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Why go vegan?

Miley Cyrus is doing it, ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek is doing it, Kayaker Rush Sturges and rafter Pete Meredith are doing it and so are Stevie Wonder and Alicia Silverstone. People the world over, from all sorts of backgrounds and of all ages have been going vegan over the last couple of years. It seems like the world is waking up to the possibility of trading chronic diseases and inflammation for compassion, health and longevity.

But why should you go vegan? Did you know that each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life? You have probably heard about a couple of arguments that are made in favor of a vegan, or a plant-based diet. It takes different reasons for different people to get motivated and start making some changes.Whether you’re already on your way towards a plant-based vegan diet or just playing with the idea, here are 14 reasons to think about:

1. Save the environment and stop climate change

If animal ethics do not make you think about going vegan or cutting back on your animal intake then maybe the environment will. Around 18-51 percent (depending on the calculation and source) of man-made pollution comes from the meat industry, putting factory farming ahead of transportation in contributing to the greenhouse effect. What's more, it takes about 40 calories of fossil-fuel energy to create every one calorie of feed-lot beef in the U.S. (compared to 2.2 calories of energy needed to create plant proteins).1 pound of hamburger meat equals 75 kg CO2 emission_ which is about the same as using your car for 3 weeks (at an average CO2 emission of 3 kg per day). And the wild animals have to suffer the consequences as well – the current mass extinction of species is impacting 86% of all mammals, 88% of amphibians, and 86% of all birds. Many of them are facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the near future. It is very possible that we could see fishless oceans by the year 2048.

2. Resources and world hunger

All over the world people are starving as the demand for animal products increases. The world has enough food for 10 billion people, while only 7 billion are on this planet. However 50% of grains worldwide are being eaten by animals in the meat and dairy industries… while 82% of children living next to livestock are starving. The meat is then shipped to 1st world countries.Around 70% of the grain grown in the US alone is fed to livestock - that’s enough grain to feed 800 million people. At the same time, incredible amounts of water are being used to produce animal products. Being vegan could save almost 800’000 gallons of water per person each year.

3. Lower your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes

Both of these conditions are amongst the most common chronic diseases in the Western world. And they are totally man-made! Nobody in this day and age (at least nobody with the privilege of having internet access) would need to suffer from either of them. It's widely acknowledged, even by major health organizations, that animal products rich in saturated fat and cholesterol are a major contributor to both heart disease and diabetes. The same diet that improves our arteries can also improve type 2 diabetes.

4. Better skin and digestion

Dairy is mucus forming and connected with acne and skin disorders. Doctors prefer prescribing the contraceptive pill or harsh creams first and many of us don’t want to do the work ourselves…it’s a choice. Eat what you want, get bad skin, apply a harsh cream or. Eat well and deliciously, don’t get bad skin and don’t need pills or creams.Water-rich fruits and vegetables can give your skin an additional boost in health due to their high amounts of vitamins and minerals. Their fiber helps with getting better digestion and elimination of toxins, which, in turn, clears up your skin even more. Having trouble with digestion is probably one of the most uncomfortable feelings ever! If you are worried about the amount of sugar in fruit consider taking juice plus whole food concentrates. All the goodness of fruits and vegetables without the sugar.

5. Treat or reverse other current health conditions

Our health is our most valuable asset in life. Any chance we have to keep ourselves out of the GPs waiting room should be taken seriously. Of course we don’t always do that preferring to consume what tastes good without thought of what it is doing to our physical, mental and spiritual bodies. So many aspects of our health lie in our own hands! Are we big enough to take responsibility though? A plant-based diet is often more effective than medication and surgery when it comes to diseases! The WHO stated that processed meat is a carcinogen and that red meat probably is as well and then there’s The China Study showing the connection between milk protein and cancer

6. Get and stay slim effortlessly

This is a nice one. Vegans are the only group of people who average a normal or healthy BMI So if you want to skip the starvation and counting calories go for plants instead!

