Well, the title doesn't leave you much room for speculation what this is about, right? I’m vegan for about 1,5 years now (and my whole family is). So, for those wondering, here are my main reasons for being vegan:
- Firstly and obviously I don’t want to harm animals. Or to be more precise, I don’t want animals to suffer the way they do in industrial farming just for my food. Seeing how animals are treated in these factories was one of the most convincing arguments for becoming a vegetarian. Realizing that eggs, milk, cheese and leather are often produced under similar cruel circumstances was the next logical step. I could not convince myself anymore that one cruelty is better than the other or that eating cheese is really worth it (and I loved cheese!). Most people argue that they buy their meat only from a “reliable” or more “humane” source, but I’m too skeptical when it comes to this. So, my main reason is that I don’t think we can easily position ourselves above animals (because, in theory, we are animals too) and definitely not the barbaric way it mostly is done. I was able to ignore that for most of my life, but I can’t anymore.
- It’s a known fact that producing meat is one of the highest factors of using resources and polluting the air. I wasn’t really aware of that before I became vegan, but it was a very convincing argument to me. And it’s pretty much indisputable. Sure, you don’t have to care about the environment, but I do and as many other things I try to do to help with that, this clearly has one of the strongest effects.
- One thing you learn when you become vegan, is how much animal products are used for our food. There are so many things where you’d never think animal products are an ingredient. When you start looking more closely at what exactly you are eating, you also realize what kinds of harmful ingredients most food products have. One thing I asked myself more and more was: “Do I really want to digest that? Does my body need that?” Most of the time, the answer is: “No.”
- The most common argument against veganism people say is: “I couldn’t live without meat/milk/cheese/etc.” or in other words, “I don’t want to give up any of this. It would be too much of a sacrifice.” The most astonishing thing for me since I’m vegan is how this is not true. Sure, you stop eating several things, but suddenly you discover the multitude of other food that exists. And yes, it’s more than just tofu and vegetables. That discovery has strongly enriched my perception of food and the possibilities you have. I quickly didn’t feel like I’m missing something, but that I’m gaining something. There are so many delicious things to eat and focusing on animal products really limits your options (and again, for what cost?). This by the way, is a good philosophy in general if you start thinking critically about our society. It’s not about giving up things, but about learning that there are many alternatives.
- The other common counter-argument is health. “How do you get your proteins?”, etc. Sure, you have to make sure you include all the necessary things in your diet and to some people that may seem like too much work. But how many people who eat meat make sure they ingest everything their body needs? I’m pretty sure that most people who don’t understand veganism (or get really upset about it), don’t care much about their diet and proteins and whatnot. Being vegan normally means that you start thinking about what you eat and I would argue that most people don’t. Besides, if you really want to, you can also be vegan and not eat healthily. There is enough fast food for you! I’m not vegan necessarily to live healthier, but it certainly is a nice side effect.
And that, in about 700 words, is why I’m vegan. I’m not militant about it and tolerate whatever others eat, but I also believe it’s a good thing and that the earth would benefit from more people going vegan. I don’t like the way it is marketed now because it has become such a hype, but I’m fine with it as long as vegan becomes more normal in the end. It’s somewhat frustrating that most of this marketing focuses on health, but this just goes to show that our society teaches us to be sefish and not to care about our environment.
Is there any other 'Why' anyone wants to know about?