7 Reasons To Go Vegan

7 Reasons To Go Vegan

Your reasons to go plant-based, from saving money to saving the environment.

Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes the participation of animal cruelty, usually in the form of a plant-based diet that avoids the consumption of animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs. There is instead an emphasis on raw or whole foods including fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. There has been a significant spike in the rise of veganism over the last three years, with 6% of consumers in the U.S. identifying as vegan, according to a report released in June of 2017. Many people choose to switch to veganism for ethical reasons, but there are plenty of benefits that involve the well-being not just individuals, but the world.

1. Better for the Environment

Livestock production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and is one of the leading causes of climate change. As more land is needed to grow feed for livestock, and space is needed to house those animals, deforestation becomes necessary, which increases levels of carbon dioxide and decreases biodiversity. Biodiversity is vital to the health of the planet. Humans rely on organisms such as bacteria and plants to grow crops, make clothing material, and make medicine. A balance in the ecosystem allows for fertile soil, clean water, and moderate weather. Meat production also puts a strain on freshwater resources, contributing to the global water crisis. By cutting down on red meat, you’re able to reduce your personal ecological footprint, which refers to the measure of human demand on nature, based on the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, rearing, farming, processing, transporting, storing, cooking and disposing of the food you eat.

2. Stop Participating in Animal Cruelty

Egg-laying hens spend their lives in battery cages, confined to such tight spaces that they experience feather loss and bruising. Dairy cows spend their lives indoors, with females milked continuously and often developing infections. Calves are taken away from their mothers within hours of birth and are usually slaughtered within seven years, despite their natural lifespan being twenty-five years. Animals are also used in the testing of cosmetic products and medications or subjected to the brutality of the leather industry.

3. Avoid Contamination

Meat is more likely to be contaminated with carcinogens, hormones, antibiotics and other toxins, and has a higher concentration of pesticides than plant food. Pesticides have been linked to health issues, including birth defects and cancer. There is a high risk of exposure to dangerous bacteria such as E. coli. Additionally, The USDA reported that 70 percent of food poisoning is caused by the contaminated animal flesh.

4. Healthier Diet

Regularly consuming meat raises the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis. Plant-based diets tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than carnivorous diets and allow a higher intake of fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and important nutrients like potassium and magnesium. Vegetable protein can be found in beans, peas, rice, quinoa, lentils, nuts, seeds and grains. Studies have found those who follow plant-based diets are more able to maintain a healthy body weight and have longer life expectancy.

5. Save Money

Veganism is often thought to be an expensive luxury, associated with the health-conscious west-coast hipsters, processed-food-fearing moms and Lululemon-wearing yoga/pilates teachers that populate Trader Joe’s. However, going plant-based can be accessible and affordable. Mock-meat and faux-cheese products are not vital, and veggie patties, seitan chik’n or soy-based cheese can be highly processed, essentially amounting to junk food. Staples such as vegetables, oats, tofu or beans, tend to be cheaper than animal proteins; for example, a cut of beef averages about $4 per pound, while a pound of lentils is less than $1. Vegetables can also be preserved longer through canning or freezing, and plant-based proteins are often non-perishable, as opposed to meat or dairy, which usually must be eaten within a certain time frame before spoiling.

6. Vegan Junk Food

On the other hand, if you aren’t afraid to splurge, alternative vegan junk food does exist. Companies such as Amy’s and Daiya offer vegan mac and cheese or pizzas. If you’re a Philadelphia native (excuse this shameless plug), Dottie’s Donuts is a vegan bakery that offers food-porn-worthy treats, with deluxe doughnut flavors such as pumpkin spice glazed, peanut-butter oreo or matcha pistachio, to name a few. As for vegan ice cream, Little Baby’s offers a plethora of options and has locations in West Philly and Fishtown.

7. Live Conscientiously

In this technology-centered age, it’s easy to be disconnected—from other people, from yourself, from the world. We are faced with constant distractions, brainwashed by a barrage of media influences. We follow mundane routines, fall into negative habits, mindlessly going through the motions in a depersonalized state. It’s easy to just absorb information without questioning it, let someone else make choices for you, to obsess over trivial or materialistic matters. Modern society is fast-paced, we are pushed forward by the bulleting rush of time. To live conscientiously simply means to be purposeful and mindful of your actions, to recognize the intentions behind every decision you make and the consequences of your choices. It means raising your self-awareness and acknowledging the world around you. Going vegan, for me, was about taking control of an aspect of my life that I had been struggling with for a long time. The things that you put into your body has a direct correlation to the way you feel, your overall mood and mental health. My transition into veganism happened over the course of several years, and it helped me perceive my body in a more positive way. I was teaching myself to be kinder to myself, and less judgemental. At a time when I felt lost and overwhelmed, it made me feel more in touch with not only myself, but with the world.

Cover Image Credit: Mariah Hall

Popular Right Now

If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.

Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things. If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity towards this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you, if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

To The Mommies And Daddies Who Never Got To Meet Their Baby

We remember your angels.


I'll start by saying that I've never had this happen to me and although I can't vouch for the pain you're feeling, I will tell you that you aren't alone.

I see you, though. I see you posting your pregnancy announcement and updating your status after every appointment with a picture of your ultrasound or a video of you hearing your baby's heartbeat.

I see you posting the gender reveal with the name of your baby and all of the blue and pink outfits you bought. I see the nursery pictures you post with fresh paint on the walls and a brand new crib ready to go for your baby's arrival.

What I don't see, though, is something I instead notice. I notice that you go silent on social media. I notice that you're no longer posting the happiness of your doctor's appointments. I would never want to intrude, so I don't question it or ask. I just wait until the next post.

The next post that I see is the hardest one to read and I'm sure even harder for you to post or even talk about. I see that you post with a heavy heart that your baby has gained their wings and then the comment section floods with apologies and your phone seem like it hasn't stopped ringing since.

My heart goes out to all of those who are grieving. I know that there is nothing I can say or do to make anything ever OK again, but your baby will always be remembered. Your baby was loved and they will not be forgotten.

It's OK to not be OK. You won't be for a while and you may never truly be "OK" again and you may never be the same person you once were, but you're strong and brave. You have survived something no parent should ever have to endure and if that doesn't prove how strong you actually are, I don't know what does.

I will never have all of the right words to make everything seem right again and I cannot comprehend what you're going through but know that your strength is admirable and that you matter. It's OK to cry and be angry and feel lost.

Though October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, we're aware and we remember all 12 months of each year. You matter and your baby matters. While you won't ever forget, I hope you find some sort of comfort in this.

Related Content

Facebook Comments