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Top 10 Reasons to Go Vegan in the New Year

Many people’s New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, eating better, getting healthier, and doing more to make the world a better place. The good news is that you can accomplish all these goals by switching to a vegan diet—and you’ll enjoy delicious, satisfying meals as well. Here are our top 10 reasons to go vegan this year:

  1. Slim down and become energized: Is shedding some extra pounds first on your list of goals for the new year? Vegans are, on average, up to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters are. And unlike unhealthy fad diets, which leave you feeling tired (and usually don’t keep the pounds off for long), going vegan is the healthy way to keep the excess fat off for good while leaving you with plenty of energy.
  2. It’s the best way to help animals: Did you know that every vegan saves more than 100 animals a year? There is simply no easier way to help animals and prevent suffering than by choosing vegan foods over meateggs, and dairy products.
  3. A healthier, happier you: A vegan diet is great for your health! According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegans are less likely to develop heart diseasecancerdiabetes, or high blood pressure than meat-eaters are. Vegans get all the nutrients that they need to be healthy, such as plant protein, fiber, and minerals, without all the nasty stuff in meat that slows you down and makes you sick, such as cholesterol and saturated animal fat.
  4. Vegan food is delicious: So you’re worried that if you go vegan, you’ll have to give up hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and ice cream? You won’t. As the demand for vegan food skyrockets, companies are coming out with more and more delicious meat and dairy-product alternatives that taste like the real thing but are much healthier and don’t hurt any animals. Plus, we have a list of some of our favorite products and thousands of tasty kitchen-tested recipes to help you get started!
  5. Meat is gross: Meat is often contaminated with feces, blood, and other bodily fluids—all of which make animal products the top source of food poisoning in the United States. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health tested supermarket chicken flesh and found that 96 percent of Tyson chicken was contaminated with campylobacter, a dangerous bacterium that causes 2.4 million cases of food poisoning each year, resulting in diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.
  6. Help feed the world: Eating meat doesn’t just hurt animals—it hurts people, too. It takes tons of crops and water to raise farmed animals. In fact, it takes up to 13 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of animal flesh! All that plant food could be used much more efficiently if it were fed directly to people. The more people who go vegan, the better able we’ll be to feed the hungry.
  7. Save the planet: Meat is not green. Consuming meat is actually one of the worst things that you can do for the Earth. It is wasteful and causes enormous amounts of pollution, and the meat industry is also one of the biggest causes of climate change. Adopting a vegan diet is more effective than switching to a “greener” car in the fight against climate change.
  8. All the cool kids are doing it: The list of stars who shun animal flesh is basically a “who’s who” of today’s hottest celebs. Joaquin Phoenix, Natalie Portman, Ariana Grande, Al Gore, Flo Rida, Tobey Maguire, Shania Twain, Alicia Silverstone, Anthony Kiedis, Casey Affleck, Kristen Bell, Alyssa Milano, Common, Joss Stone, Anne Hathaway, and Carrie Underwood are just some of the famous vegans and vegetarians who regularly appear in People magazine.
  9. Look sexy and be sexy: Vegans tend to be thinner than meat-eaters and have more energy, which is perfect for late-night romps with your special someone. (Guys: The cholesterol and saturated animal fat found in meat, eggs, and dairy products don’t just clog the arteries to your heart. Over time, they impede blood flow to other vital organs as well.) Plus, what’s sexier than someone who is not only mega-hot but also compassionate?
  10. Pigs are smarter than your dog: Although most people are less familiar with pigschickensfish, and cows than they are with dogs and cats, animals used for food are every bit as intelligent and able to suffer as the animals who share our homes are. Pigs can learn to play video games, and chickens are so smart that their intelligence has been compared by scientists to that of monkeys.
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  • mar says:

    Liz, I live in Iowa were 99% of people are meat and patatos kind o people. I hav been a vegetarian fot almost 2 years now and do plan on goin vegan soon. Just tak it a piece at a time go vegetarin frat then slowly build your way veganism. That’s wht I have been doing and and one seems to notice that I am slowly going vegan. Bu being vegetarian has best choicei have ever made (well except for deciding to join the military of course.) I feel so energized and for the longest time I have problems sleeping, bu wit so much energy during the day it makes Amen sleepier at night and its just been a blessing for me. You should definitaly try it!

  • RJ says:

    Watch “FORKS & KNIVES” on Netflix…. or Google it.. and watch it …. It will change your life for the better.

