What Happens if You Don’t Go Vegan?


People always tell you what happens if you go vegan, but have you ever thought about what might happen if you don’t? If you think choosing not to be vegan affects only you, think again. PETA did some research, and here’s what we found.

You’ll Be Responsible for the Deaths of Many Animals

By choosing not to go vegan, you’ll be responsible for the deaths of at least 14,200 animals in your lifetime. The industries that raise cows, pigs, and chickens for their flesh aren’t the only ones that kill animals. The U.S. egg industry exploits and kills more than 305 million sensitive hens every year—and that doesn’t even include the hundreds of millions of male chicks workers kill at hatcheries. The dairy industry is responsible for the deaths of thousands of cows each year. It separates loving mothers from their babies shortly after birth. Our fellow animals are individuals who deserve happy and healthy lives.

You May Die Sooner

The average human life expectancy is 71 years, but by not going vegan, you’ll lower your chances of making it past 61. Not being vegan, on average, gives you a higher chance of premature death by six to 10 years.

Your life isn’t the only one cut short: Slaughterhouse workers kill animals when they’re just babies. Chickens can live for up to five to 10 years naturally, but in the meat industry workers slaughter them at 6 to 7 weeks old. Hens exploited for their eggs rarely make it past 2 years old.

You’ll Kill the Planet Faster

A University of Oxford study published in the journal Climatic Change shows that meat-eaters are responsible for as much as 7.19 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent (kgCO2e) per day. However, vegans are responsible for only 2.89 kgCO2e per day, which means that by opting not to go vegan, you’ll be producing nearly 2.5 times the greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the equivalent carbon footprint of driving nearly 13,000 miles, or almost a year’s worth of driving for an average American.

You’ll Waste a Lot of Water

A person who eats vegan saves approximately 1,100 gallons of water every day and drastically reduces his or her environmental footprint. This means that over a lifetime, you’ll use 28,506,500 extra gallons of water—the equivalent of 43 Olympic-size swimming pools—if you don’t go vegan.

You’ll Destroy Acres of Land

The baseline American diet uses 2.67 acres of land per year, whereas a vegan diet uses only around 0.32 acres per year. This means that in a lifetime, you’ll use around 166 additional acres of farmland if you decide not to go vegan. That’s more than an entire golf course’s worth of land, or more than an entire farm to feed a family of four.

You’ll Spend More Money on Healthcare

In the U.S. alone, one person who eats a meat-based diet will spend $848,095 on medical costs in their lifetime, whereas vegans save 15% a year on medical costs. That’s $127,214 saved in a lifetime, or roughly $150 a month, just by making the decision to go vegan.

You’ll Overspend on Groceries

Going vegan can save you around $38,482 on groceries in your lifetime. That means one person pays $542 extra a year to eat animal-based products. For a family of four, that’s an additional $2,168 per year.


There you have it. If you don’t go vegan, you’ll be causing harm not only to animals but also to yourself and the planet. Isn’t it time you started saving lives while taking care of yourself and the world you live in? Request a free vegan starter kit to help you begin.

Get a Free Vegan Starter Kit


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