5 Non-Moralizing Arguments To Go Vegan
I'm not sure where this idea that vegans only eat salad, rice and broccoli came from. People have the impression that a vegan diet is bland and boring and they couldn't be more wrong. One of the biggest benefits to switching to a vegan diet is how delicious it is. When I made the switch, I felt like a whole new world of food had been opened to me. I've introduced a greater variety of divine flavors to my pallet and definitely have many more "keeper" recipes in my arsenal than I did as a meat-eater or even a vegetarian.
The health benefits of a vegan diet are numerous. Of course, not all vegan foods are healthy. For example, a diet of Oreos (Yes, Oreos are vegan. I was shocked, too.) and Dr. Pepper isn't going result in a long, happy life. A well-balanced vegan diet, consisting mainly of whole foods, is a great way to get rid of excess fat in your diet and on your waist. A typical vegan diet includes very little cholesterol and fat. This diet can be very beneficial for people pre-disposed to high-cholesterol or high blood pressure. Switching to a vegan diet can reduce the need for some medications. Always consult your doctor before making changes to your diet or medication.
3. Know what you're eating
One of the first things you'll learn to do when you switch to vegan is to check the labels of everything you eat. A lot of foods, you wouldn't expect, contain milk or cheese or even chicken. I've learned to love checking the labels. When I first started, I was only checking for things that are restricted from my diet, but now I look out for carbohydrates, fat content, calories, salt and sugar content of my food. It's funny, I know a lot more about what I'm putting in my body now, than I ever did as a meat-eater and yet I'm quizzed on how much protein and B12 I'm getting a lot more often.
4. Learn to cook
This probably doesn't apply to everyone, but I think it's common enough to include on this list. The reason most people are so turned off by a diet so dependent on vegetables is because very few people know how to cook vegetables properly. I know at least in my home, and many of my friends' homes, vegetables were either steamed or warmed up from a can. Yuck! The Veganomicon was one of the first vegan cook-books I purchased after switching to the vegan diet and it remains my favorite, go-to guide on vegetables. There are quite a few vegan-friendly restaurants popping up recently but if you invest a little time learning how to cook vegan, you probably wont want to go out because everything you cook tastes better.
5. Save money
It may take a bit of getting used to cooking at home so often, but your pallet and your wallet will thank you for it. People generally eat less and spend less when they cook their meals at home. There is a misconception that vegan and vegetarian diets are expensive and they can be if you eat mostly, pre-packaged microwavable meals from Boca or Morningstar Farms. However, if you stick to the above-recommended whole-food based vegan diet, you will likely find yourself spending less on groceries than you did as a meat-eater, particularly if you ate a lot of steak. Another great, money-saving tip that isn't necessarily restricted to a vegan diet is to grow some of your vegetables at home. You won't find anything less expensive than something growing out of your backyard.
There are many reasons to follow a vegan diet. Far more detrimental moral issues are being violated that cause human suffering, which need to be addressed before we start pushing for what the most moral diet is. However, if you find that you aren't okay with the way that farm animals are kept and treated, then I suggest you don't use your money to fund it.
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The Veganomicon is one of the best vegan cook-books available. I recommend it to all vegetarians and meat-eaters alike who are interested in adding a few meatless meals to their diet. My husband and I went...