Why do people go vegan?
That is one of the biggest questions in the minds of society today. People assume that all vegans have the same reason for making veganism a part of their life. But there are many reasons why people embrace this lifestyle. You can ask ten vegans the same question of why they became vegan, and they will tell you ten different reasons.
That’s because it all depends on their interests, life experiences, and outlook on the world. The timing of when they learn about certain issues also play a big role in such a life-changing decision.
If you’re asking yourself “why should I go vegan?”, here are some really good reasons.
One of the most common reasons why people go vegan is for their health. After all, it’s undeniable that vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes are the healthiest foods on Earth. Likewise, there are many studies linking meat with health problems like certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Vegan foods, on the other hand, are rich in fiber and other nutrients but low in saturated fat and bad cholesterol—making them a better option for our health.
Contrary to what some people are saying, plant foods are a complete source of vitamins and nutrients. If they weren’t, then why are athletes going vegan and thriving through all of their intense physical activity and competition?
Aside from health reasons, other people go vegan because they are concerned about the environment. Climate change is real, and factory farming is one of its major contributors.
Additionally, animal agriculture requires a large amount of water and land to grow feed and support farm animals. This often leads to soil degradation, deforestation, and a severe decline in biodiversity. Planting more plant foods for human consumption, on the other hand, uses land more efficiently.
Why go vegan for animals? Well, why not?
As human beings, we have a moral obligation to all the innocent and sentient beings around us. Yes, that includes farm animals. Did you know that pigs are smarter than dogs? They are smart enough to complete puzzles, recognize humans, and know when they are about to be sent to the slaughterhouse. We can’t even imagine the terror they experience during their “execution day”.
And as if slaughtering them for their meat is not enough, farm animals are treated in the most inhumane way possible in factory farms. They are kept in cramped and unhygienic cages their entire life. Likewise, after years of being used for milk, dairy cows are killed when their productivity levels start dropping. The more people that go vegan, the more animal lives we save.
Benefits of veganism
If you still haven’t found the answer to the question “why do people go vegan?”, this list of benefits of veganism might help.
- A vegan diet is richer in many vitamins and nutrients, such as magnesium, potassium, and folate—as well as vitamins A, C, and E.
- A vegan diet can help you achieve and maintain your ideal weight, without having to restrict calories or delicious foods.
- A vegan diet is rich in fiber. In fact, you can only get fiber from plant foods.
- Studies have shown that a vegan diet can help improve kidney function and lower blood sugar levels.
- Research shows that eating several servings of fresh vegetables and fruits per day may help reduce your risk of developing and dying from cancer by as much as 15%.
- Numerous studies also show that vegans are less likely to develop high blood pressure and heart disease, among other illnesses.
- A vegan diet can also help reduce inflammation and arthritis pain.
How you can sustainably switch to a vegan lifestyle
Going 100% vegan is not always an instantaneous transformation. It won’t happen overnight for everyone. Making a complete 180-degree turn on your diet and lifestyle will require commitment and dedication from you.
The best way to fully immerse yourself into veganism is to do it slowly but surely. Don’t rush yourself. Remember, slow and steady wins the race, and the goal is to make sure the change is a long term, sustainable one. Here are some other things you can do that will help make the transition easier.
- Start by adding to your diet instead of subtracting from it. When you’re more used to plant foods, that’s the time to start removing animal-based products from your diet.
- Incorporate more beans, whole grains, legumes, seeds, tofu, tempeh, and nuts into your diet. Make sure to familiarize yourself with their uses, storage, and preparation.
- Search for quick and easy vegan recipes that appeal to you. Start experimenting on these recipes until you find what works for you.
- Replace milk with non-dairy options such as soy or almond milk.
- When traveling, you can search ahead of time for vegan restaurants, boutique hotels, and tours. This way, you won’t have to worry about where you’re going to get your meals or how you spend your trip.
- Read vegan articles and do research so that you’re well-informed of the changes you’re making, and how they can benefit your and others’ lives. This way, when your family and friends inquire about the new changes you’re making, you’ll be able to inform them why they should too!
These are just some of the things you can do. There are other ways you can make the change easier for you. You just need to find what works for you. But, no matter what approach you follow, never forget your motivation to change.