Veganism often gets a bad rep and vegans are sometimes looked down upon. It’s not socially accepted by everyone yet. However, I don’t understand why. All they are doing is standing up for what they believe in and aligning their habits with their morals. People choose to go vegan for different reasons and to be honest, we need to make vegan the norm rather than the anomaly. This diet is very healthy and perhaps even the most sustainable diet.
I should probably mention here that I’m vegan (well, 95% of the time, I’m not perfect).
Reasons To Go Vegan
There are many reasons to go vegan but here are the 20 reasons which I feel are the most important. I’ve split them up into four categories. Environment, health, animals, and people.
Environmental Reasons To Go Vegan
01. Reduce Greenhouse Emissions
I thought I’d start with the most important one. Agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. This is because livestock, especially cattle, produce lots of methane. This is a very potent greenhouse. More so than carbon dioxide.
It also requires electricity to run the factories which release carbon dioxide. Tonnes of greenhouse gases are released every single day. It’s scary to think about.
02. Farming Causes Deforestation
Around 38% of habitable land is used for livestock or to grow the food needed to feed them. This is causing large amounts of forests around the world to be cut down. Not only is this bad for climate change since trees are natural carbon sinks, but we are losing vital biodiversity that the world really needs.
While crops do take up space, they do not use nearly as much land as animal farming does.
03. Animal Farming Reduces Biodiversity
Biodiversity is lost in various ways. This is mainly due to the destruction of natural ecosystems like forests. What’s even worse, is that we are replacing these rich biodiverse ecosystems with monocultures which is hugely worrying.
Another way in which it reduces biodiversity is due to the fact that farmers kill predators that would have otherwise killed their stock. They want to protect their income so they kill these natural predators.
04. Animal Farming Is Water Intense
Like nearly every industry, water is needed. And a lot of it. Animals, like us, need to drink water. But with so many animals, too much water is wasted which could have otherwise been drunk by people.
Freshwater is getting more scarce and we are using it up to make milk, cheese and other animal products. By going vegan, you will save many gallons of water and reduce your water footprint.
05. Animal Farming Uses Many Chemicals
Animal farming uses more chemicals than you think. You know all the crops needed to feed animals? Well, farmers use pesticides, fertilizers and so much more in order to grow as much food as possible. Nevertheless, this is not good for the environment because these harmful chemicals drain into the soil and eventually into water streams. This is another way in which animal farming pollutes the planet.
Also, I want to mention antibiotics, even though they are not really a chemical. Cows and nearly all animals are pumped with antibiotics and chemicals in order to make them grow as much as possible and to prevent them from getting sick. This is the biggest reason for antibiotic-resistant strains emerging.
Additionally, these chemicals not only enter the environment, but they are absorbed into our bodies when we eat meat, milk, eggs, etc.
Health Reasons To Go Vegan
06. Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease
Studies show a big link between eating meat and heart disease and say that a plant-based diet can massively reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. Eating more fiber, fruits, and vegetables is also shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Whether you’re vegan or not, eating meat every day all your life is not going to be good for your health. This is one of the most important health reasons to go vegan or to simply reduce your meat intake.
07. Can Boost Your Mood
A study was done to show that eating a vegan diet can be better for your mood. What you eat and your brain (and therefore your mood) are very much linked. That’s why you should respect your body and eat healthy. A good body equals a good mind.
08. More Energy
Surprised? You probably thought vegans are weak and tired all the time since ‘they are deficient in all nutrients’ as many individuals are led to believe. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you eat a balanced vegan diet, is much better for your health to have a plant-based diet rather than eating red meat and other animal products all the time.
A vegan diet, while not the only one, provides you with consistent energy. That is if you are eating healthy. Eating loads of meat every day takes a toll on your stomach as it takes more energy to digest.
09. Easy To Maintain Your Weight
Without all the saturated fat from meat, it suddenly becomes a lot easier to lose or maintain your weight. Also, vegan foods tend to naturally have fewer calories than meals with meat. This makes it an ideal diet if you are trying to lose weight or achiever a healthy body mass. It becomes so much easier when you cut animal products from your life.
Go Vegan For The Animals
10. Say No To Animal Cruelty
Animals are not treated nicely, to say the least in these factory farms. It’s not fair how animals should suffer because of us. It’s completely unnatural to lock thousands of animals in confined spaces. Going vegan is a way to show that you are against this. Why continue eating meat simply because it’s a social norm? That’s not right.
Our demand for meat is what is causing so many animals to suffer every single day. We must put a stop to it.
