If you clicked on this article, it's probably because you are thinking of implementing a vegan/plant-based diet soon, or that you are simply curious.
If so, welcome to the plant-based wonderful world!
But if you clicked on this article, it might also be cuz you're having a hard time to completely get into this new lifestyle.
Don't give in! In this blog post, I will share the reasons why I decided to completely change my life and go vegan with you!
Advice: the following reasons are very personal. Indeed, you could find people with a different list. If you want to start this new way of living, you have to be sure to find arguments that motivate you and in which you believe in, so it will last in the long term. This is not a trend but a real movement that will change the world!
I hope this list will inspire you and help you to implement a plant-based diet or even veganism.
In 2017, 75% of the world's agricultural land is used to raise livestock - that is, to feed animals that will be used to feed us.
Our carnivorous lifestyle, (only reserved for some privileged people), puts such pressure on our planet that it damages the ecosystem:
Our unlimited consumption of meat, fish and dairy products from industrial livestock farming has harmful effects in many ways.
In many countries, farming contributes to deforestation because lands are destroyed to become either a grazing land for livestock or to produce crops (very often soybeans) which are used to feed animals. For instance, 63% of the Amazon rainforest deforestation is due to livestock farming.
The soybeans produced are used to feed livestock all around the world, and therefore are exported. According to Trademap, Brazil is the world's largest exporter of soya beans with more than 83 million of tons exported per year.
This large-scale deforestation not only damages biodiversity but also the climate: it causes greenhouse gas emissions, that contribute to intensifying climate change.
According to data from the World Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, livestock farming produces:
In addition, industrial livestock farming contributes to water waste. Indeed, the production of meat, dairy, and eggs requires larger quantities of water than that of cereals and legumes. As the picture below is showing, you need 52.8 gallons of water to produce only a quarter-pound of hamburger meat.
Finally, this industrial farming also pollutes the water and the oceans because it releases significant quantities of nitrates, phosphorus, antibiotics and other pollutants into the environment. We are thus confronted with environmental problems, such as green algae or sargassum, which raise major health issues.
If you want to know more about the environmental impact of industrial farming, you should watch Cowspiracy that is available on Netflix and other platforms. This is one of the documentary that really changed my vision of things! It shows, with data and facts, how bad industrial farming is for the environment, and it points out the power of meat lobbies in the world.
This argument is, for sure, the main reason why people are going vegan - and I can only approve it.
Being vegan also means that you refute the speciesism ideology, which postulates a hierarchy between species and the superiority of human beings over animals.
If we accept as morally unacceptable the deliberate suffering of innocent human beings, then why finding acceptable to hurt innocent beings of other species, like animals?
Livestock farming conditions are often very cruel, especially those implemented by big food corporations. No need to detail the inhuman situations of the slaughterhouses that are barbaric and heartless.
No animal is really spared. Pigs are castrated alive, calves are trapped and isolated from their mothers, chickens have their beaks cut alive, etc. All these animals are gathered in huge warehouses on top of each other, sometimes with no water, poorly ventilated and with no natural light.
Bees are also affected. By consuming honey, we deprive bees of their main food source. This is replaced by a lower quality product, generally made of pesticides.
When you become a vegan, you finally stop contributing to this unbearable suffering. It's the best way to fight animal cruelty: choosing not to consume these products is a big step towards respecting animals.
If you are interested in learning more about the slaughterhouses and livestock farming conditions, you should watch Earthlings, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix. However, this documentary contains very violent scenes. Be sure that you can handle cold-blooded and brutal images on the animal farming conditions.
Among plant-based diet supporters, this is one of the strongest arguments: eating less meat is good for the heart! A study published in January 2013 by Oxford University reinforced this statement. Based on blood data from 45,000 British aged 50 to 70, it concludes that plant-based are 32% less likely to have heart disease and cholesterol.
A study by the American University of Loma Linda also highlights another plant-based diet benefit regarding cancer. This paper is showing that removing meat from your plate would reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by 22% for vegetarian, and 16% for vegans.
