Since turning vegan I have been faced with hundreds of questions and queries, mainly from people who just can’t fathom why I feel the need to not only not eat meat but also dairy and eggs. I don’t mind being asked questions at all, in fact I love it! Veganism is something I’m very passionate about and believe in so strongly that any chance to answer questions is great. I firmly believe that the main reason more people aren’t vegan is because they don’t know the facts, or they are happy to turn a blind eye to the horrors of the meat and dairy industry so if sharing the little knowledge I have on the topic helps I’ll keep on doing it. A few questions come up time and time again so I thought I’d put them into a post as no doubt more people with have the same queries.
What do you eat?
There are hundreds of meat alternatives on the market these days, from fake chicken, to fake pulled pork burgers you would struggle to find anything there isn’t an alternative cruelty free version of, some are so convincing that many meat lovers can’t even tell the difference.
So no I don’t just eat leaves and grass, since going vegan my diet is so much more varied and I have learned to like so many dishes that before I wouldn’t have thought to try. If the idea of going fully vegan seems too much for you, you can still make a big difference by cutting out meat and dairy products you eat but don’t particularly enjoy. Lots of people actually find they prefer meat alternatives, or that things like almond milk is a lot nicer on cereal. So next time you are picking up a pint of milk perhaps reach over and try one that is not only a million times healthy but also hasn’t required suffering in the production.
What are the health benefits of being vegan?
The list of benefits for going vegan is endless but I’ll stick to the main health benefits for now. Personally for me the main change I have seen in myself is my increase in energy, I rarely ever feel sluggish or drained anymore. I literally feel lighter on my feet and like I have more energy every day simply due to my change in diet. Slightly smaller changes, include shinier, stronger hair and nails that both grow faster and break less. On the whole my skin is clearer which is a big positive in my eyes, as this shows that your body is happier with that you are putting into it. Some vegans also experience reduced allergy symptoms and relief from the pain of migraines and PMS. However, for me the main things is knowing my lifestyle isn’t contributing to animal suffering and is limiting environmental damage.
How do you get enough protein?
Vegans get protein from the same place hundreds of other species do, I don’t see people worrying about where elephants and gorillas get their protein from, so there is no need to worry about vegans. People seem to get very bogged down with the idea that if they were vegan they wouldn’t be able to get enough protein into their body but what people don’t realize is protein is in a massive range of foods many of which can be eaten on a plant-based diet. The main things to remember is that we need to consume all nine of the essential amino acids to ensure we get everything we need to maintain a healthy body, and all nine of these can be found in vegan foods. Beans, lentils and nuts are foods that are particularly high in protein. So no need to panic, a balanced vegan diet has plenty of protein.
But free-range eggs are okay right?
When it comes to animal welfare, free-range eggs are certainly better than battery cage eggs. Sometimes even a lot better. But better isn’t perfect, and free-range eggs are far from perfect. Whether free range or not, farms have no use for male chicks, and so are killed almost immediately after hatching. They are either thrown into an industrial grinder whilst still alive or gassed to death, which is the preferred method in the UK.
‘Free range’ as its called might mean the hens have a bit more room than in the batteries farms where they pack in as many as humanly possible, but this doesn’t mean they have a nice life in any way. Like with battery cage, they’ve been bred to lay eggs at especially high rates, which in turn exposes them to all manner of health problems. And nearly all hens, both caged and free-range, are slaughtered before reaching the midpoint of their natural lives because the rate at which they lay eggs decreases after a certain age and so they are seen as no longer cost efficient to the farms.
Some free range farms that you see do have their chickens running around a field seeming to live a very happy life but unless you personally visit the farm and check the conditions out for yourself, the chances are although marked as ‘free range’ they’re nowhere near the standards you would wish for.
Can one person really make a difference?
Yes, the answer is simple, yes they really can! As a vegan you reduce your water use by around 50% compared to someone who eats meat and dairy. Further more by going vegan you will save the lives of 198 animals in just one year by not eating meat alone. That means over 10 years who will save 1,980 animals. Is the fact that ‘it tastes nice’ enough to personally be responsible for the killing of 1,980 innocent animals?
I hope answering some of these most common questions helped in some way. There are obviously millions more things I get asked so maybe I’ll do a part two at some point. Please leave any further questions you have in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer them. No question is stupid, and don’t worry you’re not going to offend me so please do feel free to ask.