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I’ve Decided to Stay Vegan – and Here Are 10 Reasons Why

Believe it or not, I don’t have a lot of vegan friends on my personal Facebook page. Whenever I happen to meet a cool vegan person, I sometimes get too lazy to look them up and send them a friend request.

So when a vegan Facebook friend of mine recently announced that he was getting off the vegan grid after advocating for it for many years, I felt a familiar tinge of disappointment. “Oh man, now all of his non-vegan friends will be convinced that being vegan is unsustainable…”

Eventually, I managed to overcome my initial judgmental thoughts and wished him the best of luck. At the same time, I asked myself, “Why is it that I never feel like I don’t want to be vegan anymore?”

10 reasons to become and stay vegan

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The ex-vegan movement seems to be on the rise these days. In the past couple years, some big-name vegan bloggers have announced that they were no longer vegan, and some of them even managed to make a few extra bucks off of this by publishing books.

And yet every time I come across their reasoning for quitting their vegan diet/lifestyle, those reasons never sound 100% convincing to me.

“I was just feeling too weak!”“Were you eating enough calories, or was it an all-day, every day feast of green juice and salad?”

“My doctor told me I should add some meat for health!”“Does your doctor know enough about nutrition? Most doctors get a mere 20 hours or less of nutrition education during their entire time in medical school!”

“I just felt like eating eggs!”“Do you know how chickens are tortured on factory farms, and is that torture worth the five minutes of your satisfaction eating some scrambled eggs?

(Also, getting eggs from “happy chickens” in your neighbor’s backyard still supports the cruel practices of the chick hatching industry that grinds male chicks alive because they aren’t of use for the buyers or sellers.)

I acknowledge that everyone has their own path, and it’s none of my business how other people choose to live their lives. However, when it comes to our dietary or lifestyle choices, I think it’s important to remember that the way we decide to go may affect more than just ourselves.

For example, if we choose to eat meat, some living creature has to die, and if it had an option to express its feeling about our meat-eating ways, it probably wouldn’t be very happy.

So in a sea of people striving for ‘balance’ and ‘listening to their bodies’, I listened to my head and came up with 10 reasons to stay vegan.

By the way, if you’re new to vegan lifestyle, check out these 5 common mistakes most new vegans make + my tips on how to avoid them.

10 Reasons Why I Choose to Stay Vegan

1. Because I’m not the center of the universe. Other living creatures’ lives matter, so the fact that I may get an occasional craving for their meat or bodily secretions doesn’t justify their abuse or death.

2. Because animals didn’t give us their consent to consume their bodies (or products of their livelihood). Mainly, because they can’t. A chicken at a ‘happy’ backyard farm may have laid that egg for her personal use. If I take it, she might get stressed out and lay another one.

Do I want to cause unnecessary stress to an animal? Nope. My memories of fried egg sandwiches from my pre-vegan days don’t give me a justification.

3. Because animals suffer, both on factory farms and in small, ‘grass-fed’ farm operations. (Warning: things are about to get kind of graphic) Regarding factory farms, the info on animal suffering is widely available on the internet. As for the ‘grass-fed’, ‘happy cow’ farms, here’s the reality: some small-scale farmers prefer to butcher their cattle on-site instead of taking the animals to a specialized slaughterhouse.

It’s a known fact that animals create a bond with their young, with some (if not all) species developing special ‘voices’ to communicate with their babies.

So imagine the horror of animal mothers who see their babies screaming when they’re pulled away from them, and then hear their shrieks as they’re being butchered mere yards away on the same farm. All for the sake of fancy restaurants getting their veal or lamb.

4. Because being vegan is better for my health. Do I even need to list all the health benefits of a plant-based diet? Where do I start?

Let me just say that if we take out the #1 source of dietary cholesterol (animal products) from our diet, we may significantly reduce our chances for developing heart disease – the #1 killer of people in Western civilizations. According to recent findings, heart disease may start developing in our bodies as early as during our childhood.

Before you get seduced by keto and ‘bulletproof’ bloggers, please keep in mind that the connection of cholesterol and heart disease has been traced in thousands of scientific studies over many years.

Just because an occasional study pops up showing the opposite, it doesn’t mean that all previous research should as well crumble.

