November 1st is World Vegan Day, which kicks off World Vegan Month! In honor of this celebration, I advise everyone to try to eat/live vegan for at least 1 day. You can visit The Vegan Society’s pledge page to try their 7, 14, or 30 day challenges, get in touch with a mentor, and receive a vegan pledge pack with recipes and more! You can also read Vegan Catering for All, a guide to what is and is not included in a vegan diet and tasty vegan recipes everyone will love.
Top 10 reasons to go vegan:
- Lower disease risk. Because heart disease, many types of cancer, diabetes, stroke, food poisoning, and obesity are often caused by the high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol found in animal products, vegans have only a fraction of a chance of developing these diseases compared to meat eaters.
- Live longer. A major study published in the British Medical Journal found that vegetarians outlive meat eaters by six years. The study tracked 11,125 people over 12 years and adjusted for smoking and socio-economic status.
- Compassion. You won’t be supporting an industry that raises animals in cramped, overcrowded spaces, artificially breeds them, separates them from their young, denies them sunlight and fresh air – and then trucks them to slaughter.
- Save wilderness. Meat production requires huge amounts of land, energy and water – which leads to habitat loss, soil erosion, water depletion, and pollution from pesticides and animal waste.
- For an ocean of love. The oceans are being overfished, coral reefs are being destroyed and sensitive seafloors are getting raked with drag nets. Many species are threatened, including dolphins, seabirds and turtles that get snagged in the nets. Fish feel pain, they just lack vocal chords to express it.
- Expand your taste horizons. Vegetarian meals can be diverse, fast, colourful and delicious!
- Sex. Research has shown that the heart and brain are not the only organs that get clogged arteries due to a diet high in meat and cholesterol.
- No more dirty dishes caked with animal grease!
- Great excuse to…avoid everything from Aunt Flo’s hamburger casserole to the latest greasy offer from the fast food chains.
- Help the global poor. While there is ample and justified moral indignation about the diversion of 100 million tons of grain for biofuels, more than seven times as much (760 million tons) is fed to farmed animals so that people can eat meat. Is the diversion of crops to our cars a moral issue? Yes, but it’s about one-eighth the issue that meat-eating is.
I want to make it known that I am not trying to force everyone to become vegan, which is a common misconception about vegetarians/vegans. I am not 100% vegan myself, but I try my hardest. I never touch meat or fish, but I have the occassional dairy product. I do believe in the vegan diet and ecourage everyone to try it, if for nothing else but the animals’ sakes. I realize it is difficult, so it would even help if everyone were to cut back on their animal product consumption by about half each week.