Veganuary: The Vegan Movement Saving the World
For the past seven years, Veganuary has encouraged people worldwide to try out a Vegan lifestyle for the month of January. It’s more than just a pledge. It’s a non-profit organization that helps individuals, companies, and anyone interested in changing the world move toward plant-based eating. For more details about Veganuary and how it started, see our previous blog post titled Veganuary: The Vegan Movement Changing Lives.
There are many reasons why 402,206 people signed up for Veganuary in 2020, but more than half of them reported doing so for ethical reasons. The other 38% signed up with the hope of improving their health.1 Here we’ll talk about both benefits!
On the World Wildlife Fund's website you will find an animated graph illustrating the alarming 68% decline in the living animals on Earth since 1970.2 Exacerbating this problem is the harsh reality that half of our habitable land is used for agriculture and 94% of mammals occupying the planet (excluding humans) are livestock.3
Since sustainability has become a huge buzzword, people rarely consider its importance when discussing unsustainable practice. The current unsustainable method of raising animals for slaughter means that we cannot continue the practice if we hope to survive. The tragedy is that we will take much of the life on Earth with us. This is a major reason why organizations like Veganuary exist. The hope is to protect the environment for animals and humans alike!
Humanity’s method of producing food has an environmental effect that extends far beyond factory farming. This includes over-fishing our oceans and the use of unsustainable agricultural practices. As it stands, food production is responsible for ¼ of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions.3 This is why Nutrition for Longevity uses sustainable farming practices to grow bountiful, chemical free harvests.
N4L also advocates for vegan and pescatarian eating because the science shows that eating less meat always results in a smaller carbon footprint than eating meat that is produced more sustainably. This is because the majority of greenhouse gas emissions come from farming livestock, not from the processing or packaging of meat.3 Thus, moving toward plant-based eating benefits the planet, but it also carries a multitude of health benefits!
Only 12.2% of American adults meet the daily recommended intake of fruits, and even fewer meet the daily recommended intake of vegetables.4 By now, people know that fruits and vegetables are the pillar of healthy eating. Plant foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that help stave off illness and disease. A 2020 meta-analysis by Sakkas H, et al. touts veganism as “the prototype of a healthy diet related to gut microbiota, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic kidney disease, cataracts, obesity, normal pregnancy outcomes, metabolic syndrome, the brain, bone health, and more.”5
Eliminating animal foods from your diet requires paying attention to the nutrients you are consuming, but this is something everybody would benefit from doing anyway! Just as many Americans are deficient in fruit and vegetable consumption, vegans can fall victim to eating too little protein, calcium and vitamin D. Fortunately, Nutrition for Longevity’s ready-made vegan meal plans offer a balance of carbohydrates, healthy fat, and protein. You can also choose our pescatarian or flexitarian meal plan. Whether it’s fresh salmon, quinoa, nuts or pea protein, the ingredients we use to flavor our dishes will provide you with the nutrition you need to keep going!
Easy Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwich
Keep it simple! Sourdough bread is often made with only 3 ingredients: water, flour, and a pinch of salt. For a gluten free option, this recipe works wonderfully with your favorite gluten free wrap.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
- 8 slices of artisan sourdough bread, or gluten free option
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium carrot, diced small
- 3–4 green onions, chopped
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup hummus
- 2–3 Tbsp water
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 cup micro greens or mixed salad greens of choice
- In a medium bowl, add 2–3 tbsp water to ¼ cup hummus. Mix until hummus has a mayonnaise-like consistency. Add more water, as necessary. Add lemon juice and zest, curry powder and turmeric. Mix until incorporated.
- Reserve ¼ cup whole chickpeas. In a separate bowl, mash remaining chickpeas with a potato masher to desired consistency. Add mixture to hummus. Fold in ¼ whole chickpeas.
- Add carrots, green onions, and raisins to chickpea salad. Mix until incorporated.
- Spread ¼ of chickpea salad on 4 slices of bread. Top with greens and finish with remaining 4 slices of bread.
- Veganuary 2020: Official Survey Results. Veganuary website. https://veganuary.com/en-us/veganuary-2020-official-survey-results/. Updated March 30, 2020. Accessed January 15, 2021.
- Living Planet Report 2020. WWF website. https://livingplanet.panda.org/en-US/. Accessed January 15, 2021.
- Ritchie, H., & Roser, M. Environmental impacts of food production. Our world data website. https://ourworldindata.org/environmental-impacts-of-food. Published January 2020. Accessed January 15, 2020.
- 2018 State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables. CDC website. https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/downloads/fruits-vegetables/2018/2018-fruit-vegetable-report-508.pdf. Published June 2018. Accessed January 15, 2021.
- Sakkas, H et al. Nutritional Status and the Influence of the Vegan Diet on the Gut Microbiota and Human Health. Medicina (Kaunas). 2020; 56(2): 88. doi: 10.3390/medicina56020088.