from quick facts and frequently asked questions to realistic advice from
people who are living and thriving on a plant-based (vegan) diet
What is plant-based eating? It’s an everyday way of life that excludes all animal products - including dairy and eggs - from meals for the benefit of your health and for the environment.
The purpose of this page is to give you a basic introduction into why vegan eating is so beneficial. If you feel after reading this that it’s something you may find appealing and even joyful, there are many articles, books, documentaries, and studies that explain the ins and outs of removing animal products from your everyday diet, in fact Beetroot Sauvage will host plant-based cooking workshops helping beginners and even experienced foodies discover great flavours, ingredients, and recipes.
While initially daunting, it’s surprisingly easy to eat food that is affordable, delicious, super healthy, and only comes from plants. Some people start by going vegetarian first, or perhaps only eating meat and dairy on weekends, while others dive straight in.
Ultimately, it’s a choice that must come from within.
Most people, after adopting a diet that is based on plants and grains, report feeling more energized, more relaxed, lighter, clearer-headed, generally healthier, and gain a new-found love of cooking.
There is a lot of information about eating a diet that excludes animal products and it can get confusing as there are so many different opinions. We like to suggest talking to people who are following this way of life so that you can get first-hand, honest answers about how they feel. Which is why we’ve included a small quote section of personal stories.
Whether for heath benefits or environmental impact, it is a decision that has powerful and positive ripple effects, in your life and for the planet.
Here are some facts about the effects our eating habits have on our planet.
A person eating plant-based foods only, uses 20 times less land than the average meat and dairy lifestyle.
Livestock and land for growing livestock feed, takes up 30% of the Earth’s entire land surface.
80% of all Amazon deforestation is due to consumption of meat.
It takes more than 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef.
One meat burger uses as much water as showering for 2 months.
Fishing is the number 1 cause of ocean dead zones, species extinction, and water pollution.
All livestock in the world cause more air pollution than all of the cars, buses, planes, ships, and other modes of transport combined.
According to World Watch Institute, it takes on average 28 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce one calorie of meat protein vs. 3.3 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce one calorie of protein for grains that humans can eat.
In calorie equivalents the global cattle population consumes more than what is needed to feed all the humans on Earth.
“A substantial reduction of [environmental] impact would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change away from animal products”
- United Nations
People following a vegan way of life tend to be pretty open about sharing their experiences and eating habits. Here are a few questions we get a lot and some honest, science-backed answers:
Q: Where do you get your protein from?
A: The same place that cows do - from plants! Beans and some veg are high in protein, more than enough to keep even athletes happy.
Q: But cheese! How can you live without cheese?
A: I eat lot’s of really good non-dairy cheeses, although you have to get good quality ones, because some are processed and not much healthier than dairy cheese. So finding vegan pizza or toasted cheese sandwiches is actually really easy, especially as vegan options are cropping up on more and more menus.
Q: Are you hungry all the time?
A: Nope. I’m actually less prone to getting “hangry” and feel no change in how full I feel since I started eating only plant-based.
Q: But meat is delicious...
A: Sure, but if I’m craving something with a meaty or cheesy flavour, I just pick up a vegan version of it at the shop - or go to a restaurant I know does good soy burgers. If the brand is good, I can’t even tell the difference, or sometimes it’s actually tastier.
Q: So do you just eat lettuce?
A: Well I do eat a lot more veg than I did before, because I’m realising how important it is for any healthy lifestyle to have those fresh nutrients, but really I just order the vegan option of whatever I’d normally have at a restaurant.
Q: Isn’t it expensive to buy all these foods and meat and dairy alternatives?
A: Like anything, you can splash out and get massive variety or expensive brands, but it’s proven to be a cheaper eating lifestyle than one with meat and dairy.
Excluding animal products from your meal plan is a hot topic at the moment and more studies are reporting benefits ranging from improving cholesterol, to decreasing risk of diabetes and cancer. It’s easy to find info online, but we like to ask people how they feel based on the immediate effects that they’ve experienced since changing to a plant-based lifestyle.
“My body feels better, my mind feels better, I literally feel like I think quicker and clearer.”
- Gary, 30
“I feel so much more connected with what I eat, I really enjoy making food and experimenting, I feel like every meal is something creative and fun. I also feel a lot lighter and my constant bloated feeling has disappeared.”
- Amy, 28
“I lost weight pretty quickly and it stayed off. I also find I can workout longer and feel less tired afterwards - plus everyone says my skin looks really good which is quite nice!”
- Grant, 31
“It was hard because I come from a culture that loves meat and we put dairy in everything, but my family are really supportive since they’ve seen the effect it had on my depression.”
- Anaïs, 22
“I always ate loads of fruit and veg, but since I cut out meat and milk I can say I honestly feel like a different person. My libido is probably the best part.”
- Jon, 59
“I became vegan after watching documentaries like What the Health and Earthlings, so it was an overnight transition, I feel like my whole life shifted after this decision, wish I’d done it sooner.”
- Sarah, 26