With dedicated cafes springing up all over the place, and every second Instagrammer showing off glowing skin and raving about the benefits, it’s never been easier or more on trend to go vegan.
The latest in the stream of influencers to announce the switch to veganism is Tash Oakley, two weeks ago urging her 1.9 million followers to ‘make the right choice, not the easy one’.
Tash is in good company, as research has shown that Australia is the third fastest growing vegan market in the world, and Roy Morgan research has shown that almost 9.9 million Australian adults are ‘eating less red meat these days’.
This may be in part thanks to popular and controversial documentaries like Cowspiracy and What the Health, thrusting not just the impacts on cruelty, but the environmental impacts of meat and dairy into the spotlight.
Social media has been awash with claims of ‘What the Health has turned me vegan’, and with so much interest in the lifestyle, how do you know if it’s for you?
For one, while research has shown that vegans in general are ‘thinner’, going vegan doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be eating healthier. Simone Austin, spokeswoman for the Dieticians Association of Australia said that you ‘should not always assume that it’s more nutritious, however stated that ‘the diet can be balanced as long as you plan well’.
It’s essential when trialling a vegan diet to replace your sources of protein, and vitamins such as B-12 with cruelty-free alternatives to make sure you’re fuelling your body correctly.
Other than that, it’s all about trial and error. If you’re curious about living a plant-based or vegan lifestyle, try introducing the popular ‘meat free Monday’ into your week. Another great way of testing if the lifestyle works for you is subbing in vegan alternatives. Replace regular milk in your morning coffee with almond milk, or sub in beans or tofu for chicken with dinner.
Above all, always listen to your body and work out which diet best works for you! Remember that even making small changes to your diet is better than nothing when it comes to combatting these issues, so don’t feel like it’s all or nothing!