8 Millennials On Why They Switched To A Plant-Based Diet

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8 Millennials On Why They Switched To A Plant-Based Diet
Christina Cruz

“During one summer night, I decided to watch YouTube videos and I came across one called ‘101 Reasons to go Vegan.’ Three hours later, I found myself knee deep in a spiral of vlogs and documentaries about Veganism. I went to bed that night resolute that I was going to be vegan one day and I would start the moment I wake up by cutting out all meat products. Fast forward three years and here I am still scouring menus for vegetarian and vegan items, testing vegan recipes and talking about why the world should eventually go vegan. Whenever I get asked what compelled me to make such a huge life change, I go back to the same reasons presented in those documentaries. Being a vegan and vegetarian, I am able to do wonders not only for my health but also for the environment and of course, the animals.”

8 Millennials On Why They Switched To A Plant-Based Diet
Katrine Lee

“I was at my weakest point, lost, and on the brink of self-destruction. I was desperate to recover from my negligence of health. I followed my intuition and decided to dive into the world of veganism overnight. I was scared but at the same time extremely excited and driven to walk this path. I immersed myself in the guidance of well experienced vegans and documentaries like Earthlings, What The Health, Fork Over Knives, Cowspiracy, etc., the truth unfolded within me and came a heartfelt choice that I no longer want to contribute into the absurd amount of killings of these beings that put our health, environment and planet at stake. I watched myself heal and came into a deep understanding that veganism is what connects me to my authentic self. Choosing this lifestyle sparked a light in my soul that I so badly needed to help me grow and the impact its made in my life continuously inspires me to choose love, peace and kindness among all beings, my surroundings, and people around me.”

8 Millennials On Why They Switched To A Plant-Based Diet
Rashmi Vanjani

“Being a vegetarian in the Philippines is harder than it sounds. The culture and the people here love meat, to the point that some waiters at restaurants do not know what ‘vegetarian’ is. A lot of people think eating fish, eggs, and chicken is practically being a vegetarian already. Despite how difficult it is, I can’t bring myself to eat animals because I respect their right to live freely. I love animals so much that I could never support inflicting pain and torture by buying and consuming meat. People freak out at the thought of a puppy being killed and tortured, but what’s the difference between a puppy and a pig? I am a vegetarian and will always be one because I recognize that animals have the same rights as us humans. They breathe in oxygen just like humans. They eat, sleep, and communicate just like humans. Animals have a heartbeat and can feel pain just like humans. I would never eat a human, and therefore I would never eat an animal.”

8 Millennials On Why They Switched To A Plant-Based Diet
Amanda Villapando

“I unknowingly started my transition to veganism about three years ago when I threw out all my cosmetics tested on animals and replaced them with cruelty-free alternatives. It wasn’t until a few months later that one of my friends told me to watch a documentary called ‘Earthlings,’ which completely opened my eyes and made me see the link between the food I was eating and animal cruelty. I became a pescatarian right after watching the film. I then transitioned to a vegetarian, and finally, a vegan. This lifestyle change and my passion for helping animals are two of the reasons I made the decision to move to Melbourne, Australia. Today, I’m in my second year at La Trobe University studying Animal & Veterinary Biosciences with hopes of becoming a veterinarian in the future.”

8 Millennials On Why They Switched To A Plant-Based Diet
Karissa De Leon

“My vegan journey started right after I turned to Japanese minimalism late last year and it opened my eyes to the destructive habit of constant consumerism that our economy has propagated over the years. I was an instant conscious consumer overnight, I was making sure that before I purchased I knew how they were made and who made them in order to lower my carbon footprint and support fair trade for workers. This eventually paved the way to my being conscious of what I ate, too. After learning about the impact of the meat, dairy, and egg industries on the environment, the animals, and the economy (how it is part of a rotten cycle of capitalism), I knew I had to change and I never looked back. Veganism for me is not just a diet, nor a trend. It is a revolution. I believe in the power of the consumer. Every time I choose to eat something vegan I am voting with my money on what kind of demand the future market will have until one-day animal products for human use will ultimately be nonexistent.“

8 Millennials On Why They Switched To A Plant-Based Diet
Marion Nilsson

“I think it all started with my ambitious dream of wanting to change the world and making it a better place. I believe in equality for all life, the vulnerable and the voiceless, and I think that only when we understand the concept of compassion towards all living beings as a collective will we ever learn to coexist and live well with others. Also, the idea of consuming food that is directly grown from earth and sunlight seemed like the most natural and sustainable way of living! I wanted to be aware of what I was putting into my body to avoid all the hormones and other additives that can be found in meat and dairy. As consumers, we have the choice to take responsibility for conserving the environment and the lives of many animals by making the conscious decision on our purchases and eating habits. Our actions create a ripple effect.”

8 Millennials On Why They Switched To A Plant-Based Diet
Romano Santos

“About two years ago I participated in a week-long yoga retreat which just so happened to be vegan. Coming from what I thought was a healthy, high-protein diet of whey protein, meat, and eggs, I was intrigued by the idea that one could not just survive but thrive on a plant-based diet. What started as a health and fitness experiment quickly became a source of affinity to and oneness with the natural world around me. The environmental benefits coupled with how much better my body felt left me no reason to return to my previous diet. By teaching me about the workings of my body as well as its connection to the world at large, going vegan has profoundly changed my life.”

8 Millennials On Why They Switched To A Plant-Based Diet
Darla Baclit

“When I watched the documentary ‘Earthlings’ six years ago, my outlook on the food industry changed forever. My decision to go veg will always be first and foremost an ethical choice; I believe health benefits take a different kind of effort altogether. Animal products or not, anyone can be healthy or unhealthy. Though the debate over this can never be resolved, there is one thing that cannot be argued: even if we can essentially stay healthy whilst consuming animal products, the fact that it is proven - now by the millions of people - that we can get everything we could ever need for our bodies through a plant-based diet is enough for me to deem the slaughter of 3,000 sentient beings per minute and the environmental impact caused by it unnecessary. I believe it’s a step forward in evolution. Why support death and cruelty for something that I don’t need?”

With light finally being shed on the ethical, environmental, and health issues that the meat industry brings to the table, greater awareness is spreading worldwide. which is driving more individuals to consider or fully take on a plant-based diet.

According to livekindly.com, vegan-related searches on Google increased by 90 percent in 2016. A year later in 2017, 6 percent of the U.S. population identified themselves as vegan, a notable increase from 1 percent in 2014. The U.K. is now consuming 50 percent less beef, Portugal’s vegetarian population grew by 400 percent, non-dairy alternatives take up 40 percent of dairy products, and the demand for vegetarian food has increased by 987 percent worldwide.

There is no doubt that plant-based diets are going mainstream globally and studies say that the demand will continue expanding.

In their own words, 8 young Filipinos share why they decided to make the switch.

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Bianca Cruz

Features Writer

A 21-year old former fashion student who left school to search for a different direction. She started her personal blog in May 2017 where she writes mostly about women empowerment and her life. The "struggling vegan, triggered feminist, self-proclaimed environmentalist, Facebook social justice warrior, and everything else you find annoying" blogger now writes for the Asian Journal! She is very excited for the things to come and wishes to continue to tell the world her stories in the hopes of sending a positive message.

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