Scientists and experts from different universities in London warned about the effects of veganism. According to the experts, going vegan is unnecessary and can harm the physical and mental health development of humans.

Earlier this week, professors from the University of Edinburgh and Scotland’s Rural College appeared at a panel discussion to address the growing population of people following a vegan lifestyle.

Various sources indicate that the populations of vegans in different parts of the world have grown through the past couple of years. In the U.K., the Vegan Society stated that there are currently 600,000 vegans in the country. As for the U.S., a statistical report in 2017 indicated that 6 percent of consumers in the country claim to be vegan.

Although supporters for this type of lifestyle strongly believe in its environmental benefits, experts think that veganism is doing more harm than good. According to Mike Coffey of Scotland’s Rural College, completely refraining from the consumption of animal products would have a devastating effect on diversity.

“It’s completely unnecessary to go vegan,” he said during the panel, according to the Telegraph. “If everybody went vegan it would be devastating for the UK environment. Animals bred for food help boost biodiversity.”

In addition to its effect on the environment, other experts at the panel also noted that veganism could hinder human development. George Simm, the head of the University of Edinburgh’s Global Academy Agriculture and Food Security, noted that the nutrients that can only be obtained from meat are necessary for development especially among children.

“Meat has massive social benefits,” Simm stated. “It’s an important source of dietary protein, energy, highly bioavailable micronutrients, even small amounts of animal-sourced food have a really important effect on the development of children, in the developing world on their cognitive and physical development and they are really important.”

Aside from these, experts also believe that the vegan movement is demonizing the livelihood of livestock farmers. Although this industry has its own benefits and costs, the experts said that vegans tend to focus more on the downside of livestock farming instead of acknowledging its overall contributions to the society.

A visitor looks at vegan beverages displayed at a food stall during the Calais Vegan Festival organized by the French association Farplace in Calais, France, Sept. 8, 2018. PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images