Per the Vegan Society, “veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” It isn’t just a diet, it is a lifestyle choice. And it seems like being vegan is the en vogue thing right now! From Hollywood types to Olympic athletes, people all over the world are turning to veganism as a way of life. Wonder why? Here are five compelling reasons to embrace a vegan lifestyle.
- It’s good for you. As more and more research shows, many of the ills that plague our health are caused by consuming animal products. Consuming meat and dairy contributes to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Need proof? Check out Dr. Greger’s Nutrition Facts website and Dr. Barnard’s Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine online. Both sites contain tons of great information.
- It’s good for the environment. Raising animals for human consumption uses an extraordinary amount of natural resources, including land, water, and crops. We could solve world hunger right now, if we would feed the crops that are fed to livestock to human beings instead. Plus, raising animals for consumption produces an incredible amount of waste, polluting the air and water supply. There is a scientific consensus that animal agriculture is the single largest contributor to global warming on the planet, exceeding even the transportation industry in its production of greenhouse gases.
- It’s especially good for the animals. When you consume meat and other animal products, there is one basic truth: you are causing harm to other sentient creatures. The fact that a middle man is paid to carry out the slaughter process does not make you any less culpable. There is no such thing as “humane” slaughter, as there is no humane way to kill a being who wants to live. The egg and dairy industries are no better. Check out this article on the life of a dairy cow, and you can read about the lives of egg laying hens here. The only way to ensure you are not contributing to the cruelty caused by these industries is to stop consuming animal products.
- It’s cost effective. If I had a nickel for every time someone told me that eating “clean” is expensive, I’d be a rich woman. The fact is battling a significant health issue is far more expensive that spending a little money up front to put the right fuel in your body. Remember that saying, you are what you eat? It is true. What you put in your body BECOMES your body – your cells, your tissues, and your organs. Dried beans, lentils, and whole grains are not expensive. Fresh fruits and vegetables are reasonably priced, especially when you shop your local farmers’ market. There, you can support your local economy while protecting your own pocketbook – and eat well at the same time! (Besides, if you MUST have fast food, you can get a vegan burrito at Taco Bell.)
- It’s a just and moral way to live and “be” in the world. Think about the Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or consider the Wiccan Rede: “An’ it harm none, do what ye will.” No matter what your religious background, we are all spiritual beings in a material world. Only since becoming vegan have I been able to embrace my spiritual nature. My shift has focused from an ego-based existence to one of questioning and discernment – focusing on the impact I have on others. We are all connected. I am conscious of the impact my decisions have, and I am attempting to cause as little harm as possible to others, including all sentient beings and the planet, during this Earth walk. Think about it: we cannot possibly achieve a non-violent world when one of our most basic needs – for sustenance – is currently being met by inflicting violence on other sentient beings. We don’t NEED meat or other animal products, biologically. Eating meat, eggs, and dairy is a bad habit, and it can be broken. For the good of the animals, for yourself, and for your world. Won’t you join me in the light?
If you are interested in learning more or getting started, contact me. Together, we CAN change the world and be a force of healing – one plate at a time!