Why Should You Try a Plant-Based Lifestyle?
We asked 6 colleagues why they eat plant-based. They shared what motivates their eating choices, and why you should try it, too.
Eating plant-based isn’t just about food; it’s a lifestyle choice. Cutting meat and other animal products out of your diet benefits animals, but it can also improve your health, it helps communities across the world, and it is better for the planet. Here’s why we do it, and why you could, too.
I started eating plant-based when I was 16 and never looked back. The thought of eating animals just rubbed me the wrong way. I quickly learned to sub tofu and beans for meat, and soy and later oat milk for dairy, so those were easy. Over the years, though, I have found it difficult to give up eggs and fish; they are my last animal products to go. The more I read about hens stuck in tiny cages and fish and bycatch caught in nets pulled from the ocean floor, the easier it’s getting to stop eating animals once and for all.
More than two decades ago, an activist handed me a pamphlet about factory farming while I stood in line for the premiere of The Phantom Menace. I stopped eating meat immediately. Today, I adhere to a plant-based diet—I don’t eat any animal products, including eggs and dairy. There are so many reasons to eat plant-based, including the climate crisis, protecting ecosystems like the Amazon rainforest, and the human workers who are also exploited by the factory farming industry. All these reasons motivate me, but I’m plant-based most of all for animals. I don’t want animals to suffer for my benefit.
I focus on eating more plant-based foods because they improve the health of my gut, allowing me to better absorb the nutrients from the food that support a healthy immune system and reduce inflammation. I just feel better!
I eat plant-based for my health, the animals, and planet. I have been plant-based for over 9 years now and have been so impressed with how many delicious alternatives there are out there. It is exciting to see major companies like Burger King, Carl’s Junior, Del Taco, etc. have meatless options on the menu. I originally went plant-based after my doctor recommended cutting down on dairy due to the allergic reaction I was having. I found that this simple swap helped with my congestion, sore throat, and ear infections that had plagued me. I absolutely love cooking plant-based options for my family during holidays and have hosted Thanksgiving a few times with lots of success and praise. It's great to be able to share recipes with others.
I consider myself a reducetarian: Someone trying to cut down on the animal products I eat. For me, it’s all about taking care of the planet and our communities. The more I learn about how animal products affect the earth, animals, and even humans, the less I want to do with the entire industry. So, I swap dairy for oat milk whenever possible, I choose veggies or tofu when eating out, and I’ve stopped buying meat to cook myself.
"I transitioned to a plant-based diet in college after reading Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel. The book opened my eyes to how broken our food system is, and I was struck by how much land and fossil fuels are consumed to grow millions of tons of grain for farmed animals instead of feeding people directly. Chemical pesticides and fertilizers needed to meet the high demand for cheap corn and soy destroy the soil, pollute the water, and threaten farmworkers and their families. Eating plant-based just made sense. It's been fifteen years since I stopped eating animal products, and I feel healthier and I have more energy."
Whether you’re trying Meatless Mondays or have fully cut animal products out of your diet, there are plenty of reasons to try eating plant-based.