Why Being Vegan Isn’t the Same as ‘Being on a Diet’

Here’s some food for thought: Being vegan is a way of life—not a “diet.” While vegan foods are cholesterol-free and associated with better health outcomes, many humans go vegan to help prevent the suffering of other sentient beings, combat the climate catastrophe, and conserve natural resources. Although vegans often reach their weight goals and reduce their risk of developing cancer, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and other health problems, there are more compelling reasons to follow the lifestyle.

It’s estimated that each vegan spares nearly 200 animals every year just by not eating them. Our fellow animals feel pain, joy, and other emotions; value their lives; and grieve when they lose a loved one. They also have unique personalities, likes, and dislikes. By going vegan, you’ll help prevent animals from being used in experiments, killed for food or clothing, or victimized by other industries that exploit them.

‘Vegan’ Is About More Than Just Food!

While it’s encouraging that more and more humans are enjoying vegan foods, “vegan” refers to much more than just what we eat. Vegans also seek to reduce animal suffering in the experimentation, clothing, and entertainment industries.

In places few people ever see, universities still perform cruel and scientifically flawed animal experiments—including the forced swim test, which compels mice and other small animals to tread water in inescapable beakers for fear of drowning. In other cruel laboratory tests, animals are force-fed shampoo or dosed with face cream. Fortunately, thousands of companies don’t test their products on animals, and PETA scientists have created the Research Modernization Deal, which promotes investing in progressive research methods that help humans without hurting animals.

The fashion industry is starting to acknowledge that animal skin isn’t fabric. You can now find vegan leather made from pineapple, banana, grapes, cork, or other animal-friendly materials, and compassionate designers like Joshua Katcher and Stella McCartney are producing more ethically made designs.

As for entertainment, more and more people are refusing to support marine parks, circuses, and other venues that keep whales, dolphins, elephants, and other animals trapped in tanks or behind bars. Additionally, an increasing number of travel providers—including TripAdvisor—have stopped selling tickets to animal exhibits.

What would it say about us if we chose cruelty over kindness? Please opt not only to eat vegan foods but also to support only non-animal research methods, wear animal-friendly clothing, choose other cruelty-free products, and seek animal-free entertainment. That’s what it truly means to be vegan.

Pledge to go vegan today!