  • Gina says:

    I love being a vegan! It’s the greatest thing in the world! It kicks booty!

  • Susie says:

    In answer to Liz, it is so easy not eating meat and dairy.
    Oat milk is delicious and so many different types of tofu are great.Great chocolate too – you don’t miss a thing. Becoming vegan was the best thing I ever did.

  • Jojo says:

    Ummm, god granted us permission to eat MEAT, just not the blood. So i gotta say I dissagree with being vegan.

  • Ann says:

    Liz, Actually Peta has a vegan starter kit which is a big help. Also, google Vegan – there are a ton of good websites. There’s one called Vegan RD which shows what vitamins (B12, D) you need to take and how much. Also, it might help to start with just eliminating the animal products you don’t really care about (ie, soymilk instead of milk on cereal, Gardein chicken in a pita rather than regular, etc) and only keep the ones that are hard to give up. Or start with a day “vegan Monday”, then add another, then another, etc. Then it won’t seem overwhelming, and gradually you can keep cutting back until you’re totally or mostly vegan. I’m not all there yet – I’m 100% vegetarian, and about 80% vegan, which isn’t perfect, but it still does save a number of animals. Best of luck!!!

  • Cheyla says:

    If only we could understand the language of animals, then we would not eat them. Note I did not say, “If only animals could speak,…” because they do!

  • Patyisawesome! says:

    @Liz just do it! I’m 15 and I did it. I was vegetarian for two months then switched and trust me it is not that hard. NOONE in my family is even close to vegetarianism unfortunately but that is not a barrier. my advice is JUST DO IT! wish you much luck!

  • Cindy says:

    Everything mentioned in the top 10 reasons to become Vegan in 2012 are 100% true! Go VEG in 2012!!!!

  • narharry ghaness says:

    These reasons are encouraging to anyone who wants to go vegan or just want to try it for a while.

  • EatVeganOn4dollars says:

    How ’bout cost? It’s really, really cheap if you know how/where to shop. Not only money saved at the store, but by avoiding docs, hospitals and diseases caused by not eating vegan. Mom, aunt & both sisters: breast cancer. Plus much more. I’m the only healthy one-placing in 5K races, did 1st marathon last year. But so many think you have to have Oprah’s chef or that it costs a lot.

  • Imagirlovinlife says:

    For Spragsar- read Diet For A New America by John Robbins. Very insightful and informative.

  • Anne Russell says:

    I want to go vegetarian again (did it for a year in the 70’s) but I don’t know how to get that type of protein for my age (66) Concerned about having dental and health issues due to lack of animal protein although I eat very little.

  • top 10 reason to go vegan says:

    Saving the Planet is a huge reason to go vegan, it is the number 1 cause of Global Warming. Lifestock animals produce methane which is 23 times more potent than CO2 as a Green House Gas and they produce nitrous oxide which is 296 times more potent than CO2 as a GHG. The International Panel on Climate Change states that lifestock animals (there are 20 billion on this planet) are the biggest cause of GHG with transportation coming in 2nd place.

  • MrsTBailey says:

    I just have a quick question. You say it is healthier for the planet be a vegetarian/vegan but what happens to all of the cows, pigs, chickens, fish, and other animals that people do not eat even if it is from local farmers?! Wouldn’t the planet be overrun with them since we would stop eating them plus one of PETA’s comments about the environment is that cows emit methane gas when they pass gas so wouldn’t meat eaters be doing a favor by eating the cow to stop the release of methane gas?! I am really asking because I would love to know what would really happen to the animals and if the planet would be overrun by them because we all stopped eating meat. Thank you. I have tried the vegan lifestyle and it was too hard for me and my family because the proper foods to eat to sustain us was too expensive and I don’t want to eat soy products because of the cancer that you can get from eating too much of it also the soy products that are made to be meat replacements are really not that good for you because they are all processed foods! Again thank you for any and all answers that you can give me.

  • Pauline says:

    If you want to know how to become vegan and learn the truth about the meat industry in the U.S.A. read THE KIND DIET by Alicia Silverstone. It’s and easy read, well written, informative and will change your life.

  • Nathalie says:

    I decided last Summer to become vegetarian and to aim at being vegan one day. I purchase free-run, hand picked eggs from an organic farm. I feel much better now that I don’t eat the meat. However, I’m not loosing any weight…. Actually, I gained some weight… Why?

