I was a Vegetarian for 25 of my 30 years on this planet and recently decided I should take it a step further and try a Vegan diet again after a failed attempt several years ago.
So, why have I chosen a plant-based diet that limits highly processed foods? It's more than just lower food costs and the ability to keep foods longer in my fridge without spoiling that is fueling me. Let me describe in what will hopefully be a clear and concise explanation. Perhaps, somewhere along the way, what I say will resonate and you might join me.
If, after you've read my description and are not completely convinced that you should make some change to your diet, I suggest you watch several compelling documentaries that can found on Netflix and Amazon. These include but are not limited to: Forks Over Knives, Fed Up, Vegucated, and Hungry for Change.
- Increased Energy (not having to rely on caffeinated drinks is good for your healthy & wallet)
- Decreased bloating (however you may have increased gas because of all of the fiber)
- Reduced risks of Cancer, Heart Disease, Obesity, and Diabetes
- Clearer, brighter skin
- I hate taking any medicine if I don't have to. By eating animals and animal byproducts (dairy, eggs, etc) you will be consuming some trace of the hormones and antibiotics found in factory farmed animals. Even if you buy organic "hormone-free" meat or dairy products, they can still contain high levels of estrogen or progesterone, found in commercial cow's milk.
- Deeper, more restful night sleep
- I love all animals. Always have, always will. Many people have no connection with what is on their plate to where it came from -- plant-based foods as well as meats. Some people just eat meat with inadequate consideration for the life that was once in the animal.
- Factory farmed and commercially raised animals and dairy products are highly susceptible to food borne outbreaks such as E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. I'm not saying commercially grown vegetables or soybeans are never tainted with some type of food borne outbreak, but it's a lot less infrequent. Whenever there is such an outbreak, it breaks my heart to read in the news about hundreds of thousands of animals slaughtered for fear that they might have been affected.
- I believe all animals are highly intelligent and have more feelings than they sometimes get credited. We all know that Fido has moods, emotions, and great social skills. But did you know that Pigs, for example, are actually some of the most intelligent animals on this planet?
- Eating meat reduces massive amounts of natural resources, such as water, which is essential for livestock production. It takes 518 gallons of water to produce just one pound of Chicken and more than 1,800 gallons of water to produce just one pound of Beef.
- Giving up meat will reduce your carbon footprint more than if you give up using a car. Meat-rich diets result in 7.2kg of carbon dioxide emissions, while a vegan diet only results in 2.9kg of carbon dioxide emissions.
- Do you volunteer or donate to a charity for environmental reasons? Try "donating" to the environment without actually writing an organization a check and do it by giving up meat and dairy products. You help maintain food security and alleviate poverty without further reducing water resources by not consuming meat and dairy products.