Updated: Apr 13
2018 is already finished. We noticed many good and civilized changes happening all around the world and we are going to list a few of them out.
1. Plant-based diet
Do you know that the vegan trend quadrupled in the 5 years between 2012 and 2017, according to the Google search? There’s been a 600% increase in people identifying themselves as vegans in the U.S in the last three years. According to a report by research firm GlobalData, only 1% of U.S. consumers claimed to be vegan in 2014. Plant-based diets are growing fast in Asia. In Taiwan, more than 10% of the population is following a plant-based diet, 7% for the UK, according to the Wikipedia search. In Europe, vegetarians are an estimated 10 % of the population. Worldwide, there are 375 million vegetarians in total.
“Veganuary” (Veganuary=Vegan+January), is a registered charity launched in the UK in January 2014; its intention is to encourage people to try a vegan diet for January; a time for resolutions and a new beginning. In 2018, 167 thousand people participated in the Veganuary. Hopefully, in 2019 the number will reach 300 thousand.
“Switch for good”, is a promotion for ditching dairy and a plant-based diet, established by the world’s respected and accomplished athletes, who exemplify and embody the benefits of the dairy-free diet.
Dotsie Bausch, the Olympic cyclist and the founder of Switch4Good.com, she is cooperating with other dairy-free athletes, trainers, physicians, nutritionists to prove scientifically that dairy-free diet will be a better way to take control our health.
Mcdonald’s has launched two types of vegan burger in Finland and Sweden when the “Veganuary” started in 2014, called McVegan. The soy-based veggie burger is made from non-GMO American soya beans. Now McVegan burger can be found around Finland.
Beyond Meat, is a food producer specialized in creating “The Future of Protein”: plant-based burgers, sausage, crumbles, strips, and more made from plants. It wants to contribute its efforts to make the world a better place by changing our daily meals. They found out that if someone follows the plant-based diet, he could reduce 16% to have cancer; 21% to have heart disease; positively affect the climate change etc.
Some companies are preparing for the decline to the demand for animals products by investing those who produce the plant-based food. Tyson Food and General Mills have both invested in Beyond Meat. Some meat and dairy companies are acquiring plant-based companies, such as Danone bought Whitewave foods, which owns brands like Silk, Alpro (a European nondairy company). Moreover, Elmhurs used to be an American milk company has transformed into a plant-based milk company after 90 years of selling milk! Now Elmhurs produces almond milk, rice milk, oat milk, cashew milk, hazelnut milk etc.
2. Eco-friendly lifestyle
“Plant-based” does not only refer to the diet but also a lifestyle. More and more people are realizing how our behaviours are impacting on other beings, environment and Earth, by considering ourselves as members of the planet instead of “the centre of the universe”.
Some people stopped using the leather and fur products; some started a “Zero Waste” lifestyle, which emulates sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. For example, companies or individuals try to replace the non-degradable plastics with recyclable papers/plastics, bamboos or even corns. Some people are trying to use more public transport instead of driving the car.
I was very touched last week when I read the introduction of a bamboo brush from The Humble Co. It is written: “Did you know that 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes are produced every year? Shockingly, the majority of these will end up in landfills and oceans! Thanks to you, this won’t be one of them”.
It is so comforting that someone is taking real actions to protect the environment; at the same time try to influence others in a rational way. Truly, as Gandhi once said: Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Recent years, one term often comes into our eyes: “Slow Fashion”, which considers the processes and resources required to make clothing, particularly focusing on sustainability. Most large garment brands per year burn tones of unsold garments, which are not environmentally-friendly. The Slow Fashion encourages us to buy fewer garments at a higher quality, made from more sustainable processes.
In 2017, Gucci and MichaelKors have stopped using fur completely. In 2018, more brands have announced to stop using fur, such as Prada, Versace, Burberry, John Galliano.
One London-based company, Ananas Anam, has found an environmentally-friendly textile: Pinatex, created from the fibres of leftover pineapple leaves. Pinatex has a low environmental impact, can be easily mass produced and most importantly the price is affordable and the design of bags, clothes, shoes are simple and nice.
The Spanish designer, the founder of Ananas Anam: Dr Carmen Hijosa was a designer and manufacturer for leather products. Because of her previous work, she went to Philippine where she discovered that some Filipino shirts are made by pineapple leaves. She got inspired by it and eventually she created the Pinatex.
The Mother Earth has provided us so many materials and resources to use and there is a way to stop damaging Earth and have a healthier, more eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle. The world is changing.
3. Civilized and Pure lifestyle
Confucius once said: “From ancient times, those who want to promote great virtue to the world, first need to govern their states; in order to govern their states, they need to first manage their family; in order to manage their family, they need to first cultivate themselves.”
Our world is made by different countries; small families, which are built up by individuals, composes a country. Therefore, when everyone is well cultivated, the family will be managed well, then the country and eventually the world.
What does “Cultivation” mean? How to cultivate? Nowadays some people prefer to choose organic food because of its good quality and less polluted by chemicals, even if it is more expensive than the usual one. The cultivation of the land and the process of growing organic food are needed to be well controlled in order to guarantee the good quality of the food and the sustainability of farming.
For example, the land must be free from all prohibited substances, such as chemicals. Because if the land is polluted, the fruit or vegetable will be polluted and harmful for our health.
We know the importance of keeping the land and the food organic. However, do we realize the importance of keeping our heart “organic”, which is akin to the land of our life? Negative emotions such as anger, fear, hatred, complain, blame; too many desires such as overly shopping, eating, consuming; bad habits such as blaming always others, using harsh words, violence etc., have we thought that these are “chemicals”, which are polluting our heart “land”? When it is polluted, what we will harvest? Suffering, unhappiness, separations, conflicts, wars etc.
“Cultivation” means first to purify negative emotions, over desires and bad habits etc. from our heart “land”, and then to fertilize it with positive energies such as respect, understanding, love and good qualities such as compassion, wisdom, trustworthy. Pure diet is the starting point to purify ourselves from negative energies contained in animals’ products, five pungent spices and intoxicants; the self-cultivation leads us to a civilized and pure lifestyle.
Happy new year to everyone!
Thank you for your reading!