Or at least a few nights a week? The world is facing some serious environmental issues and with 78 Billion animals being slaughtered a year, going vegan, or at least eating a mostly vegan diet is a good way to help out.
But why are people so hesitant? I think that there are some misconceptions to being vegan or simply about plant-based food. Let’s look at the main ones and make some sense of them.
You will become malnourished
OK people. Let’s get this clear. If you eat a balanced, whole food plant-based diet, you will not die. If you ate a processed unvaried, nutrient void diet then yes, you will probably get sick, but that can also be said for non-vegan diet. For all people, if you don’t eat a good diet, you will feel bad.
What surprises me the most is that people love saying vegans are unhealthy while they feed on predominantly processed fast foods. Most people barely get there daily recommended serving of vegetables and fruit a day, yet are concerned about our health.
The biggest concern, especially for men, is protein. Protein is essentially made up of amino acids. When you eat meat, your body breaks down the protein into amino acids to be used in the body. In a similar fashion, by eating a varied diet your body can take those amino acids and pull them together to form more complex protein structures.
Longo’s research shows cancer rates increase nearly 400% among Americans who get 20% or more of their daily calories from protein, compared to those who restrict their protein intake to 10% of their daily calories. Risk of mortality also jumps 75% among the heavy protein eaters, his data show.Time Magazine, How Much Protein Should I Eat?
Essentially the most important thing to know is that if you eat a healthy diet you are fine. The only thing that vegan should supplement is B12, Omega 3, zinc and for women iron. You can get this all in a good multivitamin. Most people should take a multivitamin regardless of being vegan or not. Stress, alcohol, sugar and fast foods are all factors that can deplete nutrient reserves and ability to absorb nutrients from food. A good multivitamin is beneficial for all.
Aside from that, vegans that focus on whole foods and a varied diet tend to be leaner and have less incidences of disease.
So what do vegans eat?
- Beans and legumes
- Lots of different vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
- And thanks to the gain in following – lots of amazing plant based milks, cheeses and faux meats.
If you haven’t tried cashew nut cheese, well then you are simply missing out. Dairy has been proven to be linked to systemic inflammation that contributes to autoimmune disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, sinus issues and more. Speak to any one, vegan or not and ask them how they felt after quitting dairy. My guess would be AMAZING!!
Some of the worlds top athletes are plant-based.
Food is boring
I love it when people tell me that vegans eat cardboard. While that may have been true for grandpa vegan from 1985, now in 2019 is could be any further from the truth.
Take one scroll on Pinterest for some vegan meal ideas or any one of the millions of Instagram accounts and you will be pleasantly surprised.
Vegan food is amazing. It makes use of all sorts of vegetable-based ingredients such as Aquafaba, the liquid from chickpeas. It revolutionized my mayonnaise life!
Vegan food is not some weird cuisine in and of itself. It’s simply a decision to exclude some ingredients. So in reality, vegan food actually draws on many of the world’s cuisines for inspiration. Indian, Thai, Middle Eastern, Chinese and Italian are some of the cuisines we enjoy at home on a weekly basis.
Another thing I love about vegan food is the creativity and use of flavours. Spices and herbs are essential to making a food course through all your senses. I’m sure Gordon Ramsey would approve. Oh wait, he does!
Vegan food has never looked this good.
Clothing is limited
Veganism is a lifestyle. It’s not a diet. So for that reason, we also avoid all clothes made with animals. Leather, fur and shoes that use animal-based glue.
The last 2 years have seen a massive jump in vegan based leathers and faux furs of incredible quality. The rise in sustainable fashion has given vegan based clothing a big boost so that now you can find any item of clothing in a vegan version. Will’s Vegan Store is a UK based company that create vegan leather goods in all your favourite products. Now even business execs can have their brogues and oxfords made from vegan leather.
With big fashion brands like Stella Mccartney promoting sustainable vegan fashion, it’s only a matter of time until these standards are the norm. Why not start with your own wardrobe now?
Vegan fashion is no longer limited to baggies and sneakers. No matter your style, you can find something that is stylish and kind to animals.
You have to be a sandal wearing hippy
Veganism is so much more than a diet. It’s about taking a stand for what’s right. Right for the animals, we share this planet with and for the planet itself.
It’s about being sensical and ethical. Scientists recognize the environmental impact and the atrocities that happen within the factory farming industries are coming to light. Taking a stand on these matters is not being a hippy, it’s being smart.
Taking an ethical and environmental stand is for everyone. We all share this planet and have kids that will themselves also bring kids into the world. IF you are in any position to make better choices about where you shop and what you eat, then it’s your responsibility to do so. Veganism is not for sandal wearing hippies anymore. It’s for all those that can, then they should.
There are some a-list stars who are actively promoting veganism, not just for health but for the animals too.
The 80/20 rule
I don’t walk around shouting that everyone is vegan, but I am for sure going to encourage people to move to a more plant-based diet. For animals, the environment and your health.
With so many many amazing products available on the market there is just no excuse to not make more ethical choices.
Why not enjoy all your lunches plant-based? Or every second day eat vegan meals? You could even just opt to eat a third of the quantity of meat at individual meals. Any amount reduced is beneficial to your health, the animals and the planet.
If you looking for any ideas for meals or where to get started, drop a comment and Dolma is happy to help!
Something a bit more serious: There is a lot of controversy in the discussion of veganism. Many people critique that vegans assume that everyone has access to eating a plant-based diet. We totally recognize that it is not an option for some people who are not as fortunate as we are. So, my call to action is for those who are in positions to make the choice. Anyone who can have a choice about eating out or in, or what they are going to buy at the grocery store have the ability to make more ethical choices and that’s who I am pleading to. We don’t aim to exclude anyone and try to be conscious of peoples life circumstances.