Below we answer various questions and concerns you may have regarding veganism and health.
This page will be updated frequently, so please come back later to see answers to more questions.
Last updated: July 23rd, 2023
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I don't think veganism is healthy because it lacks nutrients like omega-3, B12 and zinc.
According to the American Dietetic Association (the largest nutrition association in the world), a well-planned vegan diet is healthy and suitable for all stages of life, from children, pregnant women, to athletes, and has all the necessary nutrients.
Protein in vegan foods:
Iron in vegan foods:
- black chocolate
Calcium in vegan foods:
- green vegetables
- herbal drinks
Omega 3 fats in vegan foods:
Vitamin B12 in vegan foods:
- herbal drinks
- nutritional yeast
Zinc in vegan foods:
If I eat animal products in moderation, I will be perfectly healthy. So I don't need to go vegan.
Indeed, eating fewer animal products will make you healthier.
But the moderation should only be applied to good things. The things that are not good, such as animal products, cigarettes, drugs and others, the less we take the better, so the perfect choice is not to take at all.
After all, even with fewer animal products, there will still be many animals who will be abused.
I know many non-vegans who are perfectly healthy.
Indeed there may be many non-vegans who watch their diet and appear healthy. There are also many vegans who are healthy.
The point is to look at the general population and not specific cases.
Diseases that threaten humans, such as cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, etc. have all been linked to the consumption of animal products.
We can also find people who smoked until they were 90, but that does not mean that smoking is healthy.
If I eat vegan food, I feel hungry or weak after a while.
Try combining iron-rich foods with carrots, onions, garlic, and other vitamin C-rich foods in order to increase iron absorption.
Vegans are thin, skinny and look older.
This is a logical fallacy called hasty generalization, where one essentially jumps to a conclusion without sufficient evidence.
Weak or skinny is someone who does not eat enough.
Someone who has a lot of stress in life can look older.
You may have seen some vegans who are like this, but that doesn’t mean most are like this.
You can go to a vegan event or protest and you’ll see that there are people of all ages and body types.
Soy is genetically modified.
Soy is a product from which many substitutes for animal products are made and they surpass them in both ethical and ecological and nutritional value – soy mince replaces meat, soy milk and yogurt replace animal dairy.
So, soy is the great “enemy” of the animal products industry.
Just as the animal products industry uses propaganda with advertisements where the animals live happily on a very wide and clean farm in order not to lose customers, so it also spreads bad rumors about soy.
But if you have doubts, you can buy products with certified, non-modified soy.
But if you still have doubts, then you don’t have to buy soy. Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to eat soy. You can replace the animal products you were eating with another vegan product.
You can use mushrooms, eggplants, lentils, chickpeas or beans instead of meat.
Instead of animal milk, you can use rice, almond, oat, bean, chestnut or cashew milk.
I had read something about vegan parents who did not feed their children properly and they died. Raising your child vegan is unhealthy and brainwashing.
We are the first to condemn such cases, because they obviously do not represent either veganism or common sense.
When a vegan couple – from the numerous couples that are in the world – do not feed their child properly, then it will be all over the news channels (which are funded by animal product ads).
But what about the tens of thousands of parents who are not vegan and do not properly raise or even give up or kill their children?
According to the American Association of Dietitians, a vegan diet is healthy and suitable for all stages of life, from children, pregnant women, to athletes.
So, those parents were not wrong in recommending a vegan diet for the child, but they were wrong in the way they implemented it.
You may think that an omnivore diet is perfectly healthy and when you see children who are overweight or with diseases, you blame the parents for not implementing a proper diet and you don’t blame the omnivore diet for being unhealthy.
In the same way, we vegans know that the vegan diet is perfectly healthy, but some parents simply did not apply it correctly.
The infant didn’t die from the vegan diet, it died from starvation.
Every parent is expected and obliged to make some moral decisions on behalf of their children and prevent them from doing something wrong, often without explaining why something is wrong, since the child is too young to understand.
Thus vegan parents, thinking about their children, but also the animals, make some decisions for them, until they grow up and draw some conclusions for themselves and hopefully, they will later thank their parents for not letting them finance the abuse of animals, just for the sake of an unnecessary taste.
Innocence is a main characteristic of children. If children saw what animals go through, would they be okay with eating them later?
Raising children to show compassion to animals is not brainwashing, it’s soul cleansing.
There are many ex-vegans (eg Miley Cyrus, Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie etc) who stopped veganism because they felt weak and could not get the necessary nutrients.
