Human history has seen many dietary changes. From the eating of fruits and raw foods before the discovery of fire, to the largely meat-centric diet that dominated the food world after cooking was invented, and now into today’s high fat and high calorie processed foods. The culinary habits of human beings leave negative footprints on the environment considering that animals must graze, and through their CO2 producing waste, destroy the atmosphere. Incidentally, health experts from the late 20th century until today, have published data which shows that those who adopt a vegan food lifestyle are less inclined to have health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and more. Adopting a vegan lifestyle is not only healthy, it is common sense. Yet, the vegan and vegetarian diets as a lifestyle has caused controversy in society from time immemorial; individuals like Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein and Percy Byshee Shelley were considered cultists or mad as a result of the preference. Some of the negative feelings for this way of life has changed substantially as more and more people are becoming vegan by the day, although some still view the concept with skepticism. Health and well-being, environmental protection, and spiritual transcendence are benefits of the vegan lifestyle that are worth exploring.
Health and well-being are the preoccupations of any sensible human being today. This is because good health helps people to live a quality life with a great potential for happiness. Everyone wants to be happy which is commendable, but when it comes to food, people seem to always make choices that lead to ill health and unhappiness. In an article titled “Nutritional Update for Physician: Plant-Based Diets” Phillip J Tuso et al, promote the idea of vegan diets as solutions to health and wellness. This team of physicians seeks to educate fellow health practitioners on encouraging patients to take up a plant-based diet as opposed to meat based ones. Those who take up this dietary lifestyle avoid dairy products and eggs, as well as all processed foods, enjoy better health in relation to lower body mass index, low-blood pressure, and low-cholesterol levels. These medical scholars along with other collaborative studies suggest that taking up plant-based diets is beneficial to people with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and more.
Moreover, Vegan food is also amazing because it not only improves the health, but also ensures the protection of the environment. Climate change and greenhouse gas emissions are major concerns of our age, and beef-based dietary lifestyles are not helping in the least. In an article titled, “Eating Less Meat isn’t just Good for you, it could Save the Planet”, Adam Briggs posits that major steps must be taken to reverse climate change, increase global food security, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture as a practice produces 30% of all greenhouse emissions, 15% of which is caused by manure from grazing livestock. In terms of resources like water used for cultivating, plant-based foods consume less water than animals. Grazing practices also cause more droughts and soil erosion which is bad for the planet. Most times, the meat that people end up consuming is not very healthy because of the chemicals used to enhance growth. For the sake of the environment, adopting vegan food alternatives is profitable.
Equally, those who adopt a vegan lifestyle enjoy a sense of spiritual transcendence that is also illuminating and exhilarating. Killing animals (even for food), is an aspect of cruelty that most vegans abhor. It is common knowledge that the most aggressive species often go extinct as a result of their habits. This is survival of the fittest at its best. Murdering and eating meat is barbaric in itself. Spiritual transcendence is achieved when the human mind accepts that Mother Earth must be treated with respect and that the harmonious existence of man and beast is realized. By eating just enough for sustenance without massacring other species, creates a wholeness in the universe that benefits humanity.
Vegan food lifestyles have many merits that include good health, the protection of the planet, and spiritual harmony. The choices are wide and varied that makes for delicious and healthy food. Unfortunately, beef-based diets (which have been proven time and again to be pretty harmful to the human body and the environment), are promoted by stakeholders of the food industry for profit. Vegan food is economical and affordable and as experts has shown consistently, is better for the body than the beef alternative. It is time for us to be more embracing of this healthy plan, it is not by accident that great geniuses like Einstein and Da Vinci kept to a plant-based diet.
Briggs, Adam. “Eating Less Meat isn’t just Good for you, it could Save the Planet” The Guardian. November 2015.
Tuso, Philip J, Mohamed H Ismail, Benjamin P Ha and Carole Bartolotto. “Nutritional Update for Physician: Plant-Based Diets”. The Permanente Journal. Spring 2013. 17(2): 61-66.