There are plenty of reasons that support eating a plant-based or vegan diet. One of the most compelling is the view that animals are friends, not food.
Let’s unpack this idea (and a few others) in a little more detail. Who knows, if we make a strong case perhaps you’ll ditch the meat and be all about the veg!
1. Animals Are Friends, Not Food
While potentially triggering, we still need to address this vital issue. Why is it that we see some animals as friends —family members, even— and yet we have no problem eating others?
There’s inevitably a brouhaha on social media when we see dogs eaten in other countries. But as soon as we’re done being indignant we go back to eating pork chops and hamburgers without giving it a second thought.
This, of course, creates a logical and emotional conflict that can be hard to resolve.
After all, there are plenty of posts on the web about girl dog names and how to look after the wellbeing of your pets. But articles on naming your carrot or ensuring your aubergine has a long and happy life are nowhere to be found.
Yes, I’m being a tad flippant here, but it drives home the point that there is a definite difference between plant-based food sources and animal ones. A difference we need to think about in more detail when making dietary decisions.
2. It’s More Sustainable
Eating a plant-based diet is also great for the environment. It takes far less of a toll on our planet’s resources to grow crops than it does to is rear animals for meat. Given how many people around the world are struggling with food and water shortages, this is something we really need to consider.
It takes more than 2000 gallons of water to produce a pound of hamburger meat, while a pound of corn requires just over 100 gallons. Imagine how much water we could save and how many people we could feed if meat consumption was reduced.
3. It’s Better for Your Physical Health
There are plenty of health benefits to eating a plant-based diet. Among other things, your cholesterol will be lower than your meat eating counterparts, you have a lower cancer risk and you can even expect an in increase in life expectancy of up to eight years.
Vegans are generally 20 pounds lighter than people who eat meat and their chances of experiencing food poisoning is greatly reduced. Those are some pretty compelling reasons to switch to a plant-based diet, don’t you think?
4. It’s Good for Your Mental Health, Too
Of course, it not just physical health that can benefit from switching to a plant-based diet. It’s good for your mental health, too. In fact, veganism has been linked to a seriously reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
A plant-based diet provides you with all the essential nutrients you need to be healthy and happy, so you have nothing to worry about on that front. Many plant-based foods are in fact higher in vitamins and minerals than animal products.
Soy beans, tofu and lentils, for example, are all excellent sources of iron. While whole oats, avocados and almonds are loaded with nutrients that promote positive moods.
5. There Are Plenty of Options
Being all about the veg doesn’t mean resigning yourself to a life of lackluster meals. There are plenty of options when it comes to a plant-based diet. A lot of people find the idea of giving up meat super tough, so why not do it in stages?
Switching to a plant-based diet is better for you, the animals and the planet, but it’s important to remember to go at your own pace. Ditch the beef first, then stop eating pork, then chicken and so on.
There’s nothing stopping you from going the ‘everything all at once’ route —many people have— but it’s generally easier to take it in stages. There’s also less chance of failing if you do it this way.
6. It’s Delicious
With more and more people cottoning on to the idea of eating a plant-based diet, we’re starting to see a wider variety of vegetarian and vegan products on the supermarket shelves. There are also hundreds of foodie blogs catering to this lifestyle, so you’ll never run out of ideas or inspiration.
The saying ‘anything you can eat, I can eat vegan’ has never been more true. Gone are the days of living on carrots and lettuce. You’ll be munching happily on burgers, pizza, Buddha bowls, delicious cashew cheese, yoghurt and more.
Just bear in mind that vegan doesn’t automatically mean healthy. Your diet still needs a lot of fresh produce, so make sure you’re all about the veg during the week and indulge in some plant-based junk food on the weekend.