Veganism is a way of living which seeks to avoid all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty. A vegan diet is healthy and simple. It is plant based and avoids the consumption of all animal products (meat and fish) and animal byproducts (eggs, dairy products, honey, etc).
Why go vegan? Increasing amounts of people are choosing to adapt to a vegan diet because of these main reasons: health benefits, the environment, and animal welfare.
- For Health
More and more people are turning to a vegan diet for the health benefits which include increased energy, a slimmer waistline, and decreased risk of heart problems. In America, heart disease kills 600,000 people a year. That’s 1/4 people! Animal products are the main source of saturated fat and cholesterol. Studies show that a low-fat, high-fiber, plant-based diet can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as obesity and diet related cancers. In combination with regular exercise, a plant-based diet has been proven to lower blood glucose levels which helps to manage and prevent diabetes.
- For the Environment
Becoming vegan helps to greatly decrease your carbon footprint. Animal agriculture accounts for 70% of global freshwater consumption. Land is required to grow food for these livestock, resulting in massive deforestation – 20% of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down.
- For the Animals
Preventing the exploitation of animals is not the only reason for becoming vegan, but for many people it is the key factor in their decision to go vegan and stay vegan. There is a strong emotional attachment once you learn about the cruelty these animals face. Over 56 billion farm animals are slaughtered every year – a shocking 3,000 per second. Each full grown chicken has a space allowance the size of a standard piece of paper. Because of crowding, these chickens are often debeaked without anesthetic to prevent them from pecking each other. Due to the build up of ammonia from manure, up to 80% of pigs are suffering from pneumonia upon slaughter. Every year in America, 900 million farm animals die prematurely because of disease or poor handling. Avoiding animal products is one way to take a stand against animal cruelty and exploitation. Becoming vegan demonstrates a true compassion for animals.
The good news is that we have a choice. Every time we eat we can choose to help these animals. Every time we make the switch from an animal product to a vegan one we are standing up for farmed animals everywhere. It’s easier than ever before, as Veganism is becoming increasingly mainstream as more and more people discover the benefits of this lifestyle.
If it is now possible to live a life full of delicious food, increased health benefits, a smaller carbon footprint, without killing other creatures – then why don’t we?