  • Julie says:

    Hey everyone, hey Liz!
    I can relate very well to your problem.
    It’s the same with me. But when i told my parents that i tolerate them eating meet, they now also tolerate that i don’t eat meet, although their not exactly happy about that vegeterian thing ):
    You could show them a few vids recorded in slaughterhouses.
    That was what changed my mind, because i couldn’t get those pictures out of my head.
    Have a nice day everyone!

  • Trudi says:

    I’ve been vegetarian for 15 years and vegan for two. I used to get ill all the time and suffered badly from fatigue (even as a veggie), but since going vegan I haven’t been ill at all (apart from the occasional unavoidable cold) and my former iron deficiency has resolved; I’m no longer deficient in anything. Even better, I find it impossible to put on weight! I’ve never felt healthier, and I’ve never felt so excited about food – vegan food is amazing! And I now feel that I’m truly leading a cruelty-free lifestyle and have a long and healthy life to look forward to. 🙂

  • NewlyVeg says:

    Do you have Netflix?

    Food Inc.
    Forks Over Knives

    Watch them. Educate yourself.

  • Igor says:

    Liz, it is great to see that more and more people consider and switch to animal friendly diet. You are right, this doesn’t occur overnight. Just try to read more on this subject, maybe do it gradually, start with a diet w/o meat, fish, poultry first, and then consider vegan. PETA is great inspiration and source of information and useful references, and I am sure that PETA will be glad to help should you have any questions. Best regards.

  • Farshad says:

    I’m a vegan about 3 years without any problems

  • Paige says:

    Spragstar-As for your first question, I can’t really help you. But the second, is pretty simple. There are 9 essential nutrients that you need, which can all be found in soy and quinoa, and maybe a few others. However, by combining other foods (or eating fortified), you can easily get all 9. And then protein, etc. can be found in almost all products except for sugars and maybe two or three other things.

    Liz- What I did was went vegan cold turkey, and mentioned to my mom that eggs grossed me out. Then, about a week later, I mentioned that I didn’t like milk because it made me feel sick, even when cooked in things. Lastly, when asked about meat, I told her that I just remembered that meat is muscle and it sickened me. The other stuff was told when she asked about it. You also have to keep in mind how open-minded your family is. My parents are both really open-minded, and I still didn’t think it was a good idea to flat out say that i was going vegan. If they’re concerned, show them your research (and maybe Forks Over Knives), and let them know that this is important to you.

  • Jasmine says:

    I’m not VEGAN yet but VEGETARIAN… and I have felt a difference especially in mentality (lost a lot of weight too). Save the animals (:

  • Katerina Peterson says:

    I am a VEGAN and I am proud to be for 3 years now! I will never go back! I love animals and I love life!

  • Jessica says:

    Liz and anyone else who doesn’t know where to start – sign up for PCRM’s 21-day vegan kickstart You’ll be emailed every day with free recipes, tips, shopping lists and a 21-day meal plan. It’s starts on 1/2/12

  • Risto Siljanoski says:

    Killing and eating animals is HORRORFUL, INHUMANE and UNJUST!
    I ate animals until few months a go. I was feeling guilty but that guilt was somewhere in the background of my conscience.
    One evening I heard most frightening noise out of my wife’s bedroom. She was watching ABC Four Corners “Bloody Business”
    I watch it for 5 seconds only than I run away and instantly became VEGAN!

  • David says:

    Eating meat hurts animals, thats funny! If it weren’t for deer hunters in my area people would be getting slaughtered by hitting them all of the time. What do they think God made animals for, so we can watch them stand around?? Some people are so stupid!

  • Norma says:

    Responding to spragsar: get from the library the book “Slaughterhouse” by Gail Eisnitz or “Mad Cowboy” (forgot the author’s name) or “Animal Factories” by Jim Mason/Peter Singer and you’ll have all the information you need

  • Meat is dangerous says:

    Spragsar, Read “Mad Cowboy”, and “Slaughterhouse” and you will be cured! It is a fact that cows that live in their own feces in factory farms are dragged to slaughter (including Downed cows)and that there are traces of feces in meat. especially ground beef. In one pound of beef there can be up to ten animals. Factory farmed cows also eat other dead cows, blood and road kill from “rendering plants”. Look into it. Cows are vegetarian. Think about it…ALL nutrients can be found in a plant based diet. Stop the madness and cruelty; don’t participate in it!! Wake up!!

  • B says:

    This is a great list. I went vegetarian a year and a half ago. Now I have decided to go vegan. I bought a vegan cook book to help get me started for 2012. It’s not easy to find the ingredients all the time. But 95% are pretty easy to find. Supermarkets that supply kosher help as well.

