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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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  • Maria says:

    This is what I’ve recently found on vegan and vegetarianism that has no doubt changed my life forever:

  • Sarah says:

    People think that going vegan is a lot harder than it actually is. I don’t really miss meat and I feel healthier than ever! Just because you decide to go vegan doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your favorite foods like ice cream and burgers. So really, there’s no reason to not go vegan. I’m not trying to say that everyone should go vegan, I just think that we shouldn’t be hurting animals:)

  • sacha says:

    @Nick well what exactly do you want them to call you? Is ‘murderers’ a term you’d rather use?

  • beastwork says:

    I will probably never go full vegan as I believe we are meant to eat some meat from time to time. Our relatives in nature eat meat as well. What amount human beings eat is up for debate. However I have stopped consuming dairy products and have drastically reduced my dependence on meat for many of the reasons stated above. As a rebuttal I am already energized, slim, healthy, happy, cool, and sexy. So I don’t need to eat meat to accomplish any of these goals. Meat is not gross. You could find studies that examine the trace amounts of rat feces found in your breakfast cereals and rice.

  • Nick says:

    Why the hell do you think you have the right to refer to people as “Meat Eaters” as though you’re better than us or somehow more important than us. You egotistical bastards.

  • Ratlove90 says:

    i have whiter teeth now.

  • Jennifer says:

    I just watched a video on YouTube. They were shocking these cows then tied up one arm and slit it’s throat. I was in tears. As of now, I am strongly leaning towards going Vegan. I stopped eating meat April of last year after hearing horror stories but seeing it myself has really opened my eyes even more.

  • Carol-Mae says:

    So many people close their eyes to what is going on in factory farming. I did for many years, even though I considered myself an animal lover. Then someone shared a picture with me on facebook. It was of a pig in a crate that couldn’t even turn round. That crate was a prison and it had commited no crime. I stopped eating bacon and pork. Day by day I began to recognise the horrendous cruelty in Factory Farming and I decided to go vegan. I am so proud of myself and glad I made the choice.

  • Hortensia Mendez says:

    I started being a vegetarian a couple of weeks ago and feeling soooooooo good about it. Frankly I didn’t think I could feel sooo alive, since I’ve always felt tired throughout the day. I am thinking of going vegan in the future, problem is I am from the Dominican Republic and in my city of Santiago I’m having a hard time finding vegan products, you know, it IS a third world country. But hopefully globalization will work its way… Having a hard time too, because people just don’t understand why I gave up meat. But I am very positive and people like you make me strenghen up everytime… also the animals in my life have really made me think…

  • Nattherat says:

    Mmeateater: lacking in compassion, sexist, AND obnoxious. the ideal human

  • Modernday slavey says:

    Please…. Though i believe a vegan lifestyle is healthier, some products are as much contaminated as meats! They spray veggies and fruits to keep insects away and especially with fruits like cantaloupes and melons, the chemicals seep into the main part of the fruit. WASH EVERYTHING YOU EAT. Period…

  • Dani says:

    Wiolette: When I was a teenager my mom wouldn’t let me become a vegetarian either, and so it was my first act of teenage rebel to do it anyway. If you’re mom is like my mom she doesn’t want you to become malnourished, so one you become a vegetarian she’ll change her tune and help you find suitable meals that are harm free. In the process she’ll learn the benefits of being a vegetarian and hopefully undertsand you better.

  • veganpower says:

    Been a vegan for 25 years and love it. Gonna die a vegan. When I was a kid, meat would gross me out. Doctor told me blood test is excellent. Cholesterol is 151. Protein level is 7.5. There is no deficiencies. I love beans, broccoli, and Swiss Chard. I get plenty of exercise and women admire my shape.

  • JennyB says:

    I just started a Vegan diet. I was mostly vegetarian the last few months but took the next step and cut-out the dairy and seafood. Loving the energy I have so far! I have always had an allergy to all-things dairy but didn’t think I could live without sour cream, milk & cheese. I definitely feel better. Lovin it so far.

