Are Vegans Radicals?

When people hear the word “veganism”, a rather specific idea may come to mind: radical, strict and starved out activists who are one step away from landing in the hospital with severe anemia. Or, better yet, who are breaking into farms and labs with covered faces in the middle of the night to rescue chickens and beagles. Quite the cliché, right? Not that I think that it’s wrong to rescue suffering animals from the hands of this industry, rather the contrary. But vegans actually have many faces, and not all of them restless preachers, as some may think. Some are women, some are men, young, old, or even children. Some are catholic, jewish, muslim, agnostic or atheistic. Some are secretaries, politicians, athletes, nurses, actors, teachers, accountants, scientists, waiters and truck drivers. There’s really no rule here.

Now we’ve got a task in hand — to question where such stereotypes come from. The answer is this: lack of information. Many people don’t get too deep into the subject and just reproduce what they’ve heard from others. There are always many dimensions to every movement, and there will always be a more “intense” group of people (so to say) who are part of it. But nowadays, with all the information in the world at our disposal, we can easily fill that knowledge gap. Having said that, let’s start with the basics:

What is veganism?

Veganism is a movement that aims to fight against all forms of animal exploitation. In a practical way, that means not consuming meat, dairy and eggs or buying any kind of products (clothes, cosmetics, shoes, etc.) that have parts of animal origin in them. It also means not supporting circuses, zoos or any other kinds of attractions that support animal abuse.

Why do people go vegan?

People go vegan because they don’t think they have the right to cause animal suffering in any way. The great thing about this is that they also end up helping the environment and contributing to many other important causes.
Here’s what many people don’t know: it has already been proven that the consumption of meat, dairy and eggs is responsible for a lot of damage in all the areas mentioned above. It’s not only harmful to animals and to the environment, but also to people. A carnist diet contributes to many health problems, to an unsafe (and many times abusive) work environment, to water waste and major deforestation. It also has to do with many other issues, such as water pollution, world hunger (since most of the grains produced are fed to livestock) and, of course, the torturing and killing of animals.
There are many good and reliable sources on the internet with specific data regarding all of the problems mentioned above. Here are just two out of a vast option that you can find online: 
https://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/how-does-eating-meat-harm-the-environment/
http://www.earthoria.com/global-hunger-the-more-meat-we-eat-the-fewer-people-we-can-feed.html
Information is key.

Are vegans unhealthy?

We could be, just like any other person who eats unhealthy food. But being vegan in itself has nothing to do with being unhealthy. In fact, most vegans inform themselves thoroughly about nutrition to make sure that they are eating all the foods that they need. They can get all their nutrients from a purely plant-based diet. The only supplement they need is Vitamin B12 — which, if you don’t know, is fed to the animals you eat. Vitamin B12 is rarely found in nature and thus fed artificially to livestock. So no, these animals aren’t born with B12 in their bodies.

Just a little fraction of the variety of vegan food

Interestingly enough, veganism is now considered one of the fastest growing social movements in the world. With all the information available on the internet and the constant interaction between people from all around the globe, these issues are finally being brought to light. To sum up: the future is vegan. But shhh, you don’t have to worry. If you open yourself to this cause and realize how it can change the world for the better, maybe you’ll get very tempted to hop in too. And shocker: vegan food tastes INCREDIBLY good! Take it from a foodie ;).

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