ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Does Being Vegan Make a Difference?

Updated on November 25, 2014

In a word: YES.

While some people try to calculate how many animals would be "saved" as a result of people choosing to eat cruelty-free meals, this isn't really an accurate way of assessing how veganism helps animals.

Over time, animals aren't literally rescued from a life of inhumane treatment followed by death in the slaughterhouse (unless you are actually adopting farm animals). Rather, fewer animals are bred for their meat as the market demand for meat is reduced.

Hens in battery cages
Hens in battery cages | Source

A Quick Poll

How often do you eat vegan meals?

See results

The Power of the Consumer Dollar

According to FARM USA, approximately 10.2 billion land animals and an estimated 53 billion aquatic animals were slaughtered in the United States in the year 2010 for use as food for humans.

You may not be able to claim that you are "saving" any of these individual animals, but you certainly can hold your head high, knowing that none of them are being slaughtered in your name, for the benefit of your personal consumption.

When considered through this lens, what we are doing as vegans is voting with our consumer dollars. If more people choose to not purchase animals and animal by-products for food, the market demand for farmed animals is reduced.

At the same time, if we are purchasing vegan food sources - ideally, whole, organic foods - the market demand for these products will increase and more farmers will choose to grow food, rather than raise animals, for human consumption.

This same argument holds true for purchasing non-food items. Use your consumer dollar to reduce the demand for leather and fur, products with animal-derived ingredients or that have been tested on animals, and animal entertainment. Make purchases that increase the demand for cruelty-free alternatives!


Environmental Impact

There are definite environmental benefits that come with a vegan diet, since incredible environmental damage is done in the process of raising animals for food.

Water waste, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions are particularly serious issues regarding large-scale animal farming. If fewer animals were being bred, raised, and slaughtered for food, the negative environmental effects of these activities would be drastically reduced.

Indeed, some experts contend that going vegan is the single most effective action a person can take in an effort to help save the earth's environment! The more people eating cruelty-free meals, the greater the collective positive impact on the environment.

Click here for a great blurb that quantifies in bullet points the effects of a vegan diet on the environment.


Health Benefits

One huge difference that we do make by having a vegan diet is the benefit to our own health.

Typically, when people switch to a healthy vegan diet (not just eating vegan cookies!), they see their weight go down, along with their cholesterol, fat, and sugar levels.

If you're not eating animals, you're also not ingesting the antibiotics and steroids given to those animals.

Simply put, a vegan diet consisting primarily of organic, whole foods is good for your body.

For more information on the health benefits of a vegan diet, click here.

Veganism and Our Health

The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
This book makes compelling arguments and provides solid information about how a healthy vegan diet is far better for our bodies than the typical American diet.

Make a Difference!

Personally, I strongly believe that every single time any person sits down to eat a meal and does not consume animals or animal by-products, they are making a difference. This most certainly includes omnivores, the majority of whom intentionally or “accidentally” have at least an occasional cruelty-free meal.

The more vegan meals a person chooses – per day, per week, or per year – the greater the benefit for themselves and the environment.

A significant benefit to the vegan lifestyle is simply knowing that you’re “doing good” just by making a daily decision to not engage in animal cruelty. Choosing an ethical lifestyle increases our emotional well-being. That in itself makes the food even more delicious and satisfying!

Get Cooking!

Everyday Vegan Eats: Family Favorites from My Kitchen to Yours
Everyday Vegan Eats: Family Favorites from My Kitchen to Yours
There are numerous amazing vegan cookbooks available! Pick something that suits your taste and style, and cook up delicious, cruelty-free meals!

Your Comments Are Welcome!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Valerie Bloom profile imageAUTHOR

      Valerie Bloom 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Thanks, My Bell! Best of luck with your dairy-free Lent -- I hope it sets the stage for you to feel confident to go vegan. Cheers!

    • My Bell profile image

      Marcelle Bell 

      6 years ago

      Great article, Valerie! I've been vegetarian for some time and am taking the first step now towards vegan. I'm giving up all dairy for lent (that's how I initially gave up meat years ago and it worked out well). I agree that every single person can make a difference. I also read The China Study and it completely changed how I looked at food.

    • Valerie Bloom profile imageAUTHOR

      Valerie Bloom 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @SteveKaye: Thanks, Steve! I'm always happy to see you around Squidoo -- I remember being very impressed by your first lens when we started the RocketSquids program!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you for publishing this lens on this important topic. We need to make major changes in our outlook toward food. Wish you the best.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for all of the info - it definitely does make a difference to be vegan!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)