Updated: Sep 21, 2021
Living vegan has many advantages.
First, it’s a direct action you can take right now that has an immediate, real-world impact on animals. Secondly, living vegan is better for the environment. Finally, a properly planned vegan diet can be incredibly healthy.
So perhaps a better question might be, why not live vegan?.
FAQ: What is a vegan anyway? Is it the same thing as a Vegetarian?
With so much misinformation on the internet today, it’s easy to see how people can become confused about what being a vegan means.
In short, vegans avoid animal and animal by-products in their food, including not only meat and fish, but dairy and honey as well. Vegans will also avoid animal products in household goods like bedding and cleaners, and clothing and beauty products too.
In contrast, a vegetarian still consumes animals in one way or another.
Where did veganism get its start?
The word vegan was coined in November 1944 in Great Britain by Donald Watson. He and his wife, along with four friends, founded the Vegan Society out of a desire to describe a life free from animal products. Watson suggested the term ‘vegan’ — the beginning and end of ‘vegetarian’ — because “veganism starts with vegetarianism and carries it through to its logical conclusion.” In the first issue of The Vegan News, Watson talked about veganism as the basis of a new social movement, and then later defined veganism in this way:
Veganism denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment.
For the Animals
First and foremost, it’s about the animals.
Without a doubt, it’s the animals who pay the highest price for a non-vegan lifestyle.
More than 150 billion animals are killed every year for food, and that’s not counting the animals who die as a result of vivisection laboratories, circuses, marine parks, zoos, horse racing, greyhound racing, and blood sports such as dog fighting, cockfighting, and bullfighting, etc.
Those numbers are heartbreaking and staggering.
Veganism can change them.
Veganism is a big topic with lots of things you’ll need to know. With that in mind, I’ve built a library of information designed to help you navigate through it.
Save the lives of animals one meal, one outfit, one refusal to attend a circus or marine park at a time.
For the Environment
Can veganism save the planet? The short answer is yes.
Raising animals for food is the single greatest human-caused source of destruction to our environment. It is the largest source of greenhouse gases, land use, and degradation; the number one source of water pollution and rainforest deforestation. Animal-based diets are also a major contributor to air pollution, ocean dead zones, habitat loss, and species extinction. And when we include all the resources that go into raising animals for food– the land, fertilizers, pesticides insecticides, fossil fuels and freshwater – animal agribusiness is a costly and wasteful use of our limited natural resources. Veganism is the solution.
For our Health
Is a vegan diet healthy? Absolutely.
I’m going to get it out of the way right now: It’s certainly possible to eat a healthful diet that contains some animal products. Veganism doesn’t promise us perfect health, and that’s okay. By design, veganism isn’t about our health at all; it’s about the animals. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a plethora of reliable, evidence-based reasons to eat a plant-based diet because there are many. A vegan eating plan can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as certain types of cancer. Some people find that eating a plant-powered diet can help them maintain their weight, or even help them lose weight. A vegan eating plan can help to eliminate unhealthy foods from your diet. Removing these foods from your diet can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as certain types of cancer. Some people find that eating a plant-powered diet can help them maintain their weight or even lose weight. So, what is a healthful vegan diet? To get the answer, I’ve partnered with a registered dietitian who specializes in vegan nutrition, Anya Todd MS, RD LD. From articles to nutrition guides to answering frequently asked health questions, it’s here.