I became plant-based when my baby was born. I had been a vegetarian for almost 5 years, and I never, ever thought I could live without dairy or eggs. No more pizza? No more biscuits? No more baked brie? No way!
Then, I watched one too many documentaries on Netflix, did my own research, and was determined to do what was best for me, my family, and the planet.
After baby was born and I began breastfeeding, I became hyper aware of everything I put into my body – from foods and beverages to shampoos and mouth washes. Everything that was going on or in my body was affecting my newborn in some way.
Regardless of whether or not you are a new mama, there are several reasons to become plant-based.
I originally thought that buying more produce and fake “meats” would be more expensive. However, I quickly learned that produce is most of what we buy as plant-based eaters. And we buy it OFTEN, and it’s way cheaper than buying processed foods, meats, and cheeses.
Plant-based protein such as beans, nut butters, tofu, tempeh, etc, is much cheaper than animal-based protein. A can of organic beans can cost as low as $1.50, which feeds a household of 3 for one meal, compared to 1.5 pounds of chicken or 2 pounds of beef, which ranges anywhere from $6-$15.
We rarely buy fake meat – veggie burgers, veggie dogs, cheezes, etc. There are tons of vegan, plant-based, whole-food recipes that don’t require replicating your omnivorous favs. We save veggie burgers for special events or after long hikes.
Overall, it saves money!
2. It saves the environment.
This is the most compelling reason to become plant-based. Water use for meat and dairy agriculture is not sustainable. It takes over 600 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk and over 1800 gallons of water to produce 1lb of beef – that’s a lot of water for that steak!
Meat and dairy production also takes land. Over 50 million acres in the US are used to grow food for animals, while approximately 4 million acres are being used for plants for human consumption. This leads to deforestation, over-use of land, and loss of biodiversity.
It’s a well-known fact that methane from cows – raised for cattle meat and dairy – contribute to excessive greenhouse gas emissions. Other aspects of agriculture, such as enteric fermentation, manure management, and fertilization also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
Shew. Is your head spinning yet? Mine too – I can’t believe how much land and water is used inefficiently!
3. Being plant-based promotes a healthy lifestyle.
Being vegan isn’t a diet – it’s a lifestyle. I was never concerned with how my body or weight would change after dropping meat and dairy from my diet. I also knew that once I stopped buying meat or dairy, I was never going to buy it again for myself – I felt so much better after I stopped eating it.
Being plant-based is a life-long commitment for me and about more than just eliminating animal products from my diet. I’m slowly actively incorporating more vegan friendly skin care products and clothing into my life – looking for the never tested on animals label and steering clear of suede and leather.
4. It limits baby’s exposure to pollutants through breast milk.
This one is for new mamas and their babies! I learned about dioxins while watching What the Health on Netflix – one of those documentaries that makes you question everything.
Dioxins are a type of organic pollutant found in food and soil. Humans are most commonly exposed to it by eating meat and dairy. They are passed through breast milk to babies (and placenta to fetuses) and are considered hazardous due to the probability of causing birth defects, severe developmental delays, autoimmune disorders, and cancer. But, what are the chances…..right?
I want happy, healthy babies, and if that means nixing dairy from my diet, sobeit!
5. Animals are our friends.
Okay. Before the omnivores freak-out, yes, I understand the food chain. However, I LOVE animals – all animals – from birds and snakes and fish to dogs and cows and horses and elephants and you get my point.
I personally can’t justify eating a cow, pig, or deer when I own a dog – all of which are mammals, who care for their young. I love dogs – I would never eat one. Although, they still do in many parts of the world. I personally can’t see the difference – an animal is an animal – you can choose if you want to eat it.
I won’t even get into factory farming and the meat and dairy industry. Simply put, there is no humane way to kill an animal.
My ultimate goal is to become a better human. We don’t have to eat animals to thrive. 🙂
6. All the cool kids are doing it.
No, I’m not kidding! Lots of famous people have hopped on the vegan train – Ellen DeGeneres, Natalie Portman, Jason Mraz, Cam Newton, Ariana Grande, Alicia Silverstone, the list goes on.
Whether it be for health, athletics, skin appearance, or animal activism, many celebrities have switched to a plant-based diet. If they can do it, you sure can, too!
Have you become plant-based? Why or why not? Comment below.