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Importance of the Health Aspects of Veganism

Importance of the Health Aspects of Veganism

| by Mick Walker

I am in no doubt whatsoever that the healthiest diet for humans is a Whole Food Plant Based Diet – this means that we should eat only plants and that they should be as close to their natural form as possible.


In emphasising my diet in this way, it has been suggested on many occasions that I am not vegan – but should describe myself as ‘Plant Based’.



There are many vegan activists who claim that the only real motive for being vegan is for the sake of the animals – in this sense, they seem to feel that they occupy the moral high ground compared with some of us who might, initially, have had other motivations to become vegan.


For this reason, I feel a need, at times, to confirm my vegan credentials.



As a Biologist, I have a good understanding of nutrition, food production and the environmental degradation caused by a range of human activity.


Like many vegans, my main regret is that I didn’t become vegan earlier in my life. In recent years, I have spent much time learning more about food production based around animal agriculture. It is now so clear to me that our cruel exploitation of animals to produce meat, dairy products, eggs and other animal products such as leather, is deplorable. It is equally clear that animal agriculture contributes more to environmental damage than any other single human activity.



On balance, therefore, there are three major reasons for adopting a vegan lifestyle – to eliminate animal exploitation, to reduce environmental degradation and to maintain our health and fitness.


The health aspects of a vegan diet are often overlooked – though it is something which is receiving an increasing amount of attention in America (I am not aware that it is receiving anything like the same attention here in the UK). There is now much evidence to suggest that the ever burgeoning levels of chronic conditions, such as obesity, coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancers etc. is largely down to diet and our consumption of animal products.



It is somewhat curious that many vegans consider that they are primarily vegan ‘for the animals’ but neglect their own nutrition - it is perfectly possible to be vegan and consume a pretty unhealthy diet!


In my case, I am now well into my 60s and I am still able to cycle long distances on a regular basis – in fact, I feel as strong and as fit as at any time in my life and I am convinced it is entirely down to my Whole Food Plant Based Diet.


However, make no mistake, my lifestyle is 100% Vegan!


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