The Ultimate Lifestyle Change: Veganism for a Better World
Friday, May 19, 2017 - Author: Kate B. Forsyth
Veganism is a Lifestyle Choice
We often hear the word vegan being thrown around in everyday conversation. Plenty of celebrities are being outright vocal about them being vegan. And most of them are urging everyone else to embrace this lifestyle. Some examples are sisters and actresses Kate and Rooney Mara, former Spider-Man Tobey Maguire, Glee star Lea Michele, actor Joaquin Phoenix, musician Moby, and Ms. Cher Horowitz herself, Alicia Silverstone.
So how did this lifestyle come about? In 1944, Donald Watson of the Vegan Society of England coined the term vegan. It originally meant "nondairy vegetarian." In 1951, it was then redefined by society as "the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals."
To put it simply, veganism is a lifestyle choice where you abstain from the use of animal products and reject the commodity status of animals. This means condemning all forms of exploitation of and cruelty to all animals, either for food, clothing, or any other purpose.
In the United States, veganism started growing in popularity around the year 2010. Many vegan stores started opening, and vegan products and options became easily and increasingly available in restaurants, supermarkets, and of course, in health food shops.
Keep in mind that in veganism, it's not just about the food you eat. It means shunning and avoiding all kinds of products that exploit animals for any purpose. That means doing your research on accessories, clothing, makeup, bathroom items, etc., ensuring that these products do not test on animals or use animals in any way.
Also, since full-fledged vegans don't support animal exploitation in any way, shape, or form, they avoid visiting zoos, circuses, or aquariums. They also denounce dog racing, cockfighting, or horse racing. Instead, they fully support animal sanctuaries that provide safe and loving homes for rescued animals.
So why should you drop your current lifestyle and turn to veganism? There's plenty of reasons why.
Protects Animal Rights
When you start practicing veganism, you're not only helping yourself, you're helping our animal friends too. You will be able to lessen the suffering and killing of poor, defenseless animals. Remember, animals have feelings too. These precious ones are not yours to use for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation, or any other reason. This, I think, is the best reason for going vegan.
Since you'll be eliminating all kinds of meat and other unhealthy products from your diet, going vegan will eventually make you lose weight. Vegans tend to be thinner, have lower body mass indexes (BMIs), and are less likely to obese or overweight. Vegan diets also have a natural tendency to reduce calorie intake. So go ahead, eat all you want; there's no need to count the calories.
Veganism leads to healthy, clear, and blemish-free skin. Vitamins C and E that you get from all that vegetables and fruits act as powerful antioxidants that neutralize harmful and skin-damaging free radicals. They also fight wrinkles, age spots, laugh lines, and crow's feet. This provides you with an overall healthy and vibrant appearance.
Boosts Bone Health
Vegan diets contain essential nutrients like vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium. All three contribute to bone health. An acidic diet leads to the loss of calcium when we urinate. However, the potassium and magnesium content of a vegan diet provides alkalinity to the diet. This reduces bone loss. In fact, studies show that vitamin K reduces the risk of hip fractures. Going vegan also reduces the risk of osteoporosis. And finally, it improves bone mineral density and bone formation in postmenopausal women.
Many studies show that switching to a vegan diet displays great improvement in arthritis symptoms such as joint swelling, morning stiffness, and pain. The vegan diet contains natural antibodies that possess anti-inflammatory and atheroprotective effects. The fiber, carotenoids, and vitamins C and E also help fight arthritis.
A vegan diet is made up of plant-based food that naturally contains a healthy amount of complex carbohydrates and low fat content. These two factors control diabetes. Vegans are also noted to have lower blood sugar levels, higher insulin sensitivity, and lower risks of developing type-2 diabetes. Finally, studies also show that a vegan diet provides full relief of systemic distal polyneuropathy symptoms. This is a condition in diabetics that causes sharp burning pain.
Fortifies Cardiovascular Health
The vegan diet makes use of plenty of nuts and whole grains, which are heart healthy. Thus, vegans have a lower risk of developing high blood pressure. They also have a lower risk of dying from heart disease. In addition, going vegan also reduces LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. Other components involved in the diet also reduce strokes and ischemic heart disorder.
Helps the Environment
Going vegan will ultimately help the environment. The production of animal products places a heavy burden on the environment. How? The grain feed needed for meat production is a huge contributor to deforestation, habitat loss, and species extinction. Veganism looks for alternative ways to still function without harming anyone or anything, most especially Mother Earth. When you think about it, in the long run, we're not only doing this for ourselves or the planet, but for our children and our children's children. Do we want to leave them a polluted and dying earth? I think not.
So let's go and make that change. You don't have to completely accept veganism and all its tenets. Slowly but surely, you can do your part to save the environment and improve our children's future.
LEARN MORE: Visit the "Be Healthy Today" website, their mission is to help people live happy and healthy lives.