  • Vegannow says:

    I just went vegan for my new year’s resolution, though I’ve been vegetarian for 13 years. I always said that it was too “hard” to go vegan, until I realized that was also people’s excuse for not being vegetarian! Once you get started, it’s not hard at all. I love it and can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. Go vegan now, in 2012!

  • Jackie Hartley says:

    After recieving a new years resolution email from PETA i decided this year was the time to become a vegan. Even though i havent been doing it for long i had already found i have more energy and have never felt more alive. I would recommend anyone to do it you will personally feel great and think about how many beautiful animals you will be saving you cant love animals and eat them!

  • Wiolette says:

    I want to go vegetarian but my mom won’t let me !! 🙁 Its so sad what animals suffer to feed us !! I want to be a vegetarian !!!

  • MEatEater says:

    im eating a hot dog right now. u vegan vaginas

  • Stefani_C says:

    @alexanda You’d be surprised how easy it is to give up milk and eggs. When ever you think you are ready, try it for 28 days. Thats what I did. I realized I didnt even miss it. Vegan since April 2011. 🙂

  • sunny says:

    EGM, I respect your concern, but find it hard to accept your idea that if you treat an animal nice and feed it good food, it will be okay to still murder it just so you can eat its flesh. I’m sorry, but there is no “humane” method of slaughtering animals. What if Hitler had sent the Jews on a fabulous cruise before he gassed them? Watch the video “Farm to Table”. And after you stop eating the flesh of animals, it no longer appeals to you. Your taste buds will regrow after only a few weeks. Thanks for thinking about this and I wish you well on your meatless quest.

  • Rhythm says:

    I am SO going vegan.

  • EGM says:

    I only buy meat from small farms that do not treat animals in this way. I have done the research and would never buy meat from any supermarket. I do Go to Whole Foods and buy local meat after i have seen the farm and the type of environment it provides. I have tried to go vegan but it made me tired, sick and my hair started falling out. I do love animals . I do take the time to find ethical places that treat them with respect and dignaty. I do not eat Pork because i have not found a ethical farm, i saw videos and cannot eat it at all. I have seen the conditions of the farms i choose for eggs ,chicken or beef and only eat wild fish. Any suggestions would be so appreciated. I have also run into trouble affording organic vegan options as opposed to just organic options. Thank you , you are all amazing people.

  • octovegan says:

    I have a question for you Spragsar. Who pays the celebrities and commercials that tell us animal products are good for us? Oh yeah, the MEAT INDUSTRY. Of course meat is contaminated, its made from dead animal corpses with organs and butt holes.

  • Jennifer says:

    I just wanted to say, choosing a vegan lifestyle has saved my life. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and had surgery to remove a section of intestine and colon. Not only did I feel better with the diet I was following, it lifted my spirits knowing what I was doing for animals. It has now been a year and what started out doing something for my health has tuned into a lifestlye change i wouldn’t change for anything.

  • New Vegan says:

    Spragster there is a lot of information about this topic Check out the book “Eating Animals” by Jonathon Safrom Foer.

  • Esiblossom says:

    @ Spragsar: You can obtain all of the essential nutrients from non-meat food sources. There are many people around the world that can’t consume meat due to religious purposes, health issues or just preference. All 9 essential amino acids, Ca, B12, iron and other nutrients that people think are only found in meat are abundantly found in foods other than meat. Hope this helped.

  • Lena Bajraktari says:

    I agree with these reasons 100%!!! This proud, long-time vegan is here to stay. Don’t hate me because I’m a lean, smart, sexy, mega-hot cutie who looks like a rockin’ superstar with a mega-watt smile and you don’t! For the non followers and haters, this heroine says smarten up already … turn green, save the planet, help and save animals, save your health. Be aware of what is around you, don’t be so oblivious about everything. What do you mean, you don’t care or don’t need to? You better… why are you here?

