Going vegan is a huge lifestyle change. If you’re thinking about going vegan you’ll want to do it for all the right reasons. Here are 6 important reasons to not be vegan and what you can do instead.
Veganism nowadays is one of the biggest alternative lifestyle choices people are choosing for a more healthy and happy life. With the meat industry being the biggest cause of environmental degradation, deforestation and pollution more and more people are turning to a more plant-based lifestyle in an effort to live more consciously and in harmony with the earth.
Going vegan is a chance to experience a new lifestyle, make some conscious decisions that benefit the earth, better your health and eat more plants but if these reasons aren’t what motivates you, perhaps you might want to reconsider.
While there are several benefits to the vegan or the plant-based lifestyle it isn’t for everyone. From peer pressure to self-loathing, here are 5 important reasons not to be vegan and why the vegan lifestyle might not be the best choice for you.
If you’re struggling with the questions, ‘Should I go Vegan?’ or ‘Should I Become a Vegan?’, this article is for you.
It’s also important to note that if, after reading this you conclude that the vegan or plant-based lifestyle isn’t for you, that’s totally ok and you should not feel guilty. As long as you’re making decisions based on your own health and what’s right for you, it’s not something you have to justify or feel badly about.
Consider these reasons to not be vegan as something to think about as you start your journey into veganism. They aren’t supposed to deter you, merely give you something to consider to ask yourself if this lifestyle change really is for you.
In my experience, making a change, whatever that change might be, for the wrong reasons never ends well. We either give up quickly or it doesn’t benefit us. You have to really want something to make it work out.
A personal note:
I was vegan for 10+ years but eventually moved away to become more of a flexitarian. As I grew older it didn’t benefit me as much as it did when I first started. I still lead a very healthy, very plant-focused lifestyle but I also don’t restrict myself and I think that’s very important. It’s important to give your body what it’s asking for.
On a travel note, it also got tedious. Because of adhering to these strict vegan rules, I was missing out on fundamental culinary experiences in different countries. Rejecting a local, healthy, home-cooked dish just because it has meat in it was a great way of alienating myself from a culture. Something I really didn’t want to do.
So, here are 6 reasons to not go vegan, or points to think about before you do.
6 Reasons to Not Be Vegan
You’re Doing it to Lose Weight
One of the main reasons not to go vegan is in order to lose weight. Going vegan or plant-based isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle change, a big one- more than just cutting down on calories.
No doubt you might lose weight due to the lack of animal fat that is found in plant-based diets but this shouldn’t be your focus.
I truly believe that any successful lifestyle change needs to come from a place of wanting to be healthier and do better for the planet rather than being thinner.
If you are suffering from an eating disorder or you’re recovering from one, recovery should also be your main focus at this time.
You Don’t Have Time
Just like with any change or new endeavour, implementing a new lifestyle takes time and effort. Why not to go vegan could be an issue for you if you don’t have the time to implement it.
It will take time to learn new recipes and how to ‘veganise’ old ones. Supermarket shops will take longer at first as you read ingredients labels and cooking with unfamiliar ingredients will also take some time to get used to.
If you lead a really busy lifestyle and you don’t have the time needed right now for a whole new lifestyle change then I’d suggest perhaps waiting for a less busy time in your life or a vacation.
It’s also worth noting that the vegan lifestyle only takes more time in the beginning. Once you do get used to new products and recipes a vegan lifestyle is no effort at all.
Looking for my Veganuary Survival Guide? Check out my Top Tips for a Successful Veganuary.
You Really Can’t Give Up Meat or Dairy
If you’re asking yourself ‘ Why should I not go vegan?’ then this is another great reason to consider.
If you feel like you really can’t part with grilled chicken or the odd cheese board, the vegan lifestyle probably isn’t for you but this is nothing to feel guilty about.
There really is nothing stopping you from being primarily plant-based with the odd meat, fish or dairy product. Yes, you might not be vegan as such but does that really matter?
Putting labels on our lifestyle can be counter-productive. As soon as you tell the world you’re vegan, anything you do outside that label gets met with criticism and scepticism, although things today are definitely changing.
There’s no reason that you can’t skip the label, eat mostly plant-based with the occasional I’ll-have-what-I want- mindset. It’s healthy.
The outcome of a lifestyle change should be about overall health and if eating a plant-rich diet with the occasional steak or french toast makes you happy then you should absolutely go with that. Please do not worry about conforming to a certain label.
You Aren’t Motivated and Passionate About It
Motivation and passion are what fuel any change and without these is a big reason why not to be vegan. There is always a reason behind doing something and making the change towards a vegan lifestyle is no different.
Whether it’s for the environment, for the animals or for your health, your reason for going vegan is a very important factor in making the change.
Your reason ‘why’ acts as your motivation and coming back to why you’re going vegan on days where you feel less motivated than normal can be a lifesaver.
At times it might take a bit of perseverance, willpower and drive to say true to yourself and what you want and without motivation and passion, it will be difficult to push through.
You’re Doing it for Someone Else
Similar to the above, it’s much easier to succeed if you have a reason and motivation behind you.
While supporting a friend or family member with a new endeavour is fantastic, it probably isn’t one of the best reasons to become vegan yourself, especially if it isn’t really what you want.
Always to true to yourself and tap into your passions and motivation for doing something.
You Think Being Vegan in Unhealthy
You might think this reason not to go vegan is pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised but how many people I’ve met who are plant-based and don’t think what they’re eating is healthy.
Just like any other diet, the plant-based one can be unhealthy. Vegan junk food is a thing and many people eat it. It means they’re vegan but not exactly healthy.
Today, if you Google ‘ vegan unhealthy’ or ‘dangers of vegan diet’, you’ll find many different science-backed articles about how veganism is unhealthy and whether it is healthy to be vegan. There’s science to back both sides of the coin, what matters is what you believe- after doing all your own research of course.
Ultimately if you conclude being vegan is unhealthy, that’s a reason to stop your journey right there.
I hope these reasons not to be vegan have helped you if you’re contemplating the idea of going vegan. If you have any further comments or questions, be sure to leave them below- I’d love to hear from you.
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