Eating a plant-based (vegan) diet is the nation's fastest-growing food trend, and for good reason. The more vegan meals we eat, the more benefits we will feel and bestow. Whenever someone asks me why I follow a plant-based diet, I reply, "For my health, my pocketbook, the animals, the environment and humanity."
1. Your Health
Vegan meals have 0 cholesterol (cholesterol only exists in animal products like meat, eggs, fish and dairy, there is no cholesterol in plant foods), which is great news for your heart! Vegan meals also tend to be high in fiber, low in fat and rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The now-famous China Study also showed that eating a plant-based diet can prevent, cure and reverse devastating and life-threatening diseases, like heart disease.
2. Your Wallet
Vegan meals are a bargain! Bean and grains cost a fraction of the price of meat. On average, each of our meals costs $2.50 or less. Even when you shop totally organic, if your grocery cart is only full of vegan fare, you can expect a huge savings. I cut our grocery bill in half when we went vegetarian, and shaved almost another $100/mo off when we took the leap to vegan. We are a family of three adults, and two dogs (on home cooked meals).
3. Our Environment
Eating vegan is the most eco-friendly and sustainable way we can eat.
4. The Animals
The lives and deaths of farm animals are horrifyingly brutal, both physically and psychologically. As a consumer picking up the end product, it's easy to be oblivious rather than conscious.
If the world went vegetarian, we would erase world hunger overnight. Instead of feeding grains to live stock, we could feed it to the hungry. We would also have plenty of clean water to go around. Once acre of land can produce either 20,000 pounds of potatoes or a measly 165 pounds of meat. Every time you choose a vegan meal, you vote to end hunger.
Every time you can eat a vegan meal, do it—your body will thank you.
Lindsay S. Nixon is a rising star in the culinary world, praised for her ability to use everyday ingredients to create healthy, low fat recipes that taste just as delicious as they are nutritious. She is the author of the bestselling cookbook, The Happy Herbivore Cookbook and she recently released a second cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore. Lindsay's recipes have also been featured in Vegetarian Times, Women's Health Magazine and on The Huffington Post.