  • sharon says:

    have you ever been to a slaughter house Spragsar. well I have. I watched how they rip open the cow from the neck done. sometimes nicking the intestines. the urine and the fecus spray out and onto the meat. this meat is not washed off. it goes down the line and is cut up. the halfs hang first and every thing drys on it. then it goes to the cutters. Fish are slit open from the head down still alive. I know because I experienced it and watched the eyes of the fish pleading to save it from the pain. Yes Fish do feel pain, they can think,they also can bond. I will never go fishing again after experiencing that. I have friends that are more healthy and alert and they have not touched meat in 20 years. I have tasted their chili’s, stews, burgers and they are delicous.This is all made from soy and other products. This is not easy to do after you eat meat all your life and I am trying one step at a time. I eat more salads, more vegatables etc. and try to get my proteins from other methods. It is hard. But one step at a time.

  • alexanda says:

    is´nt it enough to be a vegeterian ? id love to be a vegan but i think i cant do it no milk and eggs ? :O well i have been a vegeterian for 3 months now soo happy about it 🙂 maybe i will try begin a vegan later when im ready 🙂 i am the only one in the family i think its hard enough :S

  • sholloway96 says:

    Liz, I’m in the same family-sized boat you are. Lol. I’m hoping my girls will follow my example by watching me and I keep dropping hints at how meat is cruel – behind my carnivorous husband’s back of course. I also have thrown in some meat substitutes without them knowing and they never tasted the difference. Two examples are spaghetti with vegan meatless crumbles and Boca vegan chicken sandwiches. As you sample more vegan products yourself, you’ll see what you think you can pull off. Just remember to hide the products in freezer or fridge before the meal and to quickly shove the packaging deep into the trash can before you serve the meal so your family won’t know there was a switcharoo and they’ll eat every bite. Good luck. I’ve had to settle for only reducing their meat intake. But I’ll continue to drop vegan lifestyle healthy hints in hopes that some day we’ll all become vegan.

  • Debbie says:

    I am so happy to say that I have not eaten beef or pork in many years. Now because of PETA, and your informative campaigns, I will no longer consume any poultry.
    What a great New Year. Proud to be vegan now.
    Thank you for all you do for animals 🙂

  • Herpington Derp says:

    Wait, how does being a vegan save animals?

  • Liz says:

    Spragster there is a lot of good information about going vegan online. Just do search and you will find it. Despite what we have all been told we can live healthy lives without animal products. In fact it is animal products that are causing many health problems.

  • Caitlin W. says:

    Hi, Grace! I have also read Eating Animals nd its what inspired me to go vegetarian when I was 12, well I’m 13 now! I used to have severe stomach pain for no apperent reason and when I ex-cluded meat from my diet, it stopped! I am so happy now that I am a vegetarian and I feel like a new person! I am so grateful for sites like PETA that advocate for animal rights and support vegan and vegetarianism in people and provide information on whats really going on with the animals in our world, abuse is not acceptable! I am so happy they’re trying to put a stop to animal testing and animals in circuses being abused (which I did a report about) Their work is just blowing me away! Animals deserve justice too! =)

  • JJ says:

    @Spragsar I’ll let someone else field the meat contamination question, but the benefits of a plant-based diet are well documented. Check out “The China Study” by T Colin Campbell, the most comprehensive epidemiological study of diet and nutrition ever. Not only can u get all the nutrients u need w/out meat, animal protein is responsible for the biggest Western killers – cancer & heart disease. Hope that helps. Happy New Year!

  • Rae says:

    I’m a 16 year old vegetarian and I’d love to go Vegan, but my parents are barely ok with the former. All I’d be cutting out now are eggs and dairy; I rarely have dairy and I hate eggs anyway so I don’t get their problem. 😐

  • Cindy says:

    @Liz, order the free Vegetarian Starter Kit from PETA. Go to Whole Foods or another health food store & check out all the great alternatives to meat & dairy. Gardein Beefless Burgers taste just like the real thing! Not only will your health improve but you won’t have to feel guilty anymore for contributing to animal suffering:)

  • bettypopp says:

    Been vegan for just a few weeks now and feeling GREAT! Think this will go down as one of the best things I’ve ever done with my life.

