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4 Vegan Myths: Debunked

There are currently around 79 million vegans worldwide, with more and more people choosing to follow plant-based diets each year. As the numbers increase, so does the sharing of facts and information about being vegan. Unfortunately, countless myths and assumptions are circulating about veganism that you might have heard if you’re considering making the switch. So it’s understandable that exposure to all the misinformation and stereotypes surrounding the lifestyle can cause anxiety and doubts about changing to a vegan diet.

When I first discovered veganism, I heard all these assumptions and thought I would be restricted with what I could cook. However, I’ve now been following a plant-based diet for over two years and have learned much about the lifestyle. Plant-based diets are diverse, healthy, and accessible. Below I’ve debunked some of the most common myths about veganism to help you with your journey.

Being Vegan is Expensive

One of the most common misconceptions surrounding veganism is that it’s too expensive to maintain a plant-based diet. It can indeed become costly if you’re relying on meat substitutes, vegan cheeses, and other processed foods as they are more expensive, but processed items are more costly in general whether they’re vegan or not. Most vegan staples such as grains, potato, beans, seeds, and legumes are actually very affordable and accessible. These ingredients may not sound too exciting on their own, but they can be used to make various delicious recipes such as chilli’s, curries, pasta dishes and soups.

A recent study carried out by Oxford University has revealed that a whole food plant-based diet is the most affordable diet and that adopting a plant-based diet can cut your food costs by one-third. Sticking to fresh produce and pantry essentials will keep the cost of your food shop down and come with many health benefits too!

Vegans Don't Get Enough Protein

The idea that protein can only be sourced from animals is wrong. While animal products like meat and eggs are highly protein dense, plant-based foods such as beans, seeds, nuts, and tofu offer adequate protein for a vegan diet. Research has shown that getting your protein from plant-based sources is better for your health, as these items are lower in fat, calories, and cholesterol.

As long as you’re eating a balanced diet, eating enough calories and a variety of foods, including soy products, beans and lentils, you will not develop a protein deficiency! Plants are packed with protein. For Instance,

· Cooked lentils contain 18 grams of protein per cup

· Cooked black beans provide 16 grams of protein per cup

· Tempeh contains 32 grams of protein per cup

· Tofu contains 20 grams of protein per cup

Cows Naturally Produce an Unlimited Supply of Milk

Another prevalent vegan myth is that cows ‘just make milk’ and ‘cows need to be milked’. Just like humans and other mammals, a cow can only produce milk if she has a baby, and the pregnancy cycle is required for them to lactate. On dairy farms, cows are impregnated by artificial insemination every year. Their newborn calves are taken away when they are just 1 day old and fed a milk formula substitute so their mother’s milk can be sold for human consumption. Female calves are then raised to endure the same life as their mothers on dairy farms, and male calves are slaughtered for veal production.

Cows are incredibly intelligent and social animals. They grieve the loss of their babies for an extended period of time and are forced to repeat this process each year until they can no longer produce as much milk as the farm deems necessary. Cows have a natural lifespan of around 20 years. However, the stress caused by the conditions on factory farms leads to disease, lameness and reproductive problems, so dairy farmers can no longer use them for milk production, and they are slaughtered before they are 5 years old.

There are numerous cruelty-free, tasty milk alternatives available that are also much better for the planet! Some of the most popular varieties include oat, soy, almond, and coconut milk. The demand for these products has increased significantly in recent years since plant-based milk is a better choice for several reasons. They taste better, production costs are much lower, and they are much lower in saturated fat yet still contain plenty of calcium and protein.

Being Vegan is Restrictive

If your diet is mostly made up of meat and dairy products, it’s going to be daunting when you think about eliminating these items. Before you start eating a plant-based diet, it requires research and planning. You don’t have to cut meat and dairy out overnight if you’re unsure about what to replace these things with. Going vegan doesn’t mean eating less, it just means eating differently. You’ll learn new eating habits and find some new favourites. Vegan diets allow you to get creative and experiment with foods you’re unfamiliar with. You can use so many tasty herbs and spices to add flavour to your dishes. You certainly aren’t going to starve! You’ll be surprised at how many accidentally vegan food products exist that you probably already enjoy.

These common misconceptions about veganism often come from a place of misunderstanding. With the number of vegans rising, perhaps some of these myths will be put to rest, and more people will make the switch.


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