Raw Veganism: A Review
Raw veganism excludes all food and products of animal origin, as well as food cooked at a temperature above 48 °C (118 °F). A raw vegan diet includes raw vegetables and fruits, nuts and nut pastes, grain and legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, and fresh juices. There are many different versions of the diet, including fruitarianism, juicearianism, and sproutarianism.
Our daily diets consist of foods that descend from animal origin. Consider the typical American breakfast, for example. We don’t hesitate to down bacon, eggs, toast, and a glass of milk just to fill our stomachs in the early hours of the day. In those foods alone, there are five different ingredients from an animal origin: bacon (duh), eggs (another duh), cheese (because who eats eggs without cheese?), butter (used to make the bread that becomes the toast), and, of course, milk.The question that we have been asking ourselves as we down breakfast is, “Is this healthy?”
The raw vegan diet can be surprisingly diverse and packed with natural fats and proteins. Vegans (because they’re human) find a ‘loophole’ through which they can jump to overcome the challenge of finding foods that adhere their dietary restrictions. Take milk, for example. Rather than consuming cow milk or goat milk, they take part in the Lenten practices of the Middle Ages and drink nut-based milks. The same is true for some cheeses. Rather than having a dairy-based cheese, vegans tend to use nuts and seeds to make their cheeses. Nuts and seeds are part of a raw diet for healthy sources of fats, along with avocado and coconut. In order to get a texture fix, a practicing raw vegan might use a vegetable spiralizer to make things like raw zucchini ‘pasta’ or ice cream out of frozen bananas. Raw vegans have to eat larger quantities of food because the nutrients they’re consuming are more condensed.
Is the Raw Vegan lifestyle actually healthy? In short, that depends on the person. There are many people who have food allergies that prevent them from consuming products of animal origin (lactose intolerance, for example). Raw veganism would work for them because a large portion of their diet is focused on replacing dairy-based foods and drinks with nut and seed based alternatives. However, some cannot handle having meat as easily as others. This diet would be ideal for both situations and situations of similar severity. This broader spectrum of potential raw vegans makes the diet a little more agreeable.
Switching to a raw vegan diet poses some potential risks. Many raw vegans will state eating a raw diet is detoxifying. Detoxing is at the frontlines for the battle between science and alternative medicine advocates. Neither can agree whether or not detoxing actually works or even occurs within the body. I’m sure you can guess which side takes which. Detoxing is concept that has very little science to back it up, so little that scientists seem to think that the idea is ridiculous.
Eating a raw diet can seriously deprive you of many of the needed daily vitamins, namely B12, D, Zinc, iron, and many more. Unless you’re willing to take a supplement in a pill form, it is highly unlikely or even impossible to obtain these much needed vitamins. That's just one speculation - some can really achieve the ultimate diet naturally. Many raw vegans will argue that a raw-food-only diet is way healthier because it’s natural (and we all want a little more nature in our diets).
A common argument against consuming animal based products is the argument of milk. Many people argue consuming milk after the appropriate time period in which we are consuming breast milk is unnatural. After all, animals don’t drink milk after they’ve exited this period. You wouldn’t see a pig going to get a swig from a cow, would you?
We’re intelligent beings. We have discovered that milk has a high content of Vitamin D, calcium, and proteins; the three things that we need to survive. So, yes, animals don’t do it. But we have advanced enough to research and to see the usefulness of consuming milk. The hormones...that's another issue.
I think we can end this by saying, as usual, “to each their own.” Each person has their own individual dietary needs, so each diet will be different. And that’s okay! Each person should feel the freedom to tweak and manage their dietary needs without fear of judgement. Haven’t you heard? If a vegan enters the room, you’ll be the first to know. Then again, if a cowboy enters a room, wouldn’t we all assume that he’ll order a steak?