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Why Should You Go Vegan?
Are you thinking about going vegan? From animal welfare to environmental impacts, going vegan has incredibly positive results. Here are five reasons to go vegan:
1. For the Animals
Animals are the most important reason to go vegan. (*Warning* - some of the images at the following link are graphic.) Animal agriculture is cruel and inhumane, to be frank. Animals are beautiful, sentient beings that have thoughts, feelings, and relationships.
Cows love to cuddle, pigs are playful, and chickens love to sunbathe. They are truly no different than our pups that we cuddle with on our couch. None of them deserve to be raised and killed for food - regardless of the conditions they are raised in. And my goodness, the atrocious conditions they live in.
More than 72 billion animals are killed every year for food.
2. Factory Farms are Even Further Unethical
Aside from the fact that the animals live in heartbreaking conditions, factory farms are terrible beyond that. The working conditions are dangerous for a myriad of reasons, including the harmful gases workers inhale, stress injuries, and chronic health issues that develop over time. These companies often hire migrant workers who are taken advantage of and easily replaced if they complain about the horrid conditions.
Furthermore, factory farms discriminate against communities of color and low-income communities. EWG created a map showing that the majority of these factory farms are located near these communities in North Carolina. The air and water in these locations are negatively impacted by the waste dumped and gasses emitted from the farms, causing health issues among these communities.
3. For the Environment
As touched on above, animal agriculture is terrible for the environment. Animals from factory farms just in the U.S. create TONS and TONS of waste ...in fact, 1 million tons of manure DAILY. Where does this waste go? Well, the ground. And then it runs off into waterways causing contamination. Manure also puts off toxic gases.
Gases emitted during animal digestion include methane and carbon dioxide. Both are greenhouse gases that contribute to human-caused climate change. In fact, animal agriculture is the second leading cause of climate change.
Furthermore, 91% of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is caused by factory farming. Why? A lot of crops need to be planted to feed all of those animals.
The water use is also astronomical. One-third of the world's drinkable water is used by factory farms and growing crops to feed the animals uses over 50% of the water in the U.S.
4. For Your Health
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. However, plenty of doctors recommend a plant-based diet for various health reasons. Dr. Joel Kahn, a cardiologist, is a huge proponent of leaving animal products off your plate. Why? It's better for heart health and can even reverse heart disease.
The China Study, one of the largest nutrition studies in history, shows a significant correlation between consuming animal products and cancer, along with other diseases.
5. To Open Your Horizons!
Alright, time to take a different direction. Let's look at your plate.
Before going vegan, my dinner usually consisted of: chicken, seasoned steamed veggies, and rice or potatoes. Sometimes the protein would vary, sometimes we'd have spaghetti or lasagna, but that was pretty much a typical meal.
Going vegan kind of forced me to try NEW THINGS! What a concept! I learned how to cook vegetables in a variety of ways, I tried curry and never looked back, and I discovered forms of plant protein like lentils and chickpeas. I eat things now I would have never eaten as a meat-eater.
A vegan diet is exciting, adventurous, and oh so delicious!
Okay, ready to go vegan? Here are 12 Helpful Tips for Vegan Beginners!