Yes, you could say that being vegan ‘ish’ is like being pregnant ‘ish.’ You could also say that it’s better to go 100 percent vegan so that your taste buds more rapidly acclimate to plant-based foods.
These points are valid, but life isn’t black or white.
Some people may have only just come across the concept of being vegan. They may be attracted to it, but find the idea intimidating, especially if it’s dramatically different to their current eating habits. They may feel that they can handle one or two changes, but be a bit apprehensive about going the whole nine yards.
Isn’t it better to try and make small, positive lifestyle shifts, than none at all?
To be clear, I’m talking specifically about eliminating one or a few animal products, as opposed to being vegan for a part of the day or week. The impact made (both ethically and health-wise) by eliminating an animal product altogether from a diet is arguably more quantifiable than just reducing consumption of it by what would be, in effect, a highly arbitrary, immeasurable amount.
It is very likely that after experiencing better health and wellness from getting rid of some animal foods (and replacing them with delicious alternatives!), the inspiration and will to go 100 percent plant-based will follow. Even if this doesn’t happen, we need to remember that any reduction in animal product consumption is positive, and it is smart to be encouraging and supportive to anyone who does this on any scale.
Less animal product consumption always means less cruelty to animals, less environmental destruction, and if done carefully, better health.
Maybe you are thinking of altering a few eating habits, and are wondering what to change in order to feel the most benefit, and have the most positive impact on your environment?
Here are a few ideas:
-The number one thing I recommend even if you feel you can’t do anything else is to ditch dairy.
This is hands down the best thing you can do for your body (dairy has been linked to many chronic diseases – cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity as well as conditions such as acne, asthma and allergies) and the dairy industry is just as cruel as the livestock industry, so this one change is massive.
-You could also try eliminating eggs. They are very high in cholesterol, and have also been linked to cancer. The egg industry is also super cruel, discarding all unprofitable baby male chicks by gassing them to death, or putting them through a shredder alive.
-If you feel you can give up one meat product, consider making it chicken. Poultry intake is also linked to, you guessed it – cancer, and more chickens are killed per day for meat than any other animal.
I encourage anyone toying with the idea of trying a plant-based diet but feeling a bit overwhelmed, to try giving up one or two of the above products. Make sure you replace them with lots of tasty, nutritious alternatives, and ignore any vegetarian or vegan who tries to shame you for not doing enough. You are doing plenty.
Image Source: Low Fat Vegan Silken Tofu Omelet