New Year’s resolutions often don’t last because willpower alone is not enough to make them stick. But what if we had multiple compelling reasons that had fully convinced us that this resolution was not a sacrifice but something important that we truly wanted to do? Well, that would change everything! And that is exactly what makes adopting a plant-based diet such a powerful and popular resolution. It’s the one change we can make in our lives that has uniquely positive impacts on ourselves, our communities, on animals, the local environment, and the whole planet. Let us convince you why!
1. Vegan for Our Health
Health is a motivating factor for many New Year’s resolutions but few taste as good as adopting a plant-based diet! Filling our plates with plant-based foods while leaving off the meat, eggs, and dairy is one sure-fire way to help better protect our health — both now and in the future. In the short-term, new vegans often find an improvement in their energy levels, sleep patterns, skin, and / or digestion. But it is over the longer term that we truly reap the benefits. Those who eat a whole food plant-based diet have lower risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, strokes, and some cancers, which means we have better chances of living healthier for longer. And the food itself does not require any sacrifice; it is delicious!
2. Vegan Because We Love Animals
As children, we loved animals. As adults, we still do, but we also undertake some psychological gymnastics that allow us to say we love animals and still eat them. But deep down, most of us feel pretty uneasy about it. We know factory farming is awful, even if we don’t know all the details. And most of us don’t put ourselves through the trauma of watching slaughterhouse footage, preferring to block all thought of it from our minds, even though we know that it can only be worse for those forced to experience it. When we stop paying other people to farm and kill animals — which will happen when we stop eating animals and the milk and eggs taken from them — our consciences become clear. We truly become animal lovers in the fullest sense, and that is a wonderful, freeing feeling.
3. Vegan To Protect Our Planet
We know the planet is heating up, and it is having dire consequences for people, wildlife, and wild places. At least 14.5 percent of all human-generated greenhouse gas emissions come from animal farming, making meat, eggs, and dairy leading drivers of climate breakdown. Animal agriculture is also the leading driver of deforestation and wildlife loss, and a leading cause of air and water pollution, including ocean plastic pollution. When we switch to a plant-based diet, we reduce the amount of land we need, water we use, energy inputs, and pollutants. No wonder Oxford University researcher Joseph Poore states that going vegan is the single biggest way we can protect our planet.
4. Vegan To Protect and Support Other People
Animal agriculture creates multiple negative impacts for people, as well as for animals and the environment. Often, these are people living in situations where there is little resilience to protect them. Some of the impacts include, PTSD, depression, and a correlation with rape among slaughterhouse workers; pollution of communities, particularly by pig and chicken farms; theft and destruction of ancestral lands; the deaths of millions of people each year because three quarters of all emerging diseases come from animals; and 1.27 million more people dying from antibiotic-resistant diseases (two thirds of all antibiotics are used to prop up animal farming). And, of course, the climate impacts of our meat consumption are already affecting peoples all around the world. We help protect people when we eat plant-based.
Try Vegan This January
New Year is a great time to embark on a different path, and trying vegan is one of the best things we can do for ourselves, the planet, other animals, and other people. With multiple powerful benefits, many people find being vegan easier to stick to than other resolutions. Nonetheless, we all need support and guidance when we start breaking the habits of a lifetime! So, check out our Health & Nutrition Guide and our fantastic blogs that give more details on all of the issues mentioned here. You can also search online for delicious recipes and join some of the welcoming social media groups for new and wannabe vegans. Trying vegan for seven days is a wonderful way to dip your toe into the vegan water, but why not try vegan for the whole of January, and start 2024 with a wonderful commitment to a kinder, safer, happier world.