Veganism comes with many benefits as it comes with challenges. It is best to be prepared for the challenges you can face ahead. Let’s have a look at the Pros and Cons of Veganism.
Veganism is known to have many health benefits and people are switching to a vegan diet to become healthier. With the growing popularity of veganism, lots of people are now switching to a plant-based diet. It is known for being beneficial to your health as well as the planet. A study showed that 8.1 million deaths can be avoided every year around the world if more and more people adopt a vegan diet.
Veganism has been adopted by many celebrities and there are many social media influencers who flaunt their vegan lifestyle before the world. This is generating a lot of awareness among people, especially among Gen Z who are transitioning into a vegan lifestyle.
What is Veganism?
Veganism is not just a diet, it is a philosophy of life. It is an extreme form of vegetarianism which rejects all animal products. While a vegetarian rejects meat and eggs, a vegan rejects all animal products like dairy, honey and meat.
Veganism works on the principle of ahimsa. Vegans believe that animals have a soul and feel pain just like us. This is why they feel the need to protect these animals. Vegans, therefore, reject eating meat and exploit them for food, entertainment and transport. They also object to the use of leather or silk and animal testing for cosmetics and other products. While discussing both pros and cons of Veganism, let’s start with the benefits.
What are the benefits of Veganism?
Veganism has many health benefits. A plant-based diet has low calories and thus, a vegan diet helps in losing weight. This particular benefit attracts people towards veganism. It also helps in lowering cholesterol levels and protects people from heart diseases. They are more effective than vegetarian diets in controlling diabetes and hypertension. Vegans also have a lesser risk of developing cancer. They live longer because vegan diets help in preventing diseases that can lead to mortality.
Plant-based diets consist of more nutrients which are good for your health. Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants which reduce the risk of cancer and give glowing skin. Dairy supposedly worsens acne and other skin diseases. Vegans avoid dairy and all dairy products which give them good skin. A vegan diet is also reducing the risk of cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
A vegan diet also promotes mindful eating. Mindful eating is a practice that involves boosting our awareness and enjoyment of a meal, as well as our requires giving all attention to our food. It encourages one to enjoy the act of eating rather than focusing on the nutritional result. Vegan diets require planning and preparing food beforehand. Vegan food cannot be bought at any store. Thus, it is a diet that requires mindfulness.
A vegan diet can also help lower your food costs. Meat, seafood and dairy products are expensive whereas vegan diet foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts are more budget-friendly. A vegan diet is also good for the planet since it helps you to reduce your environmental impact.
The farming of plants requires fewer resources than the production of animal-based diets. Meats produce more carbon emissions than plants. So a vegan diet helps in reducing global warming. Many people who are concerned about animal cruelty choose the vegan diet since no animals are hurt or killed in the process of making vegan-friendly meals.
What are the problems with Veganism?
While there are many benefits to choosing a vegan diet, there are some drawbacks to consider. It is one of the most restrictive forms of a vegetarian diet. For some people, these restrictions are too much. Going to a restaurant, you’ll find that you can’t have most of the food on their menu. If you’re new to a vegan diet, you’ll find that you can’t have most of your favourite food since the recipe will contain at least one animal by-product.
Vegan food can be deficient in some nutrients. Studies show that vegan diets lack in calcium. But vegans can increase their calcium intake by consuming more calcium-rich food such as green leafy vegetables, pulses, sesame seeds, some dried fruits, and calcium-fortified foods such as plant milk, non-milk yoghurt, or cereal with calcium added.
Vegans also lack Vitamin B-12 which is primarily found in animal-based diets. Vitamin B-12 is needed for healthy nerve function and blood cell production. Vegans can get an adequate amount of this vitamin by taking supplements. Vegans can also lack proteins and vitamin D. Taking vitamin D supplements can solve this issue. Eating foods such as walnuts, soy, pumpkin, flax, or chia seeds, will help increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 fatty acids are required for a healthy heart and eyes and brain function.
Going vegan also requires diligence on your part. Vegans have to read the nutritional labels of food carefully to see if what they consume complies with their dietary habits. However, eating in a restaurant or eating at someone’s house can be a problem. Only a few restaurants have vegan options. Vegan experts recommend bringing your own food to your host’s house, something that everyone can enjoy.
Vegans also face a lot of criticism from friends and family which can socially isolate them. People do not understand the lifestyle choices made by vegans and scrutinise them. This can cause people to exclude them from social gatherings. Adapting to these issues can be challenging for new vegans.
Becoming a vegan can be challenging as there are many pros and cons of Veganism. The important thing to do is slowly transition into the new lifestyle. There is no shame in asking for help from fellow vegans. They’ll be happy to help. You can follow vegan influencers and try out their tips. Supplements should be your best friend if you feel like you are not getting all the nutrients your body requires.