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Pros and Cons of Veganism on the Environment
What are the advantages and challenges of a vegan diet? Why do people choose to change to a vegan or plant-based diet?
Vegans choose to follow a vegan lifestyle for a variety of reasons, including ethical, environmental and health.
Ethical Concerns of a Vegan Diet
Harm to Animals
Ethical concerns are often cited as the primary reason for choosing a vegan lifestyle. Vegans believe that it is wrong to exploit and harm animals for human consumption, entertainment, or other purposes. They view the use of animals for food, clothing, and other products as a form of unnecessary and unjustifiable violence.
Respect for Animals
The ethical concerns associated with a vegan diet are rooted in the belief that animals have the right to be treated with respect and not be exploited or harmed by humans. Vegans believe that using animals for human benefit is inherently wrong and that it perpetuates a system of oppression that is unjustifiable and unnecessary.
Many vegans argue that the way animals are treated in modern animal agriculture is cruel and inhumane. Animals are often subjected to cramped and unsanitary living conditions, routine mutilations, and inhumane slaughter methods. These practices cause immense physical and psychological suffering for the animals involved.
Animals are Sentient Beings
Vegans also object to the idea of using animals as commodities for human use, arguing that animals should be treated as sentient beings with their own inherent value and not just as a means to an end. Vegans believe that exploiting animals for human use is an outdated and unnecessary practice that needs to be re-evaluated.
Waste of Resources
In addition, some vegans argue that animal agriculture has a negative impact on human society as well. They argue that the resources used to raise and feed animals for food could be better used to address human needs such as hunger, poverty, and environmental sustainability.
Ethical Concerns of a Vegan Diet
Overall, the ethical concerns of a vegan diet are centered around the belief that animals have the right to be treated with respect and compassion, and that using animals for human benefit perpetuates a system of oppression that is unjustifiable and unnecessary. For more detailed information on ethical veganism visit The Vegan Society.
Environmental Concerns of a Vegan Diet
Environmental concerns are also a factor. Animal agriculture is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. The production of meat, dairy, and eggs requires large amounts of land, water, and other resources, and results in pollution and habitat destruction.
Impact on our Planet
The environmental concerns associated with a vegan diet are primarily related to the impact of animal agriculture on the planet. Animal agriculture is a significant contributor to climate change, deforestation, water pollution, and habitat destruction.
What is a Vegan?
A vegan diet is a form of vegetarian diet that forbids the use of any animal products, including dairy, eggs, honey, fish, and fowl. Instead, it emphasises plant-based foods including nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and fruits and vegetables. For a variety of reasons, including ethical considerations surrounding animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and health advantages, vegans opt to adhere to this diet. Vegans can lessen their impact on the environment, lower their chance of contracting particular illnesses, and contribute to a more sustainable and compassionate food system by abstaining from using animal products. This includes all:
Also, vegans avoid cow milk and all dairy products:
- sour cream
- ice cream
- cheese (yes, I know! how can you give up cheese! I’ll help you with that one here.)
All animal products such as:
They are not vegan, because they are made BY animals/insects.
Also, all products that are derived from animals/living creatures such as:
It goes without saying at this point that any products that are tested on animals are avoided. In addition, vegans read product labels closely to ensure no animal ingredients are in the product, (such as gelatin as one example).
Find more information and guidance on following a vegan diet here.
Cons of a Vegan Diet
A vegan diet can have some potential drawbacks if not planned. Some of the common drawbacks include:
High Carbohydrate Intake
Limited Food Choices
Increased Cooking Time
Why are vegans VEGAN?
My vegan journey started n 2016. I should say I watched a few good food documentaries, such as Forks over Knives, that completely convinced me that this was the right thing to do! In reaction to this, I immediately jumped in without a clear plan (because really, when are we completely ready to start something new?) Anyhow, diving in with excitement, I lasted a whole month. Just one month!
Why? The benefits of eating this way were apparent because of the way I was feeling and I knew it was right. But sadly, I fell back to eating our standard American diet as we know it.
Why did I fail on a vegan diet?
