101 Reasons to Go VeganJill Ettinger
2020 marks the 26th celebration of World Vegan Day. Established by the Vegan Society to commemorate the term “vegan” (which dates back to 1944!), millions of people worldwide now celebrate World Vegan Day. A lot has changed since 1994, though. Vegan food is everywhere these days. From the fresh, whole foods at our local supermarkets and farmers markets to the not-so-healthy-but-still-healthier-than-meat-and-dairy vegan junk food options at fast-food chains around the world, it’s never been easier to go vegan.
You may choose to go vegan for your health, the planet, or the billions of animals slaughtered each year for food. They’re all good reasons to move meat and dairy off of your plate and make room for plant-based food instead.
There are scores of studies pointing to the benefit of eating a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables. But there’s good reason to leave meat off the plate entirely — even prior to the COVID link to animal consumption. According to the World Health Organization, regular consumption of red and processed meats can greatly increase the risk of certain types of cancer. For example, eating fewer than two slices of bacon a day increased the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18 percent.
Just like reducing or eliminating meat from our diets is good for our health, it’s better for the planet, too. According to the United Nations Sustainable Food Systems and Agriculture Programme Management Officer James Lomax, reducing intensively farmed meat consumption is “good for people and the planet.”
A 2018 study conducted by Beyond Meat and the University of Michigan found a big gain in reducing GHGs by reducing meat consumption. The study found that by swapping beef burgers for plant-based options just three times a week on average could save the equivalent emissions produced by 12 million cars.