Hey there! This is written by myself, Robert O'Kruk the founder of MALA FOREST. I've had the chance to learn about and live as a vegan while travelling the world and talking to many people from all kinds of cultures about it. I hope I can share my opinion on veganism in a way that's helpful, free from bias and easy to understand. Feel free to contact me (contact form at the bottom of the page) with any thoughts or questions :)
Why Go Vegan?
I quickly thought to myself, what are the reasons I'm vegan? It boiled down to three simple topics. They focus primarily on veganism in relation to diet.
Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. 1*
Animal agriculture is one of the most destructive forces on our earth today. Keyword being "agriculture", we're not talking about hunting and eating wild game. We're talking about animals being turned into factories in a way that is completely alien to how nature functions naturally. The impact? It's driving climate change/global warming and it's poisoning our water sources globally and local communities near industrial farms. Here's a quick overview of just some of the impact animal agriculture has on our environment:
The more you look into it, the more you see how devastating its full impact is. The points above only cover some of the total impact animal agriculture has on the environment.
Nobody can deny it, animals are being raised, killed and processed in a way that seems to come straight from a horror film. There's an internet full of documentaries, photos and videos documenting it. It's downright nasty to watch, but it's the reality of eating the majority of animal products.
If I asked you if you wanted to cause pain and suffering to animals what would your answer be? If you're still eating animals but answer that question with "no", then there's a disconnect between your values and your actions.
Take responsibility for your own actions. You'll feel better. Shuffling the guilty thoughts you may have about eating animals out of your conscious mind is not a solution. The reality is that guilt is more than happy to manifest in our unconscious mind. Deep down, we all know when we act rightly or wrongly.
Remember the golden rule we all learnt when we were kids? "Treat others the way you want to be treated". It's not just for humans. Treat ALL LIFE the way you would want to be treated.
It's Healthier & You Will Feel Awesome (Just Try It)
This was what sold me. It's actually better for you. There's countless scientific reasons that a vegan diet promotes better health. But there's a lot of arguing on the internet for both sides. It can definitely be confusing! So how do we decide who's right? It's so simple, just try it!
I was an omnivore for the first 25 years of my life so I know what eating meat is like in detail. But I could not say the same of being a vegan. So I tried it! This is what got me on board, I felt great and there was no downsides. I was able to continue a physically intense lifestyle of backpacking, hiking, daily yoga & more without turning into a stick. In fact my muscles were stronger than ever and I got leaner while still maintaining a healthy amount of body fat.
I always thought that you needed to eat meat to be physically and mentally strong but in reality everything you need to build a strong and healthy body and have a sharp mind can come from vegetables, fruits, nuts & other non animal food sources.
You don't need a doctor or a million different scientists to tell you which way of eating is better. Simply try it for yourself. You won't die and you'll earn experiential knowledge of how a specific nutrition lifestyle effects you personally.
Here's an article to back some of my opinions with science.
20 Health Benefits of Going Vegan, According to Science
How To Do It?
So what's the next step? There's definitely some learning involved, but it's interesting and there's a lot of great resources. Checkout this extremely detailed guide and you can always rely on Google to answer any of your specific questions. It covers just about everything including examples of meals and more:
Bonus! Vegan critics will often cite that vitamin b12 can become an issue and this article did a great job clarifying the topic for me:
Goodland, R Anhang, J. “Livestock and Climate Change: What if the key actors in climate change were pigs, chickens and cows?”
My life experience