People seem to love lists, so today, I’m going to write one. This particular list is one that resonates most closely to the one thing I care about more than finding the perfect box of vegan truffles: the top five reasons to go vegan.
- The Environment.I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and again and again: going vegan helps the environment in ways that aren’t readily apparent from the get go.
Because you’d be eating food that otherwise would be made into feed for animals, you’re already eliminating a key step and creating a direct supply of food from farm to table.
Think about how much food and water a cow must ingest to grow, only to be slaughtered and made into a 4-ounce steak, a rack of ribs, or hamburger meat.
To be perfectly exact, here’s a handy diagram:
If that doesn’t sway you, then you’re just ignorant.
- Health Benefits.It seems like a broken record, but here it is again: being vegan is simply better for you. Sure, you might get gassy during the first few months of transition, but it’s a small, albeit stinky, price to pay for a healthier you.After going vegan, I can personally attest that I had higher natural energy levels (although I am naturally energetic), felt a cleaner energy burn, and experienced less cramping (this might not be relevant for my he-readers, but surely the female friends of said he-readers benefit, which makes said he-readers happier, no doubt!).
I also psychologically felt less guilt whenever I sat down to eat, knowing I made the right decision at the start of every meal. And you really can’t replace that feeling with anything else.As for nitty-gritty facts, here’s another handy diagram to shoot it from the hip:
So live longer, let other animals live, and everyone’s happy.
- Protein isn’t an issue.The number one question people ask me after they ask why I went vegan is this: “Where do you get your protein?”
It seems that people commonly equate animal sources of protein as the only source. This is 100% false.
Protein, in and of itself, isn’t something that we need SO much of daily that we need to worry about where to get it from. Sure, it’s an important piece of our nutritional pie, but so is Vitamin C and Iron and Zinc and… et cetera.Vegans can easily enjoy protein in their favorite veggies: beans, spinach, broccoli and soy are all viable sources that contribute to our daily intake of protein.According to WebMD, we need this much of protein per day:
- Babies need about 10 grams a day.
- School-age kids need 19-34 grams a day.
- Teenage boys need up to 52 grams a day.
- Teenage girls need 46 grams a day.
- Adult men need about 56 grams a day.
- Adult women need about 46 grams a day (71 grams, if pregnant or breastfeeding)
So in light of that, take a peek at this chart:
Take that, protein naysayers!
- Meat Industry Human AbuseThe meat industry not only harms animals, the environment and your health, but also the economy and well-being of its workers.
As meat prices get ever-lower, so does the treatment of its workers. Huge meat corporations like Tyson, Cargill, JBS and Smithfield, which process and supply over half of all beef, chicken and pork in the USA, have continually cut out the wholesome family farming business in lieu of the stainless-steel, optimized-for-maximum-production (death) factories.
By squeezing out farmers, wages have plummeted, unions have all but dried up, and there is absolutely no respect for the land. Entire ecosystems neighboring these farms have been destroyed by waste runoff from the factories, killing tons of fish and wildlife as well as the businesses that depended on them.
Yet still, they continue to build these metal boxes of death. How does that make sense?
- Biological WarfareWith the mass advent of factory farms have come the hormones, antibiotics and other chemically-induced methodologies to keep up with demand for animal flesh.
As a vegan, I’ve heard stories firsthand from parents who have experience their male child growing breasts at age 7. Girls getting their period at age 10 and going into puberty at a scarily young age.
Is this normal? Absolutely not. And these artificial growth hormones are to blame.
Antibiotic use in meat is also contributing to new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and viruses. Picture a petri dish full of vaccine-resistant pathogens. Now, picture those pathogens floating around in our drinking water as a result of waste runoff from those antibiotic-pumped animals.
Toxins that build up in animal tissue, primarily in commercially farmed fish like tuna and salmon raise our cancer risk levels. Here’s an excerpt of an EWG report to put it into perspective:
According to the FDA, “studies suggest that exposure to dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) may lead to a variety of adverse health effects, including reproductive and developmental problems, cardiovascular disease, increased diabetes and increased cancer. Because DLCs tend to accumulate in the fat of food-producing animals, consumption of animal-derived foods (e.g., meat, poultry, eggs, fish and dairy products) is considered to be the major route of human exposure to low levels of DLCs.” (FDA 2004a)
Everything is connected. It’s time to start acknowledging the huge faults in our supply chain and do something about it. Going vegan is the single most effective step in enacting social awareness and change.