There’s no mistaking it: Going vegan is more popular than ever before. Even ten years ago you may either not have heard of the term or, at least, not totally understood how it was different from being vegetarian. Today? Trendy vegan restaurants, vegan cook books and cooking shows, and outspoken vegan celebs mean that if you’re not well aware of veganism, you must be hiding under a rock… or maybe a piece of fried chicken.
So, what’s behind this trend? Here’s a few reasons why people go vegan, so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.
This one’s kind of obvious, so let’s get it out of the way first. In case you missed it… animals are, like, really really cute. Today, we’re aware of a variety of health and environmental reasons to go vegan, but once upon a time the main motivation for embracing a vegan lifestyle was simply… people love animals, and it remains one of the main reasons why people go vegan. Seriously, have you ever met a pig? They’re hilarious. Go watch a video of a pig right now. We’ll wait here.
From weight loss to heart health to lowering your risk of certain diseases, getting healthy is one of reasons why people go vegan. Of course, going vegan is not a magic wand that will instantly cause you to lose weight. After all, a lot of your favorite junk food – French fries, chocolate bars, corn chips – may well be just as vegan as a head of lettuce. You still need to exercise, maintain a proper diet and practice portion control. A vegan diet consisting of things like whole grains, beans, fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds however can be an effective way to cut calories and give you more energy for exercise.
A lot more goes into what makes us healthy than simple weight loss, however. Which is great, because the benefits of veganism don’t stop there either. Studies show that vegan diets are potentially richer in essential nutrients like potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E.i
Despite the countless benefits of veganism, eliminating meat and other animal-based products (like eggs and dairy) from your diet does come with some challenges – challenges you should keep in mind if you’re considering going vegan. It can make it more difficult for your body to obtain other essential minerals and nutrients it needs, including essential fatty acids, iron, vitamins B12 and D and, of course, protein. With proper planning (and plenty of tasty tofu dishes) you can ensure these nutrients come from elsewhere in your diet. Ensuring proper nutrients without certain foods that may have been a regular part of your diet is a big challenge in veganism, and one you should consider before making the choice yourself.
Going vegan can have an impact on the environment, too! One of the most popular reasons to go vegan, especially today, is about lessening one’s personal footprint on the planet. As the world population grows and grows, so too does the amount of livestock we need to maintain in order to feed us. How we eat affects our environment, including contributing to deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution. A vegan diet may lessen one’s personal contribution to this, which is another reason why people go vegan.
There’s obviously a lot of reasons to go vegan, but it’s a personal choice that you have to make yourself and is not for everyone. Explore our collection of vegetable recipes, including dishes like our BOCA Roasted Vegetable Vegan Chili and Meatless California Burger.