Veganism: What is it?

What does it mean to be vegan?

Vegans do not eat or use animal products. This means abstaining from consuming meat, fish, poultry, dairy, honey and eggs. It also means not purchasing or wearing products made from animals, such as leather. People do this for a variety of reasons, whether it’s for the environment, their personal health, or ethics.

What are some benefits of being vegan?

  1. Vegans tend to be more conscious about what they’re eating. This usually the leads to healthier decisions about their diet and the environment.
  2. With a diet full of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains, one can receive many antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  3. Going vegan can help end world hunger. It takes tons of crops and water to raise farmed animals. In the United States, seventy percent of all grain grown goes to farmed animals—imagine how many people we could feed with that food.

What are some disadvantages of being vegan?

  1. Often it can be hard to get enough of the needed vitamins and minerals. For example, vegan diets do not contain B12, which is an essential vitamin only found in animal products. Additionally, dairy provides a good source of calcium and red meat supplies iron.
  2. The majority of restaurants contain options that includes eggs, dairy, meat, and fish. This can make it difficult to eat out for vegans.
  3. A vegan diet can be a very significant change for many people. This could entail feelings of restriction and stress, which could lead to unhealthy dietary habits.

What are some facts?

  1. A vegan diet—free of meat, dairy, eggs, and fish—saves fifty percent more carbon emissions than driving a Prius.
  2. To compare one pound of soy and one pound of meat, it takes twelve times as much land, thirteen times as much fossil fuels, and fifteen times as much water to produce the meat.
  3. Just like any healthy diet, the key is variety. Vegans can achieve their nutritional needs simply by being aware of the nutrients they need and where to get them.

 

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Homemade smoothie bowl

Sources
Bhide, Monica. “9 Pros and Cons to Going Vegan.” AARP, 14 Feb. 2011, http://www.aarp.org/food/diet-nutrition/info-02-2011/9-pros-and-cons-to-going-vegan.html. Accessed 27 Sept. 2016.
Craig, Winston. “Vegan Diets: Pros and Cons.” Vegetarian Nutrition Information, Vegetarian Nutrition, 13 Feb. 2016, http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/vegan-diets-pros-cons/. Accessed 28 Sept. 2016.
“Top 10 Reasons to Go Vegan in the New Year.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, http://www.peta.org/living/food/top-10-reasons-go-vegan-new-year/. Accessed 28 Sept. 2016.
“Veganism in a Nutshell.” Vegetarian Resource Group, http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/vegan.htm. Accessed 27 Sept. 2016.
“We All Want to Help the Planet. But How?” Choose Veg, Mercy for Animals, http://www.chooseveg.com/environment. Accessed 28 Sept. 2016.

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