Ten Reasons to Go Vegan

1. You care about animals

Starting off with the most obvious one: compassion. You may watch Earthlings or read a book like Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation, and find that the last excuse you have against going vegan just melts away. Or maybe you will read my post on The Bulletproof Case for Veganism and find my prose convincing. How flattering, dear reader! Your desire to lead a life in which you contribute to less suffering is a noble one.

2. You care about the environment

Just as obtaining your nutrients from plants cuts out the suffering of the middle-man, it significantly reduces the impact on the environment. There’s a simple mathematical concept behind this: each calorie consumed by an animal in the form of plants is converted into less than one calorie of meat, since animals have brains, bones, blood, and all sorts of other things that require energy to function. Thus, it is more ecological to eat plants directly instead of filtering your nutrients through an animal.

3. You want to be healthier

Although probably not the best reason to make the switch, health is an important consideration. Nutrition research is dreadfully impoverished and fraught with conflicts of interest, contradictory results, and large gaps. Therefore it is difficult to say with any certainty whether or not veganism is the healthiest diet out there. It probably isn’t, but that’s fine. Most people who make a change in their diet for health reasons cut out or otherwise reduce the obvious no-no’s: sugar and processed foods. It’s fair to say veganism is healthier than the typical American diet, protein notwithstanding, so that’s a good reason to make a change.

4. You grew up that way

Maybe you come from a vegan family or inexplicably never ate animal products while your parents and siblings chowed down on chicken wings. That’s pretty significant: think about all of the animals you saved without even knowing it at the time. While it’s different than “going vegan,” deciding to evaluate your reasons for refraining from animal products, shrugging your shoulders, and asking yourself why would I change? is a positive as well.

5. You’re already vegetarian

Similar to #4, you may have grown up vegetarian or decided to stop with eating meat when you turned 17 or whatever. That’s great — vegetarianism is a laudable shift away from contributing to the unimaginable suffering and death that animals raised for meat are subjected to. It’s important to give yourself a pat on the back, but remember that there is more you can do. There are many similarities between the meat industry and the dairy and egg industries. You can do it!

6. Because it’s cool

It seems that vegan is really in right now. Which is weird, but awesome. Miley Cyrus went vegan not too long back. Beyonce has had a back-and-forth with veganism. Ellen Degeneres is vegan, too, as are Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto, Moby, and many, many more. It seems that every day we hear of another famous musician or actress that’s going vegan. Maybe you really like doing what the cool kids are doing. There’s no shame in that, as long as you don’t do anything stupid, like the Tide Pod challenge.

7. You like efficiency

Similar to #2, you like that veganism is an effective use of energy. Maybe you’re always sure to suck out the last bit of juice from your AA batteries. Maybe you like when things fit perfectly together, with no fluff. Maybe you’re a minimalist. You like how things work and want to extra bells and whistles. It may be weird to think of veganism this way, but I just did, and it’s another reason I can add to this list.

8. You hate the taste of animal products

Most animal products taste different from each other, but some oddly taste similar, and not in a good way. Milk is pretty nasty, no doubt. You may have found that you don’t like that, and eggs make you nauseous, and you don’t like the texture of meat, so why eat them? It’s another weird reason, but I have to make it to ten.

9. You like kale

You might not hate how animal products taste, but you are just obsessed with vegetables like broccoli and kale. That’s somewhat normal. You may even find that, due to your addiction to healthy foods, you have no room left in your belly for meat, cheese, or ice cream. That’s fine. If this sounds like you, then veganism is the way to go.

10. You are a koala bear

Ok, ok. Koala bears don’t read. But if you are one, and you’re reading this, let me know so I can congratulate you for being a fellow herbivore.

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