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10 Reasons to Go Vegan (Even for a Week!)

November 19th, 2009 No Comments

nutritionista:

Those of you that have been following along at home know that as part of the Winter Shape Up Challenge, I’m going vegan for this week. You may also know that other bloggers have also taken on the challenge of going vegan. What you may not yet know: Why going vegan might be a good idea!

As a disclaimer, let me clarify that I’m not trying to preach veganism to any of you. Though much of what I eat is naturally vegan, I’ve only been officially, completely vegan for three days. I don’t think it’s the right lifestyle for everyone. But there are many benefits, and I’m here to highlight those for you.

10 Reasons to Go Vegan:

  1. You’d be giving a little boost to our lovely planet. Producing meat and dairy consumes a lot of fossil fuel. Eliminating them from your diet drastically reduces your carbon footprint.
  2. It will probably save you money. Meat is more expensive than vegetarian forms of protein. Enough said.
  3. It might help you eat more whole foods. Yes, there are processed vegan foods (tons of them). But lots of processed foods are not vegan, so you might be forced to cut many of them out of your diet.
  4. You could lower your risk for chronic disease. Much of the heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity in this country can be partially attributed to our over-consumption of meat and dairy.
  5. Vegan food tastes good! Though your palate might not be used to it at first, vegan food is very flavorful. In fact, in my short experience with veganism, I feel like I’m able to taste the flavors of my food more.
  6. It forces you to get creative in the kitchen. I’ve been in a slump with my cooking lately, and going vegan has really forced me to pull myself out of it.
  7. Going out to eat will only seem desirable when the restaurant is worth it. When you’re vegan, most restaurant food is off limits. You’ll only want to splurge when you know the restaurant will have options for you, and that equals a healthier body and wallet.
  8. As a global community, more people can be fed on a plant-based diet than a meat-based one. The amount of vegetable protein fed to U.S. beef would feed almost the entire populations of India and China.
  9. Eating animal products isn’t biologically necessary! Why spend the extra money if you don’t have to? Why increase your carbon footprint if you don’t have to?
  10. A vegan diet can be just as gluttonous as an omnivorous one. Vegans can still drink beer and eat french fries (as long as they’re not cooked in lard!), so don’t think you’ll be deprived if you go vegan.

All that said, will I be vegan (or even vegetarian) for the rest of my life? Probably not. But I have been, and will continue to be, a LOT more picky about where my meat and dairy come from if I decide to incorporate them into my diet. I’ll try to buy free-range, organic, vegetarian-fed meat and dairy, as well as buying from local farmers when I can. I’ll also strive to keep at least 1-2 of my daily meals vegan, as even decreasing your meat and dairy a little bit can have an impact on the environment (and you’re also voting with your mouth!).

If you’re wary about veganism, try going vegan for just a day… TODAY! Michelle and Katy have declared today Vegan 4-A-Day. Katy says:

On Thursday, November 19, we are asking that you devote one or all of your meals to being vegan. We just kindly ask if you could link back to either my blog or Michelle’s when you make your posts about Vegan Week. We will be compiling a list of all who participate throughout the day, on our blogs under the ‘VeganWeek’ tabs. If you could make sure to either send us the link and/or leave it in the comment section of the ‘Vegan 4-A- Day’ official post on Thursday then we can give you proper accolades.

If you know of any other friends, bloggers or not, who are up for the challenge…spread it around! Everyone who takes part will have a chance at a really cool prize — details of that to come soon!

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