You may have heard of vegetarianism, but do you know about veganism? It’s becoming popularized, especially among millennials. Whether for ethical, moral, personal, environmental, familial, or health reasons, more and more people are going vegan.
Like with every life choice, veganism comes with its own extensive pros and cons list. In this article, we will discover what is veganism, what is in a vegan diet, and will explore the good and bad about this increasingly popular philosophy.
What Is Veganism?
Veganism is becoming increasingly popular. However, although its popularity has only really flourished in recent years, the term veganism was first coined in 1944. But the purpose of veganism, which serves to eliminate the exploitation of animals, has not changed since then.
Veganism is quite the double-edged sword. While it’s more commonly known as being a practice of eating only plant-derived foods, it is also the belief that animals are more than just a commodity for humans. Essentially, it’s where theory meets practice.
The most common idea of veganism relates to dietary vegans (sometimes often referred to as strict vegetarians). Dietary vegans are those who do not eat any animal-related food, such as meat, dairy, eggs, etc.
What’s in a Vegan Diet?
Vegans must find alternatives to the animal-related products most humans consume. So, what does this leave for them to eat? Where do they get their required amounts of protein, essential amino acids, vitamins and more?
The remaining of what CAN be eaten remains pretty varied. Vegans need a variety of healthy vegetables, fruits, leafy greens, seeds, legumes, and whole grain products in order to replenish their hungry bodies.
The main concern for most vegans is adequately reaching a good amount of protein per day.
Examples of vegan sources of protein include:
● Peanut Butter
● Soy milk
● And more!
See? This is already quite the list and there’s more where that came from!
But there are still other areas where vegans need to seek alternatives.
Vitamin D, Calcium, Zinc, Iron, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Vitamin B12 are especially important to have in a vegan diet. While some veggies, fruits, legumes, etc., naturally offer these vitamins, fatty acids, minerals, and more, a vegan diet often requires to take supplements.
Pros & Cons of a Vegan Diet
Adopting a vegan diet can be beneficial for your health. By reducing the amount of saturated fats and meat you eat can contribute to a healthy heart. It can also reduce your risk of cancer-causing cells and heart disease.
Veganism is also beneficial to the environment. Compared to meat-eaters, the impact on our world is much less in terms of CO² production and other greenhouse gases. Most people often see veganism as an ethically positive way of life as well; respecting nature and all the critters that roam the earth.
As you can see, there are many benefits of becoming a vegan. But there’s also some downsides. Firstly, it’s not a lifestyle for everyone. Many people can become easily weak if they do not take their vegan diet seriously. It also requires conscious, eco-friendly decision-making skills that most people tend to shrug off.
Limiting your diet also might mean less options, or available options that are harder to come by. Many travelers often face the dilemma of eating vegan while on the road or in other countries.
What are your thoughts about veganism? Have you been considering a vegan diet?