Veganism Benefits

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VEGANISM BENEFITS

Not long ago, telling people you were vegan would’ve elicited a unilaterally hostile response. There would’ve been gasps and sighs and maybe even condolences offered, as you mourned the death of your bordering-on-obsessive halloumi habit.

Now, when plant-based diets are more popular than ever before, vegans are far more likely to be met with congratulations than commiserations – probably from fellow vegans – and after having been vegan for 10 weeks myself, we can already see why.

Veganuary – where non-vegans commit to trying veganism for the entire month of January – was predicated by parmesan cravings and actual dreams about pizza. However, when once you didn’t think you’d make it past a full day, you can be completely plant-based for 10 weeks and not giving it up anytime soon.

 

A Vegan Diet Is Richer in Certain Nutrients

If you switch to a vegan diet from a typical Western diet, you'll eliminate meat and animal products. This will inevitably lead you to rely more heavily on other foods. In the case of a whole-foods vegan diet, replacements take the form of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.

Since these foods make up a larger proportion of a vegan diet than a typical Western diet, they can contribute to a higher daily intake of certain beneficial nutrients. For instance, several studies have reported that vegan diets tend to provide more fiber, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds. They also appear to be richer in potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).

However, not all vegan diets are created equal. For instance, poorly planned vegan diets may provide insufficient amounts of essential fatty acids, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, iodine or zinc (5Trusted Source). That's why it's important to stay away from nutrient-poor, fast-food vegan options. Instead, base your diet around nutrient-rich whole plants and fortified foods. You may also want to consider supplements like vitamin B12.

Animal Welfare

Many people identify themselves as animal lovers, yet intentionally or not, this rarely extends to the animals we use for food. There are a lot of misconceptions about how animal products are obtained and we often turn a blind eye towards inhumane animal agricultural practices. Animal welfare is an issue we like to push out of our minds, even when it’s presented to us in an objective manner.

Factory farming exhibits some of the most severe examples of animal cruelty for food production. Unfortunately, factory farming offers the most competitive prices and makes the most profit, so it’s difficult and in some cases impossible for smaller establishments to survive without adopting the same principles. 

The competition from large corporations has made it extremely difficult for anyone to offer more humane alternatives as it is simply not as profitable. Factory farming is an absolutely horrifying business, the focus is on production and profit, the well-being of the animals and workers involved is nearly non-existent. It all comes down to money.

Effects On The Environment

Breeding, raising, and feeding animals for food is a tremendously inefficient use of our natural resources. Animals raised for food production are fed over half of all the world’s crops. As our population grows, we require more and more agricultural space. 60% of worldwide deforestation results from land being converted for use as agricultural land, much of which is used for grazing cattle. 

An estimated 14% of the world’s population (over 850,000,000 people) suffer from undernourishment while we continue to waste valuable agricultural land and resources to produce animal products, therefore obtaining only a fraction of the potential caloric value. Continuing this foolish management of our natural resources is simply not sustainable.

Following a vegan lifestyle contributes less air pollution and puts less stress on our natural resources by requiring less land, fossil fuels, and water. As the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, a widespread movement towards a vegan lifestyle is the most effective way to reduce pressure on our environment and may be absolutely crucial to our survival as a species.


3 Responses

Robbin McKnight
Robbin McKnight

Leslie so many good easy healthy options a good start would be lentils barley winter friendly comfy foods also for cheeses i think you have to first “forget” what cheese tasted like (I dont miss it anymore as i associate it with the immense suffering of the cows and the calves that are abused left to starve or become veal). stay strong and vegan on

Leslie Washington
Leslie Washington

Suggestions for “easy” recipes…cookbooks, sites, etc. My “meat and potatoes” man so I would be preparing two meals, and easy would certainly be a benefit for me. Also, we are in our late 70’s . Have tried vegan cheese and have been very disappointed…any suggestions?

Leslie Washington
Leslie Washington

Suggestions for “easy” recipes…cookbooks, sites, etc. My “meat and potatoes” man so I would be preparing two meals, and easy would certainly be a benefit for me. Also, we are in our late 70’s . Have tried vegan cheese and have been very disappointed…any suggestions?

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