You probably already know that we celebrate a change of seasons on Sunday, but did you know that, for some, the first day of spring also means celebrating a change in the way they eat?
For the last 31 years, countless activists, groups, and other individuals around the globe have spent each March 20th celebrating their love of vegan food during an enormous worldwide event called the Great American Meatout (or simply “Meatout,” for short). According to the campaign's coordinator, the Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), Meatout provides a great opportunity to introduce thousands of people to “the benefits of a compassionate diet for achieving great health, helping the environment, and of course, saving animals.”
Organizers say that if people would avoid animal products for just two days, their efforts would save 28 animals and 190,000 gallons of water annually. And if each person completely eliminated animal products from their diets, says FARM, he or she would save 200 animals, 1.3 million gallons of water, and 53,000 square feet of rain forestry each year.
Vegans consistently cite research that shows that the animal agriculture industry contributes to water scarcity, pollution, and climate change. The World Health Organization says there is a link between cancer and the consumption of processed meats, and the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee also recommends that people consume less meat, as well.
While the Great American Meatout is a one-day effort, many people do "Meatless Monday" every week, and there's even a website with recipes you can check out.
Those on a vegan diet avoid eating any and all animals and animal byproducts, and generally consume more legumes, fruits, vegetables, fiber, and vitamin C than people who eat both plants and animals.
Not only can a vegan diet provide all the essential nutrients and protein that humans need, but the diet provides considerable health benefits, as well. Vegans are typically thinner and have lower cholesterol and blood pressure than those on (even) vegetarian and other diets, and they also have a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, various types of cancer, and other chronic diseases.
Once labelled as too extreme or impractical, the vegan diet has been become increasingly mainstream in recent years. Despite its increased popularity, however, many find it difficult to commit to the diet full-time. Instead, some “part-time vegans” stick to the diet for a short period of time, as a way to detox or perhaps to get in shape for an event. Others eat only vegan meals at home, while allowing themselves a little more freedom when they dine out.
If the idea of a vegan diet sounds appealing, but you're not sure you can stick with it full-time, don't worry: Going vegan even occasionally can give your diet a definite boost. And Meatout is a perfect day to give it a try.
Whether you're fully committed to the vegan lifestyle—or just beginning to explore it—we can help.
Diet Direct fully recognizes the benefits of the vegan lifestyle, and is proud to carry dozens of animal-free items from respected sources that will both satisfy your taste buds and help you eat healthier.
In addition to our huge selection of vegan flours, vitamins, minerals, and protein powders, we also carry a wide array of cookies, crackers, bars, meal shakes and other beverages. And you simply must try our latest delicious (and very popular) vegan addition: all-natural, gluten-free pasta alternative shirataki noodles in marinara sauce.
We are always adding new products. Be sure to check out our online store today!
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