Being vegan is healthy and good for the environment and the animals, but do you know all of the following interesting facts about this trending and compassionate lifestyle? Some of these might surprise you! Here are 42 interesting vegan facts that can help you go vegan, and stay that way.
1. Veganism is a lifestyle that avoids all animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and honey; animal derived products like leather; and, as far as possible, products tested on animals.
2. Studies have found that eating a plant based diet makes you happier and less stressed.
3. Vegan living often reduces the intake of saturated fat, animal hormones, and cholesterol while increasing the intake of fresh fruits and veggies. That has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
4. Vegans get their protein from products like lentils, black beans, veggie burgers, tofu, nuts, peanut butter, and soy milk.
5. Vegans get their calcium from foods like broccoli, bok choy, chinese cabbage, collards, kale, and calcium-fortified orange juice.
6. Vegans tend to have lower rates of cancer than meat-eaters and vegetarians. For example, vegan women had 34% lower rates of female-specific cancers like breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer. Similar results were found in men for prostate cancer.
7. A study done by Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn found that a vegan diet caused more than 500 genes to change in three months, turning on genes that prevent disease and turning off genes that cause cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses
8. Approximately 5% of the US is vegetarian (close to 16 million people), and about half of those are vegan — meaning about 7.5 million Americans abstain from all animal products.
9. Grain that is used to feed livestock for meat production could feed 1.3 billion people.
10. Most cases of food poisoning (up to 80%), are due to infected meat.
11. Our alkaline saliva is not meant to break down animal flesh. Carnivores have acid saliva, perfectly designed for the task.
12. It takes more than 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, while producing 1 pound of tofu only requires 244 gallons of water. By going vegan, one person can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year.
13. According to the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification, it takes up to 10 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of meat, and in the United States alone, 56 million acres of land are used to grow feed for animals, while only 4 million acres are producing plants for humans to eat.
14. Commercial fishing methods such as bottom trawling and long-lining often clear the ocean floor of all life and destroy coral reefs. They also kill thousands of dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and other “bycatch” animals. Coastal fish farms release feces, antibiotics, parasites, and non-native fish into sensitive marine ecosystems.
15. Increased vegetable and fruit intake reduces your need for taking a multi vitamin plus increases your antioxidant intake.
16. Vegan diets are higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Iron and Phytochemicals.
17. The muscle mass of Vegans is comparable to that of vegetarians and omnivores.
18. In every large, peer reviewed study to date, vegans have been shown to have a better mood and outlook on life than omnivores.
19. In every large, peer reviewed study to date, vegans have shown better overall health compared to omnivores.
20. Vegans enjoy a lower risk of Cardiovascular Disease.
21. Vegans have lower blood pressure than vegetarians.
22. The average vegan has a cholesterol level of 133 – which is 77 points lower than the average meat eater’s and 28 points lower than the average vegetarian’s and a landmark study found no heart attacks in people with cholesterol levels below 150.
23. Eating plant-based foods, which are rich in vitamin E, vitamin B6, folic acid and other nutrients, can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s by as much as 70%.
24. The University of Chicago reports that going vegan is 50% more effective than switching to a hybrid car in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
25. The total number of land animals killed and eaten by Americans decreased by 300 million between 2008 and 2009 and by 600 million between 2006 and 2009. Americans also ate 500 million fewer fish in 2009 than in 2008.
26. Since vegans eat no animals, each vegan saves nearly 200 animals per year.
27. 70 percent of the livestock produced annually in the U.S. are fed a diet containing roxarsone, the most common arsenic-based additive used in animal feed. Arsenic has been linked to bladder, lung, skin, kidney and colon cancer, partial paralysis and diabetes.
28. A study from the Loma Linda University funded by the National Cancer Institute reported that vegans have lower rates of cancer than both meat-eaters and vegetarians. Vegan women, for example, had 34 percent lower rates of female-specific cancers such as breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer.
29. A healthy vegan diet may help you live longer.
30. The expansion of agricultural land accounts for more than 60 per cent of worldwide deforestation. Most of this land is used to graze beef cattle.
31. A number of researchers argue that while the human body is only just able to digest meat, our bodies are actually designed to be herbivores. One example, the human molars are similar to those of a herbivore, flat and blunt which makes them good for grinding not tearing.
32. Several studies show that a plant-based diet increases the body’s metabolism, causing the body to burn calories up to 16% faster than the body would on a meat-based diet for at least the first 3 hours after a meal.
33. All carnivores have tails.
34. The humans convoluted colon is quite different in design compared to the smooth colons of carnivorous animals.
35. While 800 million people do not have enough food, we continue to waste valuable agricultural land by obtaining only a small fraction of its potential calorific value.
36. The twenty-year “China Study” found that countries that ate primarily vegetarian were healthier than those who had meat-based eating practices.
37. In 2012, the LA City Council declared all future Mondays in the city to be “Meatless Mondays” in response to the environmental impact of meat consumption in the United States.
38. Among the drugs found in beef released to the public in a USDA Inspector General report were penicillin, the antibiotics florfenicol,sulfamethazine and sulfadimethoxine, the antiparasite drugivermectin, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug flunixin and heavy metals.
39. The consumption of synthetic estrogens that are fed to dairy cattle to encourage more milk production have been linked to the increase of the size of mens breasts.
40. Although most people are less familiar with pigs, chickens, fish, 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.
41. Vegan diets can be extremely economical. Many vegans center their diet around grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds, all of which can be purchased cheaply in bulk.
42. Osteoporosis is highest in those countries that consume the highest amount of calcium from animal-based sources. Because the high concentration of acidic protein in animal-based sources causes the body to lose more calcium than it consumes, a vegan diet will actually reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis.