The vegan diet, also known as the “plant-based” diet, is becoming more popular than ever. In case you’re not familiar, going vegan requires cutting out any and all meat, dairy, egg, and animal products.
While many fad diets are actually not a great idea, there is substantial evidence to suggest that going vegan is one of the best choices you can make for yourself, the planet, your friends, and your cuddly adorable animal friends.
If you’re looking to improve your health, decrease your carbon footprint, eat delicious foods, or you just can’t stomach the idea of butchering your own pig, check out these reasons to go vegan.
1. It’s easier and more delicious than ever.
More and more vegan restaurants, cookbooks, and blogs seem to be popping up and making headlines all around the world. From Beyond Sushi in NYC to Flore Restuarant in LA, and every place in between, innovative restaurants across the globe are changing the way people think about vegan food.
No longer just a sad pile of vegetables and rice, vegan food is officially appealing to all palates. Go ahead, try it.
2. Vegan cooking is fun, easy and fuss-free.
When it comes to eating at home, the internet is a goldmine of genius vegan-friendly blogs and resources. The recipes provided don’t require all those hassles of making sure meat and eggs are fully cooked and spending hours waiting for things to thaw.
Tofu, tempeh, and oodles of great greats and other plant substitutes can fill your plate with color and delight. Check out Minimalist Baker, Oh She Glows, and Finding Vegan for some mouth watering ideas.
3. It reduces animal cruelty.
Although many of us prefer not to think about what meat actually is or where it comes from, at the end of the day, it’s a dead animal (#sad). Lots of recent internet videos are exposing the horrific conditions that exist in animal farms, and just how intelligent these animals are (for example, the IQ of a pig is roughly that of a dog). If you can’t picture killing your own pigs, cows and birds for food, consider it another reason to go vegan.
4. It’s way more eco-friendly.
According to reports by the UN, raising animals to produce meat and dairy drastically increases production of CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, and other greenhouse gases. By going vegan, you can reduce their carbon dioxide emission and water use. If you’re into mother earth like we are (she gives us avocados, after all), consider going veg.
5. Once you cut out meat, eggs and dairy, you’ll realize it’s not even hard.
When you think about it, the only reasons we eat dairy, eggs, and meat so often is because that’s the way it has been for years.
But the magical world of creative vegan cooking has exploded in the recent years, finding vegan ways to do everything from tacos to ooey gooey cheesy pasta. Learning how to create vegan versions of foods can just as easily become a way of life.
6. We are the only species that consumes the milk of another animal, which is weird and unhealthy.
Do monkeys drink dog milk? No. So why do humans drink cow’s milk? Sort of awkward. Milk is meant to feed the offspring of a mother, not a grown adult chomping on some cereal.
Dairy might be a great source of protein and other nutrients, but all of these nutrients be found in other places. Humans have different needs than cows and other animals used for dairy production, so it’s pretty strange that we drink their milk for nutritional value. And dairy today is often full of growth hormones and rBHT, which are by no means good for the body.
7. It can help you save money.
A serving of meat, on average, costs much more than vegetarian protein sources. Beans, legumes, tofu, tempeh, whole grains, and nuts are all much cheaper alternatives (ie, a serving of meat often costs several dollars, while a can of beans with several servings costs about $1).
And with increasing popularity, non-dairy milks, yogurts, and desserts, and other products are dropping in price, as well. Not only can you help save some animals and the planet, you can save a little cash, too.
8. It’s completely possible to get all the nutrients your body needs from plants.
Contrary to common belief, protein is rarely a concern for vegan diets, as a variety of plant-based proteins exist, including those from nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, tofu, tempeh, beans, and even some vegetables (a single cup of kale has 3 grams of protein, #superfood).
When it comes to B vitamins and iron (often thought to only be found in meat and dairy), vegans can easily find these nutrients in many vegetables, grains, nutritional yeast, fermented soy products, and fortified cereals and non-dairy milks.
9. More and more studies are revealing that animal protein is bad for your body.
A continuous amount of research on the dangerous effects of animal protein consumption is slowly popping up on mini-feeds everywhere. In fact, according the to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, animal protein consumption is linked to increased risk of diabetes, mortality, and cancer. Pass us the plants, please!
10. It’s now more socially acceptable.
The once unfriendly vegan stigmas are finally dying down, and many public figures and celebrities like Beyonce, Bill Clinton, Ariana Grande, Ellen DeGeneres, Miley Cyrus and Mike Tyson are all praise the benefits of their plant-based diets. Yay team vegan!
11. Vegan food is delicious and you won’t miss a thing – not even whipped cream, desserts, or cheese.
Once you give the foods a try, it’s easy to realize just how delicious eating differently can be. Many foods are actually better vegan, including ice cream made from coconut milk, sofritas from Chipotle, and many favorite foods you eat already and probably didn’t even realize were vegan.
And yes, you can even find recipes for vegan cheeses and desserts that taste better than the dairy stuff.