steak dinnerJust say "no thanks" to steak!As trendy as it may have become in recent years, going vegan is no small feat. It's a serious, hands-on, full-time-job-like commitment. Or at least that's what I hear from my sister, who did it pretty strictly for a year. Inspired by her efforts (and okay, weight loss, too), I actually tried my hand at a pesca-vegan regimen for a couple of months only to throw in the towel when I realized I actually felt better overall -- more energy, better weight management, higher satiety -- while eating lean poultry, low-fat cheese, Greek yogurt, etc. While I still opt for almond milk and coconut milk desserts more often than cow's milk and ice cream, I now know veganism and I just weren't meant to be. As for my sis, well, she quit recently, too, because she was "hungry." Ha.

So, in retrospect, I started thinking about reasons people might -- for better or worse -- believe veganism is their diet soul mate. Here, 11 "legitimate" reasons for going vegan ...

  1. You have a chronic illness. Like Kris Carr, New York Times best-selling author, wellness activist, and Queen of Crazy Sexy Wellness, maybe you were given a diagnosis that is best kept in check with a super-strict, very clean, vegan diet. Awesome.
  2. Commercials about animal abuse set to Sarah McLachlan tunes make you cry. And thus, you don't wanna eat animals. Or their products.
  3. You watched Food, Inc. And it skeeved you out and made you want to strangle meat eaters and boycott all the companies and farmers that profit from animal abuse.
  4. You loooooove to cook. As in, you don't mind spending 24 hours per dish you prepare -- collecting a recipe, special ingredients like faux vegan cheese and nutritional yeast, thinking about how it is gonna turn out, and finally while cooking it, you strong-arm the dish into becoming what you want it to taste like. Like beef stroganoff. (Even if it'll never taste anything even close to actual beef stroganoff.)
  5. You're sure you can be a "relaxed" vegan. As in, if you see a jelly doughnut at a party, you're perfectly capable of convincing yourself that it's okay to eat, because a.) there's no ingredient list available, and b.) you know for a fact they're filled with, err, jelly -- not beef!
  6. Dairy makes you ill. No, really! What's up with that mucusy stuff it creates in your throat after you eat it, and why does it cause such noxious flatulence? Eww. I'll take the almond milk, thanks.
  7. You think celeb vegans like Alicia Silverstone and Lea Michele and Bob Harper are really hot. And if you eat like them, you'll totally look like them, right?
  8. You're experimenting in an attempt to address a chronic wellness issue. Maybe it'll clear up your acne or give your weight loss program a boost? Hey, worth a shot.
  9. It's a way to go green. You believe industrialized animal farming is a huge factor contributing to environmental degradation and are trying to live a more sustainable or eco-friendly lifestyle.
  10. You couldn't care less about food. Flavor shmavor. Gourmet shmoremet. Pass the iceberg!
  11. You read The China Study. AKA the really well-conducted, reputable research that theorizes that casein (milk protein) feeds cancer cells.

What do you think are "legit" reasons for going vegan?


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