GO GREEN GO VEGAN
By: Mondli Ngubane
Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. A follower of veganism is known as a vegan.
People choose to be vegan for health, environmental, and ethical reasons. Some people avoid these items because of conditions associated with it; once dairy cows or egg-laying chickens are too old to be productive they’re sold for meat.
Many health experts are recommending vegan diet because of it healthy side, a physician and nutrition specialist Dr Melina Jampolis, also strongly recommend vegan life style.
“Vegan diet can be very healthy, there are generally much low in saturated fat and cholesterol than animal based diet, which include meat, eggs and diary,” said Jampolis.
“Replacing a percentage of saturated fat in your diet with plant-based protein such as beans, tofu, and nuts can significantly reduce a number of heart disease risk factors including high blood pressure and high cholesterol,” she added.
Many vegans choose this lifestyle to promote a more humane and caring world. They know they are not perfect, but believe they have a responsibility to try to do their best, while not being judgmental of others.
Thalente Khomo, a Photography student who is a strict vegetarian and has been for over three years, said that she recommends vegan diet and warned it not as easy as people might think.
“Veganism to me is a lifestyle where I indulge on meatless products not because meet makes me sick or whatever but it a healthy decision I took in 2012,” said Khomo.
“It was also a form of me teaching myself discipline in what I eat and also to create fluidity between my yoga practice and veganism, but at first it didn’t work for me because they were loads of temptation but I prevailed,” she added.
The key to a nutritionally sound vegan diet is variety. A healthy and varied vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
“Not everyone agrees with vegan lifestyle for many reasons. The argument is based on health, the transmigration of souls, animal welfare and the view, and that if humans deserve justice so do non-humans,” concluded Khomo.
While vegan diet is usually rich in carbohydrate, fibre, vitamins and minerals, they can be low in several important nutritions.
Nokwazi Zakwe, a Food and Nutrition Consumer Science student, said that she believes that the vegan diet deprives our bodies certain important nutrition.
“Vegan diet is low on protein which is important for preventing age-associated loss of muscle gain, B12 which is important for preventing anaemia and ensuring proper nervous system function,” said Zakwe.
“I would recommend supplementing your vegan diet with fortified foods or supplements that contain these nutrients for optimal health,” she added.
Zakwe concluded that vegan diet is not a mechanism to lose weight and to maintain a healthy life style but to curve animal cruelty and slaughter.