There are a lot of naysayers out there when it comes to the topic of veganism, so I wanted to share with you all some of the top reasons that I decided to make the change. These are just a few amongst many, many things that led me to switch up how i’m fueling my body. I’m currently three weeks in and, at this point, despite a rough first week, I wouldn’t go back to eating the way I used to. I feel so much healthier and more satisfied after I eat than ever before. Here is a list of the my top reasons I decided to turn vegan.
1. Maintaining a healthy weight: Vegans have lower rates of obesity and typically weigh five to twenty pounds less than their meat eating counterparts.
2. Cholesterol: High cholesterol can lead to a number of serious health conditions, and guess where you get cholesterol from? That’s right! Animal products. Vegan diets are cholesterol free.
3. Milk: Humans are the only animals that drink another animal’s milk and to drink milk as adults. About 60% of people have trouble digesting milk (myself included). Cut out the milk, cut out my tummy issues. Dairy products can also trigger acne.
4. Anxiety and Depression: This was a huge reason for me. Vegans have a lower incidence of anxiety and depression disorders than meat eaters. I can say that even in the short 3 weeks I have not been eating any animal products both of those disorders have been greatly improved.
5. Alzheimers Disease: There is a strong correlation between eating meat and getting Alzheimers. Seeing my grandmother suffer with this horrible affliction I will take any precaution possible to try and reduce my risk for this disease.
6. Heart Disease: Eating processed meats can increase the risk of death from heart disease by a whopping 72%.
7. Life Span: There was a study in 2002 by the German Cancer Research Center which involved 1900 people, divided into 60 vegans, 1,165 vegetarians; and moderate vegetarians (occasional meat and fish eaters). Studying the mortality rate in comparison to the general population 52 deaths occurred for every 100 reported deaths. The results showed a 50% increase in longevity to male vegetarians and 30% for women.
8. Cancer: There has been a few studies that have came out lately saying a vegetable based diet can halt and in some cases eliminate Cancer. Though some people are saying going vegan is the cure for cancer, I would not be one to say that, as that’s ridiculous. However it is proven to assist in controlling the growth of cancer.
9. Global Warming: The environmental impact of livestock causes more damage than driving cars. Cattle rearing places a major impact on land and water degradation. When emissions from land use are included, the livestock sector accounts for 9% of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, yet it produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65% of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure. And it accounts for respectively 37% of all human-induced methane (23 times as warming as CO2), which is largely produced by the digestive system of ruminants, and 64% of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain.
10. World Hunger: 60% of the world’s usable farmland is being stripped and destroyed by live stock. An acre of prime land can produce 40,000 pounds of potatoes, 30,000 pounds of carrots, 50,000 pounds of tomatoes; but only 250 pounds of beef. It takes 23 gallons of water to produce a pound of lettuce, 33 gallons for carrots, 4 gallons for apples. To produce of pound of Chicken it takes 815 gallons, for pork 1,630 gallons, and for a pound beef 2,500 gallons.
11. Vegan Recipes are Cheap, Plentiful and Tasty: Vegan diets can be extremely economical. Many vegans center their diet around grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds, all of which can be purchased cheaply in bulk. Buying in-season veggies and fruits is quite easy on your wallet. Eating Vegan on $4 a Day outlines an entire day’s-worth of nutritionally-complete, delicious meals that cost less than a take-out sandwich or double cheeseburger dinner.
12. Veganism is Not a Fad Diet: It may have gained momentum recently as a backbone of certain environmental and health movements, but veganism existed in ancient India and Greece, and is part of many religious beliefs such as Buddhism and Seventh Day Adventists.
13. Vegans Who Eat Well Don’t Need to Buy Extra Supplements: There’s just one: To help with brain and nervous system functions, vitamin B12 is key. Since B12 only occurs naturally in animal-sourced foods, vegans can instead eat fortified nutritional yeast and often sprinkle it over pasta, tofu ricotta, or fresh popcorn for a buttery taste.
14. Increase In Energy: When following a vegan diet your energy levels tend to be much higher.
15. Avoiding Toxins: (non-organic) meat contains antibiotics, hormones & toxins produced by stress & pesticide residues that become concentrated from all the crops they have eaten.
There you have it, my top 15 reasons for changing over to a vegan lifestyle. What made you make the switch? Were you brought up as a vegan from childhood? Were you looking for a healthier way to live? Or are you a meat eater who has always wondered about becoming vegan but has yet to take that first step? I’d love to hear from you all! Thanks for reading!