Max Lucado said it best: "Not everyone can do everything, but everyone can do something."
Veganism is one of my "somethings," and it has changed my life in so many positive ways that I can't ever see myself going back.
Here are some reasons why I'm Vegan, as told by "Parks and Recreation."
1. Literally saving animals
On average, you save about one animal life a day by going vegan. You and your friends could save over a thousand animal lives a year by going vegan even part of the time, and the numbers show it: 400 million fewer animals were killed last year just because people decided to switch out animal-based meals for plant-based ones.
2. Repaired my relationship with food
Because of mental illnesses and my dysphoria as a trans guy, I've pretty much never had a solid relationship with food. It used to take me about a day’s worth of energy to sit down for a meal every few days, and now I eat six or seven times a day. I love food. I love eating; I love trying new flavors and new foods as often as possible. I’ve always had an emotional relationship with food, and I think most of us do.
Veganism completely changed the game by assigning a sense of purpose and value to why I eat and what I eat, and even though I occasionally relapse, the relapses are way less frequent and much briefer than ever before. Some view veganism as a restrictive diet, and while in some ways that’s true, it’s really an oversimplification that robs the lifestyle of all its beneficial dimensions: environmental conscientiousness, enthusiasm about humanity, active compassion, respect for all living beings and an overall concern for both my well-being and the well-being of other creatures.
3. Boosted energy levels
I can remember with perfect clarity how sluggish I used to feel, not only as a general statement but also after a huge meal with meat and/or cheese. Even as a junk food vegan, my energy levels have absolutely soared into the stratosphere.
4. Helps me save sh*tloads of water
This website shows how much water, grain, square feet of forest and pounds of carbon dioxide you save for every day you’ve been vegan. I’ve been vegan for about a year, so these are my stats:
5. Strengthened immune system
My girlfriend and I can both attest to this one: we used to get sick all the time in high school, way before we even knew what veganism really was. Since becoming full-time vegans, we’ve only really been sick once or twice this year.
6. Improved sex life
7. Made me more environmentally conscious
The past two years have seen the advent of studies that show animal agriculture, not fossil fuels, as the leading cause of climate change. By and large this is due to deforestation and the massive amounts of water required just to make a single burger (around 600 gallons).
8. Cleared my skin up
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a junk food vegan. I eat fried foods and soy alternatives, and I probably don’t eat a salad more than twice a month. Even so, my skin looks way better than it did a year ago.
9. Put the "active" in my "activism"
Going vegan was the connection I needed in order to really understand that every action we take makes a difference in the world. While I’ve always been high-energy and outrageously passionate, I didn’t quite have an outlet for making a difference beyond using social media. Veganism taught me the importance of translating my thoughts into actions. If we aren't leaving our comfort zones, are we really doing the best we can to make a difference?
10. Gives me a huge reason to wake up in the morning
Ultimately, becoming a vegan and getting involved in the vegan community taught me so much about actively valuing all life around us. It has sparked my interest in a variety of issues: animal rights, environmental racism and creating sustainable existence are just a few. It's so much more than a diet: it's a lifelong passion; one I share with my girlfriend and a lot of friends who have had the means to take the same initiative.
If you're ever interested in going vegan, feel free to contact me on my page! Otherwise, these documentaries are mostly available on Netflix and give tons and tons of great information on why it's so beneficial for you, for animals and for the world we live in.