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3 Reasons to go Vegan that Aren’t About Losing Weight
While a desire to eat healthier and drop a few extra pounds may be what initially draws you to veganism, these clear benefits aren’t the only reasons to ditch (or eat fewer) animal products. Kicking meat and dairy is also better for the planet. With Earth Day around the corner, here are three reasons to adopt a diet that make’s the most of our Mother’s bounty.
Save money on groceries. That’s right, eschew animal products and see immediate benefits at checkout. According to a study published in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, folks who eat a plant-based diet can save $750 a year or more on groceries. Vegan diets often rely on beans, nuts and seeds for protein, which are available in the bulk sections of most grocery stores, are much cheaper than meat, and –we think — totally delicious.
Better for the planet. One may argue that water is life’s most valuable resource. And as the planet’s temperature’s rise, that resource is increasingly in demand. Did you know that it takes, 1,847 gallons of water to produce 1lb of beef? Compare that to chickpeas, which require 501 gallons per 1lb, or tofu, which requires only 302 gallons per 1lb.
Then there’s the carbon footprint. Some experts believe that eating less red meat is a better way to cut carbon emissions than giving up cars. When compared to crops like wheat, potatoes, and rice, beef requires, “160 times more land and produces 11 times more greenhouse gases,” according to The Guardian. Eating more plant-based foods is healthier for you and the planet.
Support animal welfare. As documentaries such as Food Inc. and Vegucated illuminate, the conditions at factory farms are inhumane. Animals are crammed together, often without access to daylight, and pumped with antibiotics and hormones to ensure they make it to processing. Being vegan means you’ll be taking no part in this horrendous practice. Even if you don’t give up animal products entirely, we’re big proponents of only selecting products that are Certified Humane.
If the idea of giving up meat entirely feels overwhelming, remember that you can start one meal at a time. Even just eating fewer animal products and making conscious food choices can go a long way toward improving your wellbeing and that of the planet. Here are some tips to ease into eating mostly vegan if you’re not ready to go all in just yet.