WHY vegan

I’m vegan because eating plants is the single biggest thing I could do to help save our planet – in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, resource usage, rainforest destruction, reef destruction, and so much more…

I’m vegan because I know I can get all the nutrients I need to be healthy, without having to exploit or kill animals. I’m vegan because when I look into my cat’s eyes, I know he feels love and joy and pain and suffering, and is no different to any other animal, including humans – he just doesn’t speak english.

I’m vegan because animal agriculture exploits humans, too.

I’m vegan because I get to enjoy eating all kinds of amazingly delicious meals, without worrying about getting food poisoning or heart disease. I’m vegan because it’s so easy for me to do something that makes such a massive difference.

For me, being vegan is a positive choice – for animals, for the future of our planet, for our collective health, and for our tastebuds – the old WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN.

Being vegan…
… is NOT a restrictive diet.
… is NOT a judgment of others.
… is NOT about missing out on culture or social connection.
… IS a conscious choice to live in line with our empathy and compassion.

To tap into that big compassionate heart of veganism, I asked some friends, vegan bloggers and youtubers to share why they love being vegan. I also asked these lovely people to think of one dish they would share with a friend if they said they’d just gone vegan.

Download the ebook

This felt like a big vegan love fest, and pot luck, and I wanted to make sure we shared it with you, so I compiled their beautiful stories and delicious recipes together into an ebook for you to download. Check out and follow the people in here, if you don’t already know their work. They are so wonderful and generous. 

Download the eBook

I hope you find something inside that inspires your tastebuds or your soul. Even better – I hope you find something you’d like to share with a friend! Please feel free to share this ebook around to spread the love. xox h

Why Vegan?Share your why:

I’d love to hear your story or message about why you’re vegan (or why you want to be vegan), something you’re grateful veganism has given you, or why you can’t imagine living any other way. It could be about animals, the planet, your health, your family’s health, delicious foods – anything that you love about your vegan way of life, and your motivation. Share in the comments, share on instagram or facebook (tag me @heathernicholds so I can read!), wherever you want.

Read some stories, follow some cool people:

As a tiny human, my body had trouble digesting animal protein, so I made the decision to follow a vegan diet. That one choice transformed my health, my life and my relationship with the world. I learned a lot of disturbing truths along the way, discovered the incredible food you can create from plants and found a community of people who inspire me.

Veganism is powerful activism at a personal level. Everyday I get to make choices that reduce the exploitation of animals, lessen the stress on our planet and improve my health. It feels fantastic when simple decisions like what to feed your toddler for lunch remind you that you care and what you do matters.
I’m sharing my recipes for banana bread biscotti below because this holiday season our world needs more love, compassion and friends sharing cookies and conversation.”

Lisa Pitman

Try Lisa’s Banana Bread Biscotti!

“The answer is simple: I love animals too much to eat them. I would have gone vegan as child if I could have, because I never liked meat. While other kids weren’t allowed to leave the dinner table until they finished their broccoli, I was stuck at the table with a pork chop or piece of steak. My health improved and my energy increased after I went vegan, which I wasn’t expecting, but was pleasantly surprised by. AND I had no idea that food could taste so good!

Dianne Wenz

Try Dianne’s Lasagna Tart!

In 2002, while in Kenya, I became a vegetarian. It was after celebrating a special occasion. An elder in the small village led in his most prized possession. A goat. And then that goat was slaughtered, stewed and served for dinner. That was the last time I ate meat.
Eight years later, in 2010, I finally decided to commit to being vegan. Shortly after I visited @woodstocksanctuary for the first time. I went there to meet Clover. I had read about her on the sanctuary website. She was a goat that had been saved from slaughter and was living out her life, happy and free. When I met her, looked into her eyes, I knew I was Vegan For Life. Vegan for her and for all of the animals who want to live. Who experience joy, fear, happiness, sadness and love.
Today, nearly 16 years after meeting a goat in Africa and nearly eight years after choosing vegan, I am now a professional vegan chef, culinary instructor and cookbook author. Why? Because I want to help influence food choices that people make five to ten times a day. I want that choice to be delicious and easy. And I do it for justice for the animals.

JL Fields

Try JL’s Warm Nutty Quinoa and Cherry Salad!

