Discussing The Vegan Vs Meat Debate - StrongLife

Discussing The Vegan Vs Meat Debate

vegan

So throughout 2019, we’ve had an insurgence of Vegan / Vegetarian diets.

Not only that, but so many people/companies started selling vegan plans and products.

Because when something becomes popular or trendy, people will tend to push it to make money off it.

And now we have Netflix shows like ‘Game Changers’ which drives propaganda that vegan diets are healthier.

But are they really superior for human health?

The Vegan Vs Meat Debate

Firstly, I want to state that I don’t watch these documentaries like ‘What The Health’ etc. as they tend to push ideologies and biases over science and proven information.

If we are to simply just compare a vegan diet to a meat diet for overall human health, then we’re observing with blinkers on, as there are many factors we must consider.

First of all, go to any supermarket and casually observe the trolleys of customers.

You’ll notice that there are much greater sources of calories and nutrition at play.

Some of the most popular items are:

  • Breads
  • Cereals
  • Chocolate
  • Biscuits
  • Crisps
  • Pizza
  • Desserts
  • Soft Drinks
  • Pastas
  • Cakes
  • Wine / Beer

The list goes on.

And it’s probably fair to say that as you look at that list, you’ll notice a few items that make their way into your basket each week.

Meat alone is not the problem.

And being honest, meat will only be a small portion of the weekly grocery shopping.

It’s the indulgences and hyper palatable foods that will reign supreme in the trolley.

But are we to blame for consuming these foods?

I believe not.

Because our food environment is built around these fast, convenient foods.

Unless that begins to change, we’re going to fall foul to them.

(Quick note, I’m also going to be doing an article about this in the coming week).

So is meat alone the problem, or is there more to optimising health?

Where We See Differences Between Vegans And Meat Eaters

For me, it’s the overall diet and lifestyle that can differentiate vegans and meat eaters.

And it’s quite possibly where people fall into the belief that veganism is healthier.

But we must consider all the factors before concluding the above.

So let’s look straight away at the dietary differences:

Vegan diets focus heavily on whole foods, lots of vegetables and very low levels of processed foods and sugar.

Meat eaters tend to eat less vegetables, more refined carbohydrates and may not be as conscious about consuming processed foods, sugary drinks and fast food.

The main benefit you may see in veganism is that they eat much more vegetables which will definitely be a benefit for health.

It’s also the big emphasis on whole foods only, meaning they suddenly remove a lot of junk food and processed foods from their diets.

But if a meat eater followed with the same focus, consumed meat with a conscious effort to consume less junk food and more vegetables, focus on whole foods over processed and monitored their sugar intake, surely they would also reap health benefits?

So is the ‘meat free’ aspect the key part?

Or is it the fact that it’s a big dietary change away from over indulgence on breads, processed foods, fast food takeaways and sugary stuff to now focusing on more vegetables, fibre, and top quality whole foods?

Now let’s look at the lifestyle factors:

Generally speaking, meat eaters would be less health conscious so are more likely to smoke, consume more alcohol, sleep less, stress more and exercise little.

Whereas when someone adopts a vegan lifestyle, it’s a complete overhaul.

Exercise becomes a great focus, whether it’s yoga, gym, running, cycling or endurance sports.

By adopting a vegan lifestyle, they may also choose to stop smoking and reduce/eliminate alcohol from their life.

And they are more likely to meditate and look after their stress levels and mental health.

But again, if a meat eater adopted those same principles when it comes to lifestyle, would they also see a big benefit to their life?

Concluding Thoughts

So there’s a short run-down of the discussion of Vegan vs Meat Eaters.

There are many variables at play, and they change often.

Also, veganism is very new to human existence.

We’ve been eating meat for almost our entire history.

And it’s only a small portion of the global population that have adopted it, so it’s very early days.

Personally, I see a worry:

We’re in danger of pushing ourselves deeper into our respective, conflicting camps in order to achieve the moral high ground rather than level the playing field through the use of evidence based information to enhance the habits, behaviours and health of humans, rather than force our own ideologies and beliefs onto others.

Not only that, but a lot of big personalities/companies that are pushing veganism are doing so because they stand to gain financially from it.

And it’s a current trend meaning it’s an easier sell, because people have the chance to belong within a group.

You almost gain identity.

For me, I’d much rather we all kept things level and focused on the overall health and wellbeing of humans.

In doing so, we could work on improving the overall lifestyle for everyone.

More exercise, quality sleep, positive interactions with others, time spent outdoors and looking after our mental health.

Less smoking, junk food, takeaways and arguing with one another.

Factor in a reduction in processed foods in favour of whole foods/vegetables full of nutrition and vitamins, and we would surely start seeing great things?

What if we focus to work together as a community, remove ourselves from Vegan vs Meat, and focus more on supporting one another in adopting more positive and healthy lifestyles?

Surely that would open the door to more people enjoying life, being healthy and living a better lifestyle?

It’d make for much more craic along the way.

Because it’s not a case of right or wrong.

It’s a case of ‘how can we build healthier communities’.

I think that needs to start with helping one another adopt these new, positive lifestyle changes without frowning upon meat consumption or being vegan.

Do you agree?

Let me know.

Thank you.

Colm.

P.s. One final note – don’t rely on Netflix to educate you on nutrition and health, a lot of it ends up as propaganda and biased. Follow some top level nutritionists and keep your mind open to new thoughts and ideas.

For future articles – you’ll get them here:

https://stronglifegym.ie/blog/

Colm Duignan

Colm Duignan

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