The question I get asked all the time is “So why are you vegan?” and usually my answer is something along the lines of “because I can be!!” Most people that ask me really don’t care why I chose this lifestyle they just want to argue with me about protein. It can be really difficult when you’re so passionate about something and people just want to tell you that you’re wrong. Of course there are legitimate reasons as to why I went vegan and I find new reasons to continue being vegan every day. I want to be able to share these with people who genuinely care about the lifestyle.
When I first decided to go vegan it was mostly for my health. I was vegetarian for about a year before going vegan but had been interested in a plant based diet for quite a while. I started watching some documentaries and it was Forks over Knives that got me really hyped about making the transition to a fully vegan diet. I was shocked to see such a strong relationship between degenerative diseases and eating animal-based foods. That gave me a strong push to cut dairy and eggs out of my diet and the way my body reacted was so rewarding. I feel light and never overly full after having a meal, plus I can eat as many vegetables and fruits as I want without having to worry about the calories. On a plant based diet I am losing weight without having to restrict myself and constantly worry about what I put into my body.
It took my a little bit longer to get to the “I’m vegan for the animals” stage but now this is one of my main motivators. I still haven’t had the guts to watch Earthlings but if you don’t understand the horror of animal agriculture I definitely suggest you do. When I was vegetarian I was under the impression that I wasn’t causing any harm since I wasn’t consuming meat, I could not have been more wrong. Obviously by being vegetarian I was helping in the fight against animals being slaughtered for food but the story behind the dairy industry is just as sickening. The lives that dairy cows live completely breaks my heart. They are repeatedly artificially inseminated and their calves are torn away from them as soon as they are born in order for their milk to be produced for our consumption. Male calves will either become veal or be fattened up for beef production and females will see the same fate as their mothers. Knowing this I was unable to go on consuming dairy and I will never touch it again.
The effect that I have on the environment by being vegan wasn’t a main focus for me in the beginning but recently it has become insanely important to me. I am all about being as eco-friendly as possible and reducing my waste as much as I can. By choosing a plant based diet you are not only saving the lives of animals, you are also saving an abundance of resources. I have been vegan for only four months and already I have saved about 500,000 litres of water, 2200 kilograms of grain, 330 square metres of forest, and 1000 kilograms of carbon dioxide production. When you’re trying to make a change in the world it can be discouraging, you might feel as though one person can’t make a difference, but these statistics prove that you will make progress. With the vegan community continuing to grow we are truly making a difference in the world and in the lives of so many animals.
These are just the three main reasons that I went vegan and continue to be vegan but within these categories there are so many benefits you learn about along the way. If you have any interest in transitioning to a plant based diet I really encourage you to give it a try. Watch some documentaries, do some research, and find a motivation. You don’t have to be passionate about all the benefits that come with the vegan lifestyle but if you have even just one thing driving you it is worth it. You have the opportunity to live a cruelty free, environmentally friendly life and you owe it to yourself to give it a try.
If you’re vegan or are considering becoming a vegan let me know what your main motivation is. I would love to hear it!
“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.” – Albert Schweitzer