People keep asking me why I went vegan, so I decided to share the top 6 reasons. Check out the list below, and do let me know if you agree or disagree with me as well as your own reasons as to why you would or you wouldn’t go vegan yourself 😉
6 Reasons Why I Went Vegan:
- For our planet: if there has ever been a single decision that an individual can take right now, which will have a direct impact on our climate and our planet in general, and that requires no government or other kind of approval, it is changing your diet. In short, since 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions are coming from our livestock and their byproducts, the less meat we consume, the better it is for our planet and our climate. Period. [There are many sources on the fact that Eating Less Meat is Essential to Curb Climate Change. Furthermore, you should check out these recent and notorious documentaries on the topic: Before the Flood and Cowspiracy]
- For the animals: as a dog owner and animal lover, I have absolutely no doubt that most animals have a degree of consciousness and are able to experience nearly the full range of human emotions – from pleasure and pain to jealousy, sadness, and happiness. We also know that many animals exhibit incredible intelligence, often surpassing that of newborn human babies and toddlers. Thus, I do not want to partake in causing any suffering to any animal if I can avoid doing so. And being vegan is an easy way to at least diminish greatly, if not avoid causing any harm to animals whatsoever.
- For us, so that AI has a good precedent of treating lesser intelligence: under our current paradigm, humanity considers itself entitled to kill any less-intelligent species for food, pleasure, and entertainment. So what happens to us if we stop being the smartest species on our planet? Should we be treated the same way as we treat others right now? I believe that if we want to be treated with respect and dignity by higher intelligence – be it AIs or aliens from space, then we must show by example that we can also treat lower intelligence with respect, kindness, and dignity. So that, in turn, we have both the precedent and the hope that we can and should be treated in kind. Because if AI treats us the way we treat animals today, we are going to experience enormous suffering, industrialized genocide, and possibly even extinction.
- For me and my personal health: I must admit that it was mostly the above 3 reasons that pushed me to go vegan. And at the beginning, I had serious concerns about my own personal health. [Ill-informed questions such as “How will I get enough protein, iron, and calcium?” were some of my main concerns.] But after observing the effects of going “cold turkey” vegan – both in terms of my blood tests but also subjective feeling and objective sports performance, I was somewhat shocked to discover how easy and good veganism is for me. Since then, I have spent a lot of time educating myself and looking at many medical studies, and I am now convinced that going vegan has been the best decision I have ever taken for my own health. [ Check out How Not to Die, Forks over Knives, or NutritionFacts.org to learn more.]
- For you, not to force you but to gently show you that it is possible. And that I will not be protein, iron, or calcium deficient but stronger and healthier, maybe even smarter than ever. Just like I myself have been inspired by some of the greatest people in history who have been either vegetarian or vegan: Buddha, Gandhi, Confucius, Pythagoras of Samos, Plato, Virgil, Voltaire, Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Edward Witten, Brian Greene, Steve Jobs, Franz Kafka, George Bernard Shaw, Leo Tolstoy, Leonardo da Vinci, Plutarch, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carl Lewis, Prince, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Bob Marley, Ricky Martin, and many others, you may not even be aware of.
- For our future: Veganism is the most efficient and most likely path to a more sustainable, healthier, and abundant future. For one, if we stop slaughtering the 70+ billion animals we kill annually on our planet and redirect our resources to grow more fruit, grains, and vegetables, we can sustainably produce enough food to feed 14 billion people. Secondly, the future of meat is lab-grown. Chances are that, within a decade or so, bioprinted meat will be cheaper, easier to produce, better tasting by design, and, since it is suffering-free, it will also be vegan. So, in time, most meat in our stores will likely be vegan meat, and thus, one way or another, our future will be vegan. And our current practices will eventually be deemed barbaric by future generations. So why wait, and keep doing more damage but not jump on the future bandwagon now and be a leader rather than a follower?
Each of the above reasons should be sufficient to make you consider going vegan on its own. But when you combine them all together, I think the case is pretty much closed, at least as far as I am concerned. Thus, for me, veganism is a win-win-win-win-win-win scenario at every level I can think of. And so it was an easy, no-brainer-type of a decision, one that I have not only not regretted once but have been increasingly happy with. In fact, I believe it is one of the very best things I have ever done.
And here are my top 6 most favorite quotes on the topic:
“Although I have been prevented by outward circumstances from observing a strictly vegetarian diet, I have long been an adherent to the cause in principle. Besides agreeing with the aims of vegetarianism for aesthetic and moral reasons, it is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.”
Translation of letter to Hermann Huth, December 27, 1930. Einstein Archive 46-756
“On general principles the raising of cattle as a means of providing food is objectionable. It is certainly preferable to raise vegetables, and I think, therefore, that vegetarianism is a commendable departure from the established barbarian habit. That we can subsist on plant food and perform our work even to advantage is not a theory but a well-demonstrated fact. Many races living almost exclusively on vegetables are of superior physique and strength. There is no doubt that some plant food, such as oatmeal, is more economical than meat, and superior to it in regard to both mechanical and mental performance. Such food, moreover, taxes our digestive organs decidedly less, and in making us more contented and sociable, produces an amount of good difficult to estimate. In view of these facts every effort should be made to stop the wanton, cruel slaughter of animals, which must be destructive to our morals.”
“I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”
Leonardo da Vinci
“A human body in no way resembles those that were born for ravenousness; it hath no hawk’s bill, no sharp talon, no roughness of teeth, no such strength of stomach or heat of digestion, as can be sufficient to convert or alter such heavy and fleshy fare. But if you will contend that you were born to an inclination to such food as you have now a mind to eat, do you then yourself kill what you would eat. But do it yourself, without the help of a chopping-knife, mallet or axe, as wolves, bears, and lions do, who kill and eat at once. Rend an ox with thy teeth, worry a hog with thy mouth, tear a lamb or a hare in pieces, and fall on and eat it alive as they do. But if thou had rather stay until what thou eat is to become dead, and if thou art loath to force a soul out of its body, why then dost thou against nature eat an animate thing? There is nobody that is willing to eat even a lifeless and a dead thing even as it is; so they boil it, and roast it, and alter it by fire and medicines, as it were, changing and quenching the slaughtered gore with thousands of sweet sauces, that the palate being thereby deceived may admit of such uncouth fare.”
“Animals are my friends…and I don’t eat my friends.”
George Bernard Shaw
“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.”