As with any dietary lifestyle, it’s important to have balance for optimum health. You must still make conscious choices to not live on vegan cookies and donuts (as easy as that may be) and over-processed vegan foods. And getting a well-rounded diet is crucial to not falling into that Pit of Despair where years of your life are being sucked from you, otherwise known as the “I tried to go veg*n, but I felt weak and didn’t feel healthy so I started eating meat again” syndrome (which is known to develop upon sustaining oneself solely on potato chips, soda, and vegan cookies, with a lack of fresh vegetable intake). There is a multitude of health benefits to living the vegan lifestyle. Education is key. Research into all the yummy recipes that are vegan, and easy, AND tasty is crucial to the success of crossing over – and guess what, they aren’t hard to find. And the health benefits extend beyond your own person:
- To the animals that are no longer being slaughtered by your choice not to consume them.
- To your loved ones. By making yourself healthier, you encourage those to be healthier, all leading to a better quality of life for everyone involved.
- To your loved ones, again, as well as your fellow humans whom you’ve never even met. By halting your support of the animal industry, you are taking steps to improve the environment in which we all reside – all animals, including humans. A vegan diet has been shown to feed more people than an omnivorous one can..so you help feed the hungry.
- Your future offspring, should you choose to reproduce. Optimal health starts in the generation of healthy ova and sperm, long before they ever meet to develop into another earthling. Studies have shown that what you put into your body now can effect your future offspring by affecting those cells which will eventually become your sperm/egg – long before you ever think about self-propagation.
Benefit 1 – Animals: This may be an obvious benefit, but sometimes things that can go without saying should still be said. By not slaughtering the animals, their life improves dramatically. They don’t die an early and painful death at the hands of another. We find it criminal when the unnecessary taking of a life occurs within our own species, but not when the unnecessary taking of a life happens outside our own species.
Benefit 2 – Self: Diet plays a major role in the 3 leading causes of death in America: heart disease, cancer, and stroke. We eat fast-food and other junk- and over-processed foods, and we wonder why Americans are obese and increasingly suffer from ailments such as type 2 diabetes. The risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke can be dramatically reduced by a vegan diet. E. coli, salmonella, and spongiform encephalopathy (fatal, transmitted via flesh of animals suffering from “Mad Cow” – but that doesn’t mean it stops at cows) can be virtually eliminated by adopting a vegan lifestyle. You take a crop like soybeans, oats, corn, or wheat, which are all high in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates but devoid of cholesterol and artery-clogging saturated fat. You feed them to an animal and create a product with no fiber or complex carbohydrates at all but with lots of cholesterol and saturated fat. It makes about as much sense as taking pure water, running it through a sewer system, and then drinking it.
Vegan foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans, are low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are rich in fiber and nutrients. Vegans can get all the protein they need from legumes (e.g., beans, tofu, peanuts) and grains (e.g., rice, corn, whole wheat breads and pastas); calcium from broccoli, kale, collard greens, tofu, fortified juices and soymilks; iron from chickpeas, spinach, pinto beans, and soy products; and B12 from fortified foods or supplements.
And I’ll tell you from personal experience, healthy eating is contagious as is unhealthy eating! So choose wisely the things you put into your body. People put the best gasoline and the best oil in their cars, get them washed and waxed once a week..but yet fail to realize the same when it comes to their own body.
Benefit 3 – The human race: We still have to remember all the humans, not just our loved-ones! A plant-based diet is an important step towards solving the terrible problem of world hunger. Animal agriculture is a grossly inefficient way of growing food: Experts estimate that at least seven pounds of grain or soybeans are needed to generate one pound of meat (see similar stats and citations here). Food that could be going directly to hungry people is instead being inefficiently funneled into producing steaks and hamburgers.
Benefit 4 – Your Mojo: And speaking of reproduction (regardless of if it results in an offspring), a vegan diet is known to help boost your mojo. Originally, it was thought that impotence was caused by anxiety, but according to the Erectile Dysfunction Institute, up to 90 percent of all cases of impotence are physical as opposed to psychological. That’s right: High cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, prostate cancers or inflammations, and hormonal imbalances cause the vast majority of all cases of impotence. Also, meat can cause impotence because it clogs the arteries going to all your organs, not just to your heart. The good news is that medical science has proved that all of these conditions can be virtually eliminated (and even cured) with a low-fat vegan diet.