Why Should You Become a Vegan Diver? 

All divers love the ocean, I assume or they wouldn’t be SCUBA diving. We like to see all the colorful fish and fishes, hopefully even a whale or two. But what does this have to do with being a vegan diver?

You should become a vegan diver to save the reefs, fish, and all the wildlife that is being killed/destroyed at an alarming rate. A vegan SCUBA diver protects the ocean to make sure that it is there for future generations to see. Being a vegan diver will help reverse the destruction that is happening.

These are just the major ideas of being a vegan diver. When you become a vegan diver you will not only appreciate the ocean more but feel better mentally and physically doing it as well.

How Veganism Can Help The Diving Industry

 For change to happen on a major scale or even at all you need to think about the big picture. When we are just focused on ourselves it can be hard to make a real change. By people becoming vegan they can support and help the industry as a whole.

  1. More Wildlife- This one is pretty obvious but if you are not eating fish, that lowers the need for fishing vessels and fishing tours so in turn there will be more fish. You also have to think about that fishing, especially with long-line fishing and gill nets, there is a lot of bycatch (extra fish that are not caught on purpose) which get thrown back and often die.   
  2. Increased Diving- We all want to dive more and with fewer fishing boats and charters, locals will move to where the money is. This will lead to more operations setting up and offering tours. More competition usually leads to lower prices and community involvement. This is all great as long as the diver operators and divers are responsible.                                                         
  3. Variety of Tours-  Just like the idea of more diving, when local businesses know that they can make as much if not more money doing different tours they will switch. This includes amazing tours such as whale watching, dolphin watching, coral restoration, etc. Vegan Divers diet
  4. Better/More Food- When more people are asking for it, more businesses pop up. When you go to a town vegans usually go to groups and/ Happy Cow to find out what are the best options they have. It is getting better all over, but in small diving areas, it can be difficult to find a decent filling option after a dive.
  5. Lower Prices- Outside of the United States and a few other places vegetables are much cheaper than meat. When these operators can source local vegetables and products that means it does not have to be imported or shipped from afar. Food is a major cost that is often not thought about. 
  6. Conservation- Often people do not think about what they are doing and just do it out of habit. Things are not conserved or taken care of since there is an incentive. With more focus on veganism, taking care of the shore for turtles to get to the ocean or even restoring more corals for fish to live in will bring more opportunities. I know a few places around the world such as Gili-Eco Trust that do a great job of taking care of the island and wildlife around it.
  7. Safety- When you are diving the last thing you want to worry about is fishing or any boat hitting you as you descend/ascend. Also, in someplace dynamite and cyanide fishing is still something that occurs. As a diver, I don’t want to have to worry about things like that on my dive. 
  8. Food Handling-  By having at least vegan options on a boat, you will not have to worry about things like milk and the meat spoiling on board. A lot of dive operations do not have proper refrigeration on board or even a cooler. This could lead to sickness and keep you out of the water. 
  9. Land Restoration- Cattle and poultry take up a lot of space, and even more, space is used for feeding these animals. Many places also use a lot of unregulated pesticides

How Becoming A Vegan Helped My Diving

When I started diving I was not a vegan or even a vegetarian. I saw pretty colored fish in the ocean and on my plate. I gave up fish after a few years of diving, which usually is the last thing people give up for reasons like “fish don’t feel pain” (they do).

Diving gave me a better appreciation for the ocean, it allowed me to help me to understand how we are all connected and how things live. The first time the instructor turns off your air in the pool (this is part of the course for non-divers) you understand what it means to have no air. Imagine you run out of air and the instructor not turning it back on, that is what a fish feels like when it is brought out of water. Veganism gave me a better view of what is life and its value. I’m better able to instruct freediving and SCUBA diving now and explain to people what I have seen first hand not just from a show. My customers got a better tour and we got to see more wildlife.

I feel that it also helped me physically become a better diver.  I am able to recover faster after dives. Diving takes a lot out of you and you also lose heat much faster in water than on land so you will burn more calories. Eating clean healthy food aided in that recovery. I also lost a bit of weight and that means that in general you use less air, and less means longer dives. Now I am not a doctor and this is different for everyone but this is my experience.

How Do I Switch To A Plant-Based Life?

You have to think about what works for you, there is no single plan or magical plan I can give you. Like I said I am not a doctor and everyone should consult one or at least a nutritionist. There are a plethora of ways to go vegan you just have to find what is the best for you. Here are some common ideas on how to start. Find what works for you 

  • One At a Time- Give up one piece of meat at a time. I’d say fish should go first since you have made it this far in this article. 
  • Vegetarian First- Try being a vegetarian first. Figure out what you like and don’t see is an easy switch while still being sustainable.
  • Pay Attention to Ingredient Lists Start by avoiding products that contain gelatin and other animal products. You will be shocked when you start reading the labels on how many things contain animal products. 
  • Listen to Your Body-  You will need to have more whole grains, beans, legumes, tofu, tempeh, nuts, and seeds in your diet. See which ones work the best and are easiest to get. 
  • Slowly Lessen Your Consumption of Animal Products   Just start to eat less meat and other animal products, this one should be easy. 

Every little bit counts. 

Post by Teagan Kane