“Why are you vegan?” This is my favorite question to get asked. I get so excited that my tongue gets tied, my heart starts racing and I try really, really hard not to word vomit all over the person asking. This is my favorite question because there are SO many reasons I’m vegan and I’m excited to share my passion!
My reasons for being vegan are threefold; the animals, the environment and my health.
These are the main “categories” of reasons I find that people are vegan. These categories vary in importance from person to person and some of the categories might not matter to them at all – no judgment here. In order answer the question without overwhelming the person I’m talking with, I take a shot in the dark at determining which one might resonate more with them and then talk about that reason.
For me, the reasons are as follows:
The animals! First and foremost I’m vegan for the animals! I used to say that I loved animals and I really truly believed it with my whole heart. Then one day everything changed with one seemingly innocuous sentence. This little string of words slowly crept it’s way into my brain stem and simmered there until, like the mind ninja that it was, this little sentence hacked my wiring and made me rethink, well, everything. That sentence was:
“You don’t love animals – you love pets.”
What?!?!?! I was outraged. I had long-held myself as someone who cherished animals and having one of my core values and part of my identity questioned was not something that felt good. After much internal debate, I begrudgingly realized I wasn’t really angry at anyone. The reason I was so distraught was because I was not living in alignment with my values and THAT was what made me upset.
Living in alignment with your values makes decisions easy so, for me, this is the reason that is the most meaningful.
The environment! Animal agriculture wrecks havoc on the environment. It takes an enormous amount of water, land and energy to cultivate animals for food and the entire process leads to excessive water consumption, deforestation, waste material and greenhouse gas emissions.
My health! Dairy and meat products can lead to obesity, heart disease and have been linked to cancer and diabetes. But is a vegan diet healthy? It can be! There are many ways to be vegan and yes, technically eating Oreo’s and McDonald fries is vegan…but I wouldn’t call it healthy so it’s important to make a clear distinction here. Eating an organic whole food plant-based diet with plenty of variety has been linked to a lower BMI and can be effective for weight loss. Eating a healthy vegan diet has given me more energy, helped me lose weight (even while recovering from surgery from a sports injury) and lead me to discover some crazy good healthy AF recipes.
If you’re a vegan already, what was your reason for taking the plunge? If you’re a vegan virgin, I want to know what reasons resonate most with you?
The Vegan Virgin, xo
P.S. Let common sense prevail! Always consult with a registered dietician, your doctor and make sure to do your own research before making any major dietary changes to ensure you’re doing what’s healthiest for you.