Switching to a vegan lifestyle was one of the best life optimizations made on my path toward FIRE.
Wealth, health, and compassion for others are all embedded into this lifestyle in a number of ways.
Building Your FIRE is all about building and protecting your assets, planning for the long term, and having a positive impact on those around you. Veganism hits all of these marks by default.
1. My health improved
My pre-vegan diet looked like this: Cheese, cheese, pizza, and more cheese. I ballooned to 260 pounds and had high blood pressure.
After deciding that I had enough of my lifestyle, I started eating vegan as a way to lose weight. Over the next year the weight just started coming off, and after I reached my goal of a healthy weight, I stopped counting calories and focusing on what I was eating.
I loosened up and started eating Oreos (yes they are vegan), vegan pizza, and deep fried seitan…and still do. Typically for people who lose a significant amount of weight, this is when the pounds start slipping back on…
That weight never came back.
I still eat what I want without counting calories within reason and as long as it is vegan, and I do eat my fair share of greens, veggies, and fruit.
This leads me to believe that if I had never tried to lose weight, I still would have lost some on accident just by eating vegan.
Besides feeling amazing and being the answer to my weight issues, reducing future medical bills and potentially adding healthy years to my life are well worth it for me.
Note: Again this is my story, results may vary, and I’m in no way saying this will work for everyone.
2. Eating vegan lowered my spending on food
We went from spending about $500 a month on groceries to $350 for two people.
To be transparent, some of this was due to being more cognizant about what we were spending, but most of this was because we were buying cheaper foods.
Since cheese and meat were the most expensive items we were buying, eating vegan helped to lower our food costs by not putting those pricey items in our cart in the first place.
For reference, here is a list I found with decent price comparison of cost per edible cup of many popular western foods.
Since vegan options at restaurants are also not as abundant (yet), we also make food at home much more often. When we get the craving to eat out there is always Chipotle and Taco Bell for fast food and a number of vegan restaurants that we are lucky enough to live near.
Side note: No matter what diet you follow, you can make it expensive by purchasing convenience foods.
3. I got excited about food for the first time
It is a common side effect of becoming vegan to appreciate the food that you eat more than you did when you were a meat eater.
Since you lose the crutch of slathering your dishes in fat and cheese, you naturally begin to try out other spices, ingredients, and dishes.
Since I started having to cook more I learned how to detect different ingredients in prepared food and how to create restaurant dishes I love at home.
4. I have less of an impact on animals and the environment
Even though this is number four on this list, it is actually my number one reason.
Animals are also feeling and thinking sentient beings. It is nice to know that my choices aren’t causing them harm.
It is easier than ever to make the switch as more vegan convenience foods are available at large chain stores. I get my tofu and seitan from Walmart!
If you go vegan, I guarantee you that your waistline, wallet, animals, and environment will thank you.
Did I miss any other reasons? Let me know in the comments!