How often have you told yourself there is no point in trying to reduce the amount of plastic you use, or take the train instead of the car, or give up meat—because everyone else still buys or uses those things? In reality, every person who eats vegan is having a significant and very positive impact.
So, how much change could one person make by going vegan?
The average person who goes vegan for just one month could spare the lives of 30 animals. Imagine how many that would be if you went vegan for a year, a decade or even for the rest of your life!
But our impact goes much further. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change, and producing meat and dairy uses an incredible amount of land and water. If you went vegan for a month you’d save 620 pounds of harmful carbon dioxide emissions, 913 square feet of forest – which is razed to the ground to make way for farmed animals – and 33,481 gallons of water. In fact, going vegan is the single biggest way you can reduce your impact on the planet, according to scientists from Oxford University.
So, while it might seem as though going vegan won’t change anything because your friends, family, and colleagues all seem to be eating animal products, you’re actually making a huge difference to the environment, animals, and potentially also your health by opting for a plant-based diet. And, even if you are the only one making changes now, you are not alone. Millions of people around the world are switching to a plant-based diet.
But won’t it take forever for things to really change?
More than 80 billion land animals and trillions of fish are killed each year. Going vegan might not save the millions of animals in farms and slaughterhouses today, but by opting for plant-based foods you’ll be part of a larger collective of people reducing the demand for meat, dairy and eggs. The fewer animal products that are sold, the fewer will be ordered by shops, and in turn the demand for the animals will decrease.
Veganism has grown exponentially over the past few years, so change is already happening, and it is rapidly accelerating. Numbers of vegans are rising so fast that surveys are outdated almost as soon as they are published.
Influencing friends and family
By opting for vegan alternatives, you’re also influencing friends and family to try plant-based foods. The power of a positive example should never be underestimated!
And just think about what individuals are able to achieve. Genesis Butler was just 10 years old when she gave her TEDx talk about her vision for healing the planet. That video has now been watched 130,000 times on YouTube and has no doubt inspired countless people to switch to meat and dairy alternatives.
One person alone can have a very positive impact, but together we can change the world.
To try veganism and see what difference you can make.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Download our free Vegan Starter Kit.</strong>
Caroline Burgess-Pike became vegan for ethical and environmental reasons, and has also spent much of her professional and personal life campaigning for a better world for animals. Her career spans journalism, marketing for vegan brands, charity campaigns and corporate communications.