Some people have made veganism synonymous with fasting and don’t really care about our ethical attitude towards animals, which is the true meaning of veganism. In such cases, we do not believe that these people are considered vegan, but that they just tried a vegan diet for a while, perhaps because they had heard about the positive effects it has on our health.
Some ex-vegans may have had health problems beforehand, but neglected them while they were vegan.
In such cases, while it’s always best to seek the help of an expert (as you would even if you weren’t vegan), they decided to take their health into their own hands and eat whatever they wanted.
In cases like Angelina Jolie’s for example, her health problems were because of her anorexia. When you eat almost nothing, it’s obvious you will have a problem.
That is not veganism’s fault.
Some may not have been eating properly. Eating too little or too much, due to other factors, such as stress. They may not have made the right combination of foods (e.g. eating the same, plain foods every day) and/or eating unhealthy foods (junk food).
That is not veganism’s fault.
Some ex-vegans give up veganism because they “had nothing to eat”. But if you explore the vegan cuisine (which unfortunately many people don’t), you will see that there are infinite flavors which if you try and you will see that the vegan diet is anything but boring.
You can very easily find vegan recipe blogs on Google or find a vegan recipe for a dish you want. You can e.g. search for “vegan pizza”, “vegan moussaka”, “vegan pastitsio”, “vegan gyros” etc.
Sometimes it can be a psychological issue, maybe stress from society’s pressure or some skeptical part of their mind telling them that they should eat animal products again because they had read many animal product propaganda articles and maybe they wanted to believe them and justify them. Some claim that they felt much better the exact moment that they ate animal products again. That is not scientifically supported. Instead, this is a psychological phenomenon called “placebo effect”. In this phenomenon people feel that their health is improving after receiving a treatment, but that treatment was fake or non-existent. This is because they already had the belief (and will) that this fake treatment would work and so their brain produced a subjective perception of a healing effect.
Especially for those who didn’t care about animals and put their luxury above any logic and morality, who want everything and are not happy with anything, they might have wanted to “break out” and commit this “sin” to get away a burden off them and feel better, such as there are “cheat days” for overweight people who are on a diet but occasionally go back to eating lots of sweets, or people who are trying to quit smoking but still smoke once in a while, or alcoholics who, while trying to quit drinking, continue to drink a in the meantime, or as couples do who cheat on their partners to feel like “free spirits”, while they have taken sacred marriage vows under God’s eyes.
Like the above, meat eating is an addictive drug. Just because there are people who succumbed to their desires, that doesn’t mean those desires are healthy or morally justified.
In such cases we suggest joining vegan groups, making friends with vegans and sharing information so you don’t feel alone on this journey.
In many cases people who give up veganism, will of course say it was for health reasons and thus play the victim in order to get people to sympathize and support them, thus diverting attention from the real victims, who are the animals.
But if those people really cared about animals, they would have seen a nutritionist to find a way to stay vegan.
Over time it is natural for the demands of our bodies to change. We go through diseases, the climate changes, women can get pregnant, we exercise, we grow old. Thus, a diet plan that we followed in one phase of our life may not cover us in another phase.
So just as a non-vegan would change some foods in their diet, a vegan can do the same.
Just because someone is an omnivore, does not mean that they eat healthily and that they definitely get all the necessary nutrients. How come there are so many nutritionists who have jobs and there are nutritional supplement companies who have money to put ads on the Metro? They certainly don’t make their profits off of some vegans.
Also, what about all those ex-meat eaters who felt better after going vegan?
From the above it seems that there is a hypocritical treatment of veganism, because:
- when some vegans say they have a health problem, people immediately jump to the conclusion that veganism is unhealthy, but
- when tens of thousands of non-vegans have a health problem and suffer/die from diseases, then people conclude that they didn’t take care of their health – but why not say the same about the vegan? That the vegan might also have neglected his/her health because of laziness?
This is called “double standards”.
I've found research online that debunks everything vegans say.
There can be many studies on the internet, from different time periods, funded by industries with different interests, with different samples of people (smaller or larger), that lasted for different periods of time, which can prove anything. That is, some surveys are more reliable and others less reliable.
Since there are many vegans (including athletes) who have proven that a vegan diet can work for everyone, if we consider the benefits of a vegan diet in protecting the environment and animals, then it is definitely worth a try.
You can do your own experiment with the vegan diet and draw your own conclusions.
We are at your disposal to help you with whatever you may need.