(image: The Kate Tin)
Over 50 billion land animals are killed every year for human use and consumption. Repeat: 50 billion, excluding fish and shellfish! There has never before been a more crucial time to start reducing and refusing animal and animal-based products – for the animals (imagine 50 billion sentient, innocent lives being slaughtered annually), for the environment (raising animals for food contributes to dangerous climate change, land environmental degradation, water pollution and water shortages), and for your health (multiple studies indicate that a diet rich in plant-based foods can help improve your health, especially chronic diseases like cholesterol, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure).
According to The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “animal agriculture is one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”. Then why are we still farming, killing and eating animals? Replacing meat, milk and eggs benefits farm animals in South Africa, millions of whom spend their entire lives in cages or crates, where they are unable to exercise, engage in their natural behaviours, or even turn around due to lack of space.
Plant-based is a diet that refuses animal products – zero meat, chicken, eggs, dairy and fish. Veganism is adopting not just a plant-based diet but also a way of life where no animal products are used at all – including cosmetics, cleaning supplies, clothing and even honey (or honey-based products).
Do you feel ready to become plant-based? Better yet, vegan? If so, we’ve drawn up a three-part plan to make it easy for you – recipes as well as helpful information to make the transition as easy as possible.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas
You don’t need to be a gourmet chef to be vegan, and contrary to popular belief, you don’t need expensive substitutes either. Veganism works out significantly cheaper – and you can eat like everyone else.
You might find in the beginning you’ll have to plan meals, but with time and as you become better acquainted with well-loved vegan staples it’ll get easier. Adapt your favourite dishes by replacing animal products with a vegan alternative, like meat with lentils and chickpeas, cheese with vegan cheese, and remove animal products completely. Food24 has a host of vegan recipes that we’ve rounded up – the best and most popular – to give you inspiration and an idea of just how nourishing veganism is.
Homemade almond milk (for your morning coffee)
Looking for gluten-free recipes? Head HERE.