“It’s been a little over 23 years since I made the choice to go vegan. I was vegetarian for a few years prior and I did not know that the dairy industry also contributed to the suffering and death of animals. When I learned that, I didn’t want any part of it. In addition to meat, I didn’t consider animal products to be food anymore. For many years after that, I didn’t know how I could inspire and educate others to go vegan aside from people watching what I ate and asking questions. It wasn’t until I had this crazy idea to start a vegan cooking show on YouTube. I’ve never been able to inspire and get the word out about veganism as good as I have been able to through The Vegan Zombie. When I hear stories of how my channel or recipes have helped people go vegan, it makes all the hard work worth while. It means everything and it keeps me going. To me, it’s a no-brainer. Going vegan is simply the right thing to do.”

– Chris aka The Vegan Zombie

Try The Vegan Zombie’s Wacky Chocolate Cake!

“Long ago, I went vegetarian for my health. I quickly learned that 🐄 cows and chickens 🐓 were tortured and forced to live horrendous lives just so humans could take away their milk and eggs. In 1997, I went vegan and have never looked back. 💜 Like everyone I know who’s vegan, I only wish I’d done it sooner. When people ask me why I’m vegan, the simplest answer I can give is that I’m vegan for the triple win of compassion, health, and 🌍 eco-sustainability. 🌱 Being vegan gives me an easy way to live my ethics numerous times every single day.”

Allison Rivers Samson

Try Allison’s Vegan Bacon Bits!

“I originally gave up animal products in 1991 for animal rights reasons. But soon after, I found it also had a profound effect on my health. My acne cleared up, I stopped being chronically ill, and my anemia went away. Now, decades later, I continue to LOVE being vegan for all the reasons! It’s suuuch a gift! It’s like saying, HEY! What if I can have the best health, be kind to animals, do a favor to mother earth 🌎 AND eat the most delicious food on the planet?!!! 😍🥑🍓🥞🍰🍉 Yay! It’s easier than ever to go vegan and I can tell you for a fact, it’s a joyful way to live that just keeps getting better! “

Tess Challis

Try Tess’ Jacked Up Vegan Nachos! (Photo by @anna.pelzer)

I’m closing in on 25 years eating vegan. My husband is vegan. Kids are vegan. When someone asks me why I became vegan, I explain it started all those years back as a start to eating healthier. But very quickly, I made ethical connections that I could NOT ignore. Ultimately, eating VEGAN is great for our environment – eating a whole-foods centred VEGAN diet is great for our health. And, of course eating VEGAN is the ONLY way to eat that is truly compassionate to all living beings. 💚🙏 It’s a beautiful way to live and eat. It’s easier than most people think. It takes a little effort, but don’t all things that are worthwhile???? Yes. So, I guess my answer to why vegan is… why not?

Dreena Burton’s Plant Powered Kitchen

Try Dreena’s Creamy Vegan Fettucini! (Posted on The Blender Girl’s website)

“I am vegan for the animals, the planet, and my health. But it goes deeper than that. I am vegan because I made a commitment to something bigger than myself. I chose to make a selfless act that is not always easy, not always convenient, and not ever perfect- but WORTH it. Being vegan is about so much more than just what you eat. It’s about taking a stand for something, transforming your passions into purpose, and creating change in the world.
Its about BEING the change you want to see. I believe in world peace, I believe in ending world hunger, I believe in ending the destruction of our planet. I also believe in compassion for ourselves and every other being on this planet. And if I believe in all of that – it makes no sense to not be vegan, to not be a voice for ending the destruction, slaughter, inhumanity that is happening in our world… So yeah, I don’t eat meat or dairy but it goes so much DEEPER than that. I also don’t support violence. Because as long as there is violence going on in slaughterhouses, there will be violence in the streets. Peace is peace. There is no such thing as world peace for humans, but not any other living being. We all can do our part. We ALL can be a force of change.”

Stephanie Hutchinson, the Plant Powered Coach

It’s really an easy decision to make when you learn about the horrific conditions that animals raised for food go through. In 2002, I watched the Meet Your Meat video on PETA’s website and that’s all I needed. I went vegan for the animals, but as time went on I realized it was the best way to live for the environment and for my own health. It’s the one life decision you can make that has a ripple effect across the whole world. We are spoiled today because there are so many great vegan alternatives; there’s no deprivation whatsoever. Give it a try!

