There are many health benefits associated with the plant-based lifestyle. Just look into the works of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Joel Fuhrman and it will be clear. There are also other general benefits like clearer skin, better weight management, healthier glow etc. but I hardly ever talk about them. You know why? Because to me, not killing animals is not about our weight or skin or health. Those are just the side effects. Not killing animals is about not killing animals.
I notice that my vegan friends would promote the health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, and they would get comments about this one vegan they know who got sick. It is definitely interesting how in the mind of that person, it is a valid enough reason for dismissing hard evidence. Never mind that non-vegans get these diseases at a more massive scale. There is that one vegan. Okay.
Even if evidence came out in the future that eating meat does not deteriorate our health at all (which is not likely to happen), I would still be vegan. As I said, killing animals is about killing animals. If I slapped a person across the face for no reason, it's not going to give me cancer either, but I am not going to do it. What I am trying to say is that nonviolence towards others is not a health issue. It is not a diet.
Being vegan will provide a lot of other benefits, but it will not make us superhuman. If a mosquito with the dengue virus bit us, we would still get it. If we expose ourselves to harmful chemicals, our bodies would still feel the effects. If we treated rescue animals with some kind of virus, we may contract that virus. We are only vegans. We are not superhumans.
As for myself, when I became vegan four years ago, my body fat ratio became the lowest in my adult life. I credit that to veganism and my yoga asana practice. But my skin is not clear. I have hormonal imbalance which makes me prone to skin breakouts. I have been sick for a total of one time over the four years, and I did not take any medication. I am happy with how I look. I am not obssessed with weight or nutrition. I have never considered liposuction. I have no known health risks. And yes, I get enough protein, thank you very much.
My health and weight improved not because I set out to do so, but because it is the side effect of my vegan choices. It's like this. My dog eats food that I accidentally drop on the floor, making it unnecessary for me to pick it up. But I did not get my dog because I wanted a vacuum cleaner with a beating heart and a wagging tail and a very cute face. My not having to clean up food accidents is a side effect. It is not my motivation. It is like this for everyone who is vegan for moral reasons. We are vegans because we do not want to kill animals. The other stuff are just side perks. As moral vegans, we also do not use leather or wool or fur that have nothing to do with reducing our cancer risks, but we stand by our decision anyway. Killing animals is about killing animals.
Vegans are not superhumans. We are not 100% disease-free. We do not have all the answers to the health questions you have. We are not necessarily experts in nutrition (but neither are you). Try as we might, we are also not compassionate 100% of the time. Many of us, including me, get angry quite a lot. We are not always patient. We have the urge to snap back at cruel comments about bacon we have heard millions of times.
But we are vegans. That means we are doing the best that we can with the information that we have. That also means we feel sad that many otherwise compassionate people have not made the connection. We do not claim to be superhumans who will solve all of the problems in the world, but we do claim that there is no doubt in our minds that killing is wrong. We are not afraid to tell you the truth that you might want to deny: that every piece of meat and dairy and egg involves the death of an innocent life. We are vegans and not superhumans. And although I wish you good health, veganism is not about your health. It is about the animals. I appeal not to your motivation not to be sick, but in your motivation to be just, to be kind, to make things right.