The reasons why people decide to go vegan are manifold. For some, animal welfare and environmental protection come first, whereas for others, one’s own health or even personal fitness are the most important aspects.
Every human being is unique and there are, depending on circumstances and individual needs, the most varied motives and motivations that lead to a cruelty-free lifestyle without animal products.
I have put together for you my 7 very personal – and I think – damn good reasons for a vegan lifestyle.
You live healthier
There is a lot of talk, writing and discussion about the health aspects of vegan life. The fact is, there are just as many studies that advocate a vegan diet for health reasons, as reports claim the exact opposite. I can not blame you for deciding who you want to believe in this debate and the consequences this has on your life. Inform yourself, try it out and draw your own conclusions.
Here’s what I can tell you from my personal experience:
- Although I am a big fluffy guy and struggle with my weight, my blood values at 45 years old are like the ones of a 20-year-old healthy man
- I am rarely sick, like never before in my life. My last cold was about 2 years ago and I don’t have to take any drugs at all
I also feel fit on stressful days or after nights with little sleep. Add to that the pleasant feeling of doing something good to the body with every meal.
Another important point for me is the avoidance of harmful ingredients in animal foods such as antibiotics or growth hormones, as they are unfortunately used in abundance in animal breeding.
Quite apart from the countless additives (E-substances, flavors, flavor enhancers, salts, etc.), the health benefits of which is at least “controversial” to name in many finished products with animal ingredients. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the case with vegan processed products as well, (see point 3).
I would like to keep control of the things that I eat – and thus my body – and do not put my health in the hands of a food chemist of a large corporation! Actually, a matter of course, right?
You are fitter
Living in the tropics swimming and hiking are my great passion, even if I’m only moderately talented for it. If possible, I’m out and about 1 to 2 times a week all year long. Therefore, it is essential to stay healthy (see point 1 “Health”).
Of course, I was skeptical at first whether a vegan diet would be the right thing to do for a physically active life – but I made a lot of research and read a lot of books like the ones by Brendan Brazier (triathlete and 3 times Ironman Hawaii winner) and Rich Roll (ultra triathlete) who convinced me and so did the constantly growing list of top athletes speak for itself. In the meantime, the positive aspects of a diet without animal products have even spread to the football league.
What positive aspects can I tell from personal experience?
– regeneration after particularly intense or long units turns out to be noticeably faster than in my days as an omnivore. Especially after competitions, this is clearly noticeable.
– Increased digestive efficiency lowers body temperature, resulting in improved performance. Brendan Brazier writes: “Lower initial temperatures create a larger” bandwidth “within which one can act. A lower operating temperature means that the body can do more before it fatigues“. In my case, the lower body temperature in particular by a certain heat resistance noticeable, which I did not know before. Summer temperatures have always been a limiting factor for me. Since I eat vegan, high-temperature sports are no longer a problem for me.
– no or only minimal weight gain during training breaks. Even if I have to take a longer break from training for a variety of reasons, my body weight remains constant and re-entry into training is noticeably easier than it used to be.
Although these effects may not be attributable solely to the omission of animal products, the vegan way of life in any case makes it more conscious to deal with the nutrition, which is of immense importance especially for athletes. Which brings us to the next point:
You learn new things
Since I eat meatless – and later completely without animal products – I have learned a lot about food and nutrition.
In the past, when many things wandered into the shopping cart without much thought, my shopping behavior has radically changed. If I do not know a product, a look at the list of ingredients is obligatory. A really great tool that can help you expose all ingredients is the “Codecheck” app and its website. But portals such as Peta and others also provide useful information and flyers that you can take with you on your shopping. So, you gradually learn what is contained in each product.
But the learning effect does not just extend to shopping. The more you deal with nutrition, the more you will learn about how your body reacts to certain foods, what you personally do well and what you should possibly avoid.
Processed products (even vegan) have mostly disappeared from my diet. The daily cooking, which was always a passion of mine, has become even more integrated into my daily routine and has become an educational routine that does not require much time and work and that I no longer want to miss. Incidentally, I got to know spices and ingredients that I did not even hear of before and that enrich my diet in a fantastic way. You’ll see, the effort is worth it!
I also discovered and learned how easy it is to do things yourself. Almond or oat milk, breads or sodas and much else are made quickly and in addition to the great feeling of having made something yourself, you also avoid any amount of packaging waste. Any questions?
You protect all the animals
We do not have to talk about factory farming, do we? If you do, just have a look at the movie “Earthlings”, but I have to warn you: it is a movie that is extremely merciless and not for sensitive people!