11. Animals Are Selectively Bred
Did you know that animals are selectively bred in order to optimize production and increase meat production? Not only is this not natural but it creates a multitude of problems. For instance, it reduces the gene pool and makes animals more susceptible to disease in the long term.
I hate the idea and whole concept of selective breeding and therefore, do not want to fund the companies who are making this happen. You too, should start aligning your life with your morals.
12. Truth Behind Eggs And Milk
I recently found a video about the milk industry and it really opened my eyes. It made me realize just how absurd it is for us to drink another animal’s milk. That milk is meant for a baby calf, not for a full-grown animal, let alone an adult from a completely different species. It was all just a marketing scheme.
With chickens, even if they are free-range, they often kill the male ones afterward because they are deemed ‘useless’.
Go Vegan For The People
13. Animal Farming Causes Food Insecurity
For these animals to grow, they need food. So many crops, mostly soybeans, are grown specifically to feed these animals. But this land and crops could be used to feed people directly. In the same area of land, we can grow more calories compared to animals anyway. Eating plants is more energy-efficient than eating meat as energy is lost as we go up the food chain.
14. No Reason To Eat Meat Or Animal Products
We humans can do pretty well without animal products. We don’t need to consume them to be healthy. If anything, not consuming them, makes us more healthy. Humans don’t need to consume animal products to survive. It’s as simple as that. We have so many options for food. There’s no need to lock animals up.
15. Animals Farming And Infectious Human Disease
The fact that we put thousands or millions of animals in tightly-packed factories, is of the reasons so many new diseases emerge and why they spread from animals to humans. People have never been this close to animals in the past as they are now.
By continuing the way we are, we risk more epidemics and future global pandemics taking place.
16. Not Evolved To Eat So Much Meat
The truth is we are not supposed to eat this much meat. Our ancestors did not eat this much meat because they didn’t have to access it. They had to catch everything. So to anyone that says we should eat animals because our ancestors did, well our ancestors didn’t have factory farms. But I don’t see people hunting for their own food in this modern world.
Additionally, humans do not have the anatomy to be predators in this modern age at least. There are so many people who are unnaturally obese and one of the reasons for this is simply how much meat we eat as a society.
In fact, indigenous communities, mainly eat a plant-based diet.
17. Inspire Others To Follow
If not you, then who? Someone has to be the inspiration. People don’t usually change on their own. They usually copy someone else. If your friends and family (or your social media friends) see that you changed to a vegan diet, they might be inspired to do it too.
This is one of my favorite reasons to go vegan. If you are worried about the state of the planet, change yourself first and then everyone else will follow.
18. Do What You Believe In
This is something that I strongly recommend people to do. I always tell people to do what aligns with their morals and ethics. I do not want to fund companies that are destroying the environment.
It’s easy to follow the crowd, however, if you are doing something that you don’t think is right, why continue doing it? Explain to others the reasons you went vegan and who knows, they might choose this lifestyle too.
19. It’s Easier Than It Has Ever Been
While many claim it’s hard to be vegan, I think otherwise. There are so many vegan alternatives like plant-based milk and yogurt. You don’t need animal products in order to have a healthy diet. More and more restaurants are offering vegan meals as the demand is increasing.
Of course, it won’t always be easy and you will need to check if the place you want to go to has vegan options, but don’t let that stop you. Besides, cooking your own meals is so fun and even better for your health and the environment.
20. Challenge Social Norms
Finally, it’s yet another way to go against social norms and stand up for what you believe in. Don’t just follow everyone else because that’s exactly the reason the planet is being destroyed.
I don’t care what everyone else thinks about my choices.
Go against the crown. If you want to make a difference, you have to be different. This is just one way to do it.
But I’m vegetarian…
If you’re vegetarian, that’s great too. But you should know that the dairy industry and the egg industry is far crueler than what people are led to believe. I’m not going to force you to go vegan. I just want you to have all the information so you can then make an informed decision.
If you are a vegetarian, you are going in the right direction. It probably means you are educating yourself more on the truth of animal products in the modern world.
As you can see, there are many reasons to go vegan as it has benefits for the environment, your health, animals, and our society. I’ll let you think this through. You don’t have to go vegan overnight. Gradually reduce the number of animal products you consume. You don’t have to go 100% vegan. Be 95% vegan like me. If only everyone was imperfectly vegan, the world would be a much better place.
We must say no to this cruelty. We must demand a new society. If we don’t, nothing is going to change.
Images from Unsplash