Would you become a Vegan, part 2?

Nov 20, 2019

So in part 1, I dipped my toe into the world of being a vegan. Mainly, the food. After all, I love food so this was the natural place to start. But it’s not just about the actual food we’re consuming. It’s about choosing to live a healthy lifestyle.

Now, from what I can tell, the definition of a healthy lifestyle is about reducing the risk of becoming ill through exercise, eating and managing mental wellbeing. Deciding to lead a vegan lifestyle obviously is just one way of living a healthier lifestyle and it appears to me that it’s mainly about diet.

This may surprise you, but there are many types of vegan diet. It surprised me. This ranges from whole food and raw food to starch and junk food. So just because someone decides to cut out meat and dairy doesn’t mean it’s healthier. So is it just about making better choices on what we eat?

Having done a quick search, it appears that following a plant-based diet does have health benefits and helps with managing your weight. 

I wanted to find out more so I had a chat with my good friend Ann-See Yeoh who is living the vegan lifestyle about her decision to be a vegan. 

Why is being a vegan good for us?
On the scientific level, we know that animal fats and animal produce generally will increase our risk of heart disease, some cancers. On another level, no living being wants to die and so the fear of being slaughtered spikes the fight-or-flight response and subsequent hormones into their system. We then consume that flesh. It’s not good karma, is it?

What are the main health benefits of being a vegan?
I would say a whole foods vegan diet could help someone lose weight, lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol profile, improve kidney function, lead to better heart health, may protect against certain cancers, positively affect pain from arthritis, improve mood and hormones.

How does being a vegan help with climate change?
Ah! Feeding massive amounts of grain and water to farmed animals and then killing them and processing, transporting, and storing their flesh is extremely energy-intensive. And forests—which absorb greenhouse gases—are cut down in order to supply pastureland and grow crops for farmed animals. Finally, the animals themselves and all the manure that they produce release even more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. Then there is also the impact of the fishing industry, overfishing and how that negatively impacts that ecosystem. Climate change is also affecting fish numbers and distribution. By eliminating consumption of animal produce through where we as consumers spend our money, we can play our part in making a difference to our planet.

Is it all about just not eating meat?
Veganism in its true sense is about animal exploitation, on all levels. So that also means not using wool, leather, silk, fur, as well as not consuming any animal produce, meat, milk, cheese, fish, caviar, etc.

Tell me about some of the myths that we may be aware of that are incorrect?

  • Vegan diets are unhealthy – in fact, they can be healthier.
  • Deficient in certain vitamins and minerals like B12 – these days, with over-farming, the soil is depleted of nutrients, so vegans and non-vegans alike should look at supplementing their diet.
  • Vegans need to drink milk for calcium – countries that have the high levels of dairy consumption tend to also have the high levels of osteoporosis.
  • Vegan diets are not suitable for children – the British Dietetic Association states that a well planned vegan diet is suitable for all.
  • Vegan diets make you weak – More and more athletes are turning to a vegan diets, including Serena Williams and Lewis Hamilton. Check out The Gamechangers Movie on Netflix. 

What one thing do you think would get people thinking about changing their lifestyle?
They will feel better, not just in their body and also in the mind and their heart.

There’s no doubt that there are many benefits to living a vegan lifestyle. However, I’m not sure I’m ready yet to take that leap. At this moment in time, I will continue to focus on what I eat but I’m sure there will come a time when I will consider more than that. 

That’s ‘Would you become a Vegan, part 2’ according to Mummy on a Break. 

Could you give up meat and dairy?

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