These are some of the pros and cons that I’ve experienced since going vegan 4 years ago. Everyone will experience different things but these are the ones that stand out the most in my life.
Better Digestion + More energy
When I went vegan I learned that it’s actually not suppose to hurt every time you go #2. Sorry for starting out so graphic but I really didn’t have a clue that I even had bad digestion for my whole life until a few weeks into being vegan when I started seeing major improvements. Now in the past 4 years, there’s only been a handful of days where my digestion has been even remotely bad. I’m guessing the large amounts of meat and dairy in my diet were the culprits and I’m glad that nothing I currently eat cause my body to react negatively. But do know that a vegan diet isn’t going to magically grant everyone perfect digestions, some people experience worsened digestion when eating vegan. I’m not a nutritionist or dietician so I can’t say why that happens but most people who don’t have any allergies or intolerances and increase their fiber intake (which is pretty much inevitable when going vegan) will experience better digestion. It’s best to speak with a doctor if you digestion worsens.
Eating healthier meals, less processed foods, and being excited about my new lifestyle change gave me a lot of energy when I first went vegan. Even about a year and a half after going vegan when I started road cycling a lot, I was able to wake up naturally around 6 am and jump out of bed, not even remotely tired, and go on long rides multiple times a week with very little riding experience beforehand. Then eventually I turned into a junk food vegan and that went down the drain but in the beginning I definitely had more energy than I had had for years!
More Conscious of What You’re Eating
One reason that vegans tend to have lower rates of things like heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer is because changing your diet- eliminating 2 food groups requires much greater attention to what you are consuming. You can easily eat a junk filled vegan diet or a nutritionally deficient diet, but for many people, veganism can just lead to healthier food choices in general. Not eating any calories from animal products usually leads people to eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Reduce Environmental Impact
As many people have become aware of over the past few years, the impact that the animal agriculture industry has on the environment is huge. Every dollar we spend is a vote toward what we support. By purchasing animal products, we are supporting the industries that are massively contributing to climate change, water pollution, air pollution, and much more.
Even by cutting back on our meat, dairy, + eggs consumption by 25, 50, or 75%, we are making a difference.
A More Ethical Diet/Lifestyle
This is of course the most obvious one and the entire point of veganism is to reduce animal suffering, but it is important to know that being vegan does not mean not contributing at all. That’s unfortunately not possible. But veganism is about doing what practical and possible and most people who having the ability to read this have the ability to give veganism a try. If not, again, you’re still making a difference by reducing animal product consumption!
Nitpicking + Blaming Everything on Veganism
This is something that every vegan who shares online has experienced. People who don’t care at all about any other diet will go around to different vegans and point out the tiniest little thing as something that is caused by eating a vegan diet. A vegan has a pimple… must be their diet. A vegan broke their leg… must be because of their brittle vegan bones.
Some of my favorite personal examples: One of my baby teeth didn’t come out until I was 17 and had to pull it out when it wasn’t remotely loose because the adult tooth was coming in behind it. For a while I had a gap in my mouth which multiple people assumed was because the tooth had decayed so much from my diet that it just fell out. I also enjoy the ones where something you’ve had before going vegan gets blamed on veganism. I have a big forehead/ my hairline is far back. Pictures from when I was 2 years old show that it’s always been that way. But multiple people have told me I wouldn’t have a receding hairline if I wasn’t vegan. I suppose my 2 year old self just knew I would go vegan at 14 so I started preparing ahead of time.
Honestly a lot of anti vegans are just as bad as militant vegans.. Their arguments are based on what makes them feel superior, not on what is actually going to get the other side to see their point of view.
Harder to Eat at Restaurants
Being vegan in most places of the world is going to make going out to eat a lot harder. Coming from a small town in the Midwestern US, I can tell you that it was very stressful to go to restaurants when I first went vegan. After a while it got easier because I found that no matter where I went, I always found an option, usually it was something that could be made vegan with one or two ingredients omitted. But alienating yourself from the people around you by having to go to a certain restaurant due to your diet and not having a huge selection of what you can eat at restaurants can turn a lot of people off from going vegan. Personally I don’t think you should let that come before your ethics but I also wish more people realizing that you can just eat vegan foods when you’re at home and then non vegan when you go out, and that is still awesome! You’re still make a big difference so don’t think that just because you don’t want to go fully vegan that you therefore shouldn’t do anything at all.
But for those who would like to go vegan, I do have a little summary of how to do so on my FAQ page which can hopefully help a bit.
Vegan Alternatives can be Expensive + Aren’t Widely Available
Unfortunately vegan alternative products like plant based dairy and meat products are not very widespread yet and even in the places where there is a decent selection of them, they are almost always more expensive than the non vegan versions. These products can make going vegan a lot easier for those who are struggling to give up certain animal products but I can assure you that it is fully possible to go vegan without ever eating these. While I transitioned to veganism over the span of a couple months, as well as a few months after going vegan, the only ‘vegan alternative’ I ever had was almond milk and for me it was not struggle to go or stay vegan. And that’s coming from someone who’s from Wisconsin… the dairy state.. so I ate a lot of dairy.
Many people benefit from plant based alternatives though because they don’t feel as satisfied eating vegan. I can’t say what the reason is (of course its different for everyone) but I can say that making sure you’re eating the same amount of calories as you did before and not eating too little fat or protein can help with not feeling satisfied after meals.
Some People Think All Vegans Act the Same
Not all vegans are militant, aggressive, like to attack people for not being vegan, and want to push their beliefs on others. I personally think it’s actually a small minority that like to do that… but they’re also the ones that always get the attention. it’s usually not the most rationally-minded people who assume that all people in a group act the same way, but there are plenty of people who just assume that to be vegan means to be judgmental and holier than thou.
There is a vegan stereotype/joke that goes as follows “How do you know if someone is vegan?” “Don’t worry, they’ll tell your right away.” which I’ve always found to be quite dumb. When I worked as a cashier for 2 years, not a single person there ever knew I was vegan because I never told anyone. I’ve had people try to argue with me online about certain beliefs that I don’t have because they just thought that since a lot of vegans think x about y… then I too must think x about y.
Thankfully this doesn’t happen much in real life so if you’re considering going vegan, I wouldn’t expect too many people to be rude to your face. But that will also depend on how you act toward them and how much you’re talking about veganism.