Over three years ago, I decided to adopt a vegetarian diet. I immediately knew it was not only a great decision but was going to be a large part of my life. Recently, I have begun the process of transitioning from a vegetarian to vegan diet. Already, | feel both physical and emotional relief. When I tell people about veganism, their response usually involves rolling their eyes and asking about protein and nutrients; something which they have probably never even thought about themselves.
And it totally makes sense that people don‘t question their diets while eating meat; after all, it’s not like there is a direct relationship between eating meat and being diagnosed with high blood pressure, cancer, osteoporosis, or even heart disease, which is the #1 cause of death in the US. And it’s not like Harvard University conducted an experiment in 2012 that proved that eating meat made you 3 times as likely to be diagnosed with, and die from, cancer.
The truth is, I am able to easily access all of my dietary needs through a varied and comprehensive diet that relies on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and some pre- prepared foods. Some people tell me they could never be vegan because it’s too hard; I really don’t understand this argument as most everything I eat is from my once-a-week trip to Trader Joe’s. Other people tell me veganism is too expensive; again I really don’t understand this, as I’ve never spent more than $60 a week on groceries, and that constitutes every meal I will eat in a week.
Realistically, veganism really isn’t that expensive or inconvenient. What veganism IS is radically efficient.
On both the personal and global scale, veganism makes sense. First of all, the morality of eating meat is extremely questionable, Why should anyone continue to eat animal products, when they know that eliminating these foods would directly lead to preventing the slaughter of 198 animals in a year. Remember, about 660,000 animals are killed per hour in the US. alone. As if saving the lives of countless innocent animals, finding moral relief, or actively preventing disease wasn’t enough, veganism has one more superior quality; it’s ecological efficiency. In fact, eating vegan for just one day saves approxrmately 600 gallons of purified water in one day.
Although this probably seems really extreme to most of you, I promise you that the changes associated with veganism really are not as severe as you would think, And although I would love it if every one of you decided to vegan starting today all because of my totally life-changing essay, that probably won‘t happen. What I do hope, more realistically. is that each of you. at the very least, step back and really consider how your consumption of animal products is directly leading to the destruction of the Earth, your body, and even your mind