Recently I’ve been sticking to a mainly vegan diet in that I don’t eat meat, and rarely if ever do I consume dairy products or honey. Obviously relying on dining halls for meals can be a huge damper because it’s hard to know the ingredients in the bread or pastas. While I don’t advocate veganism for every person, for me it works. Here are my reasons for going vegan.
1. I love animals.
I went vegetarian for a month before I cut out the other animal products. Not eating meat is the one thing I have yet to compromise on. Once I cut it out, I felt a lot lighter, not only in the stomach, but it my heart. Knowing that I am not contributing to pain and torture makes me sleep a little better at night. I like to think that since cutting out meat my mood has done so much better because I am not eating pain, fear, and suffering.
2. I’m lactose-intolerant.
For years I ate cheese at almost every meal and it was a staple of my life along with milk which I drank up to three times a day. Once I cut it out and then added in back in at a meal, my stomach began acting up and I realized that I was lactose-intolerant. Upon further research, I learned that most people are lactose-intolerant and that can explain many issues, such as IBS.
3. The environment.
Animals trapped in the factory farm cycle cause the most harm and degradation to our planet. The millions of cows we eat produce methane which is slowly killing our ozone layer. All of the grains that the animals are fed (which is not their normal or advised diet, but is instead used to bulk them up) could successfully feed the world’s hungry. Animals use 8% of the world’s consumption of water. To be frank the rate at which we are consuming animal products is one of the key factors to our destruction of the world.
4. Health benefits.
Veganism has a ton of health benefits if done correctly. If you are replacing your meat and dairy with a wide variety of fruit, veggies, legumes, and nuts, like me, then you will feel amazing. Your energy will be up, you’ll lose around 20 pounds (and keep it off), your digestion will improve, and you will feel lighter after meals than you did before. In fact, every time I have dairy in my diet at all, I have regretted it as I end up feeling stuffed and my digestion wacks out. Plants contain all the necessary enzymes, fats, and minerals you need. It’s key to eat a variety of foods while on a vegan diet so you don’t end up with deficiencies, like iron or b12.
5. Feminine Benefits.
For years I’ve suffered with PCOS, which stands for poly-cystic ovarian syndrome. I think the longest a period lasted for me was around 8 months and it was always heavy. That was when I was 13. I began using birth control to not have periods as I had become iron deficient. After two years on birth control, I went off them to see if my periods would regulate themselves. After having no period for 6 months, I went to the gynocologist who told me I had PCOS. Basically I had high levels of all hormones in my system and she told me my body would never regulate my periods. It’s around this time that I became extremely interested in the idea of naturally healing my body through dietary and lifestyle changes. Since going vegan, my PCOS symptoms have improved greatly. My periods still aren’t every single month, but they are more regular in that they occur almost every month and last around 8 days, which is normal!
My body has started functioning normally since I have become vegan. Most people are intimitated because they think vegan food will be gross and that its hard to maintain. In all honesty, the first week will suck. But after that, you’re taste buds begin to change and you crave healthier foods like spinach or apples if you haven’t eaten them. I would advise that you cut foods out over a period instead of quitting everything at one time. That’s why most people who are vegan started as vegetarians. Even if you are not on board for cutting these foods completely out, I would seriously try to reduce your intake of these foods as they can have negative heart, choleteral, weight, and digestion effects.
Photo cred:Victor Demarchelier
A great compilation of reasons to go vegan; why they worked for this lady, and maybe why it could work for you! :)