For most people, changing to a vegan diet represents a major lifestyle change. It requires more time and thought when it comes to meal planning and shopping, to ensure you still receive the right amount of protein and calories to stay healthy. There’s much more to it than just cutting out meat and eating more vegetables! It requires new ways of shopping for clothes, health and beauty products, and household items. Fortunately, there are plenty of websites with lists that can help you remove animal-based products from your home. There are many more than you might imagine.
Many companies show their animal-friendly status with a logo like the Leaping Bunny, it’s important to know what the labels are really saying. “Vegan” only means that the product doesn’t contain animal-based ingredients; there’s no guarantee that it wasn’t tested on animals. “Cruelty-free” only confirms that the ingredients and/or finished product wasn’t tested on animals.
Technology can help you sort this out on the go with apps for both Apple and Android phones that will let you scan products to see if they were tested on animals, find vegan alternatives at restaurants or get vegan substitutes for recipe ingredients. Here are 4 important reasons why you should go vegan.
Do It for the Animals.
For many people, protecting animals is the main reason they chose to go vegan. Whether you have emotional attachments to animals or believe all sentient life forms have the right to life and freedom, choosing a plant-based diet is the obvious way to show how you feel about animal rights and exploitation. It’s not just the factory farm industry; the honey, dairy and egg industries have just as many animal rights issues.
Do It for Your Health.
Well-planned vegan diets contain all the nutrients you need without animal-based products. Research has shown that vegan diets can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as lower the chances of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. These diets are richer than meat-based diets in several nutrients, including:
- Vitamins A, C, and E.
They also help people lose weight sensibly and maintain the loss.
Do It for the Environment.
Everyone is trying to do their part to take care of the environment but raising meat animals has a bigger carbon footprint than recycling plastic bottles can erase. These animals require grains for feed, which require more and more farmland and natural resources, leading to deforestation, habitat loss, and extinction of species. Transporting the animals for processing and then to market adds even more to the carbon footprint. Growing vegan crops requires less land and other valuable natural resources. It takes over 15,000 liters of water to produce a kilo of beef, while it only takes 250 liters to produce a kilo of potatoes.
Do It for Mankind.
A vegan diet requires only a third of the land needed to grow the necessities for a meat and dairy diet. As the world’s population is expected to increase from 7 billion to between 9 and 11 billion by 2050, the amount of land available to feed them will naturally decrease. Ecological changes will make some of the remaining parts of the world unusable for growing food. Livestock consumes more calories, protein, and water than they produce, so wasting land on a diet based on food products that use more than they create doesn’t make sense, especially with a rapidly increasing population.
Learn more about switching to a vegan lifestyle, including recipes, news and where to find vegan-friendly fashion, by visiting our forum community. It will help you make the transition easier so you can have a lighter carbon footprint in no time!
What is your reason for choosing a vegan lifestyle?