One question anyone following a plant-based diet gets asked frequently is: why go vegan? Reasons for veganism are usually based on a strong moral compass, compassion and kindness. Health and climate change are also huge reasons why to go vegan.
This post is a list of reasons why you should go vegan for anyone struggling to understand, or for new vegans to be fully equipped with the right answers next time they are questioned about their eating choices.
Top Reasons for the Question: Why Go Vegan?
- To cause the least amount of harm possible to other beings
- To protect the environment and all the animals within it
- To help fight climate change
- For better health and happiness
- The grain used to feed livestock could feed the world's hunger
There are many reasons why people go vegan, some of them personal, others not. The above is just a quick example of some top reasons why should you go vegan.
Below we will break these down and look at them a little more closely.
Why Go Vegan Reasons #1: To Cause the Least Amount of Harm Possible to Other Beings
We are sure you already know; animals feel fear and pain. If you had a dog or other pet growing up, it’s not hard to see this simple fact.
For most vegans, animals are the biggest reason to become vegan. Here are some other facts that you may not already know about the animals we commonly eat or use for food.
Cow Facts 🐮
- Cows get excited when they solve problems
- Like humans, cows form close friendships. They choose to spend most of their time with their preferred companions
- Cows usually live to 25 years old, while farmed cows live until only 5 years old at the most
- Most dairy cows are forcibly impregnated just 2-3 months after each birth
- Mother cows form a strong bond with their calf, however, the calf is taken away 24-48 hours after birth traumatizing both of them
- Male calves are an unwanted byproduct of the dairy industry and are killed shortly after birth
Chicken Facts 🐣
- Chickens communicate with their chicks even before they hatch
- They can use their previous experiences to make future decisions
- Chickens are capable of doing simple math
- They purr like cats when they’re content
- Farmed chickens are slaughtered at only 42 days old, but they would usually live for 10-15 years
- Chickens bred for meat are arguably the most genetically manipulated of all animals, forced to grow 65 times faster than their bodies normally would
Pig Facts 🐷
- Pigs can play stick-controlled video games with more focus and success than chimps
- Pigs are considered the fifth-most intelligent animal in the world and are even smarter than dogs
- Mother pigs use individual calls for each of their piglets. Newborn piglets can recognise their special calls and will run to their mothers’ voice
- Although pigs can live to around 15 years of age, most pigs slaughtered for meat will be killed as soon as they are just 5 to 6 months old
- Extremely crowded conditions, poor ventilation, and filth in factory farms cause such rampant disease in pigs that 70% of them have pneumonia by the time they’re sent to the slaughterhouse
- A typical slaughterhouse kills up to 1,100 pigs every hour, which makes it impossible for them to be given humane, painless deaths
Over 150 billion land animals are slaughtered every year for our consumption.
This many animals being killed for our consumption each year is completely unnecessary. We do not need to eat meat to survive or even thrive for that matter.
Why Go Vegan Reasons #2: To Protect the Environment and All the Animals Within it
Why is it wrong to eat dogs, but okay to eat a pig? Why do we care so much about the wellbeing of our cat, but ignore the horrible experiences a chicken must face in its life? We fully understand that all animals are sentient beings. They feel pain, fear, and sadness, as well as happiness, love and excitement.
We wouldn’t want to kill another animal with our own hands and watch it suffer right in front of us. So why do we refuse to see and acknowledge the pain that occurs in an abattoir? Just because we like the taste? Because we surely do not need to eat these animals to survive. In fact, it is not even good for our health to eat meat or animal products. This has been scientifically proven and we will get more into that below.
A quote from the Dalai Lama says; “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
We are all here together on this Earth, we should respect the lives of others and not cause them unnecessary harm. Everyone has an impact on the world and others with every choice they make and every action they take. Why not live by your own morals and do good with every choice and action? Why not go vegan?
Why Go Vegan Reasons #3: To Help Fight Climate Change
Did you know that animal agriculture is worse for global warming than cars, planes and all other transportation methods combined? Meat and dairy is the number one contributing factor to climate change. Currently, the Earth simply cannot sustain the way we have been eating.
1 kg of hamburger meat equals to 75 kg of CO2 with is about the same as driving your car for 3 weeks.
We are currently facing the largest mass-extinction in 65 million years.
Animal agriculture is responsible for 91% of Amazon rainforest destruction.
Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life” - Richard Oppenlander
If every single person went vegan today, we would see the positive effects in just a few decades. If we started converting to wind and solar power today, it would take over 20 years to complete and cost over $3 trillion.
However, going vegan today takes no time at all and is cheaper than buying meat and dairy products.
Why Go Vegan Reasons #4: For Better Health and Happiness
There are tonnes of health reasons to go vegan. We will touch on a few here now.
Eating meat increases your risk of heart disease by 50% and it is widely acknowledged by major health organisations that animal products rich in saturated fat and cholesterol are a major contributor to cardiovascular disease.
In addition to raising the risk for colorectal cancer and other health problems, red meat can actually shorten your life. A study by Harvard School of Public Health provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death. It appears "healthy meat consumption" has become somewhat of an oxymoron.
In 2016, the leading cause of death for males was heart disease.
The Australian Health Survey (ABS 2014) found that less than 4% of adults and 1% of children usually consume the minimum recommended serves of vegetables.
This is what the World Health Organization (WHO) say on their website: “Vegetables and fruit are important sources of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, plant protein and antioxidants. People whose diets are rich in vegetables and fruit have a significantly lower risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain types of cancer.”
Just over 30% of Australians have obesity, costing the country about $60 billion dollars a year.
Even just switching to a vegan diet ensures you have better health. Then, if you were to eat a whole food vegan diet low in saturated fats and salt (ie. very little processed foods), with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, you would be increasing your health in all areas substantially.
Why Go Vegan Reasons #5: The Grain Used to Feed Livestock Could Feed the World's Hunger
According to the Forks Over Knives website: "Even with increased climate change and ominous weather extremes, we are producing enough grain globally to feed two times as many people as there are on Earth. 77% of all coarse grains (corn, oats, sorghum, barley) and over 90% of all soy grown in the world was fed to livestock. Add to that the 30% food waste from farm to table, and we see clearly that the difficulty is not how to produce enough food to feed the hungry but rather where all the food we produce is going."
As you can see there are many really solid reasons why people would want to go vegan. In fact, it is probably the most logical way to eat and live.