Vegan Diet and Lifestyle
For many people being a vegan is more a lifestyle than just a diet, also ethical reasons play an important factor, yet a lot of people become vegan because of a matter of health.
There are many disputes when you talk about the definition of a vegan and the comparison to a vegetarian. Vegans do not eat anything that is of animal origin. Vegans don’t eat honey, dairy products or eggs, which on the other hand vegetarians would eat. Normally vegans even forgo animal based products like clothing (wool, leather) or cosmetics (that have been tested on animals), however many vegans only concentrate on the vegan diet.
Health is an important factor for many people who become vegans. Eating animal fats and proteins lead to a higher risk of developing cancer, diabetes or other illnesses. Being a vegan or vegetarian (plant based diets) decreases, minimalizes and sometimes even excludes the chance of developing chronical diseases. Studies also verify that people, who eat a lot of processed meat, have premature deaths. Therefor being a vegan can prevent many sicknesses and even extend your lifetime.
Many vegans believe in animal rights and think that these animals should live freely without human interference so they forgo all animal based products. Many farm animals would be still slaughtered, if we all would forgo meat, because if they are too old to produce milk or eggs they get slaughtered and killed. Almost all male animals (like bulls) get killed when they are little, because they are “unproductive” and only would cost a lot. Also many farm animals get drugs so they can lay more eggs or produce more milk and don’t get ill so easily. The cruel and inappropriate keeping of animals is another of the main reasons many people become vegans.
Decreasing or forgoing meat and other animal products lowers your personal carbon footprint. Consuming animal based products puts great charges on the environment, it starts by the required water and crops for the animals as food, producing, transporting and processing are other of many factors. To produce the crops for these animals many forests get chopped down.
Being a vegan has many advantages, but it also includes some disadvantages, for example the lack of some vitamins. Studies verify that vitamin D, vitamin B12 and calcium are rarely or not at all contained in the vegan diet, which are still important for our health, so some vegans have to take in supplements to get these vitamins.
My parents are vegans and I hardly consume meat and dairy products. I think a vegan diet is healthier, but I think it’s even better when you still eat sometimes, for example once a week or month, meat or other animal products. For me personally it’s harder to go without meat than without dairy products and other animal products.
What do you think, is it better to consume meat or have a vegan or vegetarian diet?