by Star Simmons
During the last few years, the plant-based sector of our economy has experienced exponential growth. While the advantages of adopting a plant-based diet are nothing new to the millions of vegans who have long-since embraced a cruelty-free lifestyle, there has been a steep learning curve for veg-curious consumers who are intrigued by the potential health benefits.
Although mainstream media has touted the surprising economic growth of publicly-traded producers of vegan products, there has been less coverage centered on the numerous humanitarian and health benefits of embracing a vegan lifestyle. Same goes for the environmental upside of vegan enterprise, which is even more impressive and newsworthy considering the potential for plant-based industry to help mitigate challenges we are facing with climate extremes and a global pandemic. Scientists have widely concurred that these cataclysmic events are directly linked human interventions – the over-production of methane gasses in factory farm animals, indiscriminate use of pesticides and other chemical agents on GMO crops grown to feed livestock, and the destruction of fragile ecosystems of virgin forests cleared for agriculture.
All of these environmental factors contribute not just to climate change, but also to its deleterious impact on human health. For example, novel viruses, bacteria and other rare pathogens exist harmoniously in the exotic species of animals living in untouched rainforests. While their original animal hosts have inherent immunity, these viruses can be deadly when transmitted to humans who have no such immunity. Such was the case with COVID-19, which is believed to have originated in wet markets harvesting meats from bats and other exotic animals that are known to host the virus.
When it comes to human immunity and the ability to ward off diet-related illness like diabetes, heart disease, obesity and certain autoimmune conditions, numerous studies have correlated such illness with the over-consumption of animal fats. It is now widely recognized by the medical community that adopting a plant-based diet helps to alleviate, if not entirely cure, many of these common ailments. Couple that with evidence that lifetime longevity prevalent among ancient cultures in the Himalayas of India, Andes of Peru, and a number of island nations, can be directly attributed to their vegetarian diets. This is evidentiary that adopting a plant-based lifestyle is good for human health.
As these issues become more and more relevant to global health and, indeed, our ability to sustain life on this planet, it is incumbent upon media to educate the public about ways people can improve their own health and create a more harmonious, cruelty-free planet by embracing a vegan lifestyle. Awareness is key to creating consumer demand, which is tantamount to fostering incentive for business leaders to transition to plant-based enterprise in multiple sectors – from food and beauty, to apparel and plastics. Media reporting the positive impact of veganism are already driving exponential growth of what vegans like to call the new VegEconomy™, leading to a more compassionate world.
Star Simmons-Founder, founder of vKind and vWire, is an accomplished entrepreneur with more than 25 years of business experience in the fields of finance, sales, marketing and publishing. Having earned recognition as a visionary with an extraordinary ability to create valuable alliances, she has helped numerous companies build meaningful relationships and sustainable business models that lead to success.
Star’s passion for animals and cruelty-free living has guided her dedication to rescuing animals and inspiring people to adopt a vegan lifestyle. In her daily quest to find new vegan products for herself and others, she recognized the need for business resources to help vegan entrepreneurs connect with passionate vegans and gain the kind of exposure they need to expand and compete in this growing industry. She also understands the importance of marketing and building a sustainable business model for vegan companies to thrive.
In her free time, Star enjoys doing hot yoga, experimenting with new vegan recipes and cuddling with her animals. She dreams of opening an animal rescue someday.