Some people like to poke fun at vegans, calling us €œbleeding hearts€ or €œtree huggers.€

What most of them fail to realize is that all kinds of people are vegan, and our reasons are important.

Here are a few reasons you should never be ashamed about being vegan:

Youre sparing animals from a lifetime of suffering.

Farmed animals are the most abused animals on the planet. From the moment they are born, they are subjected to cruelties that few of us can even imagine, including extreme confinement and mutilations without painkillers.

Youre protecting the planet.

Climate change is easily one of the biggest issues threatening our very existence on the planet. By ditching meat and other animal products, youre significantly reducing your carbon footprint.

Youre even helping endangered species.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, reducing meat consumption is one of the best ways to save wildlife, including endangered species.

Youre taking a stand for workers.

Factory farm workers are exposed to countless workplace hazards, including injuries, respiratory illness, PTSD, and exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Youre protecting the rainforest.

The World Bank reports that the majority of Amazon deforestation has been to clear land for cattle grazing and growing feed for farmed animals.

Youre creating a better world.

Factory farms, and the widespread problems they create, are simply out of step with the values of the majority of Americans. By eating vegan, were working toward a less violent, more compassionate (and sustainable) world.