  • applewhittle says:

    just curious about statements like going vegan can help save 100 animals a year. I want to know some harder facts about how that happens…it just all seems so vague as when the restaurants I only ate in twice a year before going vegan order less meat now? Thanks.

  • Jessica says:

    @Spragsar You just have to look around and do some research many vegan and non-vegan sites will explain all the information and how the information was discovered. Hope you find what you are looking for =). I think she just didnt bother sourcing that information because most people who come to this site have already done some research and know a bit about this.

  • Sara Eats Plants says:

    Vegan since August 26th 2011. LOVING IT!!
    Good for body, good for environment. Love animals, don’t eat them!

  • Oogie O'Banyon says:

    According to a recent United Nations study, meat and dairy production creates more greenhouse gas, contributing more to climate change, than all the world’s cars, trucks, busses, trains, planes, ships combined.

  • Spragsar says:

    I just have one question for you…..where are you getting your information from about meat being contaminated with feces and blood and that you can get all essential nutrients from non-meat resources?

  • Liz says:

    Amazing! What a lil information can do to you! I would LOVE to go vegan, but I do not know where to start or how to do it. My family is meat eater & it isn’t easy to change overnight. I want to TRULY say that I really am an animal lover & I would LOVE to raise my kids to be animal lovers as well:)

  • Janeisgreen says:

    Yeah, Stacy Lynn! You’re a hero, and you’re passing it on!

  • Sara says:

    I’m so proud to be VEGAN 🙂

  • Kent Åsber says:

    Thanks for your thorough information for the New Year on this very important area.
    Youth get this knowledge for a good life and so do we who are older.

    Kent Åsberg, Vellinge Sweden

  • linda dela paz says:

    since I joined vegan diet the gain in health is enormous nothing can compare the advantage of a vegan diet. So come on friends join with us and be healthy as ever!

  • Lynda Smith says:

    I have been a vegetarian for 42 years and vegan for 8 years — I was pretty much vegan (I was still eating cheese) and then I saw the inside of a factory dairy farm — it was horrifying and it turned my stomach — I was used to seeing the cows in the meadow in southern Maine — in Knox, Maine they never see the light of day

  • Grace says:

    I’m from Sydney Australia & now a strict vegan. You will be amazed how many choices there are once you start exploring. And if you are still deciding if being a vegan is for you, then read “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer (an American). We must fight against this barbaric killings, suffering & pain they put this helpless creatures through! It’s not the majority but the minority who can make a difference.

  • Maya says:

    AMAZING! I’m going to be a vegan. Jason Mraz is a vegan too!:) He owns an avocado farm:) I love this

  • Maya says:

    AMAZING! I’m going to be a vegan. Jason Mraz is a vegan too!:) He owns an avocado farm:) I love this

  • Stacy Lynn says:

    I was raised on meat and dairy. I am 44 years old, 5’9″ tall, and weighed ~310 lbs in mid summer 2011. I have had weight issues since I was 18. I also have had severe GERD and gastroparesis (paralyzed stomach). One day (mid summer 2011) I was watching television and a commercial from the Humane Society of the US aired. A living cow was being turned side over side by a front loader forcing the cow into an enclosure. I was heartbroken and at that moment pledged to never eat meat again. I immediately became a vegetarian. Since that day I have lost 80 lbs., the GERD has disappeared and my stomach now functions properly. I feel so much better, love to be active (before I was depressed and laid around the house not wanting to go anywhere or do anything), and feel like I haven’t since I was a teenager. I am now in the process of going totally vegan and can’t wait to see the difference this makes in my life. Not only will you save the lives of innocent animals, you probably will save your own life as well (quality of life at the very least).

  • Vegaia says:

    There are many reasons to choose a vegan lifestyle. Here are two uplifting videos to help everyone understand why so many people are making this life-altering choice: and

  • P Purav says:

    I feel far better n lucky being a vegetarian,
    Vegetarian food is the only way to be healthy throughout
    life rather then that it develops a devotional spirituality
    In our mind.

  • Jenny says:

    My family (mom, sister, husband) and I are going vegetarian in 2012! My 19 month old son is already vegetarian and mostly vegan. We are looking forward to being 100% vegan as well. I know it will be a difficult transition but a worthwhile one on so many levels. Thank you for the great resources!

  • Lindsey says:

    Thank you for this lovely list. I know it’s 2 years old but it still applies today. I want to add a link to my blog. Thanks again!