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Why vegans look pale, thin and weak

Why do vegans look so pale, weak, thin and sick?

Why are vegans pale and thin? The stereotypical image of the starving, unhealthy, vegan, thrifty fool with dark circles under his eyes, thin hair and a pale complexion persists and is often thrown into discussions. No wonder: advertising has been telling us for decades that eating meat, eggs and milk provides our bodies with valuable nutrients that make us strong, healthy and explosive. Accordingly, many people simply expect that a purely plant-based diet would suddenly make them look ashen and somehow ill.

In this article, I would like to dispel this prejudice against vegans and refute the argument in a nutshell. Let's go!

The cliché of the sick, pale, skinny vegan

Vegan Patrick Baboumian for PETA
Patrick Baboumian is a vegan and the strongest man in Germany / © PETA Deutschland e.V

"I know a vegan who looks totally pale" is a typical anecdote that characterizes a single person. Such personal observations or statements simply have no validity and should not deter anyone from considering a purely plant-based diet. Anyone who makes such claims could just as easily say that they know 50 pale people who eat meat and eggs.

The image of the pale, sick and skinny vegan arises when you only look at superficially deals with veganism. Perhaps also because you simply do not allow other truths and beliefs so that you don't have to change. (more under cognitive dissonance)

Even if these are only anecdotes, I would like to say a few words about the individual prejudices that many would probably assign to the stereotype of the vegan.

"Why do vegans look so sick?"

Of course, it is possible that a poorly planned change in diet can lead to a certain Nutrient deficiency and the corresponding symptoms appear. However, this is possible with any other new diet - whether omnivorous, vegetarian or vegan.

A balanced, well-planned A vegan diet is healthy and even offers opportunities to create typical Prevent common diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity. And in all phases of life. That has the American Dietetic Associationthe world's largest organization of more than 70,000 nutrition professionals, researchers and physicians, in a comprehensive study.₁

"Why do vegans look so weak?"

An ill-considered change in diet can of course also lead to you losing a few kilos. Now, of course, it may be that you simply healthy slimming and wanted to drop a few kilos. But just as well is a Nutrient deficiency which makes those affected look thinner and weaker. Of course, this also applies to any poorly implemented change in diet - whether vegan, vegetarian or mixed diet.

There are certainly one or two vegans who look a little weak. But of course it's not possible to make a blanket statement that vegans always look weak. There are hundreds of vegan athletes who prove the absolute opposite. Patrick Baboumian for example - he is the strongest man in Germany. Also Lewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovic, Venus Williams or Arnold Schwarzenegger are living proof that we can put the weak, pale vegan in the cliché drawer.

Tip: At vegan celebrities you can find out which other stars eat a purely plant-based diet.

"Why do vegans look so old?"

"I know a vegan who looks much older than he actually is" - you don't really need to say much about that. Again, it's just a personal anecdotewhere you could just as easily talk about dozens of meat eaters in your circle of friends who look older than they are. And basically: Even a vegan looks a little older with age - no one is likely to be spared from this.

Notice: Pronounced forehead wrinkles can also be a symptom of possible heart disease, as medical researcher Dr. Yolande Esquirol from the University Hospital of Toulouse has discovered.₂ As we know, passionate meat eaters have a significantly higher risk of developing the disease. So the argument can also be reversed if you want to put your money where your mouth is. 😉

"Why are vegans so pale?"

"Vegans always have a pale complexion" - another anecdote based on personal observation that could also describe some ashen meat eaters. I would never use this argument to advocate a plant-based dietas it is absolutely baseless.

Incidentally, pale skin is also a common Symptom of a possible heart disease. Vegans and vegetarians, as I said, have a much lower risk of suffering from it.

"Why do vegans have such thin hair?"

Here, too, it should be mentioned that a spontaneous, unplanned change in diet always increases the risk of a possible nutrient deficiency. Thin hair, for example, is a symptom of a lack of silicon and Vitamin D. The latter is actually also one of the potentially critical nutrients in a purely plant-based diet, which you should pay particular attention to.

Nevertheless, we probably all know many mixed dieters with thin hairso it cannot be said across the board that vegans have thin hair. Especially as a genetic predisposition, excessive professional and personal stress or a serious illness can also be the cause.

"Why are vegans so thin?"

The German Society for Nutrition has found that vegans are less likely to be overweight or obese than mixed dieters.₃ One reason for this may be that meat products and dairy products are generally more popular than fruit, vegetables or pulses. significantly higher in calories are. Also the pronounced in vegans, health-conscious consumption of food certainly plays a decisive role in the fact that many vegans are slim.

"I know a vegan who is as thin as a beanstalk" is nevertheless a personal anecdote. Because here too Powerhouse like Patrick Baboumian, Arnold Schwarzenegger or the YouTuber "Hench Herbivore" are absolute proof that everyone can be thin, strong or fat, regardless of their diet.

Notice: A similar argument is that Veganism unmanly be. In the linked article, I also commented on this cliché.

Discard the prejudice of the weak, pale VEganer

Vegan burgers as a sustainable alternative

Of course, vegans can look sick, pale, weak, thin and unhealthy. But anyone can do that. And it doesn't even have to be due to their preferred diet. After all, illnesses or excessive stress can also manifest themselves through externally visible symptoms.

Let's be honest: anyone who sees this "starved, weakened and pale image of a vegan" as a Prejudice towards veganism is probably only looking for a Quick justification for your own diet. It acts like a protective wall that ensures that no new facts or new beliefs have to be accepted. In the end, the stereotypical image of the weak, thin and pale vegan doesn't help anyone. Neither the animals and the vegans, nor the people who prefer to eat animal products.

Another anecdote? Personally, I've been vegan for a long time, feel better than ever, still take enough calories to me and also still eat Burgers, Pizza, Pasta & Co. Just without the whole in purchase taken Cruelty to animals. A balanced and healthy diet is also a high priority for me so that I don't look thin, weak and pale. 😉

I hope I have been able to help you with this article. Do you have any questions or your own experiences with "pale" vegans or prejudiced discussions that you would like to share? Then feel free to write me a comment.

Stay animal-friendly,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: You want to know, why i live vegan? In the linked article you can now find out more about the underlying motives of vegans.


₁ American Dietetic Association; W. J. Craig; A. R. Mangels: Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets (as of July 2009), [24.07.2020].

₂ MCP Wolff GmbH: Heart mortality risk - forehead wrinkles can provide clues (as of January 23, 2020), available at [23.07.2021].

₃ German Nutrition Society: Do vegans live healthier? - Preventive aspects of vegan nutrition (November 2015), available at [23.07.2021].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

5 thoughts on “Warum sehen Veganer so blass, schwach, dünn und krank aus?”

      1. Hey bro, that's fine. I personally didn't quit meat and dairy because it doesn't taste - I really loved the taste for 30 years of my life. I quit meat and dairy, because animals have to die for it. That's all.

        Cheers, Christoph

  1. The statement about vitamin D is not correct.
    No diet contains sufficient vitamin D, which is known to be formed mainly via UV radiation in the skin.

    1. Hello Otto! I have also not claimed that vitamin D is to be considered critical only in plant-based diets. However, the topic of the article is about plant-based nutrition, so I mentioned that vitamin D is one of the typical critical nutrients.

      More info around Vitamin D see the linked article, where readers can get more information about the recording.

      Thank you for your understanding and best regards,

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