Let’s take a moment to highlight the benefits of a vegan diet in case you are considering switching. Or perhaps you are already vegan and just want a little boost of confidence! I think it’s very beneficial to know your impact, as it helps you understand why you are doing this and what a difference you are truly making.
First things first… what is a vegan? A vegan is a person who does not consume any animal products, edible or otherwise. This means no: meat from any animal (cow, pig, chicken, fish, etc), dairy (cheese, milk, etc), honey, or eggs. This also includes products like wool, leather, silk, down, lanolin, casein, collagen.. and the list goes on.
A person can go vegan for many reasons, whether it be for health, animals, the environment, workers’ rights, or other reasons. Vegans generally have a similar goal of making the world a better place. I’m personally vegan for all of the reasons above and because I have no reason to believe any animal product is needed in my life. We are blessed to live in an age with a plethora of resources and alternatives to animal products.
Regarding health, veganism can lower cholesterol levels, reduce cardiovascular disease, reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and in some cases treat it, reduce risk of a plethora of cancers, prevent osteoporosis, and help with ailments such as arthritis, cataracts, and muscular degeneration. Going vegan can lead to a longer healthier life, give you healthier skin and nails, improve energy, help you lose weight and lower your BMI, alleviate PMS symptoms, and decrease body odor and bad breath. Sounds like a win-win to me!
On average a vegan will save over 100 animals a year. By using vegan outreach and educating friends and family about veganism, you are also contributing to their reduction in animal consumption. Tens of billions of animals are killed a year. That is 38,627 animals per hour. If you aren’t floored by those numbers, you should be. Animals are sentient beings, just like us. Animals generally want to stay with family and friends, have bonds similar to ours, and never want to be killed. Besides being slaughtered, factory farmed animals usually grow up in small cages which are too small for them to turn around, sometimes even to stand up. They often lack proper nutrients and are deprived of things as simple as sunlight and clean water. Calves who should be nursing are taken from their mother immediately. Male chickens are often ground up alive as chicks, because they aren’t viewed “valuable” as they will not lay eggs.
The impact that factory farming has on our environment is astronomical. A person might choose to go vegan to reduce the harmful impact of CO2 emissions on the environment. Vegans have nearly half the carbon footprint as those who consume meat. Not to mention deforestation, dumping of animal waste (up to 140 pounds of manure per cow per day!), and pollution of our water supply.
Some people choose to go vegan for humanitarian reasons. Many factory farm workers and slaughter house workers are undocumented and not protected. They are overworked, underpaid, are not provided physical or mental health support. This would be a nightmare job to most of us, but remember there are people out there who live this nightmare every day. More-over many vegans choose to make the switch in an effort to reduce world hunger. In the U.S. 70% of the grain grown is fed to farm animals. 925 million people worldwide do not have enough to eat, and yet cattle grown for food consume enough grain to feed 8.7 billion people. If everyone went vegan, we could eliminate world hunger all together.
A person might also go vegan to reduce their consumption of hormones and antibiotics. Eliminating the risk of salmonella, mad cow disease and e. coli. The FDA allows a remarkable amount of otherwise inedible materials in the food we eat. These include, but are not limited to: insects, worms, hormones, antibiotics, cancer matter, puss, hair and other seemingly inedible organs.
What about protein though? Guess what!!! The animals folks eat.. get their protein from the same plants us vegans get our protein from! Most Americans eat too much protein because we are trained to believe that we need this surplus of protein. Guess who pushes this knowledge on us? The beef and other meat industries. All the protein you need can be found in… PLANTS! Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and soy products like tofu are all excellent sources of protein. The same goes for dairy, but we will revisit this in future posts.
Veganism is an excellent way to get in touch with yourself on a deeper level. You can feel confident you are contributing to making our world a better place. You are protecting your health, our earth, the welfare of other humans and animals. This is an excellent time to get in touch with your pallet. Try things you haven’t tried before. Get familiar with ethnic cuisines. Veganize your favorite foods! There are so many resources out there on delicious vegan recipes, meal plans, and restaurants!
Your body is your temple, the world is our playground, and these animals are not ours. Be respectful to all of these things! Cheers to making the world a better place!
Peace, love, and vegan eats
P.S. Go vegan!
If you want more details about going vegan, or need support for your transition, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org