A Vegan is a strict vegetarian who does not consume any animal product or by-product including dairy products and eggs. Veganism is often looked down upon by the meat eating society as weak, hippy, or even completely ridiculous.
However, going vegan has many benefits that are often not thought of or completely understood. Perhaps if sceptics of the vegan lifestyle would research they would be a little more tolerant of the vegan thought and lifestyle.
If all of the grain that was used to feed beef cows where used as a food source, there would be a substantial amount of grain to combat the starvation and impoverished people groups scattered around the world. It is estimated by the American Food and Drug Administration that for every one pound of meat received from a beef cow, that sixteen pounds of grain is consumed.
Imagine if for every 2/3lb thick burger consumed at Burger King that a ten pound bag of corn and flour could be delivered in Somalia or Rwanda. It would not take very long to eradicate unnecessary death and starvation across many of the most impoverished lands in the world.
There are also nutritional benefits to going vegan. Vegans typically are not obese nor have to worry about the many health risks that involve other diets. Although a little more difficult to accomplish, a well balanced diet is possible through the vegan lifestyle.
Perhaps the most common criticism is the lack of Vitamin B12 which is necessary for the production of red blood cells, and to help to stimulate the nervous system. However, there are many sources of Vitamin B12, as well as other nutrients commonly found in meat and dairy products, that are consumable by vegans.
For example a person can consume their daily supply of Vitamin B12 from various yeast extracts, soy products, certain dry cereals and even veggie burgers.
Perhaps the most common and most advertised reason to be a vegan is because of the inhumanity placed upon the animal that is being used by everyone else as a meal. While many vegans wouldn’t say eating an egg is murder, they would point out that the chicken would normally live ten plus years would be slaughtered after an average of two for simply a “lack of production”.
The same can be said for dairy cows that are inhumanely kept and treated for the sole purpose of supplying man with his necessary milk, even though there are multiple alternatives.
Companies that raise animals for meat production are simply trying to cut cost anyway possible. That includes machinery to kill and process the meat as well as a small a living space that can be given. Chickens that produce eggs are generally are stored in a cage a little larger then a car battery with barely enough room to turn around in.
There are of course many criticisms of the vegan lifestyle. While a healthy diet is possible, it is somewhat harder to maintain then an average 2,000 calorie diet. Vegans are also associated with many health problems such as malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies that are often not known until serious consequences have already occurred.
According to many health professionals there is an increase in the risk for osteoporosis and Anaemia, all of which can be avoided with a daily multi vitamin or a careful planning of diet. There are many vegan resources that help to maintain a balanced and healthy diet.