Vegan for Health?
People are Vegan for many different reasons. Some reasons include health, animal rights, environmental and social impacts. I have to admit, I'm not totally a Vegan...however, for what ever reason my body told me that dairy isn't totally for me but i still eat honey and on occasion an egg. I'm using the following article (CLICK HERE) as the primary reason for this editorial as it seems topical, especially here in Berlin. The new Capital of the Vegan World.
In the article it mentions that the Vegan diet may lack certain nutrients and specifically mentions the pesky B12. The bane of almost all for Vegans and even a lot of Vegetarians. I recently had a low level B12 count and needed a good boost to get to the proper levels. And, daily i take a Vegetarian supplement that has got a big boost of B12 in it among other needed supplements. The study goes on to point out the positives as well of a Vegan diet but ultimately falls on the side of the fence of saying that the best diet is a mostly Vegetarian diet with small amount of meat.
And the kick in the teeth is they aren't wrong. But this is also one of my biggest issues with the current Vegan movement is. It shouldn't be about health at all. Few people, going into a Vegan diet strictly for health reasons will be able to maintain this new way of life. Because it's just that, a new way of life. It's not about not eating something so that you may drop 5 kilos or you think that some magical way your blood pressure will drop. And while these things will happen, it should always be the side effect and not the goal. I don't have any research to prove that most that think it's a good way to be healthy will drop the Vegan life but isn't it just common sense? And while I have done some research on the subject but no studies that I have found are scientifically proven, one way or another. People that do it for health don't really believe in it. And not to mention that it's not a passive way of life. You need to know, how to cook, what beer you can drink, what restaurants are really Vegan friendly and what only pretend to be, what nutrients food have and what nutrients you are a lacking etc. The list goes on from there.
Most of the reasons people get into being a Vegan is for unselfish reasons. Animals, environmental and social; all of these reasons are something bigger and grander then oneself. And shouldn't this be the biggest reason people adopt a different lifestyle (different meaning, different then what they were living before) and not for selfish reasons. I know that animals don't care if you don't kill them cause it's wrong ethically or if you think it's better for your health. But if you get into something for your health and you then you drop it because you feel weak or unhealthy (as you would if you lack B12) you are going to tell all your loved ones that it was such a negative experience that you wouldn't recommend it and the close loved ones may think twice before they, themselves try out Vegetarianism or Veganism.
The Vegan or Vegetarian lifestyle should be mainstream and it should be the way that it is more common then eating meat but it's not. And any knock on it is a big knock. There are so many reasons one should reduce the amount of animal products that they use but maybe of so much promotion of health we should be POSITIVELY promoting one of the good reasons to be Vegan.