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  • Ellen Mary

A Plant Loving Vegan


I love plants, if you follow me on social media or anything else that I do, you will already know I am all about plants! If I am inside, all I want to do is go outside in the garden or down the allotment. Growing my own food is a massive part of my life and I simply want to eat as many home grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers as I can.

Over the past year I've been thinking about my impact on our beautifully diverse planet and I've deliberated over what I can do to help while tending to my little garden. I thought of so many things and suddenly it became obvious. Eat more plants.

We often talk about 'connecting' with nature. I don’t believe we have to ‘connect’ with nature, we ARE nature. We live on this planet with the birds, bees and of course the trees. We are no different to any other living being on this earth we inhabit. The one we are also destroying, even for all of its beauty, we carry on in our way because we have evolved to be the top of the food chain and the ‘intelligent’ species. I would argue the latter in this respect.

We share our planet with animals yet we breed them to eat - cows, pigs, chickens, sheep - to name a few. Many horrible things happen before the meat and other animal products hit your plate. We do this for food, to survive and remain the people of the planet. At the same time, we cuddle our dogs and stroke our cats and get cross, very cross, whenever anyone hurts an animal. Hmmm. Weird. Plants taste way nicer for a start.

On top of that, the science explaining climate change is astounding and the future of our planet is at dire risk. I fear for future generations, my niece and nephew, my god children. They are going to have a huge task on their hands if we don't make big changes now. If we want clean air and water, a fruitful planet without wiping out humans and other species - there are ways to vastly reduce the damage being done. We can reduce plastic, we can change lightbulbs to energy savers, we can recycle, recycle, recycle. But mostly we can stop eating meat and eat more plants.

Animal agriculture contributes a massive proportion of global greenhouse emissions (its an industry that is on track to be the highest, even more than fossil fuels). Overall the industry uses 70% of agricultural land and causes a mass of water pollution and deforestation leading to biodiversity loss. Shocking. Plant crops take far less space and resource to feed many more people.

So, animal welfare and climate change are on top of the fact that eating meat and diary contributes to illnesses. So even our health is suffering. We eat meat to survive (because thats what we’ve done forever) yet we have evolved to be the most ‘intelligent’ species on the planet and we eat meat which is harming animals, the planet and our health when we don't need to. Hmmm. Not so clever after all.

A recent report on global warming has made it quite clear we are in a bad situation but it CAN be changed - embrace a plant based diet. How else will we be able to feed the estimated 10 billion people living on this planet by 2050? The IPCC report can be read HERE .

Amazing news is the rise of horticulture is on the agenda and it is happening, the benefits are being research and published, plant based diets are on the rise and recently we have even been advised to cut down on meat and incorporate more plants on our plates for our health. Instagram is going wild for horticulture, allotments, houseplants and all things green - it’s so exciting!

So to me veganism and growing your own/gardening go hand in hand. As a gardener, I grow my own organic fruit and vegetables in abundance. Theres always too much, I don't even need meat or diary! I’ve learnt to store produce, cook well (I think my hubby will agree) and at the same time breathe that air, get physical activity and absorb all of the wellbeing benefits gardening provides. Thats not to say my back and knees don't ache sometimes but the benefits outweigh that by far. I have terrible digestion issues and cutting out meat and diary has helped this immensely and I look at what I am growing and what I can cook over the year seasonally whilst getting all of the nutrition I need with meals that are more tasty than I can tell you. I've met some fantastically inspirational people, learnt so much about nutrition (I am still learning) and have embarked on a refreshing new adventure for my health and pushing my plant growing capabilities to the max! Plants provide us with so much it’s just crazy, I can even get emotional about how amazing they are.

If more of us enjoyed plants, got our hands dirty, admired flowers, enjoyed growing vegetables…the benefits could be simply endless. Better mental health, less pressure on the NHS, a better understanding of life in general and I have SO much energy, clarity and fun!! Plants really do help us thrive!

I'm just a regular girl who loves animals, our planet, being healthy and gardening which are all rolled in to one bundle of veganism. So now I eat even more 'plants' which means I garden even more and this is in the words of my hubby 'a win-win for me and the planet'.

So, I urge you to try and reduce your meat intake and get outside to enjoy growing your own fresh fruit and vegetables as part of a plant based diet.

I’ve picked some useful articles and websites for you to read if you would like to find out more, just click on the links:

WHY GROWING YOUR OWN FOOD CAN HELP THE PLANET

WAYS GARDENING IS GOOD FOR MENTAL HEALTH

A PLANT BASED DIET

STARTING A VEGETABLE GARDEN

VEGANUARY

COWSPIRACY

THE CONVERSATION

Happy Gardening!