November is National Vegan Month. People choose to be vegan for health, environmental, and/or ethical reasons. Many vegans choose this lifestyle to promote a more humane and caring world. A vegan diet is one that consists of only plant-derived foods. Vegans don’t use or consume any animals or animal products including flesh (land or sea animals), milk, eggs, or honey.
The key to a nutritionally sound vegan diet is variety. A healthy and varied vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Check out the following list of reasons to go vegan according to an article in the Huffington Post.
1. Eating processed meat increases the risk of death from heart disease by 72 percent.
3. Men who eat 2.5 eggs or more a week have an 81 percent greater chance of developing lethal prostate cancer than those who eat fewer than .5 eggs a week.
4. People who regularly eat processed or red meat are up to 50 percent more likely to develop colon cancer, the second most common cancer worldwide, than individuals who avoid these foods altogether.
5. Vegans have 34 percent fewer incidences of female-specific cancers, like breast, cervical and ovarian cancer.
6. Dairy consumption can trigger acne.
7. Hey Dairy Council: Cow’s milk does not “do a body good.” In fact, it can leech calcium from your bones.
8. About 60 percent of adults can’t digest milk… and humans are the only animals to drink another animal’s milk and to drink milk as adults!
9. Kale contains more calcium per calorie than milk — 90 grams per serving — and is better absorbed.
10. Vegans have lower rates of obesity and weigh 5 to 20 pounds less than meat eaters.
11. One in three American children is overweight or obese. A vegan diet, high in fiber, low in fat, cholesterol free, and rich with vitamins and minerals, is an excellent choice for healthy children.
12. A vegan diet has been shown to help treat Type 2 diabetes for many diagnosed with the disease.
13. Our daily protein requirement can easily be met with high protein legumes, nuts, seeds, grains and even leafy vegetables. Consider that many of our top athletes, among them tennis champion Serena Williams, the world’s strongest man Patrik Baboumian, MMA fighter Mac Danzig, triathlete Brendan Brazier, and NFL fullback Tony Fiametta are clearly getting all the protein they need!
14. A study led by Dean Ornish, M.D., showed telomeres, DNA-protein complexes that are markers of health and longevity, were elongated among men who adopted a low-fat, plant-based diet.
15. Omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil are good for you, but are plentiful in plant sources such as hemp seeds, flax seeds, and seaweeds.
16. Worried about B-12 in a vegan diet? Adding fortified foods like breakfast cereals, non-dairy milk, and nutritional yeast make it easy to get the recommended daily intake. Most multivitamins also contain ample B-12.
17. There is a strong correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and the consumption of meat and dairy.
As if the above aren’t enough compelling reasons to join the growing ranks of vegans, there’s the terrifying and the downright gross:
18. Pig poop, anyone? The USDA is piloting a program at pig slaughterhouses that speeds up kill lines by 20 percent while halving the number of inspectors. The result? Whole chunks of feces made it to the end of the processing line before being caught by inspectors.
19. Antibiotics used on factory farmed animals are creating life threatening “superbugs.” About 80 percent of U.S. antibiotics are used to keep farmed animals alive in crowded filthy conditions. Bacteria are evolving to resist these antibiotics, leading to new antibiotic-resistant infections. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 2 million people get sick and at least 23,000 die as a result.
20. Go vegan for a healthy mind as well! Vegans have lower incidences of anxiety and depression than meat eaters.