It is officially 2017 and I spent the first twelve hours of the new year wallowing in self-pity due to my current life status. Don’t worry! The wallowing didn’t last long because (real talk): who has time for that sort of thing when endeavoring to change the world? Can I get an AMEN? Although I do not have a proper new year’s resolution, I do hope that this year will be better than 2016 (which was absolute shit) and that I change the world, of course. Beginning January 2nd, I will be going vegan! Veganuary is an organization whose mission is to “reduce the suffering of animals by inspiring and supporting people across the globe to go vegan for the month of January”. The organization invites people to give veganism a try by eating a strictly plant-based diet for the month of January and I have decided to jump on board.
I am an animal lover, but there is a strange disconnect in my brain when it comes to animals as food. I have seen the footage of animals being slaughtered and though absolutely horrific, these images have not been enough to convince me to go vegan. I am ethically torn! I am hoping that Veganuary will be a positive jumping off point and that it will teach me to approach veganism in a successful way. Have you ever considered veganism? Here are 5 reasons to join me in becoming vegan, this January!
5 Reasons to Give Vegan a Try This January 2017
- Animals – 56 billion animals are raised and killed specifically to be eaten, every year. These animals are suffering from disease, are malnourished, and living their short lives in constant fear. The lucky ones have space to spread out a bit, while they others are confined to spaces that don’t allow them to so much as turn around.
- Health – According to the Journal of Epidemiology, eating a diet of motly plant-based foods can reduce premature mortality rate by 33%. Specifically, this means you are at a much lower risk of developing cancer or suffering a heart attack.
- Environment – The Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states, “The livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation.” Factory farming is also responsible for that majority of water pollution due to run off that carries animal feces, commonly used antibiotics and hormones to local water sources.
- World Hunger – Believe it or not, reducing the number of animals and animal products you eat can significantly benefit the world. Farming for vegetables only requires 1/3 of the land necessary for raising cattle and other animals that are eaten, as the land required for grazing is simply occupied space. Using grazing space would increase the amount of available food by nearly 70%.
- Delicious Food – I know, I know. You are highly suspect. So was I! The truth is that veganism has become more prevalent and recipes more innovative! Professional and amateur vegan chefs rule Instagram with beautiful photos of food that you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, tastes as delicious as it looks. All you have to do is search #veganfood and your mind will be blown by the number and diversity of the photo results.
If you think going vegan is daunting, you should because it is. Change is hard, but you shouldn’t be intimidated or overwhelmed by the idea. You can move at your own pace and integrate vegan meals slowly into your normal routine. I am using Veganuary as an experiment and possible stepping stone; I can explore veganism and continue at the end of the month if it agrees with me. There is no pressure! Do you! Remember that any fewer animal products consumed is positive, so don’t be upset if you have relapses or can’t give up certain things; you’re still doing good on behalf of the animals. There is no pressure! Do you!
Subscribe for more Veganuary updates or take the plunge with me! Happy 2017, kids, and good luck with all of your new year’s resolutions!