Is going vegan good for you? The pros and cons of ditching meat and dairy

Alice Sholl
Contributor

[Photo: Pexels]

First things first – just about anyone can go vegan, and that’s whether you’re currently a long-term carnivore, vegetarian or new flexitarian.

And since this November is #WorldVeganMonth, there’s no better time to consider going vegan – there are a multitude of moral and health-related reasons to do so.

But, as with any big lifestyle change, there are some hurdles that you’d come up against too.

Here are some of the main pros and cons.

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[Photo: Pexels]

Pro: It’s kind to animals

Let’s get the obvious bit out of the way with first – veganism is cruelty free. While going vegetarian means you won’t be eating animals raised for slaughter, veganism also spares animals that live their lives solely to produce other products such as eggs or milk.

Con: Eating out is harder

Another obvious one, but one that’s a surprisingly big deal. Say farewell to casually going out for a meal with friends and ordering what you want – while they dig into their pizzas, you’ll often find yourself munching on a salad.

One way to avoid this situation is to eat out with other vegans in vegan-friendly places, so if you live in the right place with certain friends, this need not be so hard.

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Pro: You’ll avoid many unhealthy foods

If you’re someone who struggles to fit your five a day into your diet, going vegan will mean you don’t have much of a choice – practically everything you’ll eat counts.

And meat-wise, studies frequently find that meat eaters could be at a greater risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Con: You’ll have to go to more effort to get essential nutrients in your diet

On the other hand, turning down certain foods means you have to find other ways of getting things into your diet such as calcium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.

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Pro: Vegan-friendly foods are becoming more and more mainstream

Back in the day, vegans had to dedicate their lives to cooking from scratch, and dairy or meat substitutes were practically unheard of.

Now you can buy everything from dairy-free ice cream to vegan burgers. Not bad.

Con: But you’ll still have to give up your favourite foods

Many food replacements nowadays are fantastic, but there’s no denying that a vegan burger is not the same as a beef burger – and many foods you might not be expecting will be off limits, such as honey and many boozes.

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Pro: There are more vegans than ever before

Being vegan today is no longer considered an incredibly niche lifestyle – according to The Telegraph, the number of vegans in Britain has risen by more than 360% over the past decade. So you certainly wouldn’t be going it alone.

Con: It’s expensive

This depends on what food you plan to eat, but if you want to get your hands on clever vegan food replacements, buying nice tofu from Whole Foods will be a lot pricier than a run-of-the-mill chicken Kiev from Tesco, for example.

So, there you have them – are you convinced or not-so sure?

Would you consider going vegan? Tweet us at @YahooStyleUK.

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