5 Common Myths About Veganism
By: Sawyer Cecena
Being a vegan in a society that is still so wrapped-up in omnivorous eating has its challenges. One of the most trying situations for any cruelty-free eater is when others try to tell us everything that’s “wrong” with our diet. After a certain point in veganism, you really hear it all. Next time you’re stuck at the bar with some guy droning on about why your body “needs meat” or your parents are trying to pick apart your grocery budget, here are some quick facts to help with your rebuttal.
If I had a quarter for every time someone unqualified to give health advice has questioned my diet, I’d be rich! It’s a common belief that we need meat and dairy milk in our diets to reach our recommended intake of protein, calcium, and other necessary nutrients. However, there are many animal-free alternatives that can provide these things when properly included into our diets. Kale and tofu are great sources of calcium, and high levels of protein can be found in beans, seeds, and nuts.
The word “veganism” tends to paint a picture of green smoothies and bottomless salads. While this is what the vegan lifestyle leads for some, many others make the change for non-health related reasons such as environmental ethics, animal mistreatment in the meat and dairy industries, and even spiritual or religious reasons. Plus, there are plenty of vegan foods out there that are just for fun and serve little to no nutritional value. Oreos, anyone?!
Of course, if you’re filling up your cart with pecans and avocados every month it’s going to hurt your wallet. But, some of the cheapest foods on the shelves are vegan! At my local grocery store, a ten-pound bag of rice can feed my boyfriend for weeks for only $8. Fresh fruits and vegetables like bananas, oranges, broccoli, and carrots can often be found for less than $2 a pound, and many store brand varieties of chips and cookies are “accidentally” vegan for half the cost of what the on-brand varieties are.
One of my favorite go-to dinners when I’m feeling lazy is a bowl of “cheesy” mashed potatoes. All it takes is a bowl of boxed mix, some almond milk, water, garlic powder, salt, a slice or two of vegan cheese, and – if I’m feeling wild – a capful of soy bacon bits. Sounds delicious, right?! And it takes less than five minutes to prepare, cook, and be ready to eat. Some of the laziest meals in the world like cereal, PB&J, and spaghetti are either already vegan or take no extra effort to switch up.
In 2016, one study found that 16 million Americans no longer eat meat. In the UK, Canada, and Australia, meat, milk, and cheese sales have all declined by at least 25% over the last decade. As these numbers continue to rise, stores and butcher shops will decrease their orders and less animals will be bred or killed just to be shipped off to the slaughterhouse. While that may not save the animals that are there right now, it’s impossible to deny that these numbers point towards a bright future for cruelty-free eating.Do you have other myths you'd like us to dispel about veganism? Drop them in the comments below!