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If you’ve been eating meat your whole life, a vegan lifestyle might seem a little foreign. However, there are a lot of people out there who are transitioning to this way of life. Why? They feel that it’s more ethical, healthier, and better for the environment. In this post, we’ll delve a little deeper and see what it means to be a vegan.
What Does Going Vegan Mean?
With strict veganism, it’s not just about cutting out meat. You also need to cut out any products produced by animals. So that means no more steak on the BBQ. It also means no more cheese and eggs.
But it goes even further than that. A strict vegan will choose clothing from plant-based sources. They won’t use leather, or even silk because it comes from an animal.
Ethical Concerns for Animals
The primary reason that most vegans get started is out of ethical concerns. Animals being bred for commercial purposes don’t lead a natural life. Chickens, for example, maybe kept in cages too small to move in. These cages are usually stacked high. The chickens may live their lives in filthy, cramped conditions.
On the bright side for these birds, their lives are short. Most of us think that the birds we see in the supermarket are standard sizes. In reality, a chicken left to live its natural life gets a lot bigger. We think of those large eggs with double yolks as something special. In reality, they’re just from chickens who are allowed to get older.
Another mark against commercial farming practices is that they use a lot of artificial chemicals. They may use antibiotics proactively to prevent illness. They may pump the animal full of hormones to make it grow big faster. You just don’t know what goes into the animals commercially farmed.
Ethical Concerns for the Environment
Another cause for concern is the impact of commercially farming meat. Cattle farming, for example, requires a lot of resources that could be better used elsewhere. Livestock accounts for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. And, as we know, greenhouse gases are the primary cause of global warming and climate change.
With the ketogenic and Atkins diets being so popular over the last few years, there’s fierce debate over how healthy saturated fat is. One thing that is undeniable, though, is that vegan diets tend to be more nutritious because of the range of foods that you eat.
Health guidelines suggest eating around nine portions of fruit and veggies a day. The typical Western diet doesn’t even come close. While there are concerns about a vegan diet lacking some nutrients only available in animal products, it’s easy enough to supplement these nutrients.
Those that make the switch to veganism usually report increased energy levels, weight loss, and better health.
Is Veganism Right for You?
That’s something that only you can say. Being a strict vegan can be difficult, especially at first. If you can stick it out for a few weeks and start reaping the benefits, though, you might find it worthwhile.
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