Veganism is the largest popular movement of the last century. Whether it’s for animal cruelty reasons or a concern for the environment, so many people are now giving up meat and dairy for good. If you’re a particularly conscious person that worries about environmental issues, you might be wondering whether it’s the right option for you. But then you see all sorts of articles online about how a vegan diet is bad for you because you don’t get enough protein and nutrients. It’s difficult to work out what you should do when there is so much conflicting information flying around. Here are a couple of things to consider to help you make a decision.
Could You Just Cut Back?
As vegan and vegetarian diets have started to take off, so has flexitarianism. It’s a fairly new term that describes people that are more conscious about their eating without making a full commitment to veganism. The ‘flexitarian’ approach to healthy eating doesn’t stop you from eating meat and dairy products, it just means that you’ll only have them once or twice a week. The thinking is that if we all adopted this attitude, there would be no need for us to swear off those animal products completely. It also encourages you to replace unhealthy things like red meat with alternatives like beans etc. which are far better for you.
What Is Your Motivation?
This is the most important question to ask yourself. If your motivation for wanting to stop eating animal products is because you don’t agree with the way that they are farmed, cutting back isn’t for you. Anybody that rejects animal products on moral grounds should be cutting them out completely. If your motivations are more to do with the environmental impact of farming, you may be able to cut down and reduce your carbon footprint. Think about other areas where you might be able to save, like cutting down on electricity etc. Finding the right balance for you is the key to deciding on what diet to adopt.
Do You Know What To Eat?
There are a lot of reactionary stories flying around about veganism claiming that it isn’t healthy for you. It’s true that a vegan diet can be lacking in certain things, but so can any other diet. If you take away meat and dairy and you don’t replace those lost nutrients then you’ll be unhealthy. But if you know what you’re doing, you can have a perfectly healthy diet without any meat or dairy. Things like beans are a great source of protein and vitamins and if you make sure that you eat a wide range of fruit and vegetables, you should be getting everything you need. The other issue that people often have is the cost; it can be expensive to eat organically and some of the replacement products you can get come with a hefty price tag. But if you put some time and effort into shopping around and planning your meals, you should be fine.
Hopefully, these 3 questions will help you to decide whether a vegan diet is the right option for you.