When I was ten years old, my parents decided to completely revitalize their diet. Thus, my brother, sister, and I were also welcomed a sudden diet change. Sadly, I said goodbye to frozen meals, cookies, and Cheez-Its and welcomed all of the broccoli, grains, and lean meats I could handle. However, what I didn’t know then was that my parents would be encouraging me with a lot more than just healthy foods. They would be providing me with the building blocks of knowing how to take a hold of my health, and how to value the choices I can make when it comes to providing my body with the right fuel.
Ever since this, I have been very cautious about what I eat on a daily basis. I also developed an interest in how food effects the human body. So naturally, I find myself discovering many different diets and studies on what is supposedly the best things to eat.
One night while engulfed in my late night YouTube binging, I came across various videos that promoted the concept of veganism. These videos sparked my curiosity, and soon I found myself googling the benefits of being vegan. What I read completely transformed the way I have think about eating food. To say the least, it inspired me to become a vegan myself.
Being a vegan is not a new concept – I am sure everyone has at least heard the term. Some of you may even admit to rolling your eyes when someone announces that they are a vegan. Let’s be honest, it does not have the best reputation. Many people stereotype vegans as hippies who just want peace, love, and animal equality. I am not going to deny that maybe I have thought this way too. But vegans are one step ahead of us because they are living a lifestyle that is extremely healthy.
According to the Daily Express, vegans (and even vegetarians) have lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and BMI’s. Furthermore, those who practice veganism are less likely to contract diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and different forms of cancer.
Being vegan also has the potential to help eliminate the obesity crisis in America. In a study by Dr. Elizabeth Spencer, she found that people who ate vegan diets had a significantly lower BMI, and were less prone to obesity compared to frequent meat and fish eaters.
It doesn’t just benefit your health though. Being vegan can help the many species that roam the earth! In the most obvious sense, if you aren’t eating animals, you are helping prevent the mass production and killing of them. However, many people feel that one person changing their diet is not going to make a difference in the lives of animals. There is also a lot of speculation of how many animals are actually being saved by vegans. But in a statement given by animal activist and vegan Paul Shapiro, provided by NPR, he states, “Eating fewer or no animals doesn’t mean that animals who would’ve been killed will now live; it means that animals who would’ve been bred into existence to suffer on factory farms will now not be brought into the world and exploited in the terrible ways that are customary in the meat industry.” Shapiro shows that it isn’t necessarily about how many animals currently living are being saved, but rather the animals who won’t need to be born into suffering. This is because there is a less of a demand for meat, which leads to a lower supply being needed.
Lastly, being a vegan can help improve the environment. Climate change is largely caused by the emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide (the three major greenhouse gases). These gases are large contributors in the production of meat. In an article published by ScienceLine, Lydia Chain found that livestock agriculture is responsible for 80 percent of 652 million tons of agricultural greenhouse gas emanations. Furthermore, a study done by Loma Linda University found that vegan’s usage of greenhouse gases is 41.7 percent smaller than those who eat meat.
Overall, there are many beneficial aspects to being vegan. It can help your health, the animals forced into mass food production, and the environment. Whether you choose to make the lifestyle change or not, you can at least now appreciate the people who have adopted veganism in their daily lives. As for me, I am looking forward to my new adventure in the world of veganism!