Discussing veganism could require a lengthy talk, especially for those who are still perplexed as to what it is. Because of this, I’m not shocked meeting people who associate veganism with superstitions. But of course, I know that they are simply curious and interested, with no intention of embarrassing vegans. However, at times when I’m being questioned about it, I feel as though I am suddenly expected to be an expert in health, environment and nutrition. It can seriously be a little overwhelming. It's not surprising that many of the questions stem from the common misconceptions or myths that surround being vegan.
I believe it’s about time to enlighten everyone about the myths associated with veganism. I’ve compiled a list of myths and answers about veganism below for everyone’s understanding. I hope that it could also serve as a guide to anyone who is starting out with this lifestyle. Feel free to comment and leave your feedback below.
1. Vegans don’t get enough protein.
People typically believe that protein is only found in dairy products and meat, and therefore vegans are unnecessarily putting their health at risk. I definitely disagree. To get all the amino acids you need, focus on eating a variety of protein-packed plants. Green vegetables (the superstars are broccoli, kale, peas, seaweeds and spinach), grains (bulgur, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, and quinoa), beans and pulses (lentils, pinto, lima, edamame and black) and nuts (brazil, peanut, cashew, almond, pistachio and walnut) are all excellent sources of protein.
Getting enough protein in your diet is not as big a deal as this question will make you first think it is. Just be aware of what plant-based foods are protein rich, and try to include some in all your meals.
2. Vegan diets are not healthy.
Vegans are far more likely to reach the recommended 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, have reduced risk of colorectal and prostate cancer and lower rates of obesity. The truth is that the healthiness of a particular vegan lies within their own understanding of a strong diet rich in vital nutrients. Simply cutting out the meat won’t necessarily make your body stronger, you must understand what it needs and how to supply those nutrients.
3. Veganism is an eating disorder.
Veganism is a philosophy that seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
It’s sad that the media likes to correlate veganism with mental health conditions such as anorexia or orthorexia for shock value. It’s really important to separate out these two things, which are not in any way linked. Orthorexia is a mental health issue, an eating disorder in which the diet is the symptom, and not the cause.
4. How can I go vegan when my partner, friends or family aren’t vegan?
Food has an important role in our social lives and it can be a discouraging prospect to be the one who stands out as different. Nonetheless, many vegans manage to navigate these relationships successfully. It may take a little planning, yes, but mostly it’s exciting beyond words. When I turned vegan, I was always the appointed person to research restaurants suited for everyone.
5. Is it expensive to be vegan?
No. Veganism has essentials like beans, rice, pasta, lentils and vegetables, and they are far cheaper than meat. You’ll definitely also save some money from not buying meat, fish and expensive pre-packaged meals. If you know how to plan your meals, you won't fall into the pits of buying too much for yourself.
For more information, you may visit the following links below:
Photo credits to: Authority Nutrition