Ask any vegan why they made the switch, and they will most likely say something along the lines of; "it started out because...," and give you one solid reason. But that one reason will soon turn into a collection of positive impacts veganism has had on their life. Here are 50 reasons to switch to a vegan diet:
1. Weight loss
Alternative sources of protein such as beans, tofu, and nuts contain healthier fats than the alternative, which help to promote weight loss. Vegan diets also contain high levels of fruits and vegetables. This aids in weight control, because fruits and vegetables are low in calories but high in water content, creating the sensation of being full.
2. It’s cheaper
Save the planet while saving your bank account! Vegans save ~$750 a year on an average daily recommended caloric intake of 2000 cals.
3. No more “mystery food”
Those without dietary restrictions will often consume anything; just look at the fast food industry! Vegans are known for constantly checking labels, inquiring about ingredients, or simply cooking meals themselves. Although it may seem like a daunting task, we prefer knowing exactly what is going into our bodies!
4. To be a part of a progressive movement
The world of veganism is on the rise! More and more countries are embracing veganism; this movement cannot and will not be ignored! Either hop on the train now or live in denial a little longer.
5. Self awareness
We are constantly considering our impact on the world around us, which promotes a conscious connectedness to our surroundings.
6. Lower blood pressure
Veganism and vegetarianism has been linked to lower blood pressure due to a lower consumption of saturated fats and sodium.
7. Reduced risk of heart disease
Lower saturated fat consumption decreases the risk of clogged arteries and obesity, lowering the risk of possible strain placed on the heart.
8. Saving the lives of animals
This one is a no brainer! However, what many people don't realize is how the industry for producing animal byproducts has become extremely inhumane as Westernized cultures continue to over consume. Check out Vegucated, a documentary featured on Netflix (don't let the first minute fool you!). Vegans not only save the lives of animals, but also save the quality of life that many animals sacrifice for the dairy industry.
9. Being a part of a community
As vegans, we have the opportunity to support local markets, restaurants, and bakeries. We have an endless supply of social networking tools that provide support, inspiration, and education! Some communities even hold monthly vegan dinners at local community centers!
10. A sense of pride in your values
Vegans are proud of their lifestyle choices, and they should be! Veganism not only benefits the individual practicing, but it also promotes many environmental and ethical gains.
11. The "captivating" conversations you are bound to have at family dinner parties
Let your freak flag fly because you will most likely be the only one at Thanksgiving dinner eating a soy version of our festive friend, and EVERYONE will remind you! My advice; read up before company comes over; family debates can get heated!
12. Learning a new set of skills
We as humans are constantly growing, so why not use this as an opportunity to teach yourself how to adapt in a vegan diet. You'll learn countless new recipes, in which I can assure you that you can find a vegan version of anything!
13. Energy booster
As long as your vegan diet is balanced with the proper amount of carbs, fats, proteins, and proper vitamins and nutrients, you should feel energized throughout your day. Vegans tend to eat foods in their more basic or natural form, eliminating added refined sugars, which can cause a sluggish behaviour.
14. Lower risk of consuming added hormones
Because the act of selling animal meat has become so industrialized, "factory farmed animals" are being pumped with hormones to speed up the growth process. And guess where those hormones end up! That's right, on your dinner plate. This also applies to the production and consumption of animal byproducts!
15. Lower risk of cancer
With added hormones, animal products have been linked to increasing the risk of cancer growth in consumers. Bowel cancer has recently been linked to the consumption of red meat.
16. Higher fiber intake
Vegans usually have higher fiber intake due to a diet primarily made up of grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, etc. Fiber can be broken down into two types; soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, keeping us feeling full longer. Insoluble fiber helps to clear out the large intestine, which keeps us regular!
17. Encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables make up a large part of our diet, which means a large variety of nutrients! The more variety in colour, the more range in nutrients we gain!
18. Eating guilt free
If animal ethics is something you care about, now you have a way of working that passion into your diet. Once you educate yourself on the procedures performed in factory farms, it will be a no brainer.
19. Decreased PMS symptoms
Milk has a high hormonal content, which can impact the severity of PMS. A percentage of women who have cut dairy products out of their diet, have found noticeable improvements.
20. Lower refined sugar intake
Vegans tend to eat less processed foods, which usually contain higher amounts of refined sugars. These sugars can lower energy levels, increase cravings, increase risk of Type II diabetes, cause abdominal upsets, and much more. Check out the book Sugar Blues, written by William Dufty, or this summarized article for more information.
21. Decreased negative environmental impact
Vegan diets cut down on the use of many resources that are used to farm/factory farm animals, including water usage, electricity used to power the extensive "manufacturing" processes, and grains used for feeding. Not to mention the environmental issues that arise due to major deforestation, methane gases released into the atmosphere, and overflowing landfills used for waste "disposal." I mentioned Cowspiracy in a previous article, but I'll link it again, because it really is a great source.
22. Decreased consumption of antibiotics
Many animals brought up in the industrialized production of meat and dairy products have been pumped with antibiotics to promote growth and limit infection.
23. Lower carbon footprint
The combined greenhouse gas emissions produced by animal agriculture, transportation, and gas produced by livestock and their byproducts has an extreme environmental impact. Detailed percentages can be found here.
