Above is the vegan food pyramid. We go heavy on the fruits, veggies and whole grains and light on the oils, fats, sweets just like the non-vegan food pyramid. So, in looking at this, you can see how it's healthier to be vegan than not to be vegan. It is, however, easy to be a junk food vegan so you still need to watch your calories. But when making veggies and fruits the basis of your food plate, it's easy to squeeze out the higher calorie food.
I look at the benefits of being vegan on three levels: benefiting your health, the animals and the planet.
People who eat more plant based foods have a lower risk of some cancers, lower risk of heart disease, they have lower cholesterol and report that they feel healthier. The saturated fats found in meat and dairy are damaging to the human body, especially the cardiovascular system. Also, you want to think about your immune system-eating healthier helps build your immune system so you get sick less.
Factory farming damages the planet by using tons of water, dumping animal waste and chemicals into the water and wasting food. The food used to feed the livestock could be used to feed the billion people on the planet who are starving. So much energy is put into feeding and then slaughtering the animals that it's causing global warming to occur at a higher rate by emitting damaging gases into atmosphere. The animals are given antibiotics and hormones which are then going into your body.
Animals are not treated well on factory farms. Gone are the days where you see animals grazing in a pasture, running and forming relationships with each other, and leading healthy lives. The animals on factory farms are shoved in cages, live in their own waste and are slaughtered with no pain killers. Check out my facebook page for a link to 5 videos that show how damaging factory farms are to...everything.
I'm vegan for the animals. No animal should ever have to live in deplorable conditions, ripped from their babies and abused and neglected. My inspiration for becoming and staying vegan is to not participate in the abuse of animals.
I'm excited to be vegan for yet another year! 2014 is going to rock :)