Although health is one of the reasons to be vegan, this article states that the environment is the number 1 reason to be a vegan. The article cited a 2018 study of 40,000 farms in 119 countries published in the journal Science, saying that cutting out meat and dairy is the single effective way to reduce our impact on our planet. The article further said that livestock comprises 83% of our farmland and uses 60% of greenhouse gases. Lead researcher Joseph Poore of the University of Oxford said,
“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use. It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car.”
Health Is Still An Important Reason
The article did imply that health is still a reason to go vegan. It said that a vegan or vegetarian diet might improve one’s health. The article cited a study published in the Lancet that we would prevent more than 10 million deaths from chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes by cutting red meat and sugar. They further stated that becoming 100% vegan would improve your health way more. They quoted this study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, saying,
“Vegans tend to be thinner, have lower serum cholesterol, and lower blood pressure, reducing their risk of heart disease.”
I would like to point out that according to numerous Seventh-Day Adventist studies, the vegans seem to have the lowest BMI compared to everyone else. Even the vegetarians have higher BMIs than the vegans. In my personal experience, I have lost a lot of weight on a vegan diet. My performance as an endurance athlete have increased. I seem to recover faster from workouts. I seem to have more energy than when I ate animal foods. I feel more confident, especially in social situations. I felt more healthy and active and this has influenced my behavior and personality in a positive way. I am 31 years old and people would think I am 24 years old.
Veganism Is A Frugal Lifestyle
The article also pointed out that going vegan can help save a lot of money. They cited a study in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition in 2015, saying that a plant-based diet can save $750 a year. I would like to add specifically that going vegan can help save a lot of money on health insurance. By reducing your risk for chronic disease, you do not have to go to the hospital and have to pay out-of-pocket or pay for an expensive procedure or deal with the high costs of drugs. Of course, you still have to go see your primary care physician for your annual checkup. You also need to get your vaccines, especially the flu vaccine as flu season is coming up. You still might end up in the emergency room, like if you get into a car accident. However, by reducing your risk of chronic disease, you do not have to deal with the financial burdens of medical costs regarding those diseases and the treatments and procedures that are costly.
Of course, there are downsides. The article went over nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin B-12, vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. They also mentioned briefly that it is hard to go out to eat because animal foods dominate most of the menus in restaurants. When you go out to eat with others, it creates awkward social situations. I have encountered these challenges, but I was able to overcome a lot of them. I would take a multivitamin that would fulfill a lot of my vitamins and minerals. I would eat a lot of kale, broccoli, tofu, soymilk, almond milk, oat milk, and beans. I would get my omega-3 fatty acids from chia seeds, walnuts, avocados, and flax seeds. For vitamin D, I would take a supplement and eat mushrooms, fortified plant milks, and fortified cereals. I would also be out in the sun. As for going out to eat, a lot of restaurants are slowly serving vegan options. My family and some of my friends have still been supportive and would take me out to places where they have vegan options or food that is vegan. Some of the family parties I go to now have more options for me, though it is limited. This shows I am able to overcome a lot of the drawbacks that vegans, especially new vegans, face.
A vegan diet will help save the animals, reduce our impact on the environment, and will greatly improve one’s health. Despite the challenges resulting from nutritional deficiencies and going out to eat with your friends, one can still prevail on a vegan diet. It takes a lot of support from family and friends, courage, perseverance, tenacity, and fortitude to become a vegan and stand up for living things, our planet Earth, saving a lot of money, and your own health. I feel more healthy, energetic, strong, compassionate, and confident ever since I turned vegan. At first, it was hard but I was able to overcome adversity and right now, I love being vegan. Looking back on it, I do not regret my decision.