Here are some of the benefits that result from a vegan diet:
- health: animal products today are full of unnecessary antibiotics, hormones and GMO’s, so forgoing those will stop putting these toxic ingredients into your body and directly benefit your health
- energy: a healthy vegan diet can provide you with wholesome and nutritious food that will make you feel less sluggish & brainfogged and instead boost your energy
- nourishment: when you eat whole, plantbased food, you will also start FEELING healthier and more nourished, which will have a positive effect on the rest of your life as well
The way animals are “produced” in our western world today leads to their suffering and also their lack of well-being. They are fed with food they would not naturally eat (e.g. cows are fed with genetically modified corn, although they are grass eaters) and there are too many animals on too little space. Therefore, the industry feeds them all kinds of drugs to keep them alive, and these drugs are in turn ingested by us! Needless to say, it can’t be healthy to have a cocktail of different drugs in your body that you don’t even need. In consequence, people become immune to certain antibiotics and have their own hormones disrupted by those they take in through animal products. To sum it up, I just don’t think that the way our food is produced by big corporations can be very healthy. Therefore, I pass.
This includes not only animal products, however. All processed foods (the ones with lots of ingredients no one can pronounce) are pretty bad for you. Especially in the US, they use some chemicals that are banned in other countries! But also in most other countries, there are more chemicals in food than is good for us. Therefore, I advocate buying organic, non-processed foods and cooking your own meals, so you know what’s in them!
You might think you’re pretty healthy and feel like you aren’t missing anything, but a vegan diet could still result in a huge improvement of your quality of life. After being vegan for a while, I felt much more energized and motivated, even though I was not lacking energy before. I just noticed that my body got so much more nutrients and it actually feels like food is my fuel now.
Eating organic, whole foods, makes me feel satisfied and happy. I listen to my body now and give it what it is craving- and I don’t mean sugar or pizza, but the actual nutrients behind these. Because most of the time, it is something specific in the food you are craving that your body wants. For instance, when you’re craving a steak, your body probably just needs some iron, which can also be found in leafy greens like kale, or chard, or spinach. And there are plenty of vegan and healthy alternatives to the junk food, which will leave you full and satisfied without the bad feeling after!
To learn more about the health benefits, check out some additional resources here.
For the world
- compassion: make the connection between the living being and what’s on your plate
- environment: the production of plants requires only a fraction of the resources for the “production” of animals and is therefore the more sustainable option
- equality: instead of animals consuming plants just to become our main food source, our consumption of plants (instead of animals) could reduce the inequality among humans on our planet
Why is a dog worth more than a cow or a pig? The distinction between pet and food is made by society. Unfortunately, most people choose what they perceive as the “easy route” and live by what society tells them is “normal”. They ignore animal cruelty and simply turn a blind eye. Nobody forces themselves to make the connection between the piece of meat that is on their plate and the living animal it came from. However, if we would face the animal before we do so and we would have to kill it ourselves, I am sure most people couldn’t do it. To me, it just felt hypocritical to say it’s okay to eat an animal that was killed by someone else, if I would never do it myself. It is all just a matter of what society teaches us is “normal”. And I think everyone should have the courage to challenge that.
Yes, a vegan lifestyle is actually more sustainable and beneficial for the environment than eating meat! “Agriculture produces 22–30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, of which livestock (including its feed and transport) accounts for nearly 80 percent” (Philip McMichael, Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective). Therefore, by reducing our demand for meat, we could in turn reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
The “production” of animals requires many times the amount of land, crop, water and transportation than that of the production of plants. The demand for grain to feed animals is a major contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction. It also reinforces “developing world malnutrition by driving impoverished populations to grow cash crops for animal feed, rather than food for themselves” (The Vegan Society). “Considerably lower quantities of crops and water are required to sustain a vegan diet”, which is why a vegan diet reduces our impact on the environment.