A vegan lacing up her sneakers while drinking green juice

5 Major Reasons You Should Be a Vegan or Vegetarian

Are you considering making the switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet? There are almost endless reasons why people choose to eliminate meat from their diets, and here are some of the most popular ones. There are many benefits to vegetarianism and veganism, so if you are looking for a change in your life, going meat-free could be the perfect next step for you to improve your health, your happiness, and the world around you.

To Boost Your Health

Have you heard that foods like bacon and red meat can increase your risk of developing cancer and heart disease? These foods are staples in the diets of millions of people, but they aren’t very beneficial for their bodies. Only eating vegan or vegetarian foods will boost your intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants because fruits and vegetables are chock full of them!

Another benefit of being a vegetarian or vegan is that you greatly reduce your sugar intake. Processed foods are full of sugar along with animal-based products, so by cutting them out of your diet plan, you can reduce your risk of developing diabetes. 

To Lose Weight

Being a vegetarian or a vegan means that you can avoid a lot of cholesterol and saturated fats that are found in meats. Eating less fat in your diet means that it will be easier to lose weight. Vegetables and grains contain a lot of fiber, so you'll still feel full off of foods that have significantly fewer calories than their meaty counterparts.

Choosing a vegetarian diet to lose weight is an excellent way to shed pounds in a healthy way and keep them off (as opposed to a fad diets). You will still be able to enjoy many of your favorite foods (if you take advantage of delicious veggie substitutions), plus you won’t have to feel guilty about eating them. For example, pork fried rice is tasty, but vegetable and tofu fried rice is just as delectable, and it has way fewer calories. 

To Avoid Added Hormones

Meats you find at the supermarket usually contain added hormones and chemicals to either help the chickens grow more quickly or to retain the fresh appearance and flavor of the meat itself. These hormones and chemicals are not good for humans and can result in many health issues, like early puberty in children, so eliminating those additives is a major benefit of being a vegetarian or vegan.

The potential risks of many of those additives have not been extensively studied, so you really don’t know what kind of detrimental effect those pork chops could have on your body. Vegetables, on the other hand, don’t contain those hormones or chemicals. All you have to do is wash all of your fruits and veggies to ensure they’re pesticide-free, and you can have some peace of mind knowing exactly what you’re putting in your body.

To Help the Environment

Raising livestock requires enormous amounts of land, fuel, and water (which could otherwise be conserved for future humans), causes the release of an abundance of greenhouse gases (which pollutes the atmosphere), and results in literal tons of animal waste (which pollutes oceans and ruins soil). Some people choose vegetarianism or veganism to do their part in helping the environment, and you can really make a difference! The average person eats over 7,000 animals over the course of their lifetime, according to USA Today, so if you and others refrain from doing so, your contribution can really add up. 

To Not Support Animal Cruelty

A common reason for becoming a vegan or vegetarian is to not take part in the cruelty towards animals in the food industry. Chickens, cows, pigs, and other animals are commonly raised in confined spaces, pumped full of hormones, and then slaughtered in inhumane ways. A lot of people are fighting for the rights of these animals to live in better conditions, but we are definitely not there yet. So, by not giving any of your money to these companies who mistreat animals, you are standing up for their rights.

Last Updated: August 31, 2015