I am a vegan. A lot of people end up asking why when they eventually find out, enough that I now have a “standard” response. My five reasons make up this response:
- It is cheaper
- It is healthier
- it is easier (and fun)
- It is better for society at an international level
- Animals get a pretty raw deal when it comes to meat production
I will give an overview of these points here:
1. Per kilo, meat, eggs and dairy are some of the most expensive bulk ingredients. I think this is quite a clear point to be honest, and will leave it at that.
2. This is probably a controversial point. According to the American Dietic Association it is at least as healthy, and is okay for “individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes“. The NHS also say this.
One reason it is healthier is the generally large increase in fruit and veg that is consumed. This may be the reason that the NHS say that “vegetarians have a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes“.
Also, meat causes negative health effects. For example, red meat can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Also awful is the absolute scandal that is the dairy industry selling milk as a good source of calcium. This is wholly false. Milk actually increases your chance of getting osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
3. I have always I enjoyed cooking a lot. Given this, being vegan means two things. If I can’t do a meal at all then it means I have less to choose from for dinner, so it is an easier choice. Alternatively, I can try different things and see how they work.
4. There are many, many social effects of eating animal products. This is a brief overview of the main ones.
The most obvious and humane issue is the fact that eating meat deprives people of food. In short, if you give food straight to people, rather than give it to them through an animal, it is much better, and there will be more food.
Another massive issue is that of global warming. Meat production contributions to greenhouse gases range from 18-51%!!
Antibiotics are made less effective by use on factory farms.
Lack of space – eating meat means you takes up ten times more land space.
5. The classic reason is the cruelty to animals. I can not really say anything that you won’t know already, but I will include a video, which has disturbing scenes and I advise caution before watching.
I have given a more detailed analysis here.
DISCLAIMER: If you wish to change diet, obviously consult the appropriate literature before hand, just to make sure. The NHS website has plenty of info on their website for example.