A lot of people ask me why I'm a vegan. Sometimes, I just smile and don't say much at all, and sometimes I find myself rambling around forever in a way that soon makes both me and the person who first asked the question visibly uncomfortable.
But when it comes down to it, my reasons for being a vegan are pretty simple, and are the exact same reasons why many people choose a life of voluntary simlicity.
Reason #1: It's good for my health. I'm not going to go into much detail about this here, because there are experts who have written extensively on the topic. If you are so inclined, read The China Study and Becoming Vegan.
Reason #2: It's good for my wallet. Seriously, being a vegan saves me money. Except for an occasional meal out at a favorite vegan restaurant, being a vegan is pretty cheap. By and large, veggies and fruits (even the locally grown and organic variety) are reasonably priced. Nuts are worth the price I pay for them, considering how small a serving size is. Even my expensive vegan protein powder doesn't cost me nearly as much as the average person spends on buying meat, cheese, and dairy products. Do I sometimes get upset that my organic soy milk costs so much more than regular milk and that it rarely goes on sale? Of course I do. But then I just revert back to Reason #1 above and I relax.
Reason #3. It's good for the environment. And I'm not just talking about the animals here. Of course being a vegan is good for them. :) It's also better for the air, water, and land. Again, you don't have to research much to learn the impact that the Standard American Diet has on our environment... and how being a vegan is a lighter way to walk through life.
I'm really not an expert on veganism. I just know that it makes sense for me personally. It aligns with my values and makes me feel good about many of the choices I make on a daily basis. That's it.
If you've ever considered giving up animal products, I encourage you to do your research and then take the leap. Try it. If you don't like it, you know, you can always go back... And if being a vegan seems like too big of a stretch, join the "Meatless Mondays" movement. Give up meat one day a week, knowing that on Tuesday you can go back to eating whatever you ate on Sunday. You might just find yourself not wanting all that meat after a while.
Oh, and check out my brother's blog here. He's the person who inspired me to go vegan. And he writes about it quite a bit on his blog. And he's pretty smart and entertaining. But again, that's just my personal opinion. :)