Not only is being a vegetarian or vegan better for the animals and the planet, but it is better for you. Since I started eating a vegetarian diet, I lost a significant amount of weight and even my mood improved drastically. Vegetarians have a significantly lower risk of developing heart disease, prostate/colon/ovarian/breast cancers, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Vegans boast all of the above, plus lowering their chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis, cataracts and osteoporosis. Many people who suffer from the skin conditions eczema and psoriasis have reported that a vegan diet almost eliminated these things. If you would like to read more about the health benefits of being a vegan, I would highly recommend reading this article: http://www.veganurbanite.com/2010/05/04/59-health-...
As someone who is a pretty active and likes to stay fit and healthy, I go to the gym most days - I get asked a lot about where I possibly get my protein being a vegan. Nobody is a fan of vegan protein powder and I have never been able to adapt to that horrible chalky taste that all vegan proteins have. However, I have recently discovered an absolute game changer: Clean Lean Protein by NuZest. This protein is 100% plant based and made only from natural ingredients, so not only is it vegan friendly, but it is paleo friendly too! I also eat lots of lentils and chickpeas every day to make sure I am getting enough plant-based protein before and after a workout. There are many plant-based sources of protein and there is even a huge list of successful athletes and body builders that live on a completely vegan diet.
Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is not easy - it involves hard work and making sacrifices. It took me a year of being a vegetarian before I went fully vegan and I still slip up now and then, because being a vegan means being extremely mindful of everything you eat or buy. At first, you will spend double the amount of time on your weekly shop simply by reading the ingredient labels on all your favourite foods seeing if they are going to fit in with your new lifestyle or not. You will find that you will have to sacrifice many treats, but you will feel amazing knowing that you resisted something for the greater good. As I mentioned, it is easy to slip up and accidentally eat something that has a hidden animal by-product or even give in to the temptation of your favorite non-vegan treat - but never be hard on yourself if this happens. Forgive yourself, we are only human and by making the decision to live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle you are making a conscious effort to change the world for yourself and for animals. After a while, you will learn what is vegan friendly and you will find delectable recipes that you will never have to resist!
Vegan cooking has become one of my favorite things to do and I am constantly discovering new delicious foods and recipes that I can indulge in. If you are ever in need of a sweet treat or savoury snack but are not sure if it is vegan or not - I use this list I found by PETA. It is a list of all those scrummy foods that you would have no idea are actually vegan! http://www.peta.org.au/the-issues/eat/accidentally... (This is the AUS/NZ version, but you can easily find something similar for your own country of residence!)
We all have the power to make a difference, even if it seems impossible. Being a vegetarian or a vegan is not just going to positively impact the life of countless animals, but it will also benefit the environment and your own health and wellbeing. Try being a vegetarian or vegan for a week and see that it is not as hard as everyone makes out. You may have to sacrifice some of your favorite foods, but you will also find that lots of these have a vegetarian/vegan alternatives and you will be constantly adding new goodies on to your list of fave-foods.
Personally, I no longer view veganism as being a diet. It is simply a lifestyle.