Nearly 2 million Americans have already gone vegan and millions more have adopted a much more “plant-based” way of living.
But why do people go vegan and why is it one of the most popular eating choices of the modern era? It's not all about animal cruelty and animal agriculture either, though as you might expect they certain play a part in why people choose to avoid animal products.
Well, not everyone’s the same but we’ve rounded up the 10 most popular reasons that people go vegan for you, so that you can better understand and maybe even make an informed decision to go vegan yourself?
Health Benefits From Plant-Based Diets
We are not your doctor and this is not medical advice, but there’s no doubt that current research suggests that there are measurable health benefits to eating a plant-based diet.
Some studies say that vegans and vegetarians are healthier than those who opt for an omnivorous diet. Some say this is because animal agriculture practices can mean that animal products contain toxins that wouldn't be there otherwise.
And there’s no doubt that a healthy plant-based diet can help to alleviate heart problems, lower high blood pressure, ward off diabetes and more. So, don't eat meat and see yourself feeling better.
If you’d like to go vegan for your health, it’s best to discuss them with your physician to see how they might apply to you.
To Lose Weight
A plant-based diet is surprisingly filling and, at the same time, it can be very low in calories.
Many fruits and vegetables have so little caloric content that some experts say that we’d burn more calories eating them than they provide to our bodies.
Vegan diets are expertly poised to take advantage of this and there's no animal exploitation required to get this benefit either.
And the easiest way to lose weight is to take in fewer calories, and vegans have this easy, they can eat big portions of many foods while still consuming under the recommended daily amount of calories for weight loss.
Animal agriculture leads, conversely, to high-calorie meals. Dairy cows produce cream, milk and cheese all of which can be fattening.
We’re not into fat shaming, but there’s no doubt that many of us would be better off with losing, at least, a little weight. So drop the animal products and see the pounds melt away!
Health Concerns About Animal-Based Diets
Many people cite the idea that animal products are bad for you as a reason to move to a vegan diet.
We need to rein this in a little. While we think there are great reasons to eat plant-based diets, this probably isn’t one of them.
Despite the popular myth, there is no evidence that consuming red meat gives you cancer or makes you more likely to have a heart attack.
Nor is there any evidence that animal fat will clog your arteries. Dairy cows may live in awful conditions but factory farming and even factory farmed animals are not likely to be a risk to your health.
Vegan diets and the vegan lifestyle are good enough on their own terms, there's no need to own those who like the occasional animal product on their table.
A much better animal-based reason to go vegan, in our opinion, is that of animal welfare.
While we appreciate that there are some specialist farms out there that raise animals in lovely wholesome conditions, these are incredibly rare.
The reality of meat production is industrial scale misery. Animal products even those from dairy cows are simply unpleasant.
Battery chickens are kept in boxes that they cannot even turn around in with their limbs rotting from being exposed to chicken feces that are never cleaned off.
Veal calves are ripped from their mothers and slaughtered before they’ve barely had time to register being alive and so on. Farmed animals, particularly in factor farms, don't have a good time.
The Taste Of Vegan Food
Vegan food used to be famous for being uninteresting and not very appealing, but this is the 2020s and vegan food is super tasty now.
If you haven’t tasted vegan food recently, you really should.
Caring For The Planet
There’s also the question of the environmental cost of meat production. It doesn’t just hurt the animal to make meat, it hurts us and the planet too.
You need 13 pounds of grain, roughly, to help make a single pound of animal meat. You need thousands of liters of water too.
This is an incredibly inefficient use of our resources, imagine if we all ate plants? Then you could eliminate world hunger so much more easily.
Preventing Climate Change
Then there’s the equally thorny issue of climate change.
Even if you’ve not been moved by the idea of being kinder to animals or the planet – you might want to make the change to veganism for your children and their children.
Raising animals for food is one of the most polluting industries on earth and it causes billions of tons of greenhouse gas to enter the atmosphere.
And this, in turn, raises the temperature of the planet.
They say that if the temperature rises by just two degrees, humanity faces disaster and it’s entirely possible that if we don’t stop eating meat this will happen by 2050!
There’s also the simple case of personal preference. It’s going vegan simply because you like the way of life better than any other.
Nobody pressured these folks or convinced them of the moral case, they just enjoy being vegan and the way it makes them feel.
A Simple Belief In The Needs Of Human Beings
Still others argue that we should go vegan to prove that we have evolved past our need to consume animal flesh.
They note that a vegan diet would have been impossible in centuries gone by due to the complex nutritional demands of our bodies but that science has now met all these needs.
They see veganism as the advancement of human biology based on our intellectual evolution.
Because Other People Are Doing It
This might sound weak but it’s not.
Many people are going vegan because their friends, family and partners are going vegan.
After all, who wants to live in a house where you have to cook two (or more) different meals every night, right?
It’s not like we’re not all busy enough in today’s world, is it?
Convenience is a perfectly good reason to go vegan and it shows you care about other people’s needs too.
Final Thoughts On Why People Go Vegan
Everybody has their own reason for going vegan but the 10 reasons above are the most common reasons why people go vegan.
If you’re moved by any of them, why not try a vegan diet on for size? You can always go back if it’s not for you, but you may find that you love it. We do.