The Vegan Alliance of Thunder Bay arranged an exhibit at the Intercity Mall, Thunder Bay demonstrating the benefits of veganism and how to make the transition possible for people looking to eliminate or reduce animal products from their diet.
“Basically anything you can imagine that you could have eaten as an animal product is available as a vegan product,” said Steve Lisi, a volunteer with the Vegan Alliance of Thunder Bay.
“In today’s day and age, there is a lot of alternatives, so we are looking at plant-based meats, vegan bread, pizza.”
“I think a lot of people are stuck in their old habits of a meat and dairy diet and are not really open to the idea of eating plant-based food,” said Vegan Alliance of Thunder Bay member Allison McLellan. “I think it takes events like this to make people aware that there are other options out there for ethical ways to eat, and healthier.”
The exhibit included portions of vegan food, milk and cheese products sourced from local producers, as well as cookbooks, information of health benefits and kids activities.
“There are a lot of resources for people if they are willing to make that step,” McLellan said. “We are here today to help people make that connection between their food and their bodies.”
According to McLellan, veganism can play a role in reducing cardiovascular diseases and heart attack. He revealed that he became a vegan three years ago and witnessed the benefits almost instantly.
“When I made the switch, I lost 100 pounds in eight months, I regained my stamina, my health,” he said. “Everything just got better in general.”
Karleen Zinowski with the Body Shop stated that veganism is not only linked to diet but it extends to include preventing animal testing as well.
“I found a lot of people are really surprised to find animal testing is still going on both here in Canada and around the world,” she said. “But once they know, they definitely start to be more conscious of it.”
“By buying cruelty-free, you are supporting that aspect of veganism,” Zinowski added. “When you purchase products that have been tested on animals, you are hurting them.”
Zinowski cautioned that if companies sell their products in China and claim they are cruelty-free, it may not be the case as they may have been tested on animals
If you are looking to start a vegan diet and avoid buying from companies testing products on animals, necessary research is required to look for alternatives which are easily available.
“Even just cooking yourself, you can go to the grocery store and just by less meat or no meat,” McLellan said. “You can get all your nutrients from plants. You don’t need to eat meat. That is a common misconception.”
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