**DISCLAIMER** This blogpost is a little academic in quality, and a bit longer than my normal ones. However, it’s got a lot of good information!!! Give it a quick read if you’re curious!
I went vegan four years ago. It was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made in my entire life. Every time someone new hears about my lifestyle choice, I get a lot of questions. I thought maybe I’d take the time to answer a few.
Why did you go vegan?
I (originally) went vegan for the health benefits. How can you argue with research? According to the World Health Organization, as stated in their report “Human Vitamin and Mineral Requirements,” ”households should select predominantly plant-based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits… with [minimal] amounts of added flesh foods.” In this report, they prove that a largely plant-based diet is the healthiest lifestyle.
Bonus points if you look up what IGF-1 is. (Hint: It’s in animal products, and it’s not good for you.)
There have been people who, when diagnosed with cancer, switched to a completely raw food diet (consisting of only fruits and vegetables). According to Dr. Greger, author of the NY Times best seller How Not to Die, nearly all of them, except those who were diagnosed too late, went into permanent remission. To me, that sounds a lot like a cure.
My family has a long history of chronic health problems (like heart disease and cancer!), so I figured that it would be best to take preventative measures. ALSO—I had a lot of goals that I wanted to reach in terms of fat loss and fitness. Veganism helped me get there.
Okay, but like… what do you even eat?
And to that, my friend, I would ask the snarky question: “Have you ever eaten an apple?”
In all seriousness, I’ve never felt deprived because of my decision to go vegan. I don’t eat meat, fish, eggs, or dairy (yes, that means no cheese), or anything else that may come from an animal—period. That leaves SO MANY FOOD GROUPS. Anything that doesn’t scream, squeal, or bleed is game.
My food is good. If you take the time to learn how to cook for yourself (if you’re someone who’s not already used to doing so), you can learn so many tips and tricks that make your food delicious.
BUT DUDE, what about your BROTEIN intake???
Have you ever heard of a person, a vegan, dying from a protein deficiency? As long as you’re eating enough, you’ll be just fine. And, if you weight lift, or you feel that you need a bit more for any reason, there are lots of protein powders, bars, cookies, etc.
Still, I stand by the fact that you can get all the protein you need by eating your normal plant foods as long as you’re getting an ample amount of food. Plus, you can always make sure that you’re getting plenty of beans, nuts, legumes, and other protein rich plant foods.
What do you mean veganism is good for the environment?
Along the way, I started to learn more and ethics became a huge part of my choice. The animal agriculture industry is the actual worst, and not even just in terms the abuse inflicted on the animals (which is horrible), but it’s responsible for a large portion of deforestation, pollution, and is taking up SO MUCH WATER.
- The United States ALONE grows enough food to feed 10 billion people (take a moment to acknowledge that there are less than 8 million people on earth and a large portion of them are starving) and 70-80% of that goes to feed animals—not people.
- Livestock covers over 45% of the Earth’s land.
- Transportation only accounts for 13% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock and their byproducts account for 51%.
- If we don’t reverse the damage being done by the animal agriculture industry, we’ll see lifeless oceans by 2048.
- Livestock require a lot of water.
- 2,500 gallons of water are required to produce one pound of beef.
- 477 gallons are required to produce 1 pound of eggs.
- 900 gallons are needed for 1 pound of cheese.
- 1,000 gallons are required to produce 1 GALLON of milk—if that’s not a visual, I don’t know what is.
Do you care about ethics?
I do, very much so. But unfortunately, most people don’t, so it tends to be what I talk about the least. If you really want to see the abuse that goes on in the industry, do a quick google. You can see that male chicks are ground up alive just moments after hatching as they have no value—they won’t produce eggs. You can see that cows develop attachments to their young, just like we do, but their calves are ripped from them at birth to maximize profit, and the males are immediately killed for veal because they can’t produce milk. And this is just scratching the surface.
I recommend “If Slaughterhouses Had Glass Walls,” a video made by Paul McCartney. You can find it on YouTube.