Many Myths About Becoming Vegan Simply Aren’t True
by Alexis Black
Despite popular belief, there are many benefits to becoming vegan. The only thing is, many people don’t realize them. Because people are so used to their lifestyles, sometimes the idea of having to change becomes scary. Your mind makes up all sorts of crazy, untrue, and unrealistic ideas about things that are unfamiliar. So here, I am going to debunk four common myths about veganism.
1) “Vegans have trouble getting protein.”
This is one of the more common myths.
For some reason when people think about not eating animal products, they automatically assume that protein must be an issue when it really isn’t. There are plenty other ways to get sufficient amounts of protein without eating meat. Green peas, nuts, beans, chickpeas, tofu, leafy greens, and all fake meats, and so many more foods are some of the many good sources of protein.
The Washington Post stated, “Animal protein, which does not contain fiber, is high in fat and cholesterol, and it is associated with increased risk of heart disease, loss of calcium from bones and poorer kidney function,” while plant protein, “…is neither incomplete nor inadequate — and [is] high-fiber, low-fat and cholesterol-free.”
So, plant protein just might be the better option. The majority of nutritionists also agree that the recommended 50 grams of protein a day can be easily achieved with half a cup of chickpeas, half a cup of tofu, and a veggie burger when on a vegan diet.
2) “The only thing vegans eat are salads.” or “The transition would be WAY too hard.”
This is so ridiculously false, it’s almost funny. People who are uneducated about what it means to vegan often assume that once you go vegan you are no longer allowed to eat good food. It is a common misconception that the only thing you can eat are salads, and celery. Vegans are not rabbits.
There is a substitute for literally EVERYTHING you ate as a non-vegan in the vegan world. You like burgers? There are vegan burgers. You like ice cream? There’s dairy-free ice cream! You like eating cookies dunked in warm milk? Guess what! There are substitutes for that, too! Sure, it might take a little trial and error with certain products, but when you find one you like, not only will it be better for you, it might be even tastier than the original.
Great vegan substitutes include Gardenburgers Black Bean Chipotle Veggie Burger, Silk Soy Milk, Daiya, Coconut Bliss Ice Cream, Moxerella Cheese, FieldRoast. And, so much more delicious food options can be found in restaurants dedicated to serving vegans great food.
Check out this list of the top vegan restaurants in America: https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/21-best-vegetarian-and-vegan-restaurants-in-america.
3) “Being vegan is ALWAYS healthy and a great way to diet. Everybody who’s a vegan must be extremely fit.”
Like I said before, there is a substitute for EVERYTHING in a vegan diet, and just because these foods are made up of healthy, less harmful, ingredients doesn’t mean they are short of calories. And veganism isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
On livestrong.com, Georgia Fear, a registered dietitian and author says, “I’ve worked with dozens of clients who gained weight after transitioning to a plant-based diet. When someone adopts a vegan diet, they often decrease their intake of protein and increase their intake of carbohydrates.”
Like other foods, when you eat too much of it, you will gain weight. Trying to use veganism as some sort of way to ‘diet’ may work for some, but be disastrous for others.
EverydayHealth.com says, “Nutritionists caution that making the wrong choices, even if they’re vegan ones, won’t add up to weight loss. So switch it up a bit, don’t go overboard but don’t restrict yourself so much, just be healthy about it.
4) “Vegans care about animals more than humans.”
The conditions that animals experience in order to mass produce meat to the demands of people are terrible and cruel. Just take a look at documentaries like Cowspiracy and Earthlings. Most people who have converted to veganism are driven by these reasons.
But the truth is, aren’t the crazed animal lovers people assume them to be. They are deeply compassionate for humans as well.
Care2.com says, “Most animal advocates are also extremely passionate about humanitarian and social justice causes.”
The choice to become vegan may not only be due moral values. A plant-based diet could help prevent or even reverse health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and various types of cancer. You’d be surprised to know that going vegan gives you healthier skin, a longer life span, reduces body odor, gets rid of bad breath, gives you healthier hair and nails, as well as giving you more energy overall. Vegans want everyone to be able to experience all of these benefits of being in such a healthy lifestyle. Vegans want to help us just as much as they want to help the animals.
Junior Anna Sepanic says, “I would go vegetarian, but vegan is a little to extreme. A lot of the stuff you can get on a vegetarian diet is also healthy for you.”
Senior Reva Pettaway says, “I love meat to much I couldn’t just go vegan.”
Sophomore and vegan Eikaiva Boyer says, “A lot of people think that being vegan is just a diet, but it’s really not. You have to have a good reason to do it, because if you don’t have a good reason to do it, you’ll just bounce back.”