Turning vegan this new year? Don’t let lies put you off. Here are five lies about veganism and the truth.
Veganism is a practice. It is a way of life that focuses on the use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans, and the planet. A little fact for you, the vegan diet was defined in 1944 by The Vegan Society, but it took until 1949 to get a definition of veganism. Unfortunately, the perceptions around veganism have not been very positive over recent years, leading to the spread of lies about the practice. Don’t let this put you off.
Jumping right in, the first lie you probably have been told is that vegans eat grass. When a lot of people say this, they may actually mean kale, spinach, and lettuce. However, this is still not true. In 2022, vegan alternatives are available in every supermarket and are served at every restaurant. They can be quite impossible to tell apart from the real thing. Head to our previous post here about the best plant-based alternatives to try. And, on that note, who said kale, spinach, or lettuce is bad? When paired with other flavours and as ingredients, they can add to a tasty and healthy meal.
A second lie about veganism that needs to be debunked is that the vegan diet does not provide enough protein for a healthy diet. This is where plant-based alternatives can come in handy yet again, as well as knowing that protein is not just found in meat. Lentils, chickpeas, different types of beans, quinoa, rice, oats, and seeds are all types of food that are jam-packed with protein, and do not forget about the trusty spinach; it’s full of protein too. This is the same with vitamin B12, which is very important for many of the body’s functions, such as cell metabolism and the production of DNA. As this vitamin is found in food sources such as poultry, meat, fish, and dairy, the vegan diet misses out on this. However, if balanced out by the use of B12 supplements, vegans do not have to miss out on anything.
Now onto debunking lie number three. This third lie is that pregnant people and children shouldn’t be vegan as they need meat and dairy to ensure that their growing babies, mothers, and children have all the nutrients they need. But, once again, as we have been able to debunk with the first two lies, plant-based foods along with supplements can make up for any missing nutrients vegans may be lacking in their diet. However, what is important to note here is to talk to a doctor or dietician who can assist you in your vegan journey, especially if you are pregnant or have a growing child, their advice is as concrete.
The penultimate lie you may have come across about veganism is that the diet is expensive. Many companies have profited off of the organic, gourmet vegan title by just putting it on their labels. What makes this worse is that "organic" is a subjective term that many companies can use and apply to their products. However, a vegan diet does not have to be any more expensive than any other diet, especially as veganism is becoming the mainstream and being adopted by more and more people.
Finally, has anyone ever gone on and on about how it is too hard to follow a vegan diet? Well, it’s a lie. This is because veganism does not have to be complicated. If you feel passionate about following the plant-based lifestyle, you can motivate yourself to carry on. What is important to remember is that it is okay to make mistakes in your vegan journey. Don’t judge yourself and remember why you are choosing to do this.
There you go, now you know the truth about veganism. Don’t forget to read all about our blog post on the best plant-based alternatives to try.