Christy Morgan, the Blissful Fit Chef

Try Christy’s Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables!

“The only thing I regret about going vegan is not doing it sooner. It’s transformed my body, mind, and soul and created a deep connection in my life that continues to expand. My initial decision to transition to vegan was a combination of wanting to be healthier and that I connect to animals in a way that makes it NOT cool to eat them or anything that comes from them. Now with hotforfood I’m out to prove that being vegan is fun, full of flavour, without sacrifices, and rich in a variety of foods that will make you feel more alive and not guilty.”

Lauren Toyota, hot for food

Try Lauren’s roasted poblano and jackfruit tacos with adobo cream sauce!

“For me, going vegan was a journey, and I think it’s a path that many people take. I initially went vegan for my health. I stayed vegan for the amazing food, and I’m vegan today for the animals. Meals like this tofu and bok choy bowl make eating vegan so deliciously easy! You can snag this recipe on my blog if you search, “Buddha bowl”.”

Becky Striepe

Try Becky’s Baked Tofu Buddha Bowls with Magical Tahini Dressing

“45 years ago I became a vegetarian. It was a natural extension of yoga practice, which I was teaching at the time. Central to yoga philosophy is ahimsa, inspired by the fact that all living animals have the spark of sentience; therefore, to hurt another being is to hurt oneself. Compassion, kindness, and non-killing are embraced.”

“Living the qualities that are central to veganism: cause the least harm possible, embody kindness, patience, and compassion – must infuse our conversations and conduct with others. We each have different personalities, ways to pass along the vegan message – some are more outspoken, visibly more activist, others more quietly advocate. Be the change. Touch the world.”

Lani Muelrath

And try Lani’s Chocolate Mousse!
Photo by Christa The Artistic Vegan


  1. Millisa Davis 7 years ago

    I have tried to go vegan and would still love to be vegan. I have problems planning meals and not everyone will eat it! I make beans and cornbread and my husband and his brother when he comes over will eat that but I don’t know how to make cornbread with out eggs and I have tried but it falls apart. So I fail at it miserably!!!

    • Heather Nicholds 7 years ago

      mmmm yeah, I hear the whole mixed-household issues… it can be such a challenge! I’ll work on a post about that, now that I can speak from a bit of personal experience. As for the cornbread – I’m sure there are lots of vegan recipes out there! Here’s one to start perusing: https://minimalistbaker.com/perfect-vegan-cornbread/
      Good luck 😀

  2. Jo Bergstrom 7 years ago

    I am vegan because as a Registered Dietitian, I know it is the healthiest diet for humans. It is so nice to know that I am doing what I can to make the smallest impact on the planet I can. I’m in a position to encourage others to subscribe to a vegan diet as well, in my profession. It took me a long time to assert my wish to go vegan. I should have made the changes sooner.

    • Heather Nicholds 7 years ago

      yay, so glad you’re sharing your passion and the nutrition aspects of veganism! I hear ya, I wish I had gone vegan sooner, but of course we can’t dwell on that – only aim to keep doing what we’re doing! And the wonderful thing about helping people figure out the nutritional base of veganism means we can make that change realistic and give the tools for long-term success. High five, girl 😀

  3. Alicia Jackson El 7 years ago

    Seven years ago I went vegan for health reasons. I have these horrible fibroids that I’ve been trying to naturally dissolve for the second time. The first time I had surgery to get rid of them but my doctor never told me to change my diet or that they could or would grow back. Then, I thought, why would she? She’s a medical doctor. They don’t learn much about nutrition in medical school. They push what they learn. They learn how to cut on you (just like you’re a piece of meat) & push meds on you. Yeah, like foreign substances are going to cure anything. They just mask & maintain disease. My current doctor told me that about 80% of women are walking around with fibroids & don’t know it. How do they know that? Do they examine women & don’t tell them? Another thing that helped me go vegan & stay there is my Dad told me he had an accident with a truck driver hauling dead chickens. Dad told the driver, ‘Those chickens sure do stink. What are you guys going to do with them?’ Hold on to your hat. The driver told him, ‘Feed them to other animals.’ I was done at that point.

    • Heather Nicholds 7 years ago

      Thanks so much for sharing, both here and on youtube – gosh that chicken story is absolutely horrifying… Hope you’re feeling better and the fibroids are getting smaller!

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