What do you know about veganism other than what you see in movies and shows?
You might be surprised to learn many of the memes and pop culture references about veganism aren’t true. There are a ton of vegan myths floating around, spreading misinformation.
Let’s separate myths from the facts. Read on below to discover 10 myths and debunk them one by one:
1. Vegan and Vegetarian Is the Same
While going vegan and vegetarian sound similar, they’re quite different. Vegetarians don’t eat meat and stick to a plant-based diet but they do eat animal products like eggs and dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Vegans, on the other hand, avoid animal by-products. They stick strictly to plants. This limits their choices when it comes to available food but modern recipes work around these issues.
For most people, diving straight into a vegan diet is too big of a leap. If you feel like you’ll struggle, start with a vegetarian diet and slowly move to a vegan one. This should help you adjust.
2. Going Vegan Costs Money
One of the most popular vegan myths is that this lifestyle costs too much to sustain. This is not true! You might even be able to save money by going vegan compared to a traditional meat-based diet.
Go to the grocery store and ask how much a pound of chicken, ground beef, or pork costs. Now compare these prices to the cost of wheat, rice, beans, and other vegetables and fruits.
If you want to cut down on a lot of your expenses, a strict vegan diet can cost you as little as $25 per week.
This amount won’t be the same for everyone. Keep in mind that prices for meat and vegetables shift depending on your area. That said, a vegan diet is often the more affordable choice.
3. It’s Not Healthy
Some people assume that a vegan diet isn’t healthy enough. After all, where would you get nutrients like vitamin B12, iron, and vitamin D? Wouldn’t you need to eat meat to get all of these and sustain a healthy body?
The truth is, even people who eat meat don’t get enough vitamins and minerals. They get iron and vitamin D but they need to look elsewhere to get enough vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin K.
In short, no single diet provides all the nutrients the body needs to keep running. This is why vegans drink supplements. These products allow them to get the nutrients they’d normally get from meat products.
However, supplements aren’t the only solution. If you want to reduce the number of supplements to take, look for vegetables and fruits that can provide what you need. Legumes, for example, can provide protein.
4. You Can’t Workout on a Vegan Diet
Let’s talk about protein. It’s one of the most essential nutrients for working out since protein helps build and repair tissue. This process helps people build leaner, stronger muscles.
Many assume that vegans don’t get enough protein and thus can’t go to the gym. How can you lose weight or tone your body if you can’t get the nutrients needed for a rigorous visit to the gym?
Fortunately, vegans can workout.
As mentioned, vegans can get protein from supplements, legumes, whole grains, tofu, nuts, seeds, and even certain vegetables. There are a lot of options and now even professional athletes turn to vegan diets. Despite the lack of red meat in their diet, they can still maintain the energy and nutrition needed for their physical needs.
If you’re still starting your vegan diet, you might want to rely on protein shakes to supplement your diet. Look for a protein powder that uses vegan-friendly ingredients.
5. Veganism Doesn’t Affect the Environment
How can eating purely vegetables and fruits stop things like climate change or affect your carbon footprint? Some assume that veganism is only for elitists and that the act of switching your diet this way won’t save the environment.
This is a myth. Going vegan heavily affects the environment.
For one thing, with more people going vegan, the demand for meat-based products continue to drop. This affects the industry as a whole, meaning fewer companies are cutting down trees to make way for animal ranches and factories.
One study indicates going vegan and the reduction in meat consumption reduced the American carbon footprint by at least 10%. This equates to the tailpipe pollution produced by 39 million cars.
Going vegan also affects water consumption. Producing one pound of beef requires 2,400 gallons of water but one pound of wheat uses up only 25 gallons.
6. Difficult to Eat Out
Another popular myth is that vegans can’t eat out. Most restaurants and cafes sell meat-based products, after all. How can you go to a McDonald’s if you can’t order a burger, for example?
However, businesses are adapting to the growing interest in vegan diets. Even fast-food chains now offer vegan-friendly dishes. You can find vegan food in almost every establishment nowadays.
Sure, not every restaurant offers multiple vegan-friendly dishes but they’ll have a few ready. If not, they might offer a vegan version of a dish. This might mean replacing an ingredient with something else, like removing beef and replacing it with a plant-based ingredient or with vegan-meat.
Never heard of vegan meat? Let’s tackle that next because it revolves around the next big myth surrounding vegan diets.
7. You Give Up on Flavors
Moving to a vegan diet doesn’t mean you have to give up the flavors you’ve grown used to. Not being able to enjoy the dishes meat-lovers dine is a myth. There are solutions around this.
You don’t have to bid farewell to the kind of rich texture and tastes you love. You can enjoy something that tastes like fried chicken without eating real chicken.
With a quick search on online shops and you’ll find a ton of vegan replacements for burger patties and fried chicken. These look, feel, and taste like meat products but don’t contain any animal products. Instead, they replicate the texture and taste with soybeans, tofu, mushrooms, and other vegan-friendly ingredients.
Yes, they won’t taste the same but you still get that rich flavor and texture. Over time, you might not even notice the difference. At the very least, you won’t have to say farewell to the taste of fried chicken!
8. You Won’t Feel Full
Another popular myth is the assumption vegans don’t feel full. How can someone dining solely on vegetables satiate their hunger?
This is not true. Even on a vegan diet, you can feel as full as you would on any other diet. It all boils down to two factors: water consumption and adjusting to the change.
Did you know your stomach changes size according to your diet? If you eat more, your stomach may expand. If you cut down on your diet, it will shrink and you’ll feel full even if you only ate a quarter of what you used to have.
Let your body adjust. It might take a few days or weeks but in time, you’ll feel full even on a leaner diet.
Of course, you don’t have to rely on this all the time. As mentioned, vegan dishes come in a wide variety and you can still get a good night’s dinner with vegan patties, legumes, tofu and more.
Water plays an important role too. If you drink water regularly, you’ll always feel a bit full. People who go on weight reduction diets go through this and it might be what you need if this is your first time stepping into a vegan routine.
9. Veganism is for Tree-Hugging Hippies
Many people assume that vegan diets are only for tree-hugging hippies. You’ll see it in movies, TV shows, and songs too. There’s a running gag in pop culture that vegans don’t like meat because they care too much about the environment.
Yes, many vegans don’t eat meat because they want to save the environment or avoid harming animals but these aren’t the only reasons.
As mentioned, going vegan can help you lose weight. Once adjusted to the change in diet, you’ll feel full and won’t overeat. Even if you do, you won’t eat fatty foods since meat is off the menu.
10. All Vegans Are Judgmental
There will always be a myth about vegans looking down on other people. The movie Scott Pilgrim vs the World highlights this myth perfectly. In the movie, one of the villains is a vegan and claims that all vegans are better than those who follow a traditional diet.
However, this isn’t true. Many vegans don’t exhibit elitism. Others won’t highlight the fact they’re vegan unless they get served a dish containing meat or animal products.
This myth likely came from the fact vegans often have to deny dishes because of the meaty content. However, this is simply the act of following their diet, it’s not an act of looking down on others.
Bust These Vegan Myths!
Separate the truth from these vegan myths! There are a lot of great things about following a vegan diet. Yes, it might feel restrictive but once you get into the flow, it’s more beneficial than some give it credit for.
Of course, this isn’t the end of fun and amazing vegan and other trivia. If you want to discover more, why not read our other articles today? We provide a wealth of posts to help you stay informed and entertained.