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Hi, I believe that every person is free to decide how she or he wants to live their lives. What I don't like is when people are advertising their life stiles as the only correct way of life, especially if these persons are famous and have an effect on young people. For instance, my teenage daughter has decided that she wants to be a vegan just because her favorite actress is a vegan. I have heard about vegetarians, but never about vegans. Can you tell me something more about veganism so that I could explain to my daughter what this means and try to talk her out of it? I believe that this will endanger her health.

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Hi, veganism is also known as strict vegetarianism. This is more of a way of life than just a simple diet. Vegan is a person who restricts from using any kind of animal products. This means that apart from not eating meat a vegan also doesn't eat dairy products, eggs, fish and even honey. The list does not end there; vegan life stile also means that a person will not wear leather, fur, wool and silk because these materials all come from animals. Products that are tested on animals, toothpastes with calcium extracted from animal bones and soaps with animal ingredients are forbidden. There is much medical evidence that show that people who eat vegetables more than meat are healthier. It is said that a vegan diet can be designed to meet every person's need. However, there are some supplements that a vegan diet, no mater how well it is planed, can not provide. Because of the deficiency in vitamin B12, vitamin A, iron and iodine your daughter can really endanger her health. That is why she must take supplements along with the diet. I am sure that your daughter did not realize just how hard living a vegan life can be. When you present these facts to her I am sure that she will change her mind about becoming a vegan.
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I am 16 myself and have been vegan (sometimes vegetarian since it's quite expensive, where I live anyway, to live a vegan lifestyle) since October 1st of last year (2011) and I would say that it has had quite a positive effect on my life, I am healthier that is for sure! I do take supplements though, (multi-vitamin, and vitamin D pills, that's all) and I have polycystic kidney disease, I have since I was born and I can assure you my life nor health is not in danger. Unless your daughter has a medical condition that should not allow her to go vegan, you should let your daughter have the decision to be allowed to eat animals or not.

Basically in a nut shell, let your daughter decide and if any serious health issues pop up, make her go vegetarian if she still insists on being vegan.

And if serious issues pop up that make her to have to eat meat, then there's nothing she can do about it and she will have to go back to eating meat.

Just because you don't know something though doesn't mean you should reject the idea immediately. There is a way to get a taste of how vegans eat by picking one day out of the week the one day that you guys (try/attempt to) eat a vegan diet, just to let her have a taste of what it's like and as to whether she would want to be vegan or not. You don't have to go immediately vegan to try out whether you want to be or not.

I can promise you that if she does, as long as she takes vitamins (which people that do eat meat take also anyway) she will be fine if she goes vegan. But if she doesn't go vegan that's alright too! :) Everyone is entitled to their decision! :D

Here is a site that explains exactly what it means in a better detail (I just looked up what site can explain it better): http://www.veganmeans.com/how_veganism/Becoming_Vegan_what_is_veganism.htm

P.S.- You shouldn't say that you believe that every person is free to decide but then try and talk someone out of their decision, very contradicting I would say ?_?. But I hope that whatever your daughter decides to do, that she is happy either way! :)
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