This has been a complex and sometimes controversial issue. Veganism is a diet that excludes all animal products and byproducts. People become vegan or a variety of reasons, sometimes for ethics or maybe for health benefits. Our planet has about seven billion people with many different beliefs and cultures. They eat various types of diets, including vegan. There has been an ever-growing list as to why meat free eating would be beneficial to our planet and our health. Counterclaims to veganism is that a person that lives in a big city, drives a car, and possibly smokes cigarettes but is vegan, would be more harmful to our environment than a meat eater person that lives in the country. Many will argue that it is impossible to consume essential nutrients that the body requires when a person eats a vegan diet.
Food production currently includes injecting animals with hormones and antibiotics which can increase risk of diseases. The main advantage of a vegan diet is decreased risk of obesity and heart disease. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has been proactive in educating people on the benefits of animal free diets. They also promote animal rights by teaching the public about animal cruelty. Animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs typically contain higher amounts of fats than fruits, vegetables and grains. Fats takes more time, effort and extra specific enzymes to be broken down and digested when compared to protein or carbohydrates. I have personally been vegan for over 30 years, it did not start because I am an animal rights activist. I was 10 years old and my family had stopped at a fast food rest stop, I ate a burger and fell asleep. A few hours later I was violently ill, this lasted for 3 days. After being so sick, we were told it was probably food poisoning. I never ate red meat again, I slowly phased out animal products one by one, eventually not consuming any at all. I now live as a vegan, my children and husband are not. I have no issue with them consuming fish or chicken and will even prepare it for them. Food choices have become increasing varied, it’s not just pasta and vegetables anymore. In an experiment at the University of Bochum,” 90% of the students didn’t notice that their “beef goulash” was vegan. The availability of vegan gourmet food is increasing rapidly too.”. Although studies have suggested that people who eat a vegan diet tend to lack certain nutrients which can only be found in meat. The risk of being underweight or malnourished is higher from lack or some fat from meat. Lastly, protein supplements like nuts, tofu and soybeans may not be enough for the vegetarians to substitute as meat. There are many ways to avoid these issues by consuming protein supplements and taking vitamins.
In conclusion, after thirty years of consuming a vegan diet and regular checkups, I am healthy, my cholesterol is perfect, and I maintain a healthy weight. For me, it is easy and enjoy trying new vegan products. I can go to a burger king drive thru, although not the healthiest option, and order a vegan whopper. I do require “extra” B12 and like to take supplements, but I am able to get the required amount of protein by body needs and I feel great. Veganism is not for everyone but for me, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.