Dr. Michael Greger of describes the connection of our diet and the top 15 diseases killing Americans every year in his brilliant book, How Not to Die. Don’t believe me when I talk about the benefits of a plant-based diet? Take the word from the doctor who “every year… scour[s] the world’s nutrition research (so you don’t have to)”.

5. Because being vegan is better for the environment. The world’s supplies of fresh water are nothing to mess around with: people in California know this firsthand as they are going through the longest drought in the state’s history.

Some people are quick to point out that almond trees require a whole gallon of water to grow a single almond. However, the production of a single hamburger calls for upwards of five hundred (!) gallons of water!

The latter fact is mostly swept under the rug by large environmental organizations. If you haven’t seen Cowspiracy, the eye-opening documentary about how animal agriculture is affecting our environment, please do yourself a favor and go watch it (available on Netflix).

6. Because we were not built to eat meat. Think of the structure of our teeth: we have lots of molars for grinding plant matter, and fairly weak canines that would never bite through an intact animal’s hide.

Think of our digestive system: our stomach acidity is ten times weaker than that of carnivorous animals. Plus, humans have much longer intestines for getting all nutrition out of plants.

Then there’s also our inability to produce vitamin C inside of our bodies unlike the natural meat-eaters in the animal kingdom.

So whichever way you slice it, everything pinpoints that Mother Nature intended us to be herbivores.

7. …or dairy. Just think about it: no animal in the world continues to consume their mother’s milk past infancy. (And certainly no animal consumes the milk of other species.) Why so? Because nobody needs extra growth hormones!

“But what about the milk from ‘happy grass-fed cows’ – it says ‘hormone-free’ on the package!”

Yes, grass-fed dairy producers make claims that they don’t add any additional hormones to their product. Yet that happy cow’s milk is full of naturally occurring growth hormones: Mother Nature intends baby cows to pack lots and lots of weight quickly after birth.

So don’t drink milk unless you’re in a hurry to get ten times bigger like a baby calf.

Oh, and that calcium in dairy doesn’t get absorbed well in our bodies – we’re better off eating green leafy vegetables like kale and cabbage for a calcium boost.

8. Because we can survive just fine on a plant-based diet. A plant-based diet with plenty of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and seeds provides us with more than enough nutrition, protein, and whatever macro- or micronutrient is destined to become the next big media obsession.

Just make sure to eat plenty of calories, and keep things interesting by not eating the same darn thing every day.

9. Because if I believe that something is morally wrong but everybody around me is doing it, it doesn’t mean that I should be doing it too. A few gruesome historical events like slavery and holocaust come to mind. (I apologize if you’re offended by my comparison of the plight of oppressed people throughout history to what’s happening to animals today.)

Without going into detail, let me just say that during those times in history, there were people who disagreed with the majority of the society supporting those forms of human abuse – and those people were a minority.

However, today the majority of us are appalled looking back at slavery and holocaust. All because the beliefs and the actions of the few who disagreed eventually won. That’s why as vegans, we have an important job to do sticking to our beliefs and spreading the word.

10. Because I don’t have to deal with a moral dilemma at every meal. That used to be a big problem for me before I went vegan. I would admire cows in the countryside, and feel ashamed later for going out to eat and ordering a steak.

Or, I’d struggle trying to figure out why we love and pet some animals like cats and dogs, and kill and eat others. I would do all kinds of moral gymnastics trying to find explanation, but couldn’t find any.

These days as a vegan, I am at peace at every meal.

So just as I don’t expect to lose my memory anytime soon, I also don’t expect forgetting any of the reasons above for staying vegan. Sorry ex-vegan movement, we’ll have to go our separate ways…

If you’re just thinking about going vegan, check out my tips for anyone who’s taking their first steps on their vegan journey.

Question for you: What was the biggest reason why you decided to go vegan/plant-based? Please let us all know below!

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author avatar
Alina Zavatsky - Vegan Runner Eats
Alina first made a switch to a vegan diet in 2013 to optimize her athletic performance as a marathon runner. Eventually she embraced veganism as a way to be kinder to fellow living beings and the environment. Alina hopes that this blog helps its readers on their path to becoming vegan and making this world a better place.


Wednesday 18th of December 2019

I love this post and the words to help me respond to people. However there are species that drink milk from other species like a dog in the field drinking from a goat? How do I respond to that?

