Why I went Vegan
As I am writing this I am on a bit of a high because I just got back my grade for my pathophysiology exam (#killedit). I was pretty nervous for this test because it was our first big exam in Dental school. We have had quizzes and smaller exams before this, but this was the first true large exam. So, with my boost of confidence from the success of this exam, I decided to write up a post on why I went vegan. I had been considering a vegan diet for a about 2 years before I finally made the jump. I actually went vegan basically overnight (I had about 3 vegetarian days in which I ate greek yogurt) and jumped right into the lifestyle. I felt very compelled to adopt this lifestyle and did not make this decision lightly. I have been vegan for almost 2 months now (maybe more depending on when I finish typing this post- crazy busy). I have felt so many positive benefits from going vegan and feel like I have more energy than I ever have! As I continue on this journey I am sure that I will see even more positive benefits.
So, a lot of people do not know that I am Vegan as I do not go running around broadcasting it. Actually, some of my friends and family may even be unaware as it has just not came up in conversation. While I am proud to be vegan and have been loving this lifestyle, there is a lot more to me than the food I eat. I definitely am not embarrassed by this lifestyle, but I would be lying if I said that I have no fear of people judging me. I have gotten a lot of negative comments about my diet in the past which has not always made it easy to talk about my diet/ food choices. But- I have also gotten a lot of people who are interested in my healthy recipes, workouts, and lifestyle! So, for those of you that are interested in veganism, or why I went vegan then I hope you enjoy this post! I have been doing more non-recipe posts so let me know if you like them/ want to see more.
There are 3 principal reasons why I decided to go Vegan: ethical, environmental, & health (and a few other reasons that I will throw in at the end :)).
I think this reason can tend to be the most controversial. A lot of people take offense if you tell them that you are vegan because of the animals. I personally watched all of the popular plant-based/ vegan lifestyle documentaries before I became vegan and was appalled at what I saw. Some of the videos I watched were Forks over Knives (personal fav), Vegucated, Cowspiracy, Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead, Hungry for Change, and an Oprah Show special were her employees went vegan for a month. These videos show footage from factory farms and meat and dairy production facilities which was so eye opening. The animals are treated horribly even in the facilities that claim they are “free range” and “ethically raised”. The animals have little room and are injected with so many antibiotics because of their unhealthy living conditions. I don’t want to rant on about all of this because I think that the visuals speak for themselves if you watch these videos. If you are at all interested in veganism, then I highly suggest watching some of these videos. You can find all of them on Netflix or youtube.
I was pretty unaware of how much meat production can affect the environment. The production of animal products uses up so many natural resources such as water, topsoil, and fossil fuels. It also takes almost 2500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef. That is crazy! That is the same about of water used in about 6 months worth of showers. Wowza. Also 30% of the worlds non-ice covered surface is used not on fruit, vegetable, and grain production, but instead on raising chickens, pigs, and cows to produce animal products. Livestock production uses about 1/3 of the worlds fresh water stores. There is no single human activity that has a greater impact on the environment that meat production. Yikes. Americans are eating and producing more meat than other countries and are impacting the environment the most. Just a couple other facts to give you some more information
- 1.3 billion tons of grains are consumed by farm animals each year.
- beef cattle production requires an energy input to protein output ratio of 54:1.
- If the grains used to feed livestock were given to humans it could feed 800 million people.
- Animal protein production requires more than 8 times as much fossil fuel energy than plant protein.
Don’t believe me??? Check out these sites where I got this info!
A plant based diet has been proved to be the healthiest diet on the planet. This diet has been proven to reduce risk for diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and many others. There have even been documented stories of people who have reduced/ reversed their disease symptoms by adopting this diet. Healthy plant-based vegan diets often have way lower levels of fat (trans, saturated) and sodium which can keep high blood pressure and heart disease at bay. It has been proven to control diabetes/ help prevent it. In terms of cancer, a high fat diet has been contributed to breast and prostate cancer. A vegan diet that is naturally lower in fat helps to prevent these cancers. In fact, in countries where women have lower intake of animal products, there are much lower rates of breast cancer. Vegan diets have also have a lot of physical benefits that are apparent from the outside. These include a lower BMI, healthy skin, allergy symptoms improvement, longer life, and higher energy levels. Sounds pretty good right??? While I have always eaten pretty healthy, I was lacking in energy and tired quite often.
Miscellaneous reasons Why I went Vegan
I do not and cannot be ignorant to where my food comes from.
Food impacts my mood- I am happier now than I have been in my entire life.
Better focus/ cognitive improvement. My attention in my classes has been on point. I can absorb so much more information in lecture now that I am always carbed up with enough glucose to my brain and am awake and alert enough to pay attention.
Better digestion. If you are not “regular” (sorry if thats TMI) then I highly suggest looking into a plant based diet.
Improved running abilities. Maybe I am just getting back into the swing of things but my workouts have been on point. I am getting faster without as much effort.
Slowly improving acne. I think this one will take a while since I tend to break out when stressed still (thank you dental school).
I think that one person can make a difference. While it may not seem like much to some, I know that one person can make a positive impact on the planet and environment.
I’m sure I will come up with more reasons as to why I went vegan later and wish that I had included them in this post, but for now this is all I have time for (gotta study #storyofmylife).
So let me know what you think in the comments! Were you surprised by any of this info? Are you vegan/ vegetarian ?? Have you every considered going vegan?? Have you seen any of these documentaries??? let me know in the comments!! (seriously let me know- I want to hear your thoughts 🙂