Ahhh, the big question.
My vegan journey started after I took some classes in school where I learned a lot about sustainability. This is where I learned that animal agriculture is the reason for a SLEW of environmental degradation.
These ENVIRONMENTAL reasons include:
- To make 1 lb. of beef, it takes (on average) 2,500 gallons of water! (aka 2 months worth of showers)
- Almost 900 gallons of water are needed to produce a pound of cheese!
- 51% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are caused by livestock & their byproducts (more than the transportation sector)!
I got those facts from the Cowspiracy (a documentary about the sustainability of animal agriculture) website. I’ve also since learned about the multitude of health benefits that vegans enjoy!
Here’s some of my favorite HEALTH reasons:
- People who follow a vegan diet have (on average) a lower BMI than those who do not. (Less obesity/ Diabetes)
- Vegan diets are the most beneficial in improving heart disease risk-factors, including having the lowest average blood pressure & hypertension of all diet groups.
- Pettersen BJ, Anousheh R, Fan J, JaceldoSiegl K, Fraser GE. Vegetarian diets and blood pressure among white subjects: Results from the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2). Public Health Nutr. 2012;15(10):1909-1916.
- Barnard ND, Katcher HI, Jenkins DJ, Cohen J, Turner-McGrievy G. Vegetarian and vegan diets in type 2 diabetes management. Nutr Rev. 2009;67(5):255- 263.
- Appleby PN, Davey GK, Key TJ. Hypertension and blood pressure among meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans in EPICOxford. Public Health Nutr. 2002;5(5):645-654.
- Going vegan reduces your risk of developing diabetes by 62 percent!
- Vegan diets protect against cancer better than any other dietary pattern.
I found all this specific information with all the sources in The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ last updated position paper on vegan/ vegetarian diets.
Even though sustainability was my reason for taking the vegan-plunge, I’ve become increasingly more aware of the health benefits (a TON) and ethical principles (TRUE) I’ve adopted since making the choice (Check out the Live Planted Resources Page for some more valuable resources that talk about the principles of veganism).
I’ve also always had a knack for making up fun food in my kitchen, so I’ve LOVED creating new vegan versions of my favorite foods. I even discovered that I liked new (and different) cuisines that I had never tried before! Switching over to a vegan lifestyle opened my mind in more ways than one, and I think that everyone should try to give it a go at least once.
I’ve linked some videos below about veganism if you’re considering it as a lifestyle choice, and why leaving off the meat and cheese is a better choice in every regard.
Earthling Ed’s Speech– a 30 minute video connecting eating animals and morality (a must-watch!)
Dairy is Scary– a quick 5 minute YouTube video about how dairy is ~actually~ made
Cowspiracy– a documentary on Netflix about the environmental effects of animal agriculture
For more info on Animal Agriculture… Check out this paper I wrote on the sustainability of animal agriculture for some more info on the ~details~ of farming practices: Sustainability of Animal Agriculture.