Going vegan, or at least having a plant-based diet most of the time, is a massive win for your body and the environment. Here are the most compelling reasons to consider.
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a fireside chat with American actress Alicia Silverstone of the 1995 classic movie Clueless. She has been vegan for over 20 years and shared a very welcoming and approachable take on why being vegan is important for both our health and climate change. She’s even written two books on the topic, The Kind Diet and The Kind Mama, that share why she chose to switch to a plant-based diet, and how it has transformed her life and well-being.
“When you start feeling amazing, when you are responsible for every choice you make, when you feel the joy and the grooviness of that – you can spread that, and it’s really powerful,” says Alicia. Here are five reasons why you should consider going vegan.
1. You will feel good and sleep better
Plenty of scientific studies have measured the impact of a plant-based diet on reducing the risk of diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. When asked about her youthful glow, Alicia credits her vegan diet, and shares that her health has improved, she feels less puffy and even sleeps better. “Feeling good is so powerful, and we have forgotten what this feels like,” she says.
2. You save water
While we do many things to save water, whether it’s through brushing your teeth or showering, none of it is as significant as being vegan – or at least leaning in that direction. For example, by skipping a pound of beef, you would save the same amount of water that you would if you didn’t shower for over six months, according to PETA.
3. It’s better for the planet
Animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of climate change, as it’s the main contributor behind the burning of our rainforests. Producing meat takes a lot of land and is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases. According to the international environmental organisation Greenpeace, 1.5 acres of rainforest is cleared every second, which is the equivalent of a football field. Furthermore, UK-based charity Rainforest Concern estimates that for every pound of beef, 200 square feet of rainforest is destroyed.
4. It could help to solve world hunger and will save animals
We could feed millions of people with the crops that are cultivated to feed animals. Sad truth: We feed 70 to 100 billion land animals for ‘food’ every single year, while 800 million people are dying of hunger. According to PETA, you can save nearly 200 animals by being vegan each year.
5. It’s easier to go vegan than ever
Whether you want to cook at home or eat out, there are many plant-based options in Singapore, including alternatives for foods you might find difficult to give up – like meat, cheese and eggs. Most restaurants will have options or offer creative dishes using alternative proteins such as Impossible or Beyond meats.
Where to eat plant-based or vegan food in Singapore
If you are looking for places to try vegan food in Singapore, here are some of my top picks.
● The Living Cafe has fresh ingredients and delicious food to energise you.
● Kult Kafe has an exciting menu and is nestled atop Emily Hill.
● Pizza Express has an entire vegan menu for salads, pizzas and pasta – which are delicious.
● Three Buns has the best plant-based burger I’ve had in Singapore to date. While it may be on the pricier side, it packs a flavourful punch and satisfies my cravings.
● Butterknife Folk is a small-batch artisanal gelateria, looking to make a change in the world.
● The Grand Hyatt’s Pete’s Place has a vegan menu for pasta and pizza (with a gluten-free option). Other restaurants across the property offer dishes that use Beyond Meat and Omni
● Empress has a vegan dim sum menu with special dishes like Impossible gyoza and mapo tofu.
If you’d like to find out more about veganism and sustainable living, check out The Conscious Festival that’s happening on November 2 and 3 at South Beach Avenue. With the theme ‘Climate Change Is Real’, you can expect to deep dive into all aspects of conscious living at the village and the talks. At the vegan food zone, you’ll get to taste and sample some of the best plant-based dishes in Singapore. For more info, visit greenisthenewblack.com/festival.
We are not saying you have to transform overnight or commit 100%, but if everyone decided to eat less meat, this would have a massive effect globally. Lean into it and be open to it. The power really is with us, the individual – we vote with our dollars every day. What kind of future are you voting for?
Stephanie Dickson is the co-founder of Green Is The New Black, Asia’s first conscious festival and media platform on social and environmental responsibility, for people who want to #LiveMoreConsciously by improving the way they think, work and consume.