“The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.” -Leonardo Da Vinci

Every year, an increasing number of people switch to the plant-based diet of veganism, and for pretty darn good reasons. The sheer number of benefits that veganism offers is almost blasphemous, with the added benefit of putting less stress on our environment, more efficient ways to use our resources, and many more. Veganism is not a sacrifice, it is a joy, an improved way of life.

When thinking about transitioning to veganism, it is important to ponder your morals and reason why this lifestyle speaks to you. A complete lifestyle change is much easier to sustain if you

wholeheartedly believe in it. Accounting for the standards you hold yourself accountable to and knowing what drives you is all one’s lifestyle is truly about.

BENEFITS OF A VEGAN DIET

Veganism can be the healthiest and the most sustainable diet one can have, if done correctly. Plant-based diets should contain plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Because vegan diets often rely heavily on these healthy staples, they tend to be higher in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fibre. Healthy vegan diets are

abundant with vitamins B1, C, and E, folic acid, magnesium, and iron while also being low in cholesterol and saturated fats.

In general, vegetarians typically enjoy a lower risk of-

  • cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • and some cancers.

A vegan diet appears to be useful for increasing the intake of protective nutrients and phytochemicals and for minimizing the intake of dietary factors implicated in several chronic diseases.

To obtain a nutritionally adequate diet, you must first have an adequate knowledge of what constitutes a nutritional diet. Second, accessibility is important, the availability of certain foodstuffs and foods fortified with key nutrients that are otherwise lacking in the diet. This accessibility will vary greatly, depending on where you live.

BENEFITS OF VEGANISM ON THE ENVIRONMENT

A group of cows in a fenced in pasture

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Veganism combats world hunger. A lot of the food that’s grown in the world isn’t being eaten by humans. In fact, 70% of the grain grown in the US feeds livestock, and, globally, 83% of farmland is set aside to raise animals.

It’s estimated that 700 million tons of food that could be consumed by humans goes to livestock each year.

While meat is more calorically dense than plants, more aggregate calories (and more diverse nutrient profiles) could be produced if that land was dedicated to various plants.

It conserves water. Hundreds of millions of people around the world don’t have access to clean water. Many more people struggle with periodic water scarcity, sometimes because of drought and sometimes because of mismanagement of water sources.

Livestock guzzles more freshwater than just about anything else. They’re also one of the biggest polluters of fresh water.

A vegan diet reduces energy consumption. Raising livestock costs a lot of energy. This is due to a wide range of factors including: it takes a long time to raise animals; they consume a lot of food that was cultivated on land that could have been put to other use; meat products need to be shipped and refrigerated; and meat takes a long time to process from slaughterhouse to kitchen table.

It’s very upsetting and often distressing to look behind the curtain of the animal agriculture industry. If this is your first-time researching animal welfare issues, please prepare yourself to

experience a wide range of emotions. It is quite common to feel deep sadness and a lot of anger as you learn more. I encourage you to investigate these issues because it’s important that whether or not you choose to transition to a vegan lifestyle, you are at least aware of the steps that were taken to produce the food or products that you eat or use.

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