to the problem.
  • Locally grown produce may not always be diverse enough to be holistic and nutritionally adequate. Imported fruits and vegetables are too expensive on a regular basis, making vegan diets inaccessible to many. These diets are also often deficient in fats and proteins.

Veganism in day-to-day products

While the vegan diet is the flagship of the phenomenon, veganism is a complete lifestyle for many that follow it. Meaning, they also do not use products, such as cosmetics and clothes, made with the use of animals in their day-to-day lives. 

Plant-based textiles like cotton, flax and jute are well-loved, but synthetic fibers are fast taking up the empty spaces that animal fibers had left in the hearts and markets of vegan fashionistas. Synthetic fibers are versatile in their uses and appearance. They can imitate the look and texture of natural fabrics like leather and fur with the added benefit of being significantly cheaper. 

But synthetic fibers are a double-edged sword, as they are often not biodegradable. Plastic-based fabrics like faux fur send millions of microplastic pieces into our waterways with every wash.

Cosmetics face a similar issue with vegan products. They may be free of common animal substances like beeswax, honey or animal fats, but may still contain heavy metals like lead and aluminum, nanoparticles and synthetic coloring. This reinforces the fact that vegan products are not inherently better for the environment or one’s health.

Veganism vs vegetarianism

The vegan ideology may seem a bit extreme for the majority of the global population, but there are indeed merits to plant-based diets. Vegetarian diets are plant-based diets that accomplish many of the same objectives as vegan diets while being a lot more flexible and sustainable.

There are various types of vegetarian diets, with Lacto-Ovo (milk and egg-eating)being the most common. As the name suggests, this diet includes dairy products and eggs but avoids meat, poultry and seafood. Lacto vegetarians eat dairy products but no eggs, meat, poultry or seafood. Ovo vegetarians eat eggs but no dairy products, meat, poultry or seafood.

While vegetarianism does not completely put an end to animal consumption as veganism does, it can meet some of the latter’s objectives effectively. Vegetarianism can significantly cut down greenhouse gas emissions while providing a more nutritionally balanced and logistically sustainable option.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

How Can Entrepreneurs Overcome Loneliness?

How Can Entrepreneurs Overcome Loneliness?

Starting your own business is a project that will take over most of your life. You are straying away from the typical 9-5 jobs that your friends and family may have. The sheer effort you have to make to get a business up and running will leave you feeling lonely. While it might seem almost expected to feel lonely during your startup journey, loneliness is a slippery slope to several health conditions.

8 Techniques to Get Readers Rolling Right into Your Content

8 Techniques to Get Readers Rolling Right into Your Content

We’ve all been there. We’ve spent hours crafting the perfect blog post, article or white paper, but no one is reading it. Why? It could be for a million reasons, but often it’s because we’re not doing enough to get people to come to our content. In this article, we’ll learn about the eight techniques that will help you draw in readers and get your content read!

Amazon vs Flipkart Who Will Win Festival Sale War in India

Amazon vs. Flipkart: Who Will Win the Big Festival Sale War in India?

Amazon India and Flipkart, the two biggest ecommerce giants in India, have always been in a neck-to-neck competition for supremacy in the country. There is no better occasion to showcase their strength and take advantage of people’s shopping mood than during the Indian festive season, which begins in late September featuring various festivals, like Durga Pooja, Dussehra and Diwali.

Reviewing Top AI Boyfriends on Google Play Store

Anima vs. Replika: Reviewing Top AI Boyfriends on Google Play Store

Finding your perfect match can be a long and tedious process. You can go on date after date and still have a long way to go before you find your soulmate. In the meantime, you can curb your loneliness by speaking to an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot.There are dozens of AI chatbots on the market today that give you the experience of having someone to vent your issues to and discuss your daily lives with.

Shrinkflation

What Is “Shrinkflation” and Why Opting For It Isn’t Companies’ Only Choice

You might have noticed grocery prices are soaring, or your usual go-to pack of chips is shrinking in size—all thanks to massive inflation. As of August 2022, the U.S. consumer price index (CPI), which measures the change in consumer prices for a specific set of goods over a period, has increased by 8.3% (year-on-year). Although it has gone down slightly from 8.6% in May, the highest it has ever been since 1981, it remains high and worrying.