Veganism is the principle of seeking to exclude, as far as practical and practicable, all forms of exploitation of and cruelty to animals. Veganism has made headlines recently thanks to a growth in popularity and studies that highlight the health benefits of a vegan diet. How can you tell if veganism is right for you?
The Limits of a Vegan Philosophy
Before going further, know that veganism is not a monolith. Each person has their own opinions on what is “practical and practicable” and operates within that framework. However, most mainstream vegans acknowledge that some forms of animal exploitation are not possible to avoid currently. Many medications are the result of animal testing, for example, or contain compounds derived from animals. Most vegans do not endorse skipping medications! There are also split opinions on things like secondhand leather items, and so forth. You’re going to have to find out where you draw the line if you do choose to try a vegan lifestyle.
You Want to Help Animals
Many people get into veganism for other reasons, but if you want to try the lifestyle out, you have to prioritize animals. After all, being vegan has plenty of health benefits (that will be covered later), but even a strict diet has cheat days. If you’re not grounded in the concept that animals deserve to live happy, healthy, full lives complete with a natural death, you’re not going to pass on the chicken wings “just this once.”
Veganism is more than a diet, it’s a philosophy. Helping animals is first and foremost, and everything else is a great bonus. If you want more information, many great documentaries are streaming on the subject of animal exploitation.
You Want the Health Benefits of Veganism
Veganism is the best diet for lowering blood pressure and the risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/) As more and more people face these challenges or acknowledge that they may face them in the future, it becomes important to find ways to control them without resorting to endless pharmaceuticals.
While the effects of veganism on things like fatigue and energy levels are less well known, many athletes can attest that the diet is fantastic for training. Big-name stars like Serena Williams and famous Olympic Athlete Carl Lewis are making veganism appealing to people who want high performance.
You Don’t Have Disordered Eating
While veganism has tons of perks for man and beast, it’s not right for everyone at every time. The traditional Western diet is heavy on meat, eggs, and dairy. Cutting these out can be triggering for people with active eating disorders or people who use food to cope with stress. While many people who have struggled with disordered eating do become vegan, it’s best to do so with support from your medical team.
Veganism is a fantastic way to improve your health and save lives. Going vegan cuts down on animal exploitation in a huge way. It can also help protect you from (or help manage) heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. If you want these benefits, veganism just might be right for you.