Veganism and vegetarianism have enjoyed much enthusiasm, especially over the last decade or so. Vegetarians consume dairy products and eggs, as well as plant-based foods. Vegans avoid all animal food products.
From an ancestral point of view, the vegans and vegetarians have a strong argument. This was well put by the Greek historian, Poutarch (~ 100 AD.): “By the smoothness of the [our] teeth, the small capacity of [our] mouth, the softness of [our] tongue and the sluggishness of [our] digestive apparatus, Nature sternly forbids [us] to feed on flesh.”
Veganism and vegetarianism also enjoy modem scientific support. In Boston in 2015, there was a Nutrition Science Consensus. This group included some of the most famous nutritionists in the United States: David Katz, MD (Yale), Walter Willett, MD (Harvard), Colin Campbell, Ph.D. (Cornell), Stanley Boyd Eaton, MD (Emery), Darius Mozafarian, MD (Tufts). The only consensus that these famous nutritionists could come up with was to recommend a whole plant based diet (James Hamblin, MD, 2016).
The vegetarians and vegans will often bring up Trimethylamine N-Oxide (TMAO). TMAO is abundant in red meat (L Camitine). There is a concern that TMAO promotes atherosclerosis. This concern has not been clearly established. Nevertheless, the threat of TMAO has influenced some to avoid meat.
Some think that veganism and vegetarianism will lead to vitamin B12 deficiency. Although this is possible, it is not probable. The daily needs of vitamin B12 are extremely small (0.6-2.8 µ day). The liver stores a tremendous amount ofB12 (700- 11,900 µg). In other words, the liver bas a 2-5 year storage of vitamin B12. The biological half life of vitamin B12 is approximately 400-700 days (R. Buzoan, American Journal Clinical Nutrition 1963). Nevertheless, vegans and vegetarians should have the vitamin B12 level followed. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to a significant disease known as Pernicious Anemia. Vitamin B12 can be easily supplemented.
My concern with veganism and vegetarianism does not involve B12, it involves carbohydrate consumption. I have never encountered a low carbohydrate vegan diet. Therefore, I cannot endorse a vegan or vegetarian diet. To my way of thinking, the carbohydrate causes much more damage than the TMAO and cholesterol could possibly cause.