Going vegan is good for the world – and it’s good for you too. Your health, your wallet, and even your appearance will benefit from moving away from meat, dairy, and eggs.
It’s also never been easier or more enjoyable to go vegan than it is right now, which means it’s no longer a chore to make your life better and help the environment.
1. It’s one of the best ways to fight climate change
Climate change is already wreaking havoc. If we act now, we could still create a future that isn’t completely catastrophic – one with fewer natural disasters, less environmental destruction, and fewer areas with unlivable conditions.
You can play your part, and reduce your carbon footprint by going vegan. Your meals will require 17 times less land, 14 times less water and 10 times less energy (often in the shape of fossil fuels), according to researchers.
If everyone on Earth took this step, we could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 68%. And by using all the water, grain, and land that goes towards maintaining animals we create for consumption, we could feed and house more people.
Want to increase your impact? Grow your own fruit, vegetables, and herbs to avoid food waste.
2. You’ll save money
Going vegan can cut your food bill dramatically. In high-income countries like the UK, you can now save as much as 34% by giving up animal products, according to an Oxford University study.
Eating vegan food used to be a frustrating experience. Consumers were faced with little choice, poor quality, and the prospect of paying through the nose for anything vaguely tasty.
Those days are behind us, with the quantity and quality of vegan choices exploding in recent years. You can now have a delicious diet and pay less for it.
3. You’ll live longer
Multiple studies have confirmed that vegans enjoy longer, healthier lives than people who eat meat, dairy, and eggs. If you get your protein from sources like beans, pasta, and nuts instead, it can add years to your life – especially if they’re replacing red and processed meat.
You’re also less likely to suffer from a host of health issues.
After conducting a study that involved 130,000 participants, Harvard’s Dr Mingyang Song explained: “Substitution of plant protein for animal protein, especially that from processed red meat, was associated with lower mortality.”
He added that vegan sources of protein “may confer a substantial health benefit.”
4. You’ll be less likely to get COVID-19
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been impossible to escape for years now. But if you go vegan, you can reduce your chances of contracting the virus – and if you do get COVID-19, it’s less likely to affect you in a serious way.
A study of 592,000 participants by researchers at Harvard and King’s College London found that “a diet characterised by healthy plant-based foods was associated with lower risk and severity of COVID-19.”
Those who stuck to a balanced vegan diet had a “41% lower risk of developing severe COVID-19” than participants with bad eating habits.
5. Your skin will glow
The rumours are true: vegans have better skin. This gloriously visible benefit mainly comes from cutting out dairy – which often causes acne – and instead increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables.
Dr Rowland-Warmann explained to Glamour: “In several studies in the US, Italy, and Malaysia, there have been links between dairy and acne.” She added: “Generally, a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in sugar and saturated fats is going to have a positive impact on the skin.”
This isn’t an automatic gain – after all, you can get chocolate, chips, and doughnuts that are vegan – but as long as you eat vaguely healthily, your new diet will give you a lovely glow.
This article was written by Josh Jackman of The Eco Experts