Being a vegan in today’s world is just so difficult, isn’t it? People in every corner of the world and in each country have different perceptions of veganism. The oneness who are following the lifestyle religiously has often been questioned about concerns that actually do not exist! There are several vegan myths that are prevailing today.
One of the possible reasons for it is that such a lifestyle is gaining popularity recently and was not something that people in the past would have even thought of. Therefore due to the radical changes and veganism being a part of it, thousands of people have failed to understand the actual nuance of it. Therefore, this article mentions some of the vegan facts and myths that you ought to know.
What Is Veganism Actually?
Before jumping into the list of vegan myths to be busted, let’s first know the meaning of veganism and what it is all about. Veganism is a lifestyle wherein a person doesn’t consume any animal-derived products in any possible form. Items like food, clothing, make-up, and even accessories, often make use of animal-based products.
For instance, leather belts are made from reptile skin, dairy products are derived from cows, and meat from chicken, lamb, etc. as a vegan, people choose to avoid all such products. In addition, they even refrain from using products that have the slightest trace of animal products like peanut butter, which has a small quantity of milk solids that could easily be thought negligible.
The need for veganism comes in due to the fact that the commercialisation of animal-based products has immensely hampered the way these industries work. Many animals have been tortured and killed for extracting materials like leather and dairy products. Also, a lot of countries don’t have access to several animal-derived products, which spurred the need for veganism. As the concept gained popularity, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released a set of vegan food regulations recently taking the first step in promoting it in the country.
Top 10 Vegan Myths Busted!
Vegan myths that have literally frustrated most vegans have been exposed below. This is because we do not encourage misconceptions to be prevalent for a long period of time and do injustice to the concerned parties.
1. Veganism Is The Same As Vegetarianism
Like seriously? Then why do you think that some vegetarians have been adopting veganism? Because they are certainly not the same! This is one of the most common vegan myths that prevail in many countries, especially India, where the majority of the population is vegetarian. Being a vegan means that the person doesn’t eat food items derived from animals or even sourced from any by-product obtained by animals like dairy products, eggs, fish, meat, etc. on the other hand, vegetarians do not eat eggs or meat but do consume milk products like paneer, butter, ghee etc. and that too in large quantities.
2. The Protein Myth Vegan Devotees Hear
Animal products are not the only source of protein but still, this misconception is thought to be true around the world. This is completely false though as there are a number of plant-based protein sources. These include soya, lentils, broccoli, pulses, seaweed, beans, peas and spinach, brown rice, whole wheat quinoa, bread and pasta, peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts and pistachios. The protein myth vegan followers have to face is just not done.
Moreover, the animals feed on these plant sources for protein and that is what non-vegans consume. So, even they consume the same type of protein but through dead meat and products extracted from those animals. It is also one of the vegan myths about meat deficient diets and should be smashed right away!
3. Vegan Diet Is Unhealthy
Vegan diets are in no way unhealthy. Instead, they can be healthier than other forms of eating patterns. The sigma rule that we follow while eating is that what we eat is basically going to affect us in possible ways, be it looks, health, or mental peace. And here, the vegan diet gets an upper hand over other dietary combinations that include vegetarian or non-vegetarian diets. This is because vegans are most likely to obtain the required 10 portions of nutritious fruits and vegetables. Also, they have lesser risks of obesity and bad cholesterol.
4. Veganism Is Considered An Eating Disorder
A lot of times the media has tried to demand veganism saying that it is a kind of eating disorder. But hey! That is actually not true. Mental health complications like anorexia or orthorexia have often been associated with veganism, which is not right at all. Orthorexia is a mental health problem, which causes an eating disorder and here the diet is not the cause of it but a symptom. Whereas, veganism is a lifestyle that has been adopted to stop animal cruelty and promote the freedom of these innocent lives. It is a conscious decision and not something affected by someone’s deteriorated mental health.
5. Veganism Is For Whites
One of the funniest yet annoying vegan myths is that this lifestyle is only for whites around the world, not for others. Like are you telling me that my race is going to decide my lifestyle preferences? Well, that is not true and anyone around the globe can practise veganism if they want to. Moreover, just because people consider it to be something fancy, it is indeed not. Also, the fact that several whites have been highlighted for switching to veganism has resulted in this misconception being prevalent.
6. Vegans Don’t Get Calcium!
We know that dairy products are a great source of calcium but that doesn’t mean that other food items can’t have this component, one of the biggest plant based diet myths. However, the amount of calcium that other sources have is less but it doesn’t mean that it is going to be zero. But yes, fortified plant milk is found to have about the same amount of calcium that dairy milk has. Also, calcium-set tofu has been identified to be a rich source of calcium. Therefore, including these food items in proper quantities in a vegan diet will provide an adequate amount of calcium. And here we busted one of the most frustrating vegan myths!
7. If You Are A Vegan, You Starve
Why is it that everyone who is not vegan thinks that vegans starve? It is not true as someone who follows a proper diet is not ought to starve, even if not vegan. Also, just the right choice of vegan foods in the right quantities. Even there are some vegans that say that they are not full when they just start to live this lifestyle. But they forget that the body takes time to adjust to any new change and this is a very major one since it affects the entire functioning of the body.
8. Children Should Not Opt For Veganism
Parents who practice veganism think that their children should not be introduced to it until they grow up into adults. This is often due to the misconception that they do not get essential nutrients from a vegan diet. But this can be solved by finding vegan alternatives that provide the same amount of nutrition that non-vegan diets do. This is one of the plant based diet myths that should definitely be busted.
Instead, a vegan lifestyle will aid the child in following a routine religiously for their entire life. However, parents should consider the fact that they would never get the opportunity to eat or use animal products. So, they can choose to ask about their children’s choices after they know about different diets around the world.
9. Veganism Only Applies To Food
Veganism is not all about food but a broader term. It refers to an entire lifestyle and not just the eating choices. Vegans don’t even use products that contain anything that has been obtained from animal sources and that is why they even refrain from using leather belts and bags. Even make-up products or clothing that has been sourced from animals is not allowed. Even metal that has been polished using animal-derived products is avoided. Therefore, we can rightly say that veganism indeed is not just about food.
10. Veganism Is Very Costly
So, the ones who think that veganism is expensive and needs you to empty your pockets then answer one question. Do you find vegetables to be more expensive compared to meat? No! Then how can you even think that leading a vegan lifestyle is costly and leads to exorbitant expenses? It is one of the vegan myths that comes due to the budding popularity of such a lifestyle and people’s perception of it being fancy when it clearly is not. If you are an Indian, your simple dal chawal with a veggie on the side is indeed vegan and let us remind you it is inexpensive!
Another popular myth that the aforementioned list doesn’t contain is discussed here as a bonus point. With the advent of plant-based meat, people have also formulated vegan myths about meat consumption among the people who follow this lifestyle. They don’t intend to believe that the meat is actually vegan and derived from plants not from any animal source. Also, you know how difficult it is to change somebody’s preconceived notions, isn’t it?
A Smashed Mythical Wrap-Up!
We hope that we were able to smash all the unwanted, annoying, untrue, and frustrating vegan myths. Now, it is expected that if not all some of the misconceptions about veganism have been solved for you. If you are someone who is a vegan and want to share it with ones that don’t know much about it then feel free to do so.
Also, if you know other vegan facts and myths that should be discussed and known by people then mention them in the comments below. And yes, if you are someone who wanted to shift to veganism earlier and chucked that idea off due to the prevalent myths, do give it a second thought and let us know what you think of the concept now.