Veganism…. the last three years has seen a proliferation of vegan food and products with a general shift to care and concern for the environment and Planet Earth. The only planet us humans have.
Small, independent businesses through to multi-national corporations are offering more vegan and cruelty-free products, and those that don’t are increasingly considered archaic. Veganism is infiltrating all areas of life, even those more aligned with burger vans; Forest Green Rovers is a Vegan Society approved football club and considered the “greenest” by FIFA. Some of these businesses have green principals at the core of their existence, some may have jumped on to this highly-profitable bandwagon, but either way, this must not be a flash-in-the pan trend.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford and published in Science last year, concluded that eating a vegan diet could be the “single biggest way” to reduce our environmental impact on earth, not just by reducing greenhouse gases, but also global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use. Biodiversity is plummeting at an alarming rate. A recent UN report found that around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history. The main direct driver of biodiversity loss with the largest relative global impact are changes in land and sea use. More than a third of the world’s land surface and nearly 75% of freshwater resources are now devoted to crop or livestock production. The total emissions from global livestock is 7.1 Gigatonnes of Co2-equivalent per year, representing 14.5% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Co2 levels are currently at the highest point since the evolution of humans. Why not cut out the middle man and feed us with the crop directly?
Although we don’t sell any edible products, I consider Botanic to be a vegan business. We do not stock anything derived from animal products and we promote a connection with the natural world by helping people bring greenery into their homes and businesses. The presence of plants in our indoor spaces encourages interaction and understanding between human and plant, and has proven positive effects on air quality and mental wellbeing.
Veganism for me is about embracing the power of the plant wherever possible in everyday life. Using plant based, biodegradable packaging in place of single-use plastics, for example. I am a tree-hugging ecologist, plant shop proprietor, musician and vegan. I drink vegan IPA and prefer oat milk in my tea. Oh, and I have some tattoos…. Maybe I am the epitome of hipster but I care not for labels, especially when the existence of a habitable planet is at stake. But what about everything in moderation? For me, this is not viable anymore. Vegan for the animals. Vegan for the planet.