The PROs of becoming vegan/vegetarian are cleary a larger consumption of plants in the form of fruits and vegetables. At least that is what SHOULD happen on a plant-based diet. Another important PRO is that a plant-based diet is free of INDUSTRIAL meats.
Being meat-free is not a clear PRO, but being free of INDUSTRIAL meat is a big advantage. In general, people on a plant-based diet are also more aware of other lifestyle factors, which is an added health bonus. Going vegetarian can have a big positive impact initially. You might feel more energetic, your skin might clear up, and you might be able to manage some diseases. That is because after transitioning to a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle we generally might eat more nutrients and less toxins. Industrial meat is full of toxins, and not being exposed to them is a big plus. But a common pattern when going vegan/vegetarian is that the initial euphoria goes away after some months. The energy keeps slipping and some health issues can arise.
This brings us to the CONs. One disadvantage is that a plant-based diet is most likely low in fat. This is not good as fats are very important for the regulation of the inflammation response, in the production of sex hormones, and for a healthy nervous system. Plant fats can only compensate that in parts. A limited consumption of fats is very bad for our ability to manage everyday stresses.
Another disadvantage is that a plant-based diet is completely deficient of Vitamin B12. This vitamin is very important for nervous system function, energy production and detoxification.
So a plant-based diet is inherently incomplete and needs extra supplementation. This is not to say that one cannot thrive on a vegetarian diet. It is possible. It is just a lot more difficult than being on an omnivore diet. And that added difficulty and health risk can be taken for other moral reasons that are higher up on the list than individual health & performance.
At the end of the day, we are each our own hero, and can decide what is best for us. But we shouldn’t let the competence over our own soul, brain and body get corrupted by „experts“ that tell us „VEGGIE IS THE BEST“, or „MEAT IS THE BEST”. Listen inside of you. That voice is a lot more honest than all the others. Including mine.
May the FLOW be with you all brothers and sisters!
Gerrit Keferstein is a Medical Doctor specialised in Performance & Functional Medicine. He is most known for his work on the optimisation of recovery and adaptation in elite athletes.