What Are the Downsides of Having a Vegan Lifestyle?
Being a vegan is not only a diet but a lifestyle and a humane act toward animals. What is a vegan diet and how vegans differ from vegetarians? Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. Vegans, in addition to being a vegetarian, do not use other products of animal origin. This includes eggs, dairy products, and honey, but also materials such as leather, fur, silk, wool, and even cosmetics and soaps made from animal products (“Veganism In A Nutshell – The Vegetarian Resource Group”).
However, although this lifestyle is gaining popularity and many claims that it does not have downside effects on human health in the first place, some certainly wouldn’t agree. Speaking of disadvantages when it comes to being a vegan, impact on health and balanced nutrition are the first thing to think about when speaking of a vegan lifestyle.
There are many ingredients which are essential for nutritionally balanced diet – vitamins, oils and fats, proteins and acids. For example, vitamin B12, necessary for the nervous system is found in the liver and muscle of the animals, but also in the eggs and milk. Since vegans do not consume any of these ingredients, they find some replacement in fortified food. Yet, since this is not a natural source of the element, it is debatable how healthy it is (DiMarino).
The same problems come with other components – it is inevitable to find a proper replacement and much additional research is needed for creating a balanced diet system.
Other difficulties vegans face are eating out for instance, due to limited choices, but also prejudice and criticism, since many disapprove this, especially if it comes to raising children on this lifestyle.
All in all, it is all up to personal decision and sensibility, since there is not enough research and facts to verdict whether this is positive or negative for our health.
Barnard, Tanya, and Sarah Kramer. How It All Vegan: Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2009.
DiMarino, Anthony. A Comparison of Vegetarian Diets and the Standard Westernized Diet in Nutrient Adequacy and Weight Status. 2013. The Ohio State University, Master’s thesis.
Craig, Winston. “Vegan Diets: Pros and Cons.” Vegetarian Nutrition, www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/vegan-diets-pros-cons/.
“Veganism in a Nutshell.” The Vegetarian Resource Group, www.vrg.org/nutshell/vegan.htm.
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