It’s a healthy choice
A balanced vegan diet (also referred to as a ‘plant-based diet’) meets many current healthy eating recommendations such as eating more fruit, vegetables and whole grains and consuming less cholesterol and saturated fat. Balanced vegan diets are often rich in vitamins, antioxidants and fiber and can decrease the chances of suffering from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Well-planned plant-based diets are suitable for all age groups and stages of life.
Many people become vegan through concern at the way farmed animals are treated. Some object to the unnecessary ‘use’ and killing of animals – unnecessary as we do not need animal products in order to feed or clothe ourselves.
Public awareness of the conditions of factory-farmed animals is gradually increasing and it is becoming more and more difficult to claim not to have at least some knowledge of the treatment they endure. Sentient, intelligent animals are often kept in cramped and filthy conditions where they cannot move around or perform their natural behaviors. At the same time, many suffer serious health problems and even death because they are selectively bred to grow or produce milk or eggs at a far greater rate than their bodies are capable of coping with.
It's good for the environment
Switching to a plant-based diet is an effective way for an individual to reduce their eco-footprint. Vegan diets can produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than meat-based diets. A University of Chicago study found that the ‘typical’ US diet generates the equivalent of nearly 1.5 tons more carbon dioxide per person per year than a vegan diet. The livestock industry is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transport sector (which produces 13.5%), including aviation.
Plant-based diets only require around one third of the land and water needed to produce a typical Western diet. Farmed animals consume much more protein, water and calories than they produce, so far greater quantities of crops and water are needed to produce animal ‘products’ to feed humans than are needed to feed people direct on a plant-based diet. With water and land becoming scarcer globally, world hunger increasing and the planet’s population rising, it is much more sustainable to eat plant foods direct than use up precious resources feeding farmed animals.
Farming animals and growing their feed also contributes to other environmental problems such as deforestation, water pollution and land degradation.
There are mouth-watering plant-based dishes from around the world: from India, vegetable curries and dahls; from the Far East, tofu stir fries; from Italy pastas and salads; from Turkey, hummus and baba ganoush; and from Mexico beans and tortillas… the list goes on!
Many familiar foods have vegan versions - vegans can enjoy pizza, vegan sausage and mash, casseroles and even chocolate cake. The variety of vegan food available in shops and restaurants is growing all the time – eating a vegan diet has never been easier.
Choosing to live a life free from animal products means choosing a path that is kinder to people, animals and the environment. In fact, there are so many good reasons to reject meat, eggs and dairy products and so many delicious animal free alternatives that the real question is not "why vegan?" but "why not?".
Organic tastes better than conventional because it’s not coated with chemical residues from pesticides and fertilizers
Organic food, which often times is synonymous with local food, optimizes time by allowing food to grow at a natural pace in the garden or field. This coupled with a shorter farm to market distance ratio means fresher food as well.
Organic food is healthy! Organic food on average contains higher Vitamin C (powerful antioxidant) levels as well as higher levels of calcium, magnesium, iron, and chromium. The bioavailability of nutrients in organic foods is at a greater level than that of conventional.
Organics are better for the environment! Organic production systems do not allow the use of chemical fertilizers which pollute our rivers and streams. Instead, organic production systems utilize composted manure and leguminous cover crops in rotation with cash crops to naturally feed nitrogen to the soil.
Organics support communities! For small farmers, organic agriculture has offered an alternative market where organically grown food commands a fair price. Workers on organic farms have reduced exposure to harsh cancer causing chemicals.
Organic products are free of hidden-costs! While the consumer may pay a premium at the check-out counter for organic products as opposed to conventional products, the consumer pays more for what isn’t in the product: the hidden costs of conventional include the millions of dollars tax payers pay each year for chemicals in drinking water due to pesticide practices in conventional farming.