- lack of education
- diving in blindly
- no support
- lack of recipes
I set myself up to fail from the beginning.
I had chosen HEALTH for my answer to “Why vegans choose to be vegan”; consequently, that was the first thing I thought I was compromising!
Why do vegans quit?
Honestly, I didn’t take the time to tap into the resources I had in front of me. This was new to me, as it is to everyone who starts. I did not know anyone who was eating this way, therefore, my doubts and fears took over. Consequently, I just fell back into my old routine, because it was easier. After that, it was probably about 9 months later when I decided to do it again! and this time, there was no looking back!! (wow! why did I wait so long?)
Social media was my encouragement and support. There are so many groups through social media where you can join and ask questions. You will find beginners and others who’ve been vegan for decades. It is always encouraging to surround yourself with a community that understands you!
There are several reasons why some people may struggle to maintain a vegan diet:
Lack of education and preparation: People who are new to veganism may not have the knowledge or preparation to ensure that their diet is well-balanced and nutritionally adequate. This can lead to deficiencies in essential nutrients, such as protein, iron, calcium, and vitamin B12.
Social pressures: Social pressures and the lack of vegan options in certain situations can make it difficult to stick to a vegan diet. This can lead to feelings of isolation, frustration, and temptation to eat non-vegan foods.
Emotional eating: Some people may turn to non-vegan foods as a way to cope with emotional stress, anxiety, or boredom.
Health issues: In rare cases, some people may have underlying health conditions or genetic factors that make it difficult for them to thrive on a vegan diet.
Unrealistic expectations: Some people may have unrealistic expectations about the benefits of a vegan diet, such as rapid weight loss or improved health, and become discouraged when they do not see immediate results.
It’s important to note that a well-planned vegan diet can provide all the necessary nutrients for a healthy body. It may be helpful for people to seek guidance from a registered dietitian or another healthcare professional to ensure that their diet is well-balanced and nutritionally adequate.
Are plant-based vegans healthy?
I switched to a vegan diet in 2017 primarily for better health and energy! My 10-year-old daughter at the time didn’t even question it. She saw what I was doing and told me she wanted to do it too. She said, “I don’t even like meat really, I’m so excited not to have to eat it anymore!” My 12-year-old thought it was cool and wanted in too! But, my husband has more of a challenge to change his eating habits, although he is open to trying new foods.
Animal products carry a lot of toxins and create more work for your immune system. Meat and dairy not only harbor viruses, bacteria, and parasites but also factory-farmed animals are injected with antibiotics and hormones and they eat unnatural GMO feed to fatten them up. They also could be drinking polluted water. If your immune system is overloaded by all the toxic junk that keeps coming in, it has fewer resources available to fight disease in your body. Eliminate meat and dairy, and processed foods, and eat organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible.
Some research has linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
Eating a whole food plant-based vegan diet and getting your nutrients from plant foods allows more room in your diet for health-promoting options. Whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds, and vegetables are packed full of beneficial fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Again, eat organic as much as possible to lower your intake of herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that are sprayed on crops. I strongly believe those who want health will find it in a Vegan whole plant food diet! For more information on the difference between a plant-based and vegan diet, visit healthline.com
IS NOW AVAILABLE
Simply Happy Vegan is an e-guide to easily help you on your way to plant-based eating.
Keep going on your plant-based vegan lifestyle!
On this website, you will find great resources and tips to keep you motivated. We are here to inspire you in your plant-based vegan lifestyle! You need encouragement, and community and resources to keep you going. There may not be too many vegans around you to cheer you on. You can find me on Facebook here for encouragement and answer any questions. There may also be many people around you questioning and challenging you. Keep pushing forward, and we will help you through. Also, we are excited to share everything vegan such as delicious recipes, (check out my Pinterest page), vegan travel and being healthy on this new lifestyle (not just a diet)! I will be posting regularly, so stay tuned!
In conclusion, I hope you find your reason and determination to go vegan! Thank you for visiting! Let’s connect, I’d love to hear your story!
Did you know?
Studies have shown that vegan diets tend to provide more fiber, which is really important for keeping your digestive system healthy.