It’s 2017, and Google searches for “veganism” have skyrocketed. Have you stopped to consider why so many people are choosing to leave meat, eggs, and dairy “products” off their plates?

People choose to go vegan for a variety of reasons. Some do it to help the environment, others do it for the health benefits, and some do it because they realize that animals deserve to live free from suffering and exploitation, just as humans do.

We hope some of these reasons to go vegan will inspire YOU to make the switch:

1. ALL sentient beings value life and liberty.

Cute piglets! | jennicatpink | CC BY-SA 2.0 

Animals have the capacity to suffer in the same way and to the same degree that humans do. They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness, and love. Whenever we consider doing something that would interfere with their needs, we’re morally obligated to take their feelings into account.

2. You’ll save more than 100 animals every year.

The less demand there is for meat, the fewer animals will be bred just to be killed. Each vegan spares the lives of more than 100 animals every year.

3. Your health will improve.

what the health facts

Acording to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegans are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure than meat-eaters are. Vegans get all the nutrients that they need to be healthy, such as 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. It’s one of the best things that you can do to help the environment.

The United Nations says that raising animals for food is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.”

5. Because the meat industry exploits workers.

We Animals | Jo-Anne McArthur 

The money-hungry meat and dairy industries often exploit poor people and immigrants. Their workers are forced to work for low wages, and union organizing is notoriously difficult. Slaughterhouse work, in particular, is unsanitary and extremely dangerous. A Human Rights Watch researcher found that “[m]eatpacking is the most dangerous factory job in America,” and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration notes that the “Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports injury and illness rates for the Meat Packing Industry as 2½ times higher than the national average.”

6. Your skin will thank you.

A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that there’s increasing evidence of a correlation between acne and our diets, particularly diets that are high in glycemic load and dairy “products.” In addition to being dairy-free, vegans’ diets generally contain more vegetables—which are good for your skin—than those of meat-eaters. Plant-based diets are typically low in fat and avoid the pore-clogging saturated fats found in animal-derived foods. Fruits and vegetables are high in essential vitamins and antioxidants. Plus, the fiber from produce and whole grains cranks up that healthy glow by flushing out toxins.

7. You’ll get to try new foods.

Many people mistakenly think that going vegan means limiting the foods that we eat. But the truth is that many people eat foods they never would have tried before they went vegan. Seitan, anyone?

8. You’ll get to try new restaurants.

It’s easy to find vegan options at most of your fave chain restaurants, but nothing beats trying out all the bomb vegan restaurants near you that you didn’t even know existed before you made the switch.

9. You can save money.

save money go vegan, cheap vegan food, vegan groceries

Vegan staples such as beans, rice, potatoes, and veggies are some of the cheapest foods you can find. Click here for help with eating vegan on a budget, and check out these 19 vegan recipes for $3 or less.

What’s Next?

Ask vegans if they have any regrets about switching to a vegan lifestyle and you’re likely to hear, “My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.” If you’re ready to make the switch, check out our Guide to Going Vegan for easy recipes, help with grocery shopping, info on vegan nutrition, and more.