Why Go Vegan?
Explored by: Chrysalis Yashpal Jayne, ND
There are many reasons that an individual chooses to follow a vegan diet – or live-it, as I like to express the distinction – and many go another large step forward to adopt a vegan lifestyle. Usually the journey entails a series of transitions, while for others – an epiphany!
So… why would you… become a “vegan”, even a “raw vegan”? The benefits are physical, spiritual and environmental; eventually they merge into a conviction – into a “lifestyle”!
The physical benefits are apparent throughout the transition from a S.A.D. (Standard American Diet), to whole food omnivore, to ovo-lacto-pesco vegetarian (is fish really a vegetable?), to ovo-lacto vegetarian, to vegan or raw vegan, to a vegan lifestyle! All the way through this journey, the trick is to moderate your carbohydrates – not “where do you get your protein?” The majority of chronic dis-ease - heart disease, colon and lung cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, obesity and many others – has been clearly linked to the consumption of animal fats and proteins. Vegan foods are naturally low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are rich in fiber, minerals and other nutrients. Across the spectrum, vegans (and vegetarians) enjoy greater health, well-being, energy, mental clarity, joy and intuition than their omnivore counterparts. As with any live-it that is not supported by mainstream societal living, optimal nutrition for vegans takes some innerstanding of one’s dietary individuality and planning.
The spiritual benefits are clear. Simply put, far less karma is sustained when no living thing has to suffer or die for one’s sustenance. At 16, when killing a deer, its soul spoke to me and said – “ why did you kill me? I was eating – and you killed me!” I decided then to be spiritually vegan, and not eat anything that would run, swim or fly away from me if I had to “catch” it myself. The transition took some time and truthfully I have not always maintained that discipline – however, many people do – vigilantly. I support them and endeavor to be there again soon.
The vegan lifestyle broadens one’s commitment to not participate in the suffering of another animal – cruelty free. This means that clothing and shoes (fur, leather, wool, down, silk, etc) and chemicals and cosmetics that are tested on animals are not purchased or consumed – to not be a participant in animals’ suffering.
The environmental benefits of veganism are extensive. Animal agriculture is devastating to our land, topsoil, water, plant and monetary resources. The animal suffering is immense and affects all of us. Reclaiming merely a percentage of these resources for vegan agriculture and economies could eliminate worldwide hunger and significantly reduce environmental destruction. The most encompassing environmental/political action you could take is to “become a vegan” – and that is the best “why”!