Here are the 3 main reasons why people decide to make the switch to veganism.
Have you ever wondered what motivates people to change their lifestyle? When it comes to veganism, people make the switch for different reasons. Here are three main motivators why people today choose to be vegan:
1. The environment
With the rise of the green movement, people want to protect their planet and the limited amount of resources on it. According to David Alexander of the Toronto Vegetarian Association, industrialized farming is one of the worst environmental offenders due to human consumption of milk, eggs and meat. Some people can’t help but question where their food is coming from and veganism appeals to them as a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Alexander believes the rise in veganism is because people are more aware of our effect on the planet.
“It’s a new phenomenon because more people have become aware of the environmental hazards in the last few years. There’s cases of agricultural waste, cases of soil contamination which is having a huge impact on climate change,” he said.
2. To become healthier
Another popular reason for switching to veganism is the desire to live healthier. In recent years more people have been choosing veganism to lower their risk of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to dietician Andrea Glenn. With the proliferation of vegan-friendly health food stores and restaurants, it’s become easier for people to make everyday vegan choices for a healthier lifestyle.
“A lot of people think of struggle when they consider going vegan. People worry a lot about protein and how they’re going to get it if they eliminate meat, but the main thing is to eat beans, nuts and seeds and then add lots of tofu,” says Glenn.
“I always tell my patients it’s about portion sizes. Changing your diet, a lot of the time it has to do with cutting back on the amount you eat,” says Glenn.
Toronto resident Alan Witz has been vegetarian for 15 years and vegan for the last three. He believes veganism can be motivated by multiple factors:
“To me being vegan is all about being reasonable. You need to understand why you’re doing it and it has to be for the right reasons. To me, vegan has two meanings: healthier diet versus animal rights,” Witz said.
3. Animal welfare
One of the oldest and most popular reasons for going vegan is the concern for animal rights. Centuries ago, some of the earliest vegetarians in ancient India and Greece were motivated by compassion for animal rights and non-violence. Now, since the start of PETA in 1980, the fight for animal rights has remained on of the leading causes of vegan and vegetarianism. “There have been more investigations into specific farms and what happens to the animals. It’s one of the oldest reasons on why people are vegan and with the growth of PETA, people nowadays are starting to ask more questions and taking a stand against cruelty,” Alexander said.
“People are more aware of what is happening around them, and with animal rights there’s more awareness of the cause,” says Witz.
With environmental concern, healthier living and animal rights, it’s clear that the vegan uprise is not slowing down. It’s important to understand the reasons behind veganism because it’s more than a lifestyle change-it’s also a serious commitment to something you believe in.