Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why Vegans Do It; The Benefits of Veganism

Before I say anything about how great it is to be a vegan, I want to stress how important it is to educate yourself about the food you choose to eat. Save millions. Become your own doctor.

No matter what “ism” or “vore” you decide on, try learning about the nutrients your body needs and what foods your body can get them from. Remember that you are the only one who can hear the messages your body is trying to send to you. Listen to the messages your body is sending.

When you are hungry, your stomach lets you know. When you are thirsty, your mouth will become dry. This is your body’s way of saying, “Hydration Please!” If you ate greasy French fries, your stomach may let you know, perhaps in the form of heartburn. When you eat healthy food, like a plate of steamed dark leafy greens, your body will let you know. You may start feeling better and more energized. Now of course you can get suggestions from people and books about what food is “good for you,” but it ultimately comes down to having a conversation with your own body. Experiment until you find the types of foods that make you feel good.

After switching to a vegan diet, many report having stronger immune systems. On top of being more resistant to the common cold, vegans are less likely to die from heart disease. Vegans tend to avoid foods containing pesticides, preservatives and chemicals. While going organic sounds expensive, it is actually a cheaper alternative to cancer and type 2 diabetes. Oh, and you get to save the environment while your at it.

Lots of vegans do it for the environment. Raising a chicken here and a cow there can be good for the environment. Raising 50,000 acres of hogs on one ranch is not so good for the environment, and has the potential to produce more waste than the entire city of Los Angeles. Animal waste is only one aspect of the detrimental effects of factory farming on the environment. Precious resources like land, water, and food are necessary to raise livestock. If you’d like to end world hunger, hear this now; five loaves of bread could be made out of all the resources it takes to get one hamburger! Not one cow, one single hamburger patty. Imagine telling that to the skinny kid on the poverty commercial.

Some vegans do it for human rights. Estimates of 25 million people go hungry in the United States every day. If Americans reduced their meat intake by 5%, guess how many people we could feed? Yup, pretty much all of those 25 million who currently go hungry.

Most vegans do it for the animals. Here is the simplest way I can put it; if you can still eat bacon after viewing the PETA video, “Meet Your Meat,” your heart must be numb. These 12 minutes of video could change your life, or at least how you eat.

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