Some people think that veganism is a health choice?

Dree

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I think this misconception dilutes the core values of veganism which are to reduce the demand for animal products so that fewer animals have to suffer. What do you think? Diplomatic answers only please.
 
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Damo

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I think a few celebrities choose to go vegan to lose weight quickly rather than for the animals/earth which is probably where the misconception has come from.
 

Alexia

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It can be both an ethical and health choice. Whichever comes first, does it matter? The fact that people are eating less meat is a step in the right direction, but people need to decide to do this themselves.
 
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Damo

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It doesn't really matter as you said it's a step in the right direction though I know a few celebrates that call themselves "vegan" though they will only remove dairy/meat from their diet. It's a little disappointing.
 

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My order of reasoning is
health
Ethics
environment.

From my perspective, media distorts the truth once again by focusing on Animal and environmental concern. This is absolutely valid, but it does not show how the over-processed, genetically modified, antibiotic tainted, and toxic chemicals products advertised are killing people.
 
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Sally

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I don't think you can tell people to be vegan. Most people are aware of factory farming, but they are not concerned. My friends know all about it, but it hasn't touched them yet. I knew about it for some years, but vegetarianism and veganism seemed such difficult things to do. Then one day it clicked. Now I couldn't go back. For me it is ethics, ethics, ethics and the value to my health and the environment are pluses.
 
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poivron

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Unfortunately, the vast majority of people don't seem to be bothered enough by the idea of animal suffering to want to change the way they eat. If you look at the health arguments for veganism, on the other hand, they are extremely compelling in the context of a country where 30-50% of the population seem to take pride in their lack of empathy and admire those who care about no one but themselves. People in the U.S. take all kinds of medications with horrible side-effects in order to slightly reduce their cholesterol levels and their likelihood of dying from a heart attack. Simply going vegan can have a much larger impact, not only on cholesterol and heart disease but also on the risk of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, kidney disease, diabetes, diverticulitis, etc. The factory-farm industry has been lobbying hard to confuse the issue, but the facts cannot be kept from the public forever. I have come to believe that the industrialized world will turn majority-vegan within the next 20 years or so as a result of the health argument. As a consequence, animal suffering will be greatly reduced. If the health argument for veganism can make large numbers of people stop eating animals, discouraging the health argument for veganism and calling health-focused vegans "not really vegan" is effectively a way to support the torture and killing of animals, no matter how vegan one thinks one is.
 

Sax

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I wish I shared your optimism, poivron.

Doing it for your health is a great reason, and perfectly rational. But I think it requires a deeper level of motivation than rational thought can provide. From what I gather people fail at weight loss diets almost 100% of the time, not to mention more acute situations like heart attack patients who continue to eat salty, high cholesterol foods etc. Abstract, hypothetical, long term health concerns just aren't enough IMO...even "ethics", in the academic sense, aren't enough...I think you really have to trigger emotions to reach someone on a deep enough level. Generally speaking, of course.

The health aspect is definitely helpful, especially after you've broken the habit of eating meat and cheese and your taste buds have adjusted and the consume/reward loop loses its power over you.

If this synthetic meat crap catches on - which it very well might in that 20 year timespan you referenced - the health argument will be a lot more important. It's harder to feel emotional about petri dish meat, even if those stem cells came from exploited animals.
 

poivron

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I wish I shared your optimism, poivron.

Doing it for your health is a great reason, and perfectly rational. But I think it requires a deeper level of motivation than rational thought can provide. From what I gather people fail at weight loss diets almost 100% of the time, not to mention more acute situations like heart attack patients who continue to eat salty, high cholesterol foods etc. Abstract, hypothetical, long term health concerns just aren't enough IMO...even "ethics", in the academic sense, aren't enough...I think you really have to trigger emotions to reach someone on a deep enough level. Generally speaking, of course.

