Should everyone be vegan? After reading opinion pieces for and against veganism, it is not necessary
or important to require all humans to become vegan. There are many positives to being vegan. By
decreasing meat and animal product consumption you are decreasing the demand on the market
thus decreasing the slaughtering and mistreatment of animals. This can positively impact the natural
environment concerning pollution from meat production. Furthermore supporters of veganism argue
that humans are biologically made to eat and digest plants and not animal products. This is also valid
and it has been shown that humans have trouble processing animal products. Also in theory since
meat and animal products are high cholesterol that contributes to our nation’s obesity. At the same
time some people are allergic to the vegan alternatives for meat or animal products. Moreover it is
more difficult to receive proper nutrition when living on a vegan diet. Many people have issues of
malnutrition and some cases vegan diets have led to eating disorders. Also there are also many other
caloric and processed foods that people can eat instead of animal products that can contribute to
obesity.
Overall like everything else there needs to be a balance between eating meat and animal products and
plants.  This is not saying that vegans have to eat meat to be healthy.  There needs to be balanced options for consumers.  The goal of the nation and nutritionists should be for Americans to be healthy which means that some can be vegans while others will eat animal products.  Both options come with important standards and cautions that consumers need to be aware of.  Our current food system allows this, however it does not work because there is so much information because there are so many options and ways to have a balanced healthy diet.  Some of these options work better for others.  This issue is further hindered and made confusing by the lack of transparency in our food system.  For example in our university cafeteria there are options for students to eat meat and animal products, but limited options for vegetarians and vegans.  The situation is worsened by the fact that we don’t know the ingredients of our food.

Marion Nestle’s article specifically points out the issues surrounding the lacking qualities of veganism.  The main three issues are lack of B12, getting enough food, and eating enough of a variety of food.  She argues for a vegetarian diet that allows people to address these three issues without eating meat.  By doing so it is possible to lose weight and improve your overall health.  Overall I agree with her main point that any diet works as long as if it is balanced and provides necessary nutritional requirements. 
All of these articles make it sound easy to eat a balanced diet but there are so many other challenges and structures that are at play.  For some low income families or people it is difficult to get a variety of healthy unprocessed foods daily.  On one level it is hard to reach places that sell this type of food, they have to have the cultural capital to identify healthy food, and they have to be able to afford the food.   It is also very uncommon for people to be able to maintain one diet for a period of time longer than four months.  By consistently changing their diets it will be less likely that they will lose weight or feel healthier.  There is a variety of issues that surround dieting, vegetarianism, veganism, and food consumption.  These issues are difficult to address on a public level because of the varying opinions.

 

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