Illustration: Stephen Cheetham/Guardian
1. You’ll help to save the world. Livestock farming accounts for 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gases each year – that’s roughly the same amount as the emissions from all the cars and planes in the world combined, which means eating meat and dairy leads to one of the biggest dangers the planet faces.
2. And save water. Food farming takes water as a standard, but what’s needed to produce fruit and vegetables is a fraction of the amount used for meat.
3. The rainforests will thank you. The world lost more than one football pitch of forest every second in 2017, and it has been claimed that 137 species of plants and animals become extinct every day from the rainforest as a result of meat farming.
4. As will the oceans. Face facts, fish-eaters: seahorses, turtles, whales and dolphins are often killed as the “bycatch” of commercial fishing methods – which also obliterate our coral reefs.
5. There’s a chance you’ll live longer. A plant-based diet contains fewer saturated fats than a carnivorous one, leading to a reduced risk of heart disease. Vegans also have fewer cases of diabetes, obesity and diet-related cancers.
6. There’s plenty of protein in vegan food. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like lentils – they aren’t the only way for vegans to get the protein they need. Peanut butter on toast, kidney beans in veg chilli and sunflower seeds on cereal all do the job.
7. Vegans can have junk food too. Chips, fizzy drinks, biscuits and crisps can all be vegan-friendly – just watch out for animal-based ingredients such as gelatine.
8. The vegan wine is flowing. Vegan winemakers have found mineral alternatives to the bone marrow and fish bladders traditionally used as fining agents to remove unwanted particles. M&S has even pledged to make all its own-label wines vegan by 2022.
9. You could train harder, better, faster. We once thought ditching red meat could leave us weak and unfit. Tell that to Venus Williams, Lewis Hamilton or David Haye, who all follow plant-based diets.
10. You’ll be looking out for the next generation. Not eating meat means you will save 30sq ft of forest and one animal’s life every single day for future generations. That’s quite a legacy to leave.
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