Vegan or Vegetarian?

By: Hannah Favorite (Editor-in-Chief of Happenstance)
Millennials are all about what’s in, and currently veganism and vegetarianism are in. But are these hot trends really good for you…

By Hannah Favorite (Editor-in-Chief of Happenstance)

This post is an extension of Hannah Favorite’s article “Healthy Life, Happy Life”. If you haven’t read it yet, check out our February 2018 issue!

Millennials are all about what’s in, and currently veganism and vegetarianism are in. But are these hot trends really good for you?

(Photo credit: The Spruce)

Vegan vs. Vegetarian

Vegans do not consume any animal products, including milk, eggs, fish, all meats, honey, and anything that animals may produce. Vegetarians are a little less strict, and have more wiggle room. Vegetarians traditionally do not eat meats, but will still eat fish and other animal products. There are many health benefits to both lifestyles, but also many side effects.

Cons

Not only is it difficult to shop for a plant based diet, but more expensive as well. Also, plant based eating can be nutritionally insufficient. Many people who pursue these lifestyles have to take vitamins in the form of pills on a regular basis to prevent their bodies from shutting down. Many vegans and vegetarians are also at risk of an insufficiency in vitamin D or vitamin K, which are both necessary for bone health. Protein is another macromolecule that composes body tissues including hair, muscle, and collagens, and it helps the body produce enzymes and antibodies. This important compound can be found in almonds, eggs, oats, cottage cheese, milk, Greek yogurt, and broccoli. Not all of these are consumed by vegans, but vegetarians will eat these particular foods.

Pros

The raising of cattle and other animals requires massive amounts of land, water, energy, and food. 1% of the world’s greenhouse gases are from agriculture, as well as extensive animal suffering — one of the main reasons many people decide to cut meats out of their diet. Environmentalism and animal cruelty are not the only reasons to change the way you eat. There are many benefits to cutting meat out of your life, such as lowering your blood pressure, reducing the risk of diabetes, and even losing weight. Vegetarians consume less calories and fat on a daily basis. Generally, this produces a loss in weight and lowers the risk of many heart diseases.