I could come up with 100 reasons to answer the question "why be vegan", but instead, I'll just list off 3 that have nothing to do with you. You will find nary an answer on the health benefits, nor the environmental impact. The reason? The heart of veganism is about them - the animals, and not about what's in it for us humans.
So let's hop right into it, then.
This is a fairly self-explanatory point that tends to get lost in translation. You like animals - you pet cats and are against whale hunting and marvel at unique species of birds. You're probably quite against kicking a dog or punching a cat. In fact, if you saw someone do that, you'd call the cops on them. But then someone lights up the barbeque and all reason goes out the window.
What's the major difference between a cow and a dog? Sure, they're a different species. They're different shapes and sizes with different genes and a different sort of behavior. But is it logical that a dog is worth loving and a cow is worth killing? We're all animals, after all.
Chances are you're also not cool with how things go down on factory farms - most people aren't. You know that behind those humongous walls there's some seriously deranged sh*t going on. So if you like animals, why not put your money where your mouth is and stop paying people to kill and torture them for you?
2. Okay, You Don't Like Animals, but You're a Reasonable Person
So not everyone is an animal lover, I get that. I'm pretty far from being one myself. Aside from enjoying the company of low-maintenance cats, I'm not one of those people who just "gets" animals and loves playing with them.
With some fairly basic reasoning skills, however, you can probably deduce that other animals don't want to suffer or die. People still like to argue about this with me and I'm like "for real?" I thought we were past all that Descartes nonsense. If you kick a dog and he squeals, it's not because he's a machine creaking, it's because he's a mammal with a central nervous system and it hurt.
The cow doesn't want to die any more than your dog does. So why do you eat the cow and pet the dog? Does it make any sense to be sympathetic to one animal and not the other?
Most of us were raised to share our toys, say please and thank you, and help others when they need it. Happily, most of us still practice these behaviors well into adulthood. So why is it, then, that when it comes to the suffering, torment and death of other animals, it's all about us? It's about our taste buds, our social conveniences, our personal interests, not theirs?
Let me give you an example. I punch you in the face. You're rather cranky about this and say, "why the hell did you just punch me in the face?" I respond, "because I felt like it." You then call up your friends and tell them that I'm wacko.
Here's another example. If you ate your neighbour's dog because you were "craving him", people would basically consider you a psycho and you'd be put behind bars. Yet you can pay someone to rape, torture and kill a different animal and it's not only acceptable, it's the norm. Where's the sense in this?
Okay, so you're addicted to cheese and you savor flesh, I get it. But I want you to realize that you're claiming that your taste buds override an animal's will to live. And whether or not you're someone who likes animals, or someone who claims to be reasonable, that just isn’t a very good reason.