7. Showing kindness and compassion to sentient beings

Even though for some people, the ethical argument for veganism isn’t strong, it can never hurt to be kind. This doesn’t just go for meat products though. The dairy and egg industry often treat animals much more cruelly then the meat industry

8. We have no need for animal products

The killing of farmed animals is unnecessary. We simply do it for pleasure and out of tradition. It’s a learned behaviour, we are taught which animals are okay to eat. Its bizarre that we prefer to consume milk from a cow yet roll our eyes and squirm at breast milk. Unfortunately, we just view farm animals as food without thinking of individuals with unique personalities and emotions – just like cats and dogs. Once we understand this connection and take appropriate steps, we can finally align our actions with our morals.

9. Open your eyes to new foods and recipes

Since going vegan my love for the kitchen has increased. It had to otherwise I was going to be very sad missing out on all the treats available in a regular supermarket. Now I create magic, black bean burgers, quinoa chunky monkey cookies, sark vegan chocolate, 1 pot lentil wonders. There are over 20,000 species of edible plants in the world, of which somewhere between 150 and 200 have been domesticated and farmed. You don’t have to cut back on taste at all here, the internet has all the answers. Just open your eyes and explore what is available

10. fitness

Meat and dairy are hard to digest, taking much of your energy and leaving you tired and lethargic. Adopting a plant powered vegan diet has the potential to give you more energy and strength if you eat properly. Remember vegan junk food will never sustain you, the same way non vegan junk wont either.As vegan body builder Robert Cheeke says: "No matter what sport you’re involved in and no matter the level of performance you’re shooting for, you get the best nutrition and plenty of protein from a whole food, plant-based diet."The 40-50 grams you need per day can easily be met by eating green vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts or seeds. Rice is 8% protein, corn 11%, oatmeal 15%, and beans 27%.

11. Become happier

When you cut out animal products, you automatically abstain from all the stress hormones these animals produced on the way to the slaughter house. This alone can have a significant impact on your mood and stability. But that’s not all….The high levels of antioxidants in plant-based foods, particularly fruits and vegetables mean less tension, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, and fatigue Healthful carbohydrate-rich foods, including brown rice, steel cut oats, and rye bread, help regulate serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is important for controlling our mood. In the evolving landscape of neurological research, a plant-based diet may help in treating symptoms of anxiety and depression.

12. Save money

Vegan diets can be extremely economical. When you center your diet on grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and seasonal fruits and veggies, you might be cutting your monthly food expense in half. Many of these foods can be bought in bulk and stored for a long time. Shop local and research local superfoods. Blueberries and beetroot rival acai and cost a fraction of the price unless you live in BrazilSince healthy plant-based diets can prevent and even reverse chronic diseases, you will have to spend way less money on doctor’s visits and medication.

13. It’s never been so easy

You might not be aware of this but many supermarket foods are already vegan, including dark chocolate, Oreos, plant-based milk options, coconut ice creams, mock meats, and more! Restaurants are also offering delicious and usually cheaper vegan options too. Even meat eaters can eat vegan. 14. Smell sweeterGo ahead and raise your eyebrows, but a recent study analysed the sweat of those who eat a diet of mainly fruit and vegetables, and found that it was deemed to be more attractive to women (who actually had to smell and evaluate each sample) than those on a carb-heavy diet. The sweat produced by veg-eating men was described as "floral, fruity, sweet or having medicinal qualities." Do you need another reason?

Our diet is one of the most impactful parts of our lives. It determines whether we’re going to end up with certain diseases, which businesses make money off of us, and it’s a statement of how conscious we are. Simply put, we as consumers have tremendous power when we vote with our money – we can put whole industries out of business. But it goes far beyond the financial aspect.

14. Smell sweeter

Go ahead and raise your eyebrows, but a recent study analysed the sweat of those who eat a diet of mainly fruit and vegetables, and found that it was deemed to be more attractive to women (who actually had to smell and evaluate each sample) than those on a carb-heavy diet. The sweat produced by veg-eating men was described as "floral, fruity, sweet or having medicinal qualities." Do you need another reason?

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