Why do people go vegan?

Find out why people become vegan.

There are three broad reasons why people go vegan – for the animals, for their health, and the planet.

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For most people, it’s one of those reasons which drives them to become vegan, and then they go on to learn more about the other benefits which spur them on to continue with their vegan diet. In this post, I’ll look at the facts behind the main reasons why people go vegan.

Animals

Preventing the exploitation of animals is the key factor in many people’s decisions to go vegan. Vegans believe that non-human animals deserve to have many of the same rights as humans, including the right to be free from pain, fear, and suffering.

Many omnivores, and even vegetarians, are oblivious to the fact that it is impossible to produce meat, eggs, and dairy products without animal suffering. There are no such things as cruelty-free animal products. Watching video footage from farms and slaughterhouses can be a common thing that opens people’s eyes to the cruelties of animal agriculture.

Avoiding animal products is the easiest way to take a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation.

Health

Carefully planned vegan diets are often much healthier than diets that contain an abundance of meat and dairy.

The British Dietetic Association confirms that a well-planned vegan diet can “support healthy living in people of all ages” whilst the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that appropriately planned vegan diets are “healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”

Several documentaries demonstrate how diets that are heavy in meat and dairy products are fuelling the obesity epidemic and also some which show the health benefits that people who have switched to a plant-based diet have experienced.

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Of course, not all vegan diets are healthy, and ‘junk food vegans’ certainly exist. Going vegan is a great opportunity to learn about nutrition, try new foods, and improve your culinary skills.

When you get all your nutrients from plants, you’ll have more opportunities to add healthy options like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds which are full of vitamins and minerals.

Environment

More and more people are doing their bit to help the environment by reducing plastic waste, saving water, and getting better at recycling. But did you know that avoiding animal products is one of the most effective things that you can do to lower their carbon footprint?

Meat and dairy are incredibly bad for the environment. Huge areas of rainforest are destroyed every day to make space for soya bean crops which are used to feed cattle. If these crops were used to feed humans directly, there would be enough food for everyone in the world, ending malnutrition in developing countries.

Meat production also uses huge amounts of water to grow the crops that feed the animals as well as fuel to transport both grain feed, animals, and animal products.

How to make a change

Whatever your reasons for considering trying a vegan diet, you’ve already made the first small steps by doing research. It’s important to educate yourself on exactly what’s involved in animal agriculture and why people go vegan so that you can make your own informed decisions.

Every time you switch one animal product for a vegan one, you’re helping animals, improving your health, and preserving our planet for future generations.

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Last updated on September 5, 2021, and last reviewed by an expert on August 23, 2021.

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