Scientists predict that most people will go vegetarian by 2050 in order to help save resources and fight world hunger. While PETA wants everyone to go vegan right now out of compassion and environmental stewardship, the group is excited about the prospect of a vegetarian world. But why wait until 2050? Being vegan is awesome! Not only do you get to help save the planet—and countless animals—you also get to enjoy an array of tasty foods, including many of the same kinds you grew up with, but without the cholesterol or cruelty and with fewer calories and less saturated fat.
Here are just a few of the benefits of being vegan:
- Each vegan spares more than 100 animals every single year. Talk about bragging rights!
- Your friends will call you “Captain Planet.” It takes one-third less land and water—and 10 times fewer fossil fuels—to produce plant-based foods than animal-based ones.
- According to a 2010 United Nations report, not only do vegan foods require fewer resources, they also cause fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than meat and dairy products.
- It’s easy to maintain a healthy weight (and healthy organs) when you eat wholesome plant-based foods. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), “Vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Vegetarian diets tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and have higher levels of dietary fiber, magnesium and potassium, vitamins C and E, folate, carotenoids, flavonoids and other phytochemicals.”
- Renowned nutrition scientist Dr. David Jenkins says that “the evidence is pretty strong that vegans, who eat no animal products, have the best cardiovascular health profile and the lowest cholesterol levels.” The average vegan has a cholesterol level of 133—77 points lower than the average meat-eating American—and there haven’t been any reported heart attacks in people with cholesterol levels below 150.
- Vegan foods are much tastier than statins and blood pressure pills, too. There are fresh berries, juicy melons, ripe tomatoes, citrus, corn on the cob, asparagus, avocados, artichokes, and other delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables. You can enjoy various ethnic cuisines, great-tasting mock meats, and dairy-free frozen desserts and cheeses from popular vegetarian companies, including So Delicious, Gardein, and Daiya.
- Versatile vegan staples, including beans, rice, vegetables, tofu, and pasta, generally cost less than animal-based foods (especially when you factor in the health-care savings) and can be used to make multiple meals. Not many meat-eaters can whip up a chocolate pie, some sloppy Joes, and an egg salad sandwich using the same main ingredient—tofu.
- Vegans and vegetarians are in good company—many celebrities, athletes, and famous figures, including Alicia Silverstone, Paul McCartney, Bill Clinton, Mac Danzig, Michelle Pfeiffer, Larry Hagman, Anne Hathaway, Albert Schweitzer, and Venus and Serena Williams, choose not to eat meat.
See what I mean? Who wouldn’t want to go vegan? So, if you haven’t already done so, go vegan today and get ahead of the curve. These tips will help get you started. Seriously, what are you waiting for?! The future is really looking …vegan.
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