You all know I am an animal lover and I have been wanting to go vegan for a while now. I have just felt like I wouldn't know how to cook and at times I can be comfortable but it is kind of happening organically now. This is not a process that will happen over night for me but I am basically never eating red meat anymore. I am following a bunch of vegan accounts on instagram and I am constantly looking for new recepies on Pinterest. There are plenty reasons for me to lean towards the vegan side and I want to list some of them for you! Maybe I can inspire someone else to follow in my footsteps!
I do not think I will be able to go 100% vegan right away because milk is basically the only thing that calms my stomach when I am in pain but I am making big changes in my diet. Hopefully it will also help me lose the extra weight I have gained!
Vegan Diet Benefits
It’s the Best Way to Help Animals
Did you know that every vegan saves nearly 200 animals per year? There is simply no easier way to help animals and prevent suffering than by choosing plant-based foods over meat, eggs, and dairy “products.
Meat Is Gross
Animal flesh is often contaminated with feces, blood, and other bodily fluids—all of which make animal-derived foods the top source of food poisoning in the United States. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health tested supermarket chickens’ flesh and found that 96 percent of Tyson chicken packages were contaminated with campylobacter, a dangerous bacterium that causes 2.4 million cases of food poisoning each year, resulting in diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.
Reduced Risk Of Cancer
In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) named red meat a Group 2 carcinogen, meaning it probably causes cancer in humans. WHO put processed meat (like bacon and pepperoni) in the Group 1 category, meaning it is carcinogenic to humans. Tobacco smoking and asbestos are also in the Group 1 category.
Even small amounts of meat could increase the risk of cancer. An Oxford University study from earlier this year found that eating just three rashers of bacon a day could increase cancer risk by 20 percent.
Reduced Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
Meat typically contains high amounts of saturated and trans fats, which can increase blood cholesterol. Cholesterol can cause fatty deposits in the blood vessels which increases the risk of stroke, peripheral artery disease, and heart disease. Plant-based foods, by nature, contain no dietary cholesterol. A diet high in fat and cholesterol can raise blood pressure, too, which also makes cardiovascular diseases more likely.
A 2018 study by the Cleveland Clinic found that eating red meat could increase the risk of heart disease 1,000 percent more than a plant-based diet.
Reduced Risk Of Diabetes
More and more research is finding that a plant-based diet could reduce the risk of developing diabetes or even reverse the disease altogether.
A recent study, which included than 2,000 adults, found that individuals who increased the number of fruits, vegetables, and nuts in their diet over the course of 20 years lowered their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 60 percent more than those who didn’t.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) highlights a study on its website that looks at the eating habits and moods of 3,486 people over a five-year period. The study found that participants who ate whole, plant foods reported fewer symptoms of depression.
Fewer Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Animal agriculture is one of the major generators of greenhouse gas emissions, which worsens climate change. UNEP has named meat “the world’s most urgent problem,” saying that, “Our use of animals as a food-production technology has brought us to the verge of catastrophe.”
Producing half a pound of beef generates the same amount of emissions as driving a car 9.8 miles. Producing half a pound of potatoes is only equal to driving a car 0.17 miles.
A 2016 report found that if the world went vegan, the planet’s food-related emissions would drop by 70 percent by 2050.
Smaller Water Footprint
Animal-based diets are extremely water-intensive. According to UNEP, a bacon cheeseburger requires more than 3,000 liters of water to produce. In contrast, a vegan meat burger requires 75 to 95 percent less water.
Major meat publication Global Meat News admitted to animal agriculture’s impact on the planet last year. It stated that 92 percent of the planet’s water footprint is linked to agriculture, with livestock making up one-third of the figure. “On a per gram of protein basis, beef’s water footprint is six times that of pulses,” Global Meat News wrote.
According to Water Calculator, someone following a vegan diet has half the total water footprint as a meat-eater.
Raising animals for food requires vast amounts of land and deforestation. The beef industry was blamed for the current Amazon fires since farmers intentionally burn down sections of the rainforest to make room for herds.
Oxford University researchers completed the most comprehensive analysis of farming’s impact on the planet earlier this year. They looked at data from approximately 40,000 farms in 119 countries and found that beef production requires 36 times more land than plant-based protein like peas.
The researchers stated that if everyone were to go vegan, global farmland use would drop by 75 percent, freeing up landmass the size of Australia, China, the EU, and the U.S. combined.
Save The Seas
A 2018 report published in the journal Current Biology discovered that 87 percent of the world’s oceans are dying.
Many people are doing their part to save the seas – ditching plastic straws, bringing their own shopping bag to the supermarket, and choosing plastic-free produce. However, your diet could have more to do with the ocean; half of the plastic found in the ocean comes from fishing nets.
Overfishing is also impacting the oceans’ fish stocks. Some experts agree that the world’s oceans could be empty of fish by 2048. Even land-raised meat can harm the oceans. The pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers used on feed crops enter and pollute waterways. Factory farm runoff and livestock grazing is also a major contributor to river and lake pollution. According to Cowspiracy, animal agriculture creates 70 to 90 percent of freshwater pollution in western countries.
I will try to find vegan products and recipes to share with you as I go! Wish me good luck!