A person who is Vegan does not consume meat or animal products like milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, etc.
But veganism is not only a diet, it is also a lifestyle as well. If you are vegan yourself you know this is something most non-vegans don’t understand. You are conscious of your life choices and how they affect other’s life. What you buy, how you commute and travel as well as what you eat are all puzzle pieces of your veganism. A Vegan lifestyle expands to all aspects of life not only diet so for people to understand what Veganism is, they also need to understand the motives behind this lifestyle.
Why People go Vegan/The motives behind it
The meat industry & Climate Change
In the past years, we have seen a number of documentaries and news stories breaking out on the horrible conditions the animals are kept in before they are slaughtered and processed to market. The mass production of meat has turned small farms into slaughterhouses and has even ruined family farms.
The environment suffers the consequences of the unsustainable meat industry as well. Deforestation & greenhouse gas emissions are some of the biggest concerns when it comes to climate change and the meat industry is responsible for both. It is said that the meat industry is responsible for 58% percent of the allowable greenhouse gas budget.
Veganism, on the other hand, is an environmentally friendly, animal-friendly, and healthy way to live in general.
Vegans and vegetarians consume less saturated fat and more vitamins than meat-eaters. That makes them likely to have lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and overall lower body mass index. All of these lower the risk of getting chronic diseases and expand your lifespan.
According to Harvard Health, vegetarians and vegans are less likely to get chronic heart diseases, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Vegetarians are 25% less likely to die of heart diseases. If you stop eating red meat you eliminate a risk factor of getting colon cancer and eating tons of fruit and vegetables reduces the risk of getting cancer in general. A plant-based diet reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes as well.
To lose weight
A vegan diet is very suitable for people who want to lose weight. Due to the low consumption of saturated fats and the high consumption of fruits and vegetables, vegans are more likely to have a lower body mass.
One of the first and most important reasons people go vegan is the compassion they have towards other living beings. They do not feel comfortable feeding off of another living being so they decide not to do that. These people are usually pet lovers.
Vegan vs Vegetarian
There is a lot of confusion around the terminology and difference between vegans and vegetarians. A vegetarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat whereas a vegan is someone who lives a cruelty-free lifestyle. Veganism is a lifestyle and vegetarianism is a diet. Vegans don’t eat meat or animal products at all, don’t buy products that are tested on animals, don’t support fashion that uses animal skin, etc. Veganism is a lifestyle and a movement.
A vegan/vegetarian diet does not necessarily make a healthy diet. Even though as a vegan you consume less saturated fats and eat more fruits and veggies, you can still have an unhealthy diet. If you don’t mind what you’re eating you can also end up deficient on nutrients that your body requires to function efficiently.
If you do not eat meat or animal products and do not follow a healthy diet, you may be low on Iron, Calcium, Protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Zinc.
How to Overcome the Challenges
Plants are great sources of all nutrients the body needs to function and thrive, you just need to make sure you consume them in your day to day life.
Iron is important for oxygen to be transported to the cells of the body. Dried beans and dark leafy greens are great sources of iron and can be taken in our day to day meals very easily. Calcium is essential for healthy bone development and can be taken through tofu, tahini, and green, leafy vegetables. Edamame, lentils, beans, quinoa, etc. are great sources of protein. To protect yourself from chronic diseases take Vitamin D. It can be found in mushrooms, orange juice, soy milk, cereal, and oatmeal, etc. Vitamin B12 is needed to protect brain cells and red blood cells. It can be found in soy, seaweed, cereals, and nutritional yeast. As for Zinc, you can get it mainly from whole grains, legumes, and soy products.
If you are not able to consume any of these foods or want to make sure you are getting enough nutrients, try our Vegan Protein Powder and Multivitamins.