Why Should You Be Vegan?

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Going vegan has never been easier – here are a few reasons why you might want to consider it…

Animals
Vegans save, on average, over 100 animals a year. I often hear the argument that going vegetarian is reducing animal suffering, but just because the suffering caused by dairy and egg industries is less reported on, it doesn’t make it less bad for the animals. The dairy industry leaves countless male calves dead because they’re of no use to a dairy farmer, and often when cows stop producing enough milk they are sent to slaughter. And with eggs, even ones that are labelled as ethical contribute to the death of newborn male chicks – if they can’t produce food, they’re useless and a drain on resources to farmers.

Health
Going vegan is so much better for your health! A 2015 study showed that those following a plant-based diet lost more weight than those who didn’t and avoiding animal products that are rich in cholesterol and saturated fat drastically reduces your chances of having diabetes and heart disease.

It tastes good
There are so many accidentally vegan products, and intentional ones are getting better every day. There’s vegan cheese, vegan Bailey’s, vegan Guinness – even vegan Ben and Jerries! It’s honestly never been easier to be vegan.

Environment
Around 18-51% of pollution caused by humans comes from the meat industry. Yes, people use the soya and deforestation argument but most of the soya grown goes to feed livestock, not vegans. It also takes about 40 calories of fossil-fuel energy to make one calorie of feed-lot beef in the US, whereas 2.2 calories of energy are all that is needed to create plant proteins. 1 pound of hamburger meat equals 75kg of CO2 emissions, which is like using your car for three weeks, and it just causes suffering to the animals – it’s a very real possibility of the oceans being fishless by 2048.

Credit: Pixabay / @christels

Cost
It’s so cheap – SO cheap. When a diet is based on nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, it means a very cheap food bill – so much of it can be bought in bulk and stored for so long, and eating vegan on a budget is so easy. I probably spend £15 on food every week, compared to friends of mine who spend £30/£40 easily.

Meat is genuinely gross
It’s often incredibly contaminated with bodily fluids like blood and faeces, making animal products the top source of food poisoning (70%) – with 75 million cases every year, 5,000 of them being fatal. So many of them are full of antibiotics, hormones, bad bacterias and toxins that can be very bad for us. Animals killed in the US every year are full of E. coli, listeria, and so many other diseases that live in flesh and the intestinal tract, and the hormones in animals can increase cancer development in humans, and cause gynecomastia and obesity.

If you have been thinking about making the transition to veganism, I hope this information has influenced your decision to commit! However, even if you aren’t interested in becoming a vegan, I hope this information has changed your perspective of it in some way.

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Third year PAIR student and head of events. Also The Edge's live editor and 2016-17 opinion editor. Fan of cats, gigs and a tea lover - find me rambling about politics and cats @_Carly_May on Twitter.

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