  • bettypopp says:

    Been vegan for just a few weeks now and feeling GREAT! Think this will go down as one of the best things I’ve ever done with my life.

  • Sue says:

    Spragsar, I’ll leave the nutrition answer to, say, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, who are about to start their 21 day vegan Kickstart program on 1/2, to get people to learn how to eat a healthy vegan diet (to prevent and reverse disease, in addition to losing weight). As for the feces, that’s where E-Coli comes from. And most of the meat recalls are due to E-Coli. And to be safe, people are told to cook their hamburger meat at high temperatures as a precaution, and to be careful to keep counters and anything that has contact with it clean. It is a known fact that meat, and particularly ground meat, is very often contaminated with E-Coli, salmonella and other pathogens, and should be handled in a sanitary way so people don’t get sick or die from eating it — as happened at Jack-In-The-Box years ago.

  • Steak n Eggs says:

    Tried the vegan thing…can’t give up bacon =( I’m so weak.

  • Maureen Fagan says:

    Being a vegan can start off slowly! I have LOVED my vegan diet for a long time! The more you eat the right way…the easier it is!! If people would just give it a try!! They would find that they would feel better, look better and also be saving our precious animals!!!MEAT IS GROSS

  • Sue says:

    For those who are new to the idea of going vegan for the new year, there is definitely a lot of nutritional information and recipes that can be found on the Internet. But for people who are interested in this for their health, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s 21 Day Kickstart is starting on 1/2. If you sign up on their site, there is a 3 week meal plan that will cover the nutritional bases, along with looking like it should be low fat and low calorie. There are grocery shopping lists and recipes, not that people are stuck with those particular recipes, but it’s a guide to a healthy low fat whole food vegan diet. There will also be daily emails and webinars that participants can check out. (For those who are pretty familiar with vegan nutrition, but are looking for recipes, one of my favorite sites is VegWeb

  • paula sipotz says:

    I don’t eat meat vegan is the only way to go we need to stop killing animals.I think it is so barbaric the idea of eating another living things flesh makes me sick. You can always dbl. your protein.

  • Stefan Sarjusingh says:

    Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • agamaliz says:

    Hey Spragsar, have you EVER seen slaughterhouse footage of a cow being processed from start to finish? Bladders and bowels severed and spewing all over the carcass…? Really, if you had, you wouldn’t even be asking that question. And I’m sure PETA could provide you with all the undercover footage your stomach can handle…

  • Beatriz says:

    I have been vegetarian for the past 6 months — the healthier, stronger and more energized I become the more I want to do it, but and now I am ready to take it to the next level! For the first 22 days of January, my boyfriend and I are going to try out veganism – because it is the only way of eating that makes perfect sense for me to live. I am so excited! I used to think I would NEVER be able to, but now I know that it is possible! You have to start with baby steps. You can do it!

  • EatsLikeABunny says:

    I’ve been vegetarian for 12 years and VEGAN for 3. For anyone considering it, I say go for it. I am 50 years old. Change is possible. I have healthier bones than I did in my 20’s, my blood work is “excellent” according to my doctor. Anyone who questions scientist or all the BOOKS out there on the subject, only need to read as far as their Bible. Even God said a plant based diet is what He created for mankind. Gen. 1:29. As for his “allowance” of meat, that was meant for times of famine. Read it ALL before you start flinging scripture. LOL

  • mary says:

    Eating clean is the best choice I have ever made, and now my family is joining in. Get yourself educated!!! Read the China Study, or better yet, watch Food INC, Forks Over Knives, and Food Matters. You will get the facts that are so often hidden, and then you decide what is right for you.

  • L says:

    Hi Liz,

    So great you want to go vegan! I have a tip for you. First of all make lists of all animal products you currently use. Then go to the store and find replacements for these products when you cook a meal. Slowly but surely you won’t buy animal products anymore. Also try too cook vegan once or twice a week first and do it more often. Online you can find amazing recipes. But also non vegan recipes – including your favourites – can easily be ‘veganized’.