One of the things animal consumers cling onto when you tell them you are vegan and they attack you for it is vitamin B12. They would have you believe that B12 deficiency is a huge vegan issue, virtually unavoidable. B12 deficiency can cause depression, irritability, tongue inflammation and heart issues, among other things. Suffice it to say it’s generally unpleasant.
And according to vegan detractors you will suffer from it if you are a vegan. It is a vegan problem.
Thing is, it isn’t a vegan problem. Case in point: the United States of America.
40% of Americans have a B12 deficiency. 1% of Americans are vegan. Either vegan detractors are pretty bad at maths or they are making ill-informed arguments. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m fairly bad at maths too – numbers can be confusing – but I know that 1% of Americans (vegans) aren’t 39% of Americans. Ergo B12 deficiency is not a vegan problem, it is a human one.
So what can vegans do to replenish their B12 levels? Well if you’re particularly worried about it, or too lazy to eat/just don’t like to eat the foods that are fortified with B12 then go ahead and take a supplement. If you’re having difficulty absorbing B12 then get a shot. Me? I eat cereals, drink rice milk, eat marmite, nutritional yeast etc. Plenty of vegan foods are fortified with B12 so there is no reason to miss out on your recommend 2.4 micrograms per day.
Vegan detractors may like to say that animals products are necessary but this is simply false. The above foods and supplements can give you what you need, without animals even being thought about, let alone killed and eaten. B12 comes from bacteria, so animals have it naturally from getting bacteria from the ground, you know, dirt and stuff. B12 doesn’t naturally occur in them beyond their natural stock (just like we have a natural stock) so they get it from other sources, just like we can, should and must.
Sorry guys the B12 argument just won’t stick