Since being a vegan is about eating plant-based products full of vitamins and great nutrients for the body, not eating animal products should offer a longer life expectancy. This is what another study, conducted by researchers at the University of Loma Linda, is ensuring. According to their research, mortality among plant-based is reduced by 12%.
There are way more health benefits of implementing a plant-based diet! If you are interested in the healthy power of plants, be sure to watch What The Health, available on Netflix as well. This documentary has been a great revelation in my journey to veganism. I highly recommend it, as well as all the films mentioned above.
When I was a student, I had to struggle monthly with my budget, especially regarding food.
Going to the supermarket, I was really amazed to see the prices of meat, fish, or seafood. And of course, I couldn't afford it. This is how, despite my desire, I slowly implemented a plant-based diet.
Just take off any meat or dairy product from your list of groceries next time you are going, you will be surprised to see the amount of money you can save!
If you also think that fruits and vegetables are reserved for privileged people, you are wrong! I recommend you to go to your local farmers' market! Not only it's convivial, but you will also find cheaper products!
You will see, plant-based daily cuisine is cheaper and quicker to prepare than cooking meat! I also gained so much time in my day with this lifestyle! You can also try the meal prep technique to even save more time and money!
The current agricultural model is attacking small farmers and their room for maneuver is extremely limited or even not existing, particularly when it comes to negotiating the selling prices of their products. In the world, a handful of multinationals hold a quasi-monopoly for the purchase, processing, and distribution of agricultural products, while there are 570 million farmers to feed 7.2 billion consumers!
In addition to the prices that are impossible to negotiate, their production costs are increasing drastically. Indeed, industrial farming is an expensive model: it creates a very high dependence on external inputs, particularly for animal crops.
To say that lowering environmental standards would save livestock is false and dangerous. To me, the only solution to say no to multinational corporations' control over small farmers was veganism. These corporations are only exacerbating the environmental disaster due to mass industrial livestock farming.
To fight them, I always prefer consuming local products from local businesses. Not only it is bringing to life the community, but it is also more sustainable. It is always nicer to give your money to the producer of the local fruit that happened to be your neighbor, rather than a big corporation that is exploiting lands, animals, our health, as well as workers.
If you are curious to learn about permaculture or collaborative consumption, you must watch the documentary Tomorrow (Demain) which is a great and hopeful film that shows what communities are doing to help the planet!
Let's be honest, taking off processed meat, bacon and cheese from your diet will definitely help you lose fat. And it did for me.
Implementing a new lifestyle in the long term, was also because I wanted to lose weight. Therefore, it is essential to reduce your caloric intake without going to the extreme. The vegan diet, if it's well implemented, is one of the most recommended for achieving this objective.
The reason? The choice of foods on vegan menus: whole grains, fruits, and vegetables high in soluble fiber and unprocessed foods. These would promote weight loss because of the low glycemic index. Its success is due to the combination of healthy and low-calorie ingredients that provide important nutrients. They give a feeling of satiety, improve digestion and support the processes that help you lose weight. It's no secret: adding more local and seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables to your weekly menu is the foundation of a healthy and balanced diet. The fiber and precious micronutrients found in fresh food should always be at the menus.
Whether your diet is exclusively plant-based or not, what matters is the balance of it. If you really want to adopt a vegan diet, it is important to do so in a thoughtful and long-term way, so you won't have any deficiencies!
Check out our healthy and delicious recipes on our blog if you are looking for inspiration!
Veganism helpt me be more open-minded by not judging and accepting everyone's choice of lifestyle.
I've never felt so great and energized in my life and I would continue living this way as long as I can!
I hope that the reasons above inspired you to find yours or convinced you to start a plant-based/vegan diet! Please, get informed: watch the documentaries I recommend you, read books, watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts and go see your family doctor to be sure that you will implement this new lifestyle in the best conditions!
Don't forget to drink Falcon Protein to complete your diet and get the amount of protein you daily need! For more content about Health, fitness & lifestyle, please feel free to have a look at our Birdman blog.
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