I could sit here for hours and write about all the myths and just all the bad information that spreads around about being vegan. The myths go from simple to huge exaggerations, all insisting it’s dangerous to follow a vegan diet. I have heard so many silly myths, I am thinking I could write a book about it and add my sarcastic sense of humor to reply to some of these myths. Don’t worry I won’t bring my sarcasm into this, I will behave tonight. I still can’t believe people fall into even taking these myths into consideration. I am not surprised though. When I became vegan I had everyone telling me not to and the “facts” they threw at me were so ridiculous that I would have a hard time keeping a straight face the rest of the conversation. I have to share the 8 most common vegan myths with you. This is not only necessary for breaking down the myths but it is also good for non vegans to know that hey, we are not malnourished. We are not surviving, we are evolving and thriving.
- YOU CAN’T GET ENOUGH PROTEIN
This has to be the most common myth we hear about being vegan. The question gets so boring that I honestly feel like taping a piece of paper on my back and listing my sources of protein while walking around my family get together togethers. I don’t have enough fingers on my hands to count the number of times I have been asked this question. This has to be the most notorious vegan myth in the book. I had to start with this one. It would be wrong to start any other way. Plant based physician Dr. Mills said: “ One of the oldest attacks on a plant- based eating is that you’re going to end up protein deficient. Nothing could be further from the truth if your eating a well- planned diet.” Plant cells have protein in them and some have higher concentrations than others.” Dr. Milton Mills also said: “ There is more than enough protein in plant foods. As I often point out to people, all protein is initially made by plants. Any protein you find in animal tissue is recycled plant protein, so you don’t need to have animal protein, and not only don’t you need it, you shouldn’t have it because animal protein is toxic to our system in a lot of ways. It damages the kidneys, our blood vessels, and it has been linked to a number of different cancers.” By eating a well planned and balanced vegan diet we get all the protein we need. Here’s a fun fact, broccoli has 11.1 grams of protein per 100 calories vs beef that contains 6.4 grams of protein per 100 calories. If you start comparing the amount of protein in vegan foods vs meat and animal products, you are going to be amazed. Plants and legumes contain just as much protein if not more than meat itself. Not only is a plant based diet packed with protein but it also eliminates fats, preservatives, refined sugars and all the nasty antibiotics found in animal products.
2. YOU HAVE TO EAT TOFU DAILY TO BE VEGAN
No, we don’t eat tofu daily and some of us don’t eat tofu at all. Are you surprised? There are so many sources of protein within a vegan diet that we have plenty to choose from. We have quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, broccoli, great northern beans, chia and nuts to name a few of our options if we don’t want to eat tofu. Everyone just assumes we sit around eating tofu daily and that simply isn’t true. We surround ourselves with a huge variety of plant based proteins, fruits and veggie that we don’t need to eat tofu if we don’t want to. We don’t rely on tofu only and it’s not the center of our nutritional diet.
3. YOU WILL NEVER STOP CRAVING MEAT COMPLETELY
This one is hilarious. I can promise you that once you take on a vegan diet you stop craving meat and animal products. As you transition, your taste buds also start to change. It’s all about adapting and being open minded to trying new foods. You taste buds and your digestive system start working differently. Your body will no longer crave fatty and greasy foods. Actually the smell of meat and fat will eventually start to disgust you. You will get to a point where you will sit across the table from someone eating meat and make no connection to it. Your taste buds won’t be stimulated by the smell or even how the animal products look.. Our perception of what is delicious and and what turns on our taste buds changes. I did mention we are evolving, this is part of the process. What we crave and ignites our appetite changes. We are altering and reprogramming everything.
4. EATING VEGAN IS EXPENSIVE
This is a complete lie. Eating a vegan diet is actually cheaper than eating meat. When comparing price per pound, eating a vegan diet is much cheaper that eating meat. Vegan food can get more expensive when you buy convenience foods and substitutes but keep in mind that a lot of substitutes we can make at home from scratch. We also don’t survive off substitutes. Substitutes are stuff we use once in a while like vegan cheese to top off our vegan enchiladas. The truth is we can make vegan sour cream, vegan cheese and dressing from scratch at home. A vegan diet is worth it because not only are you buying clean, cruelty free and healthy foods but you are also avoiding all the health care problems a meat eating diet brings down the road. Getting sick and dealing with illness is expensive and most diseases we face today are caused by an unhealthy meat eating diet. Invest in a healthy diet, in the end when we compare both diets we realize a vegan diet is not only cheaper to live on but a wiser investment.
5. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO GET THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF CALCIUM AND IRON
Most people think vegans lack calcium and iron but this is far from the truth. The whole idea that we can only get calcium from milk is all a big brain wash. Kale has 150 mg of calcium per 100 grams vs milk which holds 125 mg of calcium per 100 grams. We get plenty of calcium with our vegan diet and we get it in the most pure form. Iron is not something vegans lack. Red lentils and beef both have 26 grams of protein per 100 grams. They both are equal in protein value but beef is full of hormones, carcinogens and superbugs. Once you make the comparison there’s no denying we get plenty of calcium and iron while making the healthiest choices.
6. A VEGAN DIET IS VERY UNNATURAL
How is a vegan diet unnatural? This myth I believe comes from the idea that we can’t possible survive without meat. It’s been the root and belief for so many years that of course the idea does startle people at first but our diet can’t get anymore natural than plants. We are eating plants and fruits which are the most natural and clean foods that we can choose from. Eating animal products is not natural. Farm animals are not only injected with tons of hormones but they are also neglected and carry many superbugs that we in end up ingestesting when eating animal products. Meat and animal products are a huge experiment involving color dyes, hormones and preservatives. Tell me what is natural
7. A VEGAN DIET IS BORING
Says who? Oooh right, people who have never tried it or only tried it for a couple days. A vegan diet if so much fun and so diverse. We are constantly exploring and trying new foods. We add exotic veggies and fruits we have never tried into out diet, while exploring new cuisines. We also expand our culinary skills and lear all sorts of tricks and new recipes. We make vegan cheese from nuts, sour cream from tofu, bake bread by replacing egg with banana and we even make our own pesto out of spinach. Our creativity had no limits and we grow within our new lifestyle. It is not only fun but we continue learning and expanding
8. BEING VEGAN IS TIME CONSUMING
A vegan diet is easier and faster to prepare. We don’t have to wait for the meat to cook 35 minutes and deal with with cooking it at a certain temperature. Veggies are always good, even if they are raw. We are able to prepare meals faster, work in between raw and cooked while saving time. Some people think it’s more time consuming to prepare vegan dishes and that it’s actually more difficult. Well next time you hear that just remember we can actually throw a lot of cooking procedures out the window when preparing a vegan meal that meals containing animal products can’t do. That alone is a huge time saver.
There will always be some myth going around about a vegan diet being unsafe, unnatural and a mistake but there is so much scientific evidence proving the very opposite that I believe these myths will slowly start dying out. If you’re contemplating becoming a vegan and are afraid because of these silly myths, you can rest assured there in not a single ounce of truth to them. It’s dirty gossip, fake news, and lack of research. Don’t get caught up in any of this and instead do your own research. Research will not only give you the truth but it will also get you started on building your education on transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.