If we flash back nearly twenty years ago, I can remember going to countless restaurants with my dad (a long-time vegan) and always encountering the same issue: other than a salad, there was no such thing as a vegetarian option. And a vegan option? Not even close. But here we are in 2015, a time where both the vegetarian and vegan ideologies are not only accommodated, but dare I say also popular. So popular that major cities, such as Toronto, are home to events such as the inaugural Toronto Vegan Food Festival, where myself, Samantha, and Arjun from the CE team found ourselves this past weekend. As part of our coverage for the event, we asked attendees a series of questions to help us identify whether or not there are good enough reasons for us all to consider a vegan diet. We asked people what inspired them to go vegan, and whether or not they’ve experienced any improvements in their health since making the switch. Check it out: The majority of people cited one pretty obvious reason for going vegan – compassion for animals, a stance that certainly seems justifiable, especially considering the insight we have gained in recent years about the realities of factory farming. For those who are interested in looking into this situation deeper, I suggest you check out any of the following articles we’ve already featured on our site. I do warn you, however, that some of the content featured within some of these articles is graphic in nature. Can You Face The Reality Of Factory Farming? These People Couldn’t (Graphic) 10 Alarming Facts About Factory Farms That Will Break Your Heart Factory Farming Exposed And You’ll Never Guess Who’s Doing It The second most common impetus for going vegan has to do with its proven health benefits. In fact, I personally began my still-progressing journey towards a vegan lifestyle due to health reasons. What started as recurring stomach aches after consuming dairy (which research is showing to be quite common) and red meat led me down the rabbit hole of research and towards a shift in diet, and it seems that I am certainly not alone. Not only have I personally experienced far fewer health issues since shifting my diet closer to a vegan one, but I’ve also felt much more energetic – just as many of the attendees also revealed.
The third reason is one that Scott, an elementary school teacher we interviewed, spoke about at some length, and that is the impact that a non-vegan lifestyle has on the environment. In my opinion, the most impactful and comprehensive resource showing this is the documentary Cowspiracy. In just 85 minutes, the documentary shows us just how much of an impact eating meat is having on our environment and how substantially it ripples out into so many of the issues we are facing today. ——————————- What are your thoughts on veganism? Are these reasons enough to make you curious about joining the increasingly popular movement? If you are already a vegan, be sure to share your inspiration via the comment section below. While a full-scale transition to a vegan lifestyle may be difficult, and I can attest to that, these reasons, in combination with the potential benefits that can be experienced from it, certainly seem like enough motivation to at least try it out. Perhaps start with going vegan just one day a week, or even making just one homemade vegan meal per week. Every little bit helps, it really doesn’t have to be ‘all or nothing.’ For ideas on what to make for that meal, stay posted to our YouTube channel, as we will soon be releasing our second video from the Toronto Vegan Food Festival which asked: What is your favourite vegan meal or dish? .
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