NOVEMBER is world vegan month and a chance to reduce animal suffering, your carbon footprint and boost your health.

Animal products are not essential for a healthy diet and a large number of studies show that a balanced and varied plant-based diet can be ideal for optimum health and lowers the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

If you care about animals, consider this: millions of day-old male chicks are gassed or shredded alive, as they are deemed useless to the egg industry.

Male calves born to dairy cows are also considered ‘waste byproducts’, so are shot a few days after birth.

Then at the end of their short existences, all egg-laying hens and dairy cows are slaughtered and their worn-out bodies go into cheap meat products.

Veganism is good for the planet too as plant-based agriculture uses far less land, energy and water than animal farming.

Cruelty-free alternatives for almost every product containing dairy and eggs exist and are easily available in high street shops and supermarkets.

SARAH ABBOTT, Blandford Road, Poole