Veganism is on the rise with more people moving to purely vegan diet for many reasons, particularly when it comes to animal cruelty and the fact that humans purposely raise animals for the consumption of an increasingly consumer based society.
However, there are many that cite the health benefits of a purely vegan diet and tend to use apparent evidence to justify their choice, of course the word ‘apparent’ makes it sounds as if the evidence is definitively wrong and of course this may not be the case, there is apparent evidence that supports both a vegan diet and a diet that consists of meat but which one is healthier?
A meaty diet
Starting with a diet that consists of meat, what do we really know about what we put into our bodies? As it was reported all over the media that sausages and bacon increase the risk of cancer within the body, plus we already know that a high amount of red meat is very bad for the heart but how much of this is true? If you search the internet you get a plethora of opinion blogs on the effects of meat on the human body, firstly though, meat eating has always had its part in human history from the early Neanderthals right through to what we are today, meat has been explicitly linked to evolution of humans because we started as mostly herbivores but when we moved onto animals, our bodies have had to adapt to the high protein.
There are types of proteins that are found in meat that cannot be found in plants as well as certain vitamins and calcium which are low in a vegan diet, even though protein can be found they don’t usually contain enough for what our evolved human bodies need, additionally the amount of protein has directly been a cause for evolved human intelligence since the early humans. The proteins fed our bodies and brains that helped us evolve into what we are, whether this is a good thing or not we are around because meat has helped our bodies and minds evolve accordingly.
Significant consumptions of meat are directly linked to higher cholesterol, cancer, type 2 diabetes, higher blood pressure, higher rates of hypertension and higher risk of ischemic heart disease. However, these are only if you consume a lot more than the human body can take and digest, as well as not having much exercise and overconsuming other substances like sugar, salt and certain vitamins etc.
Veganism also tends to come hand in hand with the obnoxious “I am better than you” sentiment because the person feels they are morally superior, of course this is a disservice to those who just become vegan because they are genuinely concerned for their health or animal cruelty. A vegan diet for health reasons is a significant change to any meat eater’s lives and can impact on them greatly, a vegan diet has shown to increase levels of antioxidants which helps the body fight off everyday illnesses like cold and flu. It will also lower the risks to heart disease, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, nonetheless these health benefits always have a balancing act that come in the form of negatives.
Eating vegan also can make you miss out on vital vitamins and even though there are substitutes that have been made to purposely put those vitamins in the body, not all of them can be supplemented in the quantity that is required, examples consist of vitamin B12 (can be consumed through fortified foods, however a regular vegan diet doesn’t consist of any B12), calcium and vitamin D are also somewhat lacking in a vegan diet.
Veganism can also promote and improve someone’s self-control, with strict rules required to place upon yourself to be able completely change your diet to a vegan one his one to be somewhat applauded. However, through the aspect of health there may be unrealistic expectations to what a vegan diet will do to your body.
The simple aspect of having a balanced diet is always the way to live healthier and not over-indulging, to say going vegan is much better for humans definitively is naïve but same can be said for eating meat, new studies will always show different results and debunk previous studies as new techniques and nutrients are found within the food we consume, perhaps the best diet is to be adaptable and open to new ideas?