What You Need to Know About Veganism

All vegans are not hippies. I happen to be an awkward, 17-year-old girl who is in no way 'hip' or a hippie but, I am vegan. A lot of people wondered how I could go vegan. How could I give up bacon and cheese? I'll get to that. As well as other aspects of life after taking the plunge into this against-the-grain lifestyle. But first, why would anyone even consider going vegan?

For me it was the documentary Cowsiracy that prompted me to go vegan. In this documentary I learned the detrimental effects animal agricultural has on our planet. Such as, cows alone create 150 billion gallons of methane emissions every day. Methane is a greenhouse gas that aids in global warming. The documentary also predicted the recent California drought, due to the mass consumption of water used in the production of animal products. The animal agriculture industry uses between 34-76 trillion gallons of water each year. According to National Geographic, the average vegan will consume 600 gallons less water a day than those who eat animal products. This adds up to a whopping 219,000 gallons of water saved annually.

Many people are unaware that one of their primary food sources - animals and animal by-products - are the leading cause of our deteriorating environment. Learning of the effects my food had on the planet was enough to convince me to go vegan. But if you're still against it there are other reasons you should reconsider what you're eating. Like the treatment of animals. You know that another being had to die for you to eat your steak, but are you aware of what its life was like? Animals are kept in crowded, stressful conditions and are force fed and abused. And it's not only in the meat industry. Female cows are being constantly impregnated to produce milk, only to have their calves taken away from them so you can drink it. Another example of this cruel treatment is the killing of male chick's in the egg industry, as they cannot lay eggs.

Now that you've heard my scare tactics let's talk about fun parts of being vegan.
The biggest excuse people have about not going vegan is 'I'll miss *insert animal product here* too much'. But you can still eat those foods! They are just environmentally friendly, cruelty free versions! Burgers, donuts, ice cream, bacon and even cheese all have vegan substitutes that taste eerily similar to the real thing. When you go vegan you really don't need to adjust your diet that much - anything you can eat, I can eat vegan.

That being said, a lot of people find they eat healthier when they go vegan. Plant based foods contain all the nutrients we need, without additives or unhealthy fats and cholesterol. Many worry they won't get enough nutrients as a vegan, when the truth is you can meet all of your daily values without animal products. The only two vitamins you will need to supplement are vitamin B12 and vitamin D - easy enough right?

So, after looking at the facts, what's your excuse for not going vegan?