Alina Zavatsky - Vegan Runner Eats

Wednesday 18th of December 2019

Hi Chrissy! It's extremely rare for dogs to willingly nurse from a goat. Most likely that happens because an animal (like a dog here) is in some sort of distress. Humans, however, drink cow's milk left and right, but we really don't have to. Hope this helps!


Wednesday 21st of February 2018

When I was 16 I saw a documentary called ‘Carnivore’. I’m not sure if it’s still kicking around. They showed cows being electrocuted to death then switched to a scene of (sorry to say this but...) ‘Fat’ people eating hamburgers. It instantly touched me in 2 ways: 1) killing animals is mean and cruel and 2) maybe we can get enough calories and nutrition without eating animals. What a brilliant and logical teen I was. I haven’t eaten meat since. It was only 5 1/2 years ago that I went vegan. What took me so long to become vegan??? All the untruthful media/corporations telling me that I had to eat fish for my omega-3’s and that I needed eggs for protein and dairy for calcium. What horrible lies! I’m certified now in Plant Based Nutrition through e-Cornell University, New York and it feels Soooo good to know that the science of nutrition has no doubt that a vegan (unprocessed foods) diet is the healthiest with dozens of studies to back this up!

Alina Zavatsky - Vegan Runner Eats

Thursday 22nd of February 2018

Thank you for sharing your story, Kendyra! Like you, I had lots of compassion for animals since childhood and would have gone vegan earlier if I didn't believe all those promos telling us that meat/dairy/eggs were so important to our health. My breaking point was watching Forks Over Knives: The Extended Interviews where all of the plant-based scientists, doctors, etc. from the original documentary get into the nitty-gritty of nutrition. Never looked back since!

Michael Taube

Saturday 3rd of September 2016

Hey Alina, thanks for that post and the reminder why I live vegan for 8 years now. I would add the following point: because it's making my life more wonderful in any aspect. I feel more connected, healthy and happy. Since I am vegan I met so many interesting individuals that I never had if I haven't changed my lifestyle.


Saturday 3rd of September 2016

That's a great point, Michael! I've met so many amazing people too when I went vegan. And congratulations on being vegan for 8 years!


Thursday 12th of May 2016

Hi I have been a vegetarian for 25+ years and vegan for the last year. I actually have never had a steak or hardly any red meat in my life as I refused to eat it as a child to the horror of my parents. I feel so much better being vegan that it's a shame I waited so long but it was an organic transition; with Pinterest and blogs about these days with amazing recipes, it was super easy. I don't crave cheese or any diary at all and at this point think of it as glue in my body. Although I am 100% plant based I don't feel I need to put a label on myself and perhaps when I go to Europe this year I might try some blue cheese as European cheese is so much better than North American. There is one downside to this lifestyle -- I am approaching 50 and none of my friends are even close to me in energy so I do a lot of things by myself! Many of my friends fell on the Paleo Diet bandwagon and it's just not something they can do long term. These friends continue to take cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc meds (don't forget ar around age 50 the bill comes due for what you have been doing to your body for the last 50 years). My husband is a reluctant vegan --- he likes meat (less and less though) but eats vegan with me because he feels so much better. Since going vegan and following the starch solution diet, I went from size 4 to size 0-2, have been able to run more without injury, my persistent rash I have had most of my life went away (must have been dairy related) and just feel so good that many of my friends are starting to take notice and are re-evaluating their own lifestyles. For those that are the only vegans in their towns or families that are relentless ... Let your health and energy speak for itself --- and eventually people will notice.


Friday 13th of May 2016

Hi Andrea, thank you for your comment! Glad to hear that vegan diet is working out so well for you! My husband was a reluctant vegan too for the first few months of our transition. It's great to see how others eventually start putting two and two together looking at us. Keep up the good work!


Friday 11th of March 2016

I love your article.

I do have one thing to say in response to reason number six. If you look at our physiology and the chemical composition of our saliva and digestive acids you'll note that we actually share the physiology of a frugavore not an heribore.

It sounds nit picky and small potatoes I know but I just wanted to chime in my 2 cents :)

Thank you for the great read


Friday 11th of March 2016

Thanks Joey, plants all the way!