Veganism is the practice of only eating food not derived from animals and avoiding the use of animal-based products. Meat and other mass food production negatively affect the planet - veganism can help the environment significantly as well as being beneficial for your own personal health. Research conducted at the University of Oxford suggested that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet can reduce a person’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73 percent. And, if the world stopped eating meat and dairy products, there would be a drastic drop in greenhouse gas emissions whilst freeing up land lost to agriculture, a cause of mass wildlife extinction.
At Pow Food, we understand the importance of incorporating vegan options into your own personal diet and have an array of vegan ready-meal bundles and other healthy ready-meal boxes available on our website. Read on to learn more about how veganism can positively impact the environment and how the practice can apply creatively to your own diet.
A plant-based, vegan lifestyle is an effective way of saving water. This is because plant foods require a lot less water to grow compared to animal-based products - it takes three times more water to feed a meat eater compared to a vegan. Agricultural production uses a significant amount of water, as the meat and dairy industry accounts for one-quarter of the total freshwater worldwide, a staggering amount. Let's put this into perspective; for 1kg of beef, this takes a whopping 15,500 litres of water to produce.
Water is needed to rear livestock and grow the crops they eat. Committing to a plant-based diet uses natural resources more efficiently and effectively, saving a huge amount of water in the process. This is important for us in Europe, as much of the food used to feed animals is grown in developing countries, negatively affecting the water supplies and ecosystems of local communities.
Greenhouse gases are harmful gases emitted into the atmosphere and cause global warming. High levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide enter the atmosphere, which significantly contributes to climate change. According to the UN, greenhouse gas emissions from livestock and its supply chain equate to almost 15% of total human greenhouse gas emissions, more than the global transport industry combined.
With healthy vegan ready-meals and vegan ready-meal bundles and boxes, switching to a vegan diet and lifestyle can be done quickly and easily. It can instantly reduce your carbon footprint and prevent needless greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere, which heavily contributes towards global warming.
The demand for fish in common animal-based diets has led to overfishing, which has caused catastrophic imbalances in the world’s oceans. One-third of global fish stocks are currently being overfished and 90% of populations are fully fished. This means that any further fishing will lead to population decline and then extinction.
Beyond reducing fish populations, overfishing heavily affects the entirety of the marine ecosystem. When species decline rapidly, imbalances in the food chain are caused and the behaviour of other fish is permanently changed. Many species of fish that are integral to marine environments are quickly being hunted close to extinction.
Keeping and rearing livestock requires a lot of energy. Large energy emissions are caused by the production of animal feed, the distribution of fertilizers, breeding, electricity, and other day-to-day farm operations. Animal-based protein uses eight times more (increasingly scarce) fossil fuel energy than plant-based proteins and emits these harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Currently, untouched, vibrant rainforests are being destroyed at an alarming rate, reportedly a shocking 80,000 acres a day. Studies have estimated that 20% of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed, with 80% of that deforestation making room for rearing cattle, and the deforestation process itself releasing 340 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year.
Deforestation changes water cycles, causes fluctuating temperatures, alters wildlife, and negatively impacts natural biodiversity.
Veganism aids the preservation of endangered species and protects natural habitats for all animals. Animal-based farming heavily affects the natural habitats of a variety of animals, as they are cleared in order to grow food for livestock. This proliferation of crop production annexes animals away from their natural spaces and can lead to their species’ extinction.
Even in the UK, multiple animals are affected; there has been a decrease in bird species and badgers, and foxes have been forced to feed in urban areas. If there are native animal species near livestock, they are hunted or culled in order to protect the livestock and the profits they can produce. This decimates the natural habitats of many different animal species and can lead to their extinction altogether.
Intense animal-based farming can heavily impact the soil, causing it to erode. Whilst all agriculture can do this, it is especially a problem for animal-based agriculture as more land is needed to rear livestock and animals’ defecation speeds up the erosion process.
Natural waterways are also polluted by chemicals and antibiotics from livestock feed, as animal excrement and chemicals used to feed livestock run off into waterways. This can create “dead zones” where excess nutrients and chemicals allow for algae to grow at an unnaturally exponential rate. The algae sucks up the oxygen from the water, killing fish, plants, and other animals in the process.
Animal agriculture contributes heavily to water pollution and veganism can help limit the number of hormones, antibiotics, and animal waste getting into waterways.
Animal-based farming often involves keeping animals in crowded, often dirty conditions. This can create an environment where pathogens and diseases can spread easily. Those who run these farms ensure they can keep as much livestock as possible, by using antibiotics on the animals to suppress the spread of disease in these packed conditions. This can allow animals to actually become resistant to antibiotics, as “superbugs” can be spread rapidly through food produced by these means, and be a public health danger in itself.
This isn’t a clear and present danger in the UK farms currently, but could potentially arise as one, especially considering how Brexit resulted in a reliance on foreign meat imports. It also is only true for cheap meats, as opposed to the healthy ready meals supplied by Pow Foods, it can’t hurt to understand the potential risks ahead.
If the above reasons have convinced you to explore veganism or led you to consider cutting down on animal-based products, this change might appear to be challenging or daunting. But for those who think Britain is a culture that rests its culinary laurels on farmed animal meat, it is refreshing to see that 63.5% of Britain bought vegan food items in 2021. Not only that, but around half of Britain’s meat eaters are willing to replace some of their meat consumption with plant-based substitutes. Veganism as a practice is being adopted into society and is a very feasible lifestyle choice which will positively impact the environment.
And, if you’re looking for exciting vegan meals to cook, at Pow Foods, we supply a variety of vegan ready meals and other healthy ready meal bundles. From a delectable Vegan Cottage Pie to a rich Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff, Pow Foods have you covered! Even if you don’t think you’re ready to go vegan, our meat and poultry ready-meal boxes are made from the highest quality British meat. With new healthy ready-meal bundles such as our Chicken Tikka Masala And Lamb Tangine, Pow Foods even provides superfood dressings, to allow you to give your healthy ready-meal boxes an extra little bit of zest - if you so require!
Whether you’re interested in healthy vegan ready meals, meat-based ready-meal bundles, or superfood dressings that liven everything up, Pow Food can be of assistance. At Pow Food, our ethos dictates that food must strengthen the body whilst also being delicious! This is why we pack each meal with as much nutritional value as possible, in our healthy ready meals, vegan ready-meal bundles, and even superfood dressings.
We’re a sustainable, family-run business that is ready to provide you with the most nutritious and tasty vegan ready-meals and healthy ready-meal boxes. Visit our online store today to see our range of healthy ready meals.