As you know, the word ‘vegan’ ultimately defines a lifestyle not complicit in the violence, cruelty and killing of non-human animals.
For lots of people, this is ample reason to be vegan. To know that no-one is suffering for you is benefit enough.
If you DID want any more reasons to go vegan, I GET IT – honestly.
After all, everyone else eats animal products, it’s so normalised in this culture. Every other commercial outlet on the High/Main Street is a kebab shop, a fast food joint, a fried chicken place.
Celebrities are posing with milk moustaches and doing yoghurt commercials.
Every lummox on the planet seems to be prattling on about their love for baaayycuuhhn (when did the whole bacon reinvention start? It was old man’s food when I was growing up). Now, apparently, if you don’t guzzle bacon, you are not living life to the fullest.
Every other ad is for burgers, butter, ice cream. Where are the ads for broccoli? For walnuts? For beetroot?
On top of this, lots of energy and money is being spent trying to make meat cool. More and more ‘gourmet’ burger (WTF?) places are opening every day. I even see this in my own neighbourhood. A ‘restaurant’ called ‘Chicken Shop,’ owned by a well-known private members club group, has just launched near my house. It has chickens on a spit, and the menu is chicken, chicken or chicken, with either chips or corn. Lots of painfully ‘cool’ types are flocking there. For chicken. And corn.
Seriously, no-one could blame you for thinking that vegan is too ‘different,’ too ‘against the grain.’
I truly get that this is not (yet) a vegan world and that you need as much motivation as possible to help you go vegan. What are the benefits? What will help you tolerate all the above shizzoula?
Well, I’ll tell you of some of them, but there are many others that you will discover for yourself too.
By avoiding animal products (and eating whole foods, of course), you have reduced your risk for heart disease and lots of cancers significantly, in fact some doctors in the field would say you are at almost zero risk of heart disease, eating this way.
You have also side- stepped diabetes, (or will be able to improve it, if you have it already), and are at lower risk for Alzheimer’s. There are a whole host of conditions that can be prevented or improved with a whole foods vegan diet, including asthma, and multiple sclerosis.
A whole-foods plant-based diet will have you glowing, radiant, and oozing sparkle. Your skin and body will be the best they’ve ever been – and if you’re exercising, sleeping and relaxing enough too – well, baby, you’ve never looked so good.
Is this a superficial incentive? Perhaps. But don’t forget; the more you look after yourself and ensure that you feel great and confident and happy, the better you can help and look after other people; the more present you will be when you spend time with them, and the more joyful your interactions will be.
The ripple out effect of YOU feeling good is immense. When you feel lethargic, depressed, achy, insecure, or worse, then you cannot be much help, or bring much joy to anyone.
Other Silly, Limiting Constructs Become Clear – And Evaporate
Another benefit is that when you realise how ridiculous the ‘certain animals are food but others are pets,’ paradigm is (and all the rest we have around how we perceive animals as ‘other’), you begin to see lots of other things clearly, and all other ridiculous paradigms crumble.
Just as you’ve realised what humans do so they can justify eating certain beings; you recognise all the other silly human constructs that abound.
You see all the boxes, compartments and pigeon holes that lots of people need in order to feel secure, or a part of something – and you don’t need them any more. This is one of the most liberating things I found, and probably my absolute favourite extra benefit!
Do you have children? Grandchildren? Just know some good kids?
After you’ve gone do you want them to live on a clean planet, full of natural wonders, with fresh air and clean water? Well, being vegan is the best thing you can do for the planet. The livestock industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transport combined, and is the prime cause of air and water pollution, deforestation, drought, and wildlife habitat destruction.
You CANNOT proclaim to be an environmentalist and eat meat. That would be silly. Like being a pacifist and a gun manufacturer. Or like being a nun and a porn star (!?).
Can we really justify this with so many people starving? When we know that if we all ate plant-based there would be enough food to go around, and then some? Knowing that you are not contributing to world hunger, while it may not directly benefit you, has to make you feel lighter, I’ll bet.
You will discover lots of other incredible benefits for yourself, lots of them interlinked. As Dr T. Colin Campbell says in his life-saving book, The China Study: “Good nutrition creates health in all areas of our existence. All parts are interconnected.”
Trust me; the personal benefits of being vegan vastly outweigh being the odd one out who doesn’t eat baaaayyycuuuhnn, or not fitting in at ‘Gourmet Burger.’