The health aspect is definitely helpful, especially after you've broken the habit of eating meat and cheese and your taste buds have adjusted and the consume/reward loop loses its power over you.

If this synthetic meat crap catches on - which it very well might in that 20 year timespan you referenced - the health argument will be a lot more important. It's harder to feel emotional about petri dish meat, even if those stem cells came from exploited animals.

A vegan diet is fundamentally different from a weight-loss diet, though. Weight-loss diets drastically reduce the amount of calories one gets, causing the body to think there is a food shortage when there isn't one. One's metabolism slows down as the body goes into survival mode, and increasing amounts of self-control are required to avoid eating. It's not surprising that most people give up. A vegan diet, on the other hand, provides more and better nutrients than an omnivorous diet.

Personally, I could not have gone vegan for health reasons because at the time I went vegan, I didn't care very much about my health. I once posted on a message board (it might have been here), that I didn't believe it was possible to go vegan for health reasons. Someone immediately corrected me, saying they had gone vegan for health reasons initially and only later had come to appreciate the ethical aspects of veganism.

Many people who smoke have a hard time giving up smoking. But the majority of Americans no longer smoke. I think that it won't be long before eating animal products is recognized to be as bad for health as smoking is.
 

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Hi,

That was my situation: health first, ethical later.

In time, I came to understand that the health aspect of a vegan diet is a much more powerful conversation (i.e. gets more attention) than the animal suffering, or ecological issues.

Probably to do with the proximity of the problem: health is very close (and also appeals to the selfish side which is powerful) ... something like animal suffering or the planet getting warmer are big, hard to digest issues.

A similar example could be that a sore throat could be more important right now, than war in another country (the same pattern of a smaller problem, but closer to home, can get more attention than a bigger problem that happens elsewhere).
 
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BecFox

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I think this misconception dilutes the core values of veganism which are to reduce the demand for animal products so that fewer animals have to suffer. What do you think? Diplomatic answers only please.


hiya
I went vegan for two reasons. I was vegetarian for many years as when i consumed meat, mainly red meat i became really poorly. it turned out many moons later, so a rather clever doctor told me he believes i do not have the enzymes in my gut to process the meat, more so red meat.

It never bothered me in day to day life as i just always choose the vegetarian option when i was out as i always found it more appeasing and tasty too.

January of this year i decided to do Veganuary, i am a massive advocate of animal welfare and have done my utmost to promote it, I am constantly educating myself on the subject and how our meat is 'produced' etc.. along with being Vegan. i decided to make the transition. I have actually been endured a lot of torment for my decision but i have done it for me. I even endured someone leaving an animal organ on my desk at work. :(

Having gone vegan it is not a fad diet for me it a health choice and i have never been a slave to the scales at all, but one thing i have noticed i don't half feel better in myself. I feel more awake, i dont crave bad things and a stomach complaint i had for years and years (IBS) has withdrawn massively. I do not feel bloated anymore and just feel a dam sight better in myself.

Having said the above knowing that i feel great and i am also doing good towards animal welfare affirms that my decision to transition to veganism was the right thing for me to do.

i need to add here - that i use vegan make-up, and if it's not available i dont buy it/go without, i have never worn fur and got slapped when i showed my disgust at a grandparents mink coat, when i drank cows milk i learned about battery cows and made a conscious decision to buy cow friendly milk despite the cost.
 

Jinendra Singh

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I think it includes both as someone is not happy with his/her own appearance, then they always want change they might have choices but some are choosing to be vegan, they are serving to nature and society being a vegan society
 

Sally

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In my personal opinion I don't see how you can call yourself a vegan if all you are doing is not eating animals. It is my personal opinion that to be considered a vegan you need to not wear animals, use anything tested on animals, involve yourself in anything exploiting animals. Otherwise you are just on a diet. Maybe we need new terms to differentiate between the animal vegan, the save the planet vegan, the health vegan and the trendy vegan. I would be an animal vegan.:D