#VEGANUARY is here and more people than ever are embracing it! So what does it all mean?

At Mindful Bites all our products are Vegan. So does that mean we think everyone on the whole planet should be Vegan? 

Our position might actually surprise you. Here we will show you the undeniable effect our mass meat consumption is, and will continue to have on the planet. But we will also show you the other side to the story and ultimately what we think the answer is. 

Consumption is on the rise 

The seriousness of what is going on with our planet cannot be ignored and our mass consumption of animal produce is already having a disastrous effect  - imagine what is going to happen when the population increases as expected! The amount of meat we consume is set to rise and it’s this that really frightens us. 

How will the already struggling farming industry cope? Sadly, guys we think that it probably will cope. Standards will drop even further. Our farmers will suffer even more, as will our planet and ultimately as our bodies. 

If you want to geek out with us, have a look at the, quite frankly frightening statistics we’ve found for you:

  • 14.5% of all greenhouse gases are currently produced from livestock production 
  • 43,000 litres of water are required to produce 1kg of beef 
  • If the grain used in animal feed were to feed humans instead of animals we could feed an extra 3.5 billion people in the world
  • It takes 20 times less land to feed someone on a vegan diet than a meat eater 
  • In 2018, 183% more people signed up to do #Veganuary than the year before (apparently including the Beyoncé and Jay-Z!!)
  • By 2030, developed countries will have annual meat consumption of a huge 100kg per person

We can really appreciate the efforts of some of our friends Venetia Falconer, Max La Manna and Zanna Van Dijk who are daily putting these issues on the map and fighting for change. And with stats like this we can understand why. 

So that’s it, we’re convinced! (*crosses out eggs from shopping list*) Or are we? 

The other side to the story 

At Mindful Bites we know there’s always another side to the story and we are here to give you the whole picture. 

The truth is if literally every single person on the planet went vegan this would be a total disaster for the planet as well! Not all land is actually even suitable for growing crops. We need to use all the land available to us in order to feed our hugely growing population and crop and livestock rotation is a really valid method of achieving this. 

Personal values also play an important part here and we always believe in staying true to ourselves.

And should you even have to? We all have ingrained and important childhood and cultural associations with food that we wouldn’t want to let go of and quite frankly we aren’t even likely to be able to sustain that long term anyway.  

So here’s our answer…

This is a case of small changes, big impacts. If we all make a few easy swaps we can still have an effect on the planet whilst staying true to ourselves and probably, let’s face it being more likely to keep it up long term. 

I mean, choosing a non-dairy alternative in your next cappuccino doesn’t feel totally life changing does it? 

We are now in a time where there are so many amazing alternatives and inspiration available to us. Products like Beyond meat’s ‘bleeding burger’ and Nush’s almond milk cheese stops these swaps from feeling like a sacrifice. Deliciously Ella’s plant-based cookbook is a favourite of ours and the guys at Allplants.com make it even easier with their home delivery service. 

And on the occasions that you might want to choose animal products, choose wisely. Go for good quality, sustainably sourced produce. As it happens not only is this a better choice for the environment but will also have a positive impact on your own health. The reality here is that eating sustainably sourced, good quality animal produce once a week is a massively different thing to choosing mass-produced, even highly processed meat 3 times a day.

To sum up….

We’re in the midst of a dangerous experiment with our planet – let’s not wait to see how that one turns out! Eating animal produce at the current rate we are is a really bad idea! We should revel in the joy of being part of something bigger than ourselves and all try to be part of the possible solution. So think about making those swaps at Mindful Bites we are sure that if we all do, big changes will happen.

Our trusted friends on the topic:

Dr Hazel Wallace @thefoodmedic
Venetia Falconer @venetiafalconer Talking Tastebuds podcast
Ryan Andrews @ryandexterandrews
Max la Manna @eatingwithmax www.eatingwithmax.com
Beyond Meat @beyondmeat
Nush Foods @nushfoods www.ocado.com/browse?filters=nush-174114
Impossible Foods @impossible_foods
Deliciously Ella @deliciouslyella www.deliciouslyella.com
Joe Wicks @thebodycoach
Zanna Van Dijk @zannavandijk