I've recently become very interested with veganism and the many benefits it has. The majority of our family, including extended family, has been vegetarian for many generations and that has only changed somewhat with my parent's generation, although my mom is still vegetarian. When I was seven, I tried meat, more specifically chicken, for the first time at a friend's house. It was from Mcdonalds so i'm not surprised that I wasn't a fan of the taste. Nevertheless, I decided to try it again a few months later at a party where it was homemade and delicious. Yet, I never craved meat or asked when I could eat it again because, honestly, without a tasty sauce or flavoring, meat is dry and tasteless.
When I became interested in veganism, friends and family told me (and still do) that I was crazy and was only putting more restrictions on my food choices. But I didn't care. I was learning more about the health and environmental hazards that dairy and meat cause as well as the pain and suffering animals endure due to our selfish choices. I don't want to promote animal suffering, help ruin the environment, and expose myself to more health risks if they can be avoided. Many studies show that converting to a fully plant based diet severely reduces the risk of countless diseases such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and more. Cutting out meat and dairy is also the most impactful way to reduce one's environmental impact on the world. Vegans use a significantly less amount of land, water, oil, and other resources compared to meat eaters and over 15,000 scientists from 184 countries say going vegan will help save the planet. To feed a person on an all plant based vegan diet for a year only requires 1/6 of an acre of land whereas 18 times as much land is required to feed the average meat and dairy eating U.S. citizen. Unsurprisingly then, 41% of U.S. land is used solely for animal agriculture. This is because you can grow 37,000 pounds of vegetables on a 1 and a half acre plot of land, but can only produce 375 pounds of meat on that same amount of land.
Many people become vegan because they love animals and do not want to eat their furry friends for lunch or dinner. Additionally, meat is not necessary to obtain enough protein. Lentils, tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, edamame, quinoa, and other healthy plant-based foods have a high protein content per serving, often times more protein than any type of meat. Others have gone vegan because their families have a history of heart disease or they are battling a disease in which doctor prescribed pills do not seem to have a positive effect. These are more instances in which people have tried eating according to a vegan or more plant based diet. More often than not, this decrease or elimination of meat and dairy products cures or immensely improve their disease or condition. This doesn't mean that everyone has to go completely vegan, it just means that reducing consumption of meat and dairy will have many benefits for your health, the environment, and will help save the lives of so many innocent animals. If one or many of these issues are important to you, then veganism, vegetarianism, or simply reducing consumption of meat and dairy should be something you should adopt.