Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle’

What A Freegan Waste!

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Freeganism is an anti-consumerist lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on “limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources”. Freegans “embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed.”[1] The lifestyle involves salvaging discarded, unspoiled food from supermarket dumpsters, known as dumpster diving. The foods may have passed their display date, but haven’t passed their edible date. Freegans salvage the food for political reasons, rather than out of need.[2][3]

The word “freegan” is a portmanteau of “free” and “vegan”.[4] Freeganism started in the mid 1990s, out of the antiglobalization and environmentalist movements. Groups such as Food Not Bombs served free vegetarian and vegan food that was salvaged from food market trash by dumpster diving. The movement also has elements of Diggers, an anarchist street theater group based in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco in the 1960s, that gave away rescued food.[4]

If you’re interested in finding out some more here are some interesting links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeganism#See_also

http://freegan.info/

The Carnivore and the Carrot

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

When I first took on the vegan challenge I thought I was just not allowed to eat meat and fish, but when I found out that I couldn’t eat any type of food from an animal source, I realised it was going to be even tougher to go three days following a strict vegan diet. Even for foods you would assume to be vegan, like a bag of crisps, often contained some sort of animal product, and so I found myself having to check every food label. During the challenge I started having to eat foods I would not normally consider, such as soya milk, which I think would take a bit of getting used to! Being a footballer for Loughborough University and keen sportsman, I try to take in plenty of protein and carbohydrate in my diet and so have always thought that vegetarian and vegan diets were unhealthy because they lacked meat, which is high in protein. I realised from doing the challenge just how limiting a vegan diet is in what you can eat, but at the same time, although it is maybe more difficult and time consuming, it is still possible to eat a varied and balanced diet by making up for the vitamins and protein in meat and eggs by eating plenty of vegetables, nuts and soya. Although I can safely say that I won’t be becoming a vegan soon and am going to carry on eating meat!

Vegans Ahoy!

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Veganism is a lifestyle choice by which a person decides to live without the use of ANY animal products. Like vegetarians, vegans obviously don’t eat meat but in addition to that they also don’t consume anything else that has come from an animal such as eggs, cheese or milk. It doesn’t just stop at food products however as there are lots of clothing items that a true vegan can’t wear because the way it’s made. Most commonly shoes and trainers are an issue due to them often been bound using glue made from horses hoofs.

Every individual has different reasonings for why they became vegan with many having issue with the morals surrounding animal rights. There is however a strong environmental argument in favour of people eating vegan. This argument is based around several points one of which being that the energy and supplies used to rear livestock heavily outweighs the resources it would take to simple grow the food we feed to the animals to feed us…if that makes sense?
Basically we grow corn to feed animals – the animals get fat – we transport them – kill them – transport them – eat them. The more environmentally and vegan solution is for us to simply eat the corn.

The other environmental issues is methane. Cow’s produce lots and lots of CO2 that does have a huge effect on climate change. And yes – we can’t stop cow’s farting however if there was less demand for livestock there would be less cow’s and therefore less smelly CO2 ridden cow farts.
A study in 2006 by the University of Chicago showed that on average an individual changing from a regular diet to that of a vegan would reduce their CO2 emission by 1, 485kg per year. Which is quite a lot.

Veganism does however have it’s drawbacks. Through eating plant products exclusively vegans do miss out on certain important nutrients. Studies show that vegan diets are  lacking in Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, calcium and iodine, all of which is severe can cause serious health problems. A distinct lack in vitamin B12 can result in anemia and neurodegenerative disease although it is rare for a B12 deficiency to become clinical in most vegans.

There are plenty supplements around for vegans to take on these vitamins in other ways such as vitamin tablets and fortified foods such as soymilk fortified with calcium. It’s highly recommended that anyone wishing to lead a vegan lifestyle regularly take on supplements.

Veganism is a lifestyle choice that is growing and becoming more popular with supermarkets catering for the needs of a vegan diet more and even lots of vegan specific clothes retailers producing clothes without the use of any animal products.

What do you think of veganism? We want to know! Maybe you’re thinking of becoming vegan or perhaps you think it’s a load of tosh either way we want to know why!