A vegan diet doesn’t sound too appealing to most meat, cheese, and egg lovers. However, a vegan lifestyle can be kind to your health and your wallet. You gain the benefit of knowing that you’re being kinder to animals and the environment. Making the switch isn’t easy, but you might find it a little easier if you know more about the benefits that veganism provides. It’s not necessary to make a complete change overnight. Don't forget you've had years of habits, influences, social pressuresa and media input throughout your lifetime which condition your body and mind towards animal products. It takes time to change habits, start a new learning curve and to make the process actually enjoyable.
Veganism has many advantages to offer:
1. Vegans enjoy better overall health. You can count on having lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, body weight, risk of heart disease, and risk of Type-2 diabetes.
2. Veganism is better for the environment. The resources necessary for meat production are significant. Far more water (e.g. 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef*) and land are required to provide one serving of beef than one serving of fruit, grains, or vegetables. We are currently growing enough food to feed 10 billion people*, yet most of that is fed to farmed animals to feed the few - world hunger could be eradicated already if the world went plant based.
3. It’s kinder to animals. Animals raised for meat often live horrible, horrific lives, not to mention they’re all eventually killed before they die of natural causes. Poor living conditions are the norm for animals used to provide meat. Even cows raised for milk production or chickens raised for eggs usually endure unpleasant living conditions. (Watch Dairy is Scary for a 5 minute informative watch).
4.You decrease your psychological dependence on food. Vegans tend to be more lean. One reason is the high-bulk and low calories found in many vegan foods. The other reason has to do with the lack of psychological satisfaction vegan foods provide. A bowl of beans isn’t quite as enticing as a bowl of ice cream, especially if you’re not hungry in the first place. Vegans are much less likely to overeat.
5. Disease prevention. Vegans enjoy lower incidence of breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, macular degeneration, cataracts, arthritis, and osteoporosis. (Visit nutritionfacts.org for more infomation on health benefits)**
6. Lower body weight. Vegan populations have lower body mass indices than those that consume meat regularly.
7. Longevity is increased. Those that avoid meat and dairy products live an average of six years longer than those that consume those food products. A vegan lifestyle can be a reliable way to ensure you spend a few more years living your life!
8. Migraine relief. Vegans report having fewer migraine headaches than non-vegans. Those that routinely suffer from migraine headaches can often find relief by adopting a vegan diet.
9. Fewer contaminants in food. Meat, fish, milk, and eggs can potentially introduce unhealthy chemicals into the diet. Many herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals can concentrate in animal-based fat. The animals that provide these foods are often given growth hormones and antibiotics that can remain in the products you consume.
10. A vegan diet can be less expensive. Meat, fish and cheese tend to be expensive food items. Consider how inexpensive beans, rice, oatmeal, and many vegetables can be. That’s not to say a vegan can’t spend a lot of money at the grocery store (especially on more processed items), but the option to keep food costs to a minimum is there.
Becoming vegan requires dedication, support and planning. But the benefit to your health, finances, self-esteem, your waistline, the animals and the environment are well worth it. Consider these advantages and decide if a vegan lifestyle is for you. Start slowly and have a few vegan meals each week. Notice how you feel 2-4 hours after consuming them. This alone might be a good enough reason to make the switch.
Reach out if you would like any support in switching/starting. I'm always happy to offer free advice to those who want it.