7 Facts I Learned From My Vegan Mom
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7 Facts I Learned From My Vegan Mom That Had Me Spitting Out My Cheeseburger Faster Than Fast Food

Get rid of that "vegan" stigma in your head now — these people are actually saving the planet and the lives of those who live on it.

7 Facts I Learned From My Vegan Mom That Had Me Spitting Out My Cheeseburger Faster Than Fast Food
Hannah Porter

My mom has been one of my biggest influences since I was young. She taught me right from wrong, how to be a good person, and how to live my best life. My mom is pretty much a badass. She has her Ph.D., is a college professor, raised three pretty cool children, has an amazing husband (my dad is her biggest cheerleader obviously), and works her little butt off. My mom has been a vegetarian for my whole life and just this past year she became vegan. She wasn't a big meat-eater growing up and believed she could be healthier (and could save some animals) by eliminating it completely. Not once has my mom forced her beliefs on us (my dad would eat steak every day if he could), but she did want us to be conscious about what we are putting in our bodies. I keep learning more and more as I'm getting older myself. My mom knows how to do her research. Therefore, this isn't just from a random Facebook post. I am not vegan nor a vegetarian, but I am slowly consuming fewer animal products. So this isn't me telling you that you MUST be vegan, it is just something you should keep in the back of your mind when consuming animal products. There are a lot of links in here you should click on to learn more about what I am talking about. Without further ado, here are seven things that make me want to seriously consider veganism.

Dairy causes inflammation and maybe even cancer.


This was a huge reason for my mom who has fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is hard to understand since it's only real symptom is nerve pain, everywhere. There is no treatment, but many people think that fibromyalgia is caused by inflammation. My mom learned that dairycan make inflammation worse. When she decided to go vegan, giving up cheese was her biggest challenge, but the relief from pain that she has experienced after giving up dairy was well worth it. Not only is this important for those who have fibromyalgia, but also for those with other inflammation issues like rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, allergies, coeliac disease, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and inflammatory bowel disease (plus many more!). Consuming large amounts of dairy products may also be linked to increased risk for certain types of cancer, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer.

Red meat is actually a carcinogen, too.


Here's something crazy. The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies processed meats (like bacon, sausage, hot dogs, deli meats, etc.) as a Group 1 carcinogen (a cancer-causing agent). It is grouped with smoking, asbestos, and plutonium! Yes, eating processed meats is almost as bad as smoking. Red meats are ALSO carcinogens. The WHO classified red meat as a Group 2A carcinogen.

There is a movie on Netflix called 'What The Health'. Watch it. Some of this information has been around for 50 years, yet no one talked about it. After the WHO labeled these foods as Group 1 and Group 2A carcinogens, the American Cancer Society didn't feature it and STILL put deli meats and red meat on their "healthy snacks" list.

The news is actually catching up with this. Recently, the U.S. News and World Report reported that consuming red meat increased breast cancer risk. The Guardian found that even moderate amounts of red meat increases your risk for bowel cancer "according to the largest UK study of the risks ever conducted".

Animal products have LOTS of cholesterol which can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc.

Only animal products contain cholesterol. Having high cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Yet, guess what? The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association have recipes for beef stews, steaks, and all the red meat recipes you can ask for (Watch that movie!!). That's why limiting red meat can be extremely beneficial. In fact, in some cases, it could even help REVERSE heart disease.

Like I said, being vegan has a lot of benefits, most of which we never even thought or knew about. My wish is that people view vegans as not just the "stereotypical" salad-eater, and realize there is more to this lifestyle than one may think. I want people to understand the impact it has on lives, the world, and on animals.

Eating meat is actually not environmentally-friendly at all.


We don't really think about this because "Well, it's animals. Animals die." But eating meat is impacting the environment more than you think. In fact, one study found that "eating less red meat would be a better way for people to cut carbon emissions than giving up their cars". Why? Because"[It] requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions. When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat, and rice, the impact of beef per calorie [on our environment] is even more extreme, requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases."

The University of Oxford says that if the world went vegan it "could save up to 8 million lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds, and lead to healthcare-related savings and avoided climate damage amounting to $1.5 trillion".

There are vegan substitutions for practically everything.

Naked Food Magazine

A great resource for trying some vegan recipes and substitutions is Naked Food Magazine. I have to say, my mom's vegan meals are ACTUALLY REALLY GOOD. I had no idea I would actually like them. I used to look past anything remotely vegan or vegetarian, but trying these recipes was a life-changer. Also, vegan chocolate is amazing!

Dairy farms are extremely cruel.

Farms take the baby calves away from their mothers immediately after they are born so they do not drink the mother's milk. The baby calves are then left alone in isolated little outdoor domes where they cry for their moms. The mom's milk is pumped and sold at stores. They force-feed the calves and hurt them. It just doesn't seem natural or humane. This is only one incident of how dairy farms are run. Tyson Farms is no better.

Being vegan isn't just about what you eat.

I thought once you stopped eating animal products, you immediately became vegan. It's more than that. Being vegan is about advocating for animals and helping to stop the cruelty. It's about buying cruelty-free products and doing your research. Animals are used for things like product testing, medical testing, and fur farming. Unfortantualy, most of these animals never see the sunlight.

Animals feel pain, love, and sadness, just like we do. To quote one of my favorite sayings, "in a world where you can be anything, be kind," and this meat industry is anything but. You can't turn vegan in a day, but you can limit yourself. You can try new things and maybe one day you'll get to that point. I am slowly getting there, and I am so thankful I had someone who opened my eyes to things I had no idea about.

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