If you are living the vegan life or considering it, chances are the question you get asked the most after “What’s the difference between being a vegan and being a vegetarian?” is mostly likely “Why would you do this?” The simple truth is that the benefits of being vegan improve every aspect of your life, from your health to the environmental footprint you leave in this world. Being vegan is not just a diet; it’s a lifestyle choice, and one that you will not regret.
A vegan diet consists of consuming plant-based foods, including fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other legumes, nuts, and seeds. The health benefits from eating this way abound and include reducing the risk of:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Ischemic heart disease
- Some cancers, including prostate, colon, and breast cancer
Plant-based diets are often higher in vitamins, minerals, folic acid, magnesium, and iron, all while being lower in cholesterol and saturated fats. In addition, studies show that a diet without meat can lower your body mass index and keep your weight in check, and many vegans report that they see a great improvement in the look of their skin, hair, and nails!
The philosophy behind being vegan is that not only is it better for your health, it’s better for the environment. Vegans subscribe to a policy of not only not eating meat; they will not consume or use any
thing derived from an animal: this includes eggs, wool, honey, leather, fur, and dairy products.
For many, this policy stems from a concern for the animals and the manner in which they are bred, reared, and fed, as well as the impact these practices have on the environment. A plant-based diet requires only a third of the land needed, compared to the amount of land needed to support a meat- and dairy-based diet, which makes for a more sustainable way of living, according to The Vegan Society.
An increased awareness of one’s health and surroundings is paramount to being vegan, and that is never more apparent than when they make purchases. Vegans seek out consumer goods that are not just not made from animal products, but which are eco-friendly. The Pranamat ECO mat is one such product.
This therapeutic manual massage
mat is made from totally green, eco-safe materials, and it offers a holistic approach to helping you recharge and revitalize yourself while you work, read, or do yoga. When vegans spend their money, it is it for purchases that they know can help them live with the values they support.
Being vegan is not just a trendy diet; it is a way of life that allows you to affect positive change with every meal you consume and every purchase you make. It can open up a new style of living that is filled with purpose, which benefits your health, that is kind to animals and the environment, and which is just plain fun.
There aren’t many things in this world that can accomplish all that in one package, so take pride in being vegan, or in making steps in that direction, such as dropping animal products you don’t like that much, or trying Meatless Mondays.
The next time someone asks the difference between being vegan and being vegetarian, you have the perfect answer: one’s a way of life, and one’s a diet choice, but every step away from animal agriculture is a positive step.