In today’s society people are starting to really focus on their health. They want to know the best way to exercise, the best detox smoothies or juices, best products for their body, and mainly what diets to choose. One way they do this is with the vegan diet. Vegetarianism is a common diet amongst humans today. Veganism comes from the root of vegetarianism. Vegetarianism is strictly not eating meat, while veganism is not eating meat or anything that comes from animals. Veganism also does not use products produced by harming animals. Since childhood majority of americans were raised on a non vegan diet. They’ve learned about the benefit of each thing they eat including meat, vegetables, and fruit. Research has proven that the benefits of not being vegan are greater than veganism, especially since veganism is fairly new. Although some claim a vegan diet not eating anything derived from an animal prevents future diseases, I believe non-veganism is better for an individual because of its benefit in health and lifestyle.
The majority of the population are not Vegans. Veganism is not as beneficial to your health as some may say Svetlana Stanisic says, “Meat is a source of biologically valuable proteins, long chain n-3 fatty acids, essential trace elements (iron, copper, manganese, iodine, zinc, selenium, calcium), vitamin D and several B vitamins” (Stanistic et. al. 66). Vegans saying that meat isn’t necessary I have to differ. Although it is true if you eat a ton of meat it isn’t good but that can go with eating too much of anything. If you look at a traditional plate you’ll find protein is included. It’s recommended to have a handful of protein with each meal whether its meat or not. So as long as the amount of protein is contained a little it should be fine. Decreasing meat intake decreases iron intake. Low iron can lead to becoming anemic which is having low blood. Iron is made from the production of hemoglobin in red blood cells. If this is low you can become very weak, low energy, and can even cause faint. Calcium is usually fulfilled consuming milk and other dairy products, but since it isn’t allowed in a vegan diet they will suffer. Vegans will tend to get a disease called osteoporosis.
This is when your bones become weak, fragile, and easier to break because of not enough calcium. This is bad news and it makes it even worse with a quote by stanistic that, “Vegans contain substances such as phytic acid and polyphenols/tannin, which can impair mineral absorption” (Stanistic et. al. 66). So not only do they have these problems because of not eating meat to break down these substances they have them which impairs them from absorbing these important minerals. This issue with absorbing nutrients also applies with other foods. Digestion tends to be better in non vegans because of the fact that they are exposed to more foods that can help rebalance the body for food tolerance. People tend to go vegan because of digestion issues but this doesn’t help them. They are just avoiding there digestive issue by cutting it out instead of rebalancing their body to be able to digest those foods properly again.
Considering the benefits of veganism, it’s understandable that many people would want to try this diet. Supporters of veganism point out that under this diet, the removal of meat leads people to eat healthier foods such as fruits and vegetables which prevent obesity. Their argument is that low obesity has the chance to prevent other health diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cholesterol, and diseases such as heart and cardiovascular (Appleby and Key). Vegans can be applauded for seeking to improve health, but the changes they propose would in fact seriously damage the human body. Though certain nutrients are provided by meat are needed to function Vegans would say that they can substitute the protein, calcium, and iron. Sure they can but it doesn’t compare to the amount that you would find in meat or dairy, for vegans it comes in smaller amounts so they would have to eat an abundance more to make up the difference. For example a cup of almonds contains 243 mg of calcium while 1 cup of milk has 305 mg (USCF Health). But let’s also get into fat. Vegans would also say that meat contains a ton of saturated fats, and that its bad for our bodies. It is true that meat contains fat but other plant based foods that vegans eat have just as many. These would include pinto beans, any oils, or seeds. They think meat’s fat that we consume makes our bodies suffer which isn’t true. Fat though provides energy and protects your insides.
So almonds contain 45g of fat while 1 cup of 1% milk contains 2.4g of fat (nutrifix). So vegans are give in take too much fat and not enough calcium. Veganism is a unbalanced diet with not enough options, but non vegans can balance their meat intake. Other important functions are cut out in a vegan diet that we use every day. These functions can be very detrimental Stanistic mentions, “lower serum levels acids, which are thought to be important for immune, cognitive and cardiac functions, have been reported in vegans” (Stanistic et. al. 66). Having a low immune system makes it harder to fight off colds. Cognitive skills are basic ones that your brain uses in order for you to learn. Because of the being affected mental disorders have also been linked to veganism. If cardiac functions are low, it can lead to the heart not functioning properly. These three functions are essential for a human, so it is important for them to work correctly. Protein and dairy are related to these acids which are not allowed in a vegan diet. So non vegans would be smarter than vegans because of these skills. These nutrients are important for human growth and development. Researchers claim that veganism lowers obesity because of the whole foods they eat but this isn’t necessarily true. those “whole foods” vegans are eating can be eaten by non vegans. Vegans tend to have more carb and starch intake because they don’t have many balanced meals so they instead eat lots of breads, rice, potatoes, and more to make them full. These are not nutritious enough for you. I have a friend who is vegan and loves to eat oreos. Oreos are vegan but of course are very unhealthy because of the amount of sugar, the fact that it’s processed, and artificial. But since it’s vegan she eats it. Incidents like these is what can contradict that veganism helps with obesity. Sugar is vegan and you can consume a lot of it as well with carbs that can cause weight gain. Veganism is a riskful and dangerous diet.
Becoming vegan is not best for physical reasons. Certain nutrients are taken out of a person’s diet that are important for pregnant women, Deborah Weatherspoon includes, “During pregnancy, there are some required dietary increases including thiamin, riboflavin, folate, vitamin A, C, and D, and protein” (Weatherspoon et. al. 45). To be vegan while pregnant, you must be very precise with all of your meals. Pregnant women have to make sure they meet all of their nutritional requirements in order for them and their baby to be healthy (On Veganism and Pregnancy). Otherwise not meeting these requirements can affect the growing of the fetus. Certain nutrients have to be consumed more because of the fact that there are two people to provide for. Vegans who choose this have to eat way more which is unreasonable. To not risk the life of mother or child it is better to not go vegan. This diet is not good for athletes or active people as well. Due to the lack of nutrients, Rogerson says, “Achieving a high energy intake is difficult in some instances, owing to plant-based foods promoting satiety” (Rogerson). Omnivores receive energy mainly by eating meat, this fuels a person as well as the other nutrients that are beneficial. Athletes need energy for their bodies. Protein is in meat which energizes your body and strengthens muscles. If an athlete has low energy and they are running or on the field, they can’t perform as well. Also, because iron is in meat, they could pass out from being low in iron. Calcium is low in Vegans and calcium is beneficial to athletes because they make bones stronger for them to be as active as they are. Athletes exercise regularly and therefore burn calories quicker than the average person. Because an athlete would burn calories faster than consuming them on a vegan diet it isn’t the best option for them. Athletes would have to eat an abundance more in order for them to function well.
In conclusion, becoming a vegan has negative effects on individuals. Veganism removes meat and anything else derived from animals. With the removal of vital nutrients your body can collapse. Eating meat and consuming dairy products that contain nutrients such as iron, calcium, and vitamins, can reduce future health diseases. For example, becoming anemic because of low iron or having weak bones because of low calcium. If you are pregnant you should not choose this diet for because you have to provide for two people. If you’re an athlete, you will most likely lose your calories faster than you consume vital nutrients. Animal consumption also is beneficial athletes or more athletic people because it provides them the nutrients they need. With a non vegan lifestyle you have the same options as a vegan making it the same. Not being a vegan is best for any lifestyle because you have the flexibility to limit your options. This is relevant to anyone in a health profession, athlete, or anyone concerned for their health or the health of others.