I am repeatedly asked “Why be vegan instead of vegetarian?” to which I usually respond by explaining that veganism and vegetarianism are actually classified in the same no-kill animal lifestyle. However, while the vegan diet avoids all animal products, the facts are that vegetarian diets allow dairy, eggs and honey. Thus, vegan vs vegetarian are not necessarily on the other side of the dietary spectrum but they are quite different, nonetheless.
Being as passionate about veganism and as protective of its principles as I am, fully answering the question “Why be Vegan” would involve filling volumes upon volumes of text because, as far as I am concerned, there are literally billions of reasons. Yes, I said billions with a “b”. How so? Well, the number one principle of the vegan lifestyle is safeguarding all living beings from the harm inflected by all too many human beings. Then, each and every one of those creatures that walks, crawls, flies or swims here on planet earth provides a compelling reason for being vegan.
As a time as well as a space saver for both you and me, I will reply to the question “Why be Vegan” in this single page of my Vegan Blogger website. However, if you take some time to browse through the rest of the pages, you will find even more answer to this and many other questions which might arise.
So, why be vegan? For convenience and orderliness, I will organize my reasons into two main groupings: health and ethics.
Health Reasons for Becoming Vegan
• Digestive System. Our human bodies and most particularly our digestive systems are built for eating plants rather than flesh. Starting with the structure of our mouth in relations to our head, the function of our jaws, the shape of our teeth, the length of our intestinal tracts, the makeup of the digestive enzymes in our stomachs all point to the fact that we, human beings, are herbivore rather than carnivores or even omnivores.
Forcing a digestive system intended for processing plants to handle animal byproducts is unnatural and therefore also unhealthful.
• Scientific Proof. Although there are those who claim that subsisting on a pure vegan, animal-free diet is unhealthy, there is no scientific proof to substantiate their assertions. However, there are countless studies conducted by scientists, physicians and dietitians throughout the world that have proven, time and time again, that those who eliminate animal-based foods from their daily diets are at much lower risks of developing many different types of cancers, heart and coronary disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, intestinal and bowel disorders, gallstones, high cholesterol, arterial maladies that lead to strokes and so on.
The fact that vegans enjoy higher life expectancies is an indisputable fact because vegan diets do not only prevent the ailments I have mentioned above, they can also reverse them in many cases. And that should really not surprise anyone who understands that fruits and vegetables contain a whole lot more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutritional fiber than animal products without the saturated fats that clog arteries with cholesterol and without a plethora of other pollutants that are ingrained in their flesh.
Those who endeavor to warn vegans about their diets lacking in proteins and essential omega 3 fatty acids or vitamin b12 are simply misinformed. The fact of the matter is that everything that the human body (young and old, male and female) needs to be healthy and thrive is readily found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes.
Ethical Reasons for Becoming Vegan
• Compassion. Vegans claim that the vegan lifestyle is the most compassionate and I tend to agree. But let us together take a closer look at why that is so. Albeit highly evolved, humans are actually animals and we all know that humans feel pain. It is then not at all unreasonable to allege that all other animals also feel pain and I am talking about physical as well as emotional pain here.
With that in mind, why should the human animal continually inflict pain on other animals just because they can and especially when it is so unnecessary for their own well being?
Farming. In today’s modern farming and agriculture; chickens, turkeys, ducks, cows, sheep, goats, pigs, etc. are used and abused and slaughtered all the time. They are stuffed into crowded spaces (cages, stalls, sheds, coops, crates) that leave them no room for movement and where they are made to fester in their own excrement, they are provided with no medical care while being force-fed hormones and chemical, their produce (eggs, milk, wool, etc.) is harvested with no regard to their own wishes, they are left to die in agony or are slaughtered mercilessly for the meat and leather industries.
Hunting. Then there are hunters, poachers and fishermen who find it pleasurable to use technologically advanced equipment to overpower and kill or maim innocent animals for food which they don’t need, for skins and furs which they can live without, for ivory which they should want and so on. Why? What gives them the right to behave in such despicable ways? It’s certainly not “survival of the fittest” as nature intended but rather “survival of ones who are equipped with high power rifles and sharp blades.”
Fighting Sports. You must have heard about the dog or rooster fights which are being set up in just about every nation on the globe. How sporting is it to force animals into brutal fights so that human spectators can place bets? This is no entertainment, it’s inhumane cruelty.
Racing Sports. Horses, dogs and other animals are especially trained to race. Are they consulted? Are they given a choice of whether to proceed or not? I don’t think so!
Performances. Many different types of animals (dogs, horses, seals, parrots, bears, lions, tigers, monkeys, etc.) are coached to perform in films, live shows, circuses, etc. Have you ever considered how they are treated? Have you ever asked yourself whether these animals really want to be playing the roles they are put into?
Laboratories. Too many animals are being forced to live out their lives in abominable conditions and to undergo horrific testing and unbearable experimentation in laboratories all over the world. And all that is to further the commercial viability of the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
Environmental Reasons for Becoming Vegan
Commercial agriculture and raising livestock depletes our planet of its precious resources faster than any other human endeavor while also emitting by far more pollution into the environment than any other industry. Becoming vegan translates into saving our planet for future generation.
Well, there you have it. I have presented you with many undeniable facts that should help you appreciate why be vegan and why veganism is the lifestyle I would hope everyone rational human being chooses for him or herself. But if that wasn’t enough, consider the fact that vegan food is delicious! Becoming vegan is good for you, good for the animal kingdom and good for the environment!
You might ask “why be vegan” but I would ask “why not!?” In either case, my latest Amazon ebook which is all about veganism, answers both questions quite comprehensively. So please download it into your Kindle, iPad or PC and enjoy reading it.
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