Vegan for my Heart
First and foremost, I went vegan for the animals. The ones that are tortured and killed to be on someone’s plate. Or on someone’s back. The ones that are taken away from their mothers as newborns so that the milk that was intended for them can be sold. I’m vegan for them. I’m also vegan for the environment, because I know what a waste of resources it is to raise livestock, when we can use a small fraction of those resources to grow the same amount of plant based calories. I’m vegan because I want to lessen the suffering in this world.

One thing I never really identified with was being vegan for my own personal health. I think many people go vegan at first to improve their own health, whether it’s to lose weight, feel better, or prevent or treat disease. There’s a lot of evidence that a plant based diet is one of the best ways to eat, especially compared to the standard American diet. Just look up Fork Over Knives or the China Study if you’re curious. Even though I didn’t start out as a plant based diet advocate, there is a part of me that is very passionate about the health benefits of veganism.

You see, three years ago this month, I lost my dad to a heart attack. It was sudden. We didn’t get to say goodbye. We didn’t get to say thank you. One second he was here, and the next, he was gone. I still live with the pain from losing my Dad so suddenly. Heart disease is cruel like that. It takes the people we love in an instant. And one of the saddest facts about heart disease is that it can be preventable. Diet and exercise can prevent and even reverse heart disease. Sure, genetics play a part, too, but what you’re putting into your body has a huge impact on the health of your heart. And a healthy vegan diet has been shown to improve and reverse disease in so many people.

I wish that I could’ve cured my dad. I wish his doctors had prescribed him a vegan diet. I wish things could have been different. And I know I’m not alone in feeling that way. Heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women in the US. If more people changed the way that they ate, and more doctors talked to their patients about the benefits of a plant based diet, I truly believe we could reduce the number of people suffering and dying from heart disease.

It’s too late for so many of our loved ones. But it’s not too late for you. Or me. Your coworker. Or your grandma. Let’s improve our diets. Let’s take care of ourselves. Eat more plants. Cut out the dairy and meat. Sure, you can indulge in a vegan cupcake once in a while, but on a daily basis, if we all just took the time to love ourselves a little more by putting quality fuel into our bodies, we could greatly reduce the amount of people suffering from heart disease. Take care of your heart and the hearts of those you love. Encourage them to eat better. You could save a life.