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World Vegan Day: 6 reasons to go vegan

It's better for you, animals, and the planet 

Mimi Bekhechi
Thursday 29 October 2015 17:18 GMT
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Home made spinach and mushroom pizza with vegan cheese
Home made spinach and mushroom pizza with vegan cheese (WestEnd61/REX Shutterstock)

As veganism becomes more mainstream and the amount of products on offer grows, the question is no longer “why are you vegan?” but “why aren't you vegan?”.

Vegans don’t consume any animal products, while also ditching leather, fur and silk.

Here are a few of the many reasons that people are going vegan faster than you can say “pass me the fakin' bacon”.

A meaty fry-up can be carcinogenic

A full English breakfast (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A report just released by the World Health Organization warns that processed meats rank alongside cigarettes as a major cause of cancer.

According to the findings, 50g of processed meat a day – the equivalent of one sausage or less than two slices of bacon – increases the chance of developing bowel cancer by 18 per cent.

It's the best way to help animals

Auckland welcomes new born lambs (Jason Oxenham/Getty)

There is simply no better way to help animals and prevent their suffering than by going vegan. In many industrial farms, animals are kept in cramped conditions, and will never raise families, forage for food or do anything else that is natural and important to them.

Most won't even get to feel the warmth of the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto lorries headed for the slaughter house.

We are not baby cows

Milk (Graeme Robertson/Getty Images)

Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do – to feed their babies. However, on dairy farms, calves are separated from their mothers shortly after birth so that the milk nature intended for them can instead be consumed by humans.

It would actually be more natural for any adult still drinking milk to drink human breast milk – if that thought turns your stomach, so should the thought of drinking cows' milk.

It helps prevent heart disease

Tomatoes (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Eating foods loaded with animal fats is literally killing us. Coronary heart disease, which is linked to a meat-based diet, is the leading cause of death in the UK. On average, 224 people die of heart disease in this country each day.

The good news is that we can help prevent the majority of cardiovascular diseases simply by adopting a plant-based diet.

Animal agriculture is killing the planet

Cows are seen at a new dairy farm (OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

Forget energy-efficient light bulbs or hybrid cars – the best thing we can do to help the environment is to stop eating animal flesh. Meat production is a leading cause of climate change, water depletion, soil erosion and most other environmental problems, according to United Nations scientists.

Eating vegetables and grains directly, instead of funnelling them through animals, also uses far less land and water, which is why the UN has said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from the worst effects of climate change.

Vegan food is flippin' delicious

Vegan cake (OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

Think that going vegan means you'll have to give up hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and ice cream? Think again.

As the demand for vegan food skyrockets, companies are coming out with more and more delicious vegan meat and non-dairy foods which have all the taste of the real stuff but none of the cholesterol or cruelty.

Mimi Bekhechi is the Director of PETA UK

Click here to order your free vegan starter kit

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