Should I go vegan?  Or should I not go vegan?  Big question, right?  As you consider, the choice, consider this.  Those of you who know me, know that I am vehemently pro-meat.  If it had eyes and a mom, I’m in.  However, I’ll try to keep this less opinionated and more factual (right).

First off, consider this.  Many, not all, but many people who go vegan become deficient in both Vitamin B12 and Iron.  Both of which are found in their largest quantities in animal-based foods.  And, in the case of Iron, meat is FAR and AWAY the best and most bio-available source.  These things ARE available in plant foods, but in smaller quantities, which means that you need to eat more of them to get the same value out of them.

Second, consider this.  The biggest meat “replacement” in the vegan diet is soy-based product.  The problem is that high quantities of soy intake have been linked (not proven, but linked) to alterations in Estrogen/Testosterone balances in the body and an increased risk of certain cancers.  Also, by the time that the majority of soy products hit the consumer market, they don’t even resemble anything basic, nutritional or good.  The best sources of soy foods are Miso and Tempeh.  The rest?  Eh.

On the positive side, it does NOT have to be more expensive.  You can get good fresh foods for reasonable costs.  You WILL, however, have to become very accustomed to reading your labels and making sure that NO animal by-products or preservatives or anything like that have leaked into your food (good luck).  Overall, your food and nutrient choices become much more limited.  We lose our best sources of CERTAIN vitamins and minerals and our most complete sources of protein.  So, it’s not necessarily a WRONG choice, but a big choice.  Personally?  Never giving up bacon….I mean lets be serious.