Over 56 billion of animals have to die each and every year for human consumption worldwide and this figure does not include fish and other sea creatures whose deaths are so great that they are only measured in tons. To visualize this tremendous number, let’s take a look at it:
Incomprehensible! Given the conditions under which these animals are kept, everyone is sure to have the images in their heads, so I’ll spare you the gruesome details. And all that, so that the consumer finds cheap, standardized meat and dairy products – and of course eggs – in the discounter of his choice! It’s up to you to decide whether you want to support this madness or not!
You help the environment
For many vegans, environmental protection is a key aspect because, according to many environmental reports: “Food consumption has a significant impact on the environment and nature through production, processing and transport. This is especially true for meat consumption, but also for the consumption of dairy products. ”
Vegans, through their diet and way of life, contribute significantly to minimizing the burden on the environment in terms of resource use, water pollution, climate change and air pollution.
Although the global cultivation and trade of soy, which plays a significant role in the vegan diet, is not unproblematic in terms of land use and the associated clearing of the rainforest, according to a study by the US government in 2010: “It is estimated that 2% of soybean production is consumed by humans directly as food.”
In addition: “Anyone who is a vegan now and eats soy, harms the climate still far less than a meat eater. From a kilo of soybeans can be produced about two kilograms of tofu. If you use the same amount of soy as concentrated feed in pig fattening, just 300 grams of pork are possible.”
In terms of climate change, the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, methane and nitric oxide are the biggest threats. These gases are produced, according to the animal rights organization Peta intensively in animal husbandry, either directly through the digestive process or the excretion of animals or indirectly through the production processes, the deforestation of forests for grazing land or the planting of animal feed. That’s why animal studies, and therefore the consumption of animal products, account for more than 50% of climate change! ”
The same is true of water consumption and water pollution. In addition to the incredible amounts of water that are used for the production of a single kilo of beef – it goes here from approx. 15,500 liters from (source: Peta) – in particular the animal excrements pollute, which are usually uncleared in the groundwater, in the form of manure, manure and manure, the water and the air. Added to this are the remnants of the drugs added in animal breeding, such as growth hormones or antibiotics, which also enter the environment and thus into the food chain with the excreta.
However, abstaining from animal products does not necessarily go hand in hand with environmental protection, as long as you as a consumer do not worry about the origin and production of your food, because those who are un-reflective on gene products, palm oil of dubious origin or non-seasonal and non-regional consuming foods, it can quickly lead its good intentions to absurdity, which leads me directly to point 6:
You trade locally
In my opinion, a vegan way of life means that you eat locally and seasonally as far as possible and that your other consumer behavior is largely aligned subsequently.
By purchasing locally, you reduce transport distances and thus reduce your costs and environmental impact. In addition, you support small and local economic structures such as local retailers, weekly farmer markets or farm shops with your consumer behavior. Quite apart from the fact that, in my opinion, it is important to support these local structures, farm shops and weekly markets are usually also cost-effective sources of fresh seasonal food, with the added bonus of inquiring the producer directly about the origin and cultivation of his produce.
Especially the seasonal aspect is always a lot of fun: going to a weekly market or to visit a farm shop and to be inspired, what the local producers have to offer depending on the season, is always a joy for me. Add to this the good feeling that the fruits and vegetables from the field come from the neighborhood, a lot of packaging waste is saved, and the money goes directly to the pockets of the people from the area.
You live more conscious
The most notable thing for me, however, is that the six reasons mentioned above in the end have done more and have changed me more than I thought possible. In this respect, this last point should be for you both encouragement and warning – not that it means later, I would not have warned you!
Today, I can say that the vegan diet has opened the way to a more conscious life in a variety of ways. In this context, “conscious” for me means confronting oneself and one’s life circumstances concretely and repeatedly, to actively and responsibly shape one’s life for oneself and others, and to give it a deeper meaning.
This happens on a large and small scale. You will see: the vegan diet is often only the beginning for more. If you feel like you will begin to question your consumption habits and your possessions, to engage yourself socially and to check the meaningfulness of your private and professional activities.
You will learn to listen to your body, take more time for yourself and your needs, deepen positive relationships, reject negatives and much more.
Now are you also coming on to the vegan journey?
So, that’s what they were for me, my 7 damn good reasons for a vegan life. Quite a lot of stuff at once. I’m curious what you’re saying!
What experiences have you made? Let me know! I’m curious about your comments in the box below!