The Daily Mail is hardly one to shout about the benefits of veganism, but a recent article published about veganism is as confused as it can get. They talk about the ethical and environmental benefits of being vegan, yet they base the article around the belief that veganism in some way is tied to anorexia and orthorexia.
The author is insistent on portraying teenagers that decide to go vegan as phone obsessed, easily manipulated 14 year old girls. Way to have faith in the future. Of course, these teenagers are in the authors eyes only going vegan because of Instagram stars such as Deliciously Ella, and her “clear skin and sparkling eyes, her slim figure, [and] her long glossy hair”.
Not to mention that Ella also transformed her health through plant-based eating, and is a living example of how veganism can benefit your life.
There is the constant claim that veganism is a restrictive diet, one on which, and I quote;
On the other hand, you might predict these tender-hearted teens will have minimal effect on the mainstream because they’ll be shut away in their bedrooms, socially isolated and fairly friendless, and could end up stooped with osteoporosis, face and body covered in downy hair, teeth rotted, skin dull and grey, and with all the other manifestations of the nutritional deficiencies of anorexia.
I’ve been cutting out all animal products for over 10 months now. Odd, because according to The Daily Mail I should be a ‘tender-hearted’ teen who’s socially isolated and suffering from the nutritional deficiencies of anorexia.
Cutting out animal products because they are extremely detrimental to your health and the environment is not the same as denying yourself food because of an eating disorder. Veganism and anorexia do not come hand in hand, and it is ridiculous to think so.
Where are these claims for ‘I Quit Sugar’? Or how about Atkinson’s or the Cambridge Weight Plan? These are all about cutting certain food groups out for quick fix weight loss, which is much more likely to develop into anorexia.
The Daily Mail can’t forget to mention all the nutrients you’ll miss out on when eating a vegan diet. As has been proven multiple times before, you can get Omega-3, B12 and iron from 100% plant based sources with no worries.
What about other health issues?
The Mail also seems to forget the most serious health issue effecting British teenagers, obesity. One in 4 teenagers is now obese by the time that they’re 15, leading to health issues that will haunt them they’re entire adult life.
If every time a teenager decides to go plant-based the media cry’s out about the ‘restrictive nature’ of the diet, where will that get us? We are facing an obesity epidemic, as well as the worst climate change seen for thousands of years. Eating plant based helps both of these issues, yet people insist on worrying about hypothetical teenagers taking it too far.
If someone has tendencies leaning towards anorexia, they will do it regardless. Using veganism as a cover story is not reflective of veganism, it is reflective of anorexia. One does not cause the other, and there is limited to no proof showing that going vegan will lead teenagers down the road to anorexia.
In fact, there is plenty of evidence showing otherwise. Veganism has helped thousands of people recovering from anorexia change the way in which they look at food.
Believe it or not, teenagers going vegan do not sit in their bedroom as hair grows over their bodies and they develop anorexia. The vegan community is one of the largest out there, and shows just how untrue this frivolous claim is.
I’m yet to meet a teenager who wilts away like this, however I have met hundred of vegans who love to exercise, socialise, live life and be happy. Cutting out animal products doesn’t make you a social recluse, no matter how much The Daily Mail will tell you otherwise.
Yes, some people do veganism wrong. They might not get all the necessary nutrients, but if they eat this way they’re just as likely to be deficient on an omni diet.
Ignore the scaremongering by The Daily Mail
This is no more than typical click-bait journalism at its best. The ‘serious health issues for young women’ claimed in the title is no more than ensuring you get enough iron and other nutrients. The claim that veganism will lead in a downwards spiral to anorexia is not thought out and illogical. Anorexia is a deeply rooted mental disorder which is not sparked by something so trivial as going vegan.
If you’re interested in veganism, do your own research. Find out how amazing it can be for your health, and fight the misconception that teenage girls are so weak going vegan will turn them into anorexic social recluses.