Veganism pros and cons: More then a diet, an incredible lifestyle

Veganism is a lifestyle in which no animal products are consumed. This includes all products that can be linked to animal cruelty. The diet of a vegan is plant- based. Veganism is often referred to as more than a diet. It is rather a lifestyle. Vegans often do not want to contribute to animal cruelty in any form. 
Veganism pros and cons: Great looking food, big pro!
Veganism pros and cons: Great looking food, big pro!

Veganism has become more popular over the years. I am going to be honest, I am not a vegan. However, recently I have decided to look into the advantages as well as the disadvantages of veganism. I believe that if you want to change your lifestyle, it is always important to do research. I have spent hours going through all kinds of nutrition guides and reading about people’s own experiences. If you are just like me and you are thinking about becoming a vegan, then this list might be good for you to read. 

Please note, I am no dietitian. I am no expert on the matter and will not tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. All I can do is provide you with honest information on the topic. If you are still uncertain whether a vegan diet is for you, I would highly suggest talking to a professional. 

For this list we will look at the pros and cons. Let’s start positive:

I hope this list might help you choose a diet that suits your lifestyle best. Here is my list for veganism pros and cons.

Pro’s

You don’t contribute to animal cruelty

Veganism pros and cons: Animal cruelty free!
Veganism pros and cons: Animal cruelty free!

This is the most obvious motivated to become vegan for most people. As an animal lover myself, this would probably be my number one reason. The meat and dairy industry are known for treating its animals in the most cruel ways known to men. Imagine if we would treat humans the way we treat animals for the food industry. Cramped into little filthy cages for sometimes months. Separated from their family and fed till big enough for slaughter. Animals have unsurprisingly, just like humans, emotions. Animals feel pain and animals know fear and sadness. If you are thinking about becoming vegan, you probably already are very aware about the inhumane ways that we treat animals. Eating animal cruelty free, when it comes to veganism pros and cons, this is probably the biggest pro.

Besides the way we treat our animals in the food industry, it is also important to look at other industries such as the makeup industry. Animal testing is still a practice done worldwide. Animal testing is long overdue and thankfully many make up brands know this. It is completely unnecessary to buy makeup products that have undergone animal testing. The same counts for facial creams, hair shampoos etc.

Another factor to keep in mind is the fashion industry. Animal fabrics such as leather and bond are unfortunately still on the market. Luckily there are many great replacements for these cruel options such as vegan leather and many other eco- friendly fabrics

Veganism can boost your health

Eating only plant- based food can have great benefits to your health. Fruit and vegetables contain lots of fibers. Fibers keep your digestive system healthy. Veganism can also help you lose weight, this however might not be everyone’s goal. A vegan diet also improves your blood sugar regulation. (1) When it comes to veganism pros and cons, this is definitely a pro.

Reduced chances for many health issues

A vegan diet has proven to reduce your risk for multiple diseases. For example, a vegan diet has proven to reduce the risk of diabetes type 2. There also seems to be a connection between lower risk for several types of cancer and a vegan diet. The risk of cardiovascular diseases also becomes smaller. (2) So veganism pros and cons, a big pro!

Self- growth 

Grow as a person trough a self chosen lifestyle.
Grow as a person trough a self chosen lifestyle.

Being vegan, especially in the beginning, wil be challenging at times. However, sticking to a self chosen lifestyle can be quite beneficial for your own development. Growing as a person and standing for something you believe in can strengthen your personal confidence. You should definitely be proud of yourself for picking a lifestyle that suits you best. Even more proud when that lifestyle prevents animal cruelty right?!

Con’s

Expensive lifestyle

The demand for plant based food increases. However, the supply isn’t necessarily up to date yet. The prices of food overall have skyrocketed in the last year, and for vegan food, this is unfortunately too the case. 

Environmental footprint

Veganism pros and cons: Con, growing soy beans requires a lot of space.
Veganism pros and cons: Con, growing soy beans requires a lot of space.

Unlike what many people believe, the environmental footprint of the plant based food industry is not much better than that of the animal food industry. Growing soybeans, avocado’s or cashew nuts for example still requires great amounts of water. Also is a lot of space and land often needed to grow crops. Another disadvantage is that fertilizers and pesticides are often still used in order to grow crops as fast and as efficiently as possible. Fertilizers and pesticides do a lot of damage to the environment. So although you might be helping the animals, the environment does not necessarily benefit from veganism. If you want to eat sustainably grown food, I highly suggest you check out your local farm shops, or even better, grow your own food! (3)

Possible lack of nutrients

Veganism if done correctly can be a very healthy diet. Unfortunately, vegans often suffer from a lack of nutrients. A vegan diet often lacks nutrients like Zinc, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, iron, calcium and a few others. This problem can easily be fixed though by taking the right supplements. For advice on a healthy vegan diet, please contact a diet expert. 

Limited food options

Veganism is becoming more and more popular. However, when going out for a bite to eat, you might still find yourself limited to 2 or 3 options. It is not uncommon for restaurants to have very few options available. So if you are vegan or thinking of becoming a vegan, research your best options in your town or city. I am sure you will find some great vegan options that serve delicious plant- based food. And if you are planning a trip, You might want to look into eco- tourism as they often support a vegan lifestyle. 

Limited medicine options

Animal testing is still happening a lot in the pharmaceutical industry. Finding vegan medicine might come with its challenges. There are nowadays more and more options available for vegans but you might find yourself limited in your options in time. When it comes to veganism pros and cons, this might be a con for you.

What to do next?

Veganism is a lifestyle. Becoming a vegan might be a big life change and it will certainly come with its challenges. However, I believe that if veganism is done mindfully and with the proper diet and possibly the right supplement intake, it can be a wonderful lifestyle. 

FAQ

Is veganism healthy?

Veganism can be very healthy if the diet is implemented in the right way. Vegans often deal with nutrient deficiency. If you are planning on going vegan, I highly encourage talking to a dietitian. You can work on healthy vegan eating habits and possibly add some good supplements to your diet. Veganism however, does not guarantee health. This is different for everyone and for you to figure out.


I am pregnant, can I still have a vegan diet?

For pregnant women it is always suggested to meet up with a dietitian to talk about your eating habits. You might need some supplement added to your diet to make sure you will have a healthy pregnancy. But yes, you can still be vegan while being pregnant. 

Veerle van Beest

Veerle van Beest

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