Vegans make a great contribution to sustaining the world's resources, from fresh water, to forested areas, to areas of unpolluted land.
25. Decreased famine
Growing animals consume A LOT! If grains that were used to feed animals, were fed to humans instead, we would be able to feed 10 billion people! Yet, 1 in 9 people are not able to thrive, due to famine.
26. You can still maintain a high intensity fitness regiment if you choose
As long as you maintain a healthy balanced vegan diet, you can still lead an extremely active life. Many professional athletes maintain a plant based diet.
27. Lower risk of Type II diabetes
Can be linked to a decrease in visceral fat, otherwise known as abdominal fat, which is one of the precursors to Type II diabetes.
28. Boosted immune system
Following a diet high in fruits and vegetables helps to ensure that we consume a wide range of nutrients. The more variety of colourful foods you consume, the more vitamins and minerals your body is gaining. Some immune boosting foods include mushrooms, sweet potatoes, broccoli, teas, garlic, spinach, berries, citrus foods, and turmeric. Eliminating animal sources in your diet also lowers your risk of disease, which is a great place to start!
29. Decreased arthritis symptoms
Cutting dairy products from your diet has been found to decrease symptoms of arthritis; particularly rheumatoid arthritis. Healthy fat alternatives such as extra virgin olive oil, have anti inflammatory properties. However, it is important to use at a low heat, otherwise these benefits dissolve.
30. Longer lifespan
Studies have found a link between having a vegan diet, and longer telomeres. This results in a longer lifespan of the cell, implying a longer lifespan of the overall organism. Basically, disease causes telomeres to shorten, but vegan diets ave been proven to lower risk of disease.
31. Decrease in body odor
Your body odor is a partial reflection of what you put into it. Plant based compounds (phytonutrients) such as chlorophyll act as cleansers! (Read more). Look to zero in on aromatic herbs, as well as celery, mint, cilantro, and parsley.
32. Healthier skin
You are what you eat! If you're constantly providing your body with clean natural nutrient dense foods, your skin will follow suit. Some who have made the switch to veganism have experienced a noticeable decrease in acne, which can be related back to cutting out dairy products.
33. Opportunity to explore new cuisines
Many ethnic cuisines include popular vegan and vegetarian dishes. Look for authentic Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Ethiopian.
34. Experimenting with flavour
Let's face it, vegans are often forced to think outside the box. So why not have some fun experimenting with new flavours! I'm now a huge fan of curry; something I may not have been so willing to try if I stuck to my old roots.
35. Becoming knowledgable about your food consumption
Veganism is a balancing act! It's all about learning what your body needs, and more importantly, how to get it. In my mind, being knowledgable about how your body operates is one of the most valuable life skills a person can have.
36. Finding beauty in natures creations
Whether that be animals, fruits and vegetables, or your own body; you will come to appreciate things in their most natural form.
37. New experiences
You’ve welcomed yourself into a new world of dining, cooking, shopping, ethical debates, and more. Living is growing, so why not step outside your comfort zone.
38. A greater appreciation for ALL animals
Once you take the time to value animals as living beings, it becomes impossible to hold one above another. Look at this appreciation as a rare gift.
39. New relationships
You will without a doubt bond immediately with strangers over your shared dietary preferences.
40. Less likely to binge out on junk food
This one depends on how committed/resourceful you are! There are vegan substitutes available in terms of "treats," they just aren't always readily available like other more common dessert foods.
41. There's a supplement for that!
Vegans do have to be careful when balancing their diet, but over the counter supplements are available to ensure that everything is accounted for! Common supplements to look for include Vitamin B12, Calcium, Vitamin D, and Iron, but talk to your physician before consumption.
42. Over eating becomes a little more guilt free
It’s quite difficult to punish yourself for over doing it on the beet chips or last nights’ leftover quinoa salad.
43. You can describe your eating habits as “cruelty free”
This one speaks for itself!
44. You have every excuse to pass gas without it being considered “rude”
Vegans often experience an increase in gas due to a higher fiber intake, so now you have an excuse! But hey, know your audience.
45. Lower risk of food related illness
Most of which are carried by red meat, poultry, seafood, and fish.
46. Relieve menopausal symptoms
Again, we come back to the hormone levels in meat and dairy products. These rapid hormonal fluctuations can worsen the menopausal symptoms women experience.
47. Avoidance of unknown chemicals
Animal farming has become quite the elaborate production. Whether you're eating straight steak or a processed frozen dinner, I guarantee you never really know what chemicals are going into your body.
48. Inspiring friends or family to eat vegan friendly
Word of mouth is the strongest form of advertising! Once people see first hand how manageable a vegan diet is, they will be more inclined to try it with you. And what a great feeling it is knowing that you've made a positive influence on a friend's/family member's lifestyle.
49. Spreading awareness
Informed vegans are the best kind! Learn up and spread the word, because this my friends, is how change happens.
50. It’s easier than you think!
It's really not that difficult! If you're skeptical, then try it out for a week or maybe even a month and just see what you think! Like any lifestyle change, it takes time, effort, and motivation.
Comment below to share how a vegan diet benefits you!