When is a Vegan Diet Right for You?
By Ashley Hagensick
Jan 30, 2018
Updated Oct 25, 2023
5 min read
Often choice comes down to a couple reasons:
Health Reasons – Just consuming two servings of red meat per day increases your risk of early death, heart disease, and stroke. Your risk of colon and rectal cancer rises by 20% for every serving of red or processed meats you eat per day. Processed red meat (including bacon and ham) has been linked to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Environmental reasons - As far as the environmental impact, meat has a big water footprint. The water footprint is the amount of water it takes to produce one serving of the food. It’s not just about the water the animal drinks, but also about all the water it takes to grow all the food they will eat over their lifetime. Beef has a water footprint of 464 gallons, pork 180 gallons, and chicken 130 gallons.
An easy way to know if a food is vegan or not is to ask yourself if what you’re eating or any of its ingredients has a face. Strict vegans consume no products derived from an animal, including all dairy products, foods made with gelatin (Jell-O, marshmallows, gummy bears), sauces and dressings that contain anchovy (Worcestershire, Caesar), chips containing chicken fat, orange juice fortified with omega-3s, and refried beans made with lard.