Today is World Vegan Day! The annual event (which has become a month) is meant to shine a light on all the benefits of going plant-based, from ethics to health and the environment. Every year, we’re seeing growing numbers join in to celebrate veganism as more people make the switch. If you’re still bucking the trend or vegan curious, then here are 8 reasons why you should take the plant-based leap!
1) Save The Environment
Yes, we all know by now that meat consumption is not eco-friendly. Animal livestock production not only generates huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions that drive global warming (more than global transportation combined!), but it also contributes to soil and water contamination and is incredibly resource inefficient. According to world scientists, cutting out meat and dairy is the “single biggest way” to help save the planet in the midst of our climate emergency.
2) Improve Your Health
Going plant-based is a very healthy choice. According to the EAT-Lancet commission, doubling veggie intake and slashing red meat and dairy consumption would help alleviate global health issues such as obesity, nutritional deficiencies and everyday hunger. Other studies have also proven that a plant-based diet can provide complete nutrition, prompting even governmental bodies to promote veganism. Meat-laden diets, on the other hand, are more likely to be unsustainable and are associated with ill health and chronic diseases.
3) Ethical Reasons
According to PETA, one person going vegan save at least 200 animals each year! By choosing to opt out of meat and any animal derived products, you’re no longer contributing to an industry that profits off animals’ suffering.
4) Being Vegan Is Easier Than Ever Before
Adopting a vegan diet and lifestyle is actually super easy to do. While some might think of a vegan diet as restrictive, it’s quite the opposite! There are so many vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, beans and legumes to enjoy! Besides, with the number of food tech startups (and mainstream food manufacturers) hopping on the vegan trend to offer more plant-based meat alternatives from minced pork to chicken strips, beef burger patties, plant milks and even vegan eggs, going plant-based has never been easier.
5) Vegan Food Is So Delicious
If you still believe that vegan food is “boring” or “only leaves”, then you have really been missing out on some seriously delicious plant-based meals. From vegan-friendly fast food meals like pizza, hotdogs and Hong Kong cart noodles to elevated vegan dining experiences at upmarket hotels to Mediterranean vegan island brunches, the options in the plant-based scene are simply endless. There’s even an app to help you find vegan restaurant options. And don’t forget that plant-based home cooking that lets whole foods and veggies shine for themselves are absolutely yummy too – check out Green Queen recipes for inspiration!
6) Plant-Based Means (Human & Animal) Cruelty-Free
Did you know that what is on your plate could be responsible for slavery and child labour? Seafood, for instance, is one of the most exploitative industries. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), children are engaged in all types of work within the fishing industry, including hazardous activities that prevents them from attending school. Many human rights organisations have also reported abuses and exploitation that is ongoing in fishing industries all around the world. So by going vegan, you avoid contributing to human and animal exploitation.
7) You Can Help Feed The World
Our current global food system is broken – and the meat and dairy industry has a lot to do with it. It takes tonnes of water and land to cultivate crops for feed, such as soybeans, to raise farmed animals in ranches – up to 13 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of animal flesh! If people simply ate more plants, then the system would be much more efficient and we could help fight global hunger.
8) Being Vegan Feels Great
The ‘vegan glow’ is real! For all the aforementioned reasons, going vegan simply feels amazing. You’ll feel lighter (mentally especially), healthier and more energised, all the while being able to contribute to global causes such as combating climate change, hunger and protecting animals.
Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock.