By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA — To encourage plant-based nutrition and lifestyle, Filipino vegans held the first ever vegan parade in Quezon City, Oct. 19.
Carrying placards that read “Being Vegan is Fun” and “Love All Animals: Go Vegan”, members of Vegans of Manila shared vegan food including pizza, isaw, barbecue, tacos, cookies, ice cream and sweet banana to passersby along Timog Avenue.
The activity is a kick-off to the VegFest 2017, a vegan festival to be held on November 18-19 in Eastwood Central Plaza and November 25-26 in Lucky China Town.
Jaq Abergas, founder of VegFest Pilipinas, said during the media launch that the festival aims to “plant the seeds of compassion.” She invited everyone from all ages and all walks of life to come to the festival.
Some of the top causes of death in the Philippines are linked to red meat consumption.
A recent study published by the British Medical Journal revealed that people who ate the most red meat were 26 percent more likely to die of nine diseases than those who consume the least. According to the study, risk of death from cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, infections, kidney disease, liver disease or lung disease all increased with the amount of meat consumed, and those people with the highest meat intake doubled their chances of dying from chronic liver disease.
In the Philippines, diseases of the heart account for 22 percent of deaths while cerebrovascular diseases or stroke accounts for ten percent of deaths. Diabetes mellitus accounts for five percent of deaths.
Cancer is also among the top 10 killers in the Philippines, accounting for ten percent of deaths.
In 2015, the World Health Organization classified the processed meat as a carcinogen, or something that causes cancer. Processed meat includes bacon, sausages, hot dogs, salami, corned beef, beef jerky and ham as well as canned meat and meat-based sauces. It also classified red meat as a probable carcinogen, something that probably causes cancer.
Jana Sevilla, a long-time campaigner at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia, said they want to show everyone that “there is nothing to miss out when you go vegan because compassionate versions of …meaty dishes are now more accessible to everyone.”