Are you considering changing your lifestyle in order to be more friendly to the environment? Are you looking to no longer contribute towards an industry that farms and kills animals? In short, are you considering becoming a vegan? While there are certainly many benefits to switching to the vegan lifestyle, it is definitely not for everyone. Are you aware how this new diet is going affect your lifestyle? To help you decide if this is the lifestyle for you, here are some pros and cons to help you decide.
With the current obesity epidemic that is plaguing the United States, it is no wonder people are looking for healthier diets and lifestyles. Cutting out meat, dairy, and other animal products from your diet can benefit your health in many ways. You are able to easily consume less saturated fat and sodium which can lead to losing weight, lowering your blood pressure, and greater protection against heart disease. Vegans also access plenty of antioxidants from the fruits and vegetables they eat that can reduce their risk of cancer.
Lack of Essential Nutrients
Not all the nutrients essential for a healthy life are found in the foods of a vegan diet. Nutrients such as Vitamin B12, a substance found in large quantities in red meat, is not found in the vegan diet. Some people can suffer from adverse health effects due to this diet. Conditions such as anemia can develop without proper nutrition that a traditional vegan diet does not provide. Fortunately, today there are many ways to get those nutrients not typically found in vegan-friendly foods through resources such as vitamin supplements and by planning out their nutrient intake.
Another thought to keep in mind is to not push this lifestyle onto others because the diet doesn’t give the necessary nutrients to all groups. Children, for example, need the nutrients that are found in omnivorous diets in order to properly grow and develop. Children should be able to make the decision for themselves when they are older. Letting everyone have a diet that works for their lifestyle and stage of life while also trying to maintain their health can lead to the best of outcomes.
More Environmentally Sustainable
Living the vegan lifestyle is very friendly toward the environment. Focusing on a plant-based diet lessens the need for the large concentration of animals to produce the foods in the average diet which produce a very large chunk of the earth’s greenhouse gases.
Many vegans also enjoy the benefit of knowing no animals were harmed in the creation of their meal. Many turn to veganism versus vegetarianism due to the benefit of being more animal friendly and cutting all animal products out of their diet as to not in any way support this industry.
This one should be fairly obvious, but it is true. Vegans live life under a very restrictive diet. While vegetarian options are fairly easy to come by, finding pure vegan options is more difficult due to eliminating options that involve foods like eggs and milk. Many people could not live the vegan lifestyle because they enjoy the tastes of animal foods so much. While the environmental argument is a reason to consider turning to veganism, vegans are a small minority, so they are not making a huge impact on the environment.
The only person that can make the decision of what is best for you and your lifestyle is you. Veganism is not the easiest diet to live your life by, but there are many benefits for those that can maintain it. If you are thinking about going vegan, continually think about the pros, cons, why you are considering switching, and what you may lose when evaluating your decision.