Today I am going to be sharing with you 7 common misconceptions some (not all) people make about vegans. In October, I will have been a vegan for 5 years so trust me when I say I have heard all of these statements several times and more. This post is just a bit of fun but I also hope it helps non-vegans understand that a lot of us are nothing like the stereotypes you envision when you hear the V-word. The majority of us are practically the opposite. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
COMMON MISCONCEPTION #1 – VEGANS ARE ALL PROTEIN DEFICIENT
If you’re a vegan or even a vegetarian, you would’ve been asked at least once in your lifetime: “where do you get your protein?” First of all, there is actually no medical term for protein deficiency because it doesn’t exist. Secondly, vegans meet all of their protein needs quite easily by consuming green vegetables, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, legumes, rice, wheat, avocado and more. In fact, 100 calories of broccoli contains 11.1 grams of protein whilst 100 calories of steak contains only 8. Furthermore, the World Health Organisation has declared that an average human being only requires 53-56 grams of protein a day to meet their recommended daily requirement. I would easily achieve that amount in one day. In fact, I probably go over it. The same goes for iron, calcium and other essential nutrients. Click here for more science-based evidence/information.
COMMON MISCONCEPTION #2 – VEGANS ONLY EAT SALAD
I cannot remember the last time I just ate a salad on its own. I had to include this common misconception because so many people believe that my diet purely subsists of rabbit food and that could not be further from the truth. Click What Vegans Eat! to see the unbelievable wide variety of foods I consume on a weekly basis. It makes me laugh when I go out with meat-eater friends for dinner to a vegan restaurant and they either a.) order several dishes as they fear the food won’t fill them up (and it always does) or b.) marvel at the amount of delicious options available to us. You can literally make any dish vegan. It’s awesome!
COMMON MISCONCEPTION #3 – VEGANS ARE ALL TREE-HUGGING HIPPIES
Nope! Most of the vegans I know are just regular people. I admit I used to be quite a hippie but it was never related to veganism and I’m not one anymore. My husband is the perfect example to combat this stereotype. Francis has been a vegan longer than I have and he is the exact opposite of a flower child. He is a man of science who chose this lifestyle purely because of thorough environmental, health and animal-welfare research. There are plenty of vegan celebrities, sports-personalities, heavyweight champions and athletes – this article may surprise you! Whilst there certainly are tree-hugging vegan hippies out there, they certainly don’t make up the majority. By the way I have absolutely nothing against hippies whatsoever, I’m just breaking the stereotype!
COMMON MISCONCEPTION #4 – VEGANS ARE PUSHY, AGGRESSIVE AND WON’T STOP TALKING ABOUT VEGANISM
Have you ever heard the joke: “How do you know if somebody is vegan?” “Don’t worry they’ll tell you…?” I have many a time and it’s funny because I rarely talk about veganism at all with others. When you meet me for the first time, you literally won’t discover I’m a vegan until you see me order something at a restaurant. To me, it is a personal choice and not something I need to announce every few seconds. In fact, I find that non-vegans discuss and bring it up more to me than I do with them. Furthermore, you won’t ever hear me push my lifestyle onto somebody else. I don’t believe that is necessary or fair. If you have questions, by all means I will answer them but I won’t ever try to persuade you to be vegan. I believe that has the opposite affect and harms the animal-welfare movement even more. Nobody wants to be shamed or abused into making a decision like this. It’s better to lead by quiet example.
COMMON MISCONCEPTION #5 – VEGANS ARE ALL SKINNY
I can see why this one is a common misconception. A vegan diet is healthier and lower in calories than any other diet. However, this does not mean you cannot gain weight as a vegan. Remember, we can eat everything non-vegans eat just in plant-based form. Hot chips, chocolate, ice cream, pizza, lollies, hamburgers and more are available to us and very tasty. If we wanted, we could live off of these things and watch our bellies expand. There is actually a term that we use to describe those who eat this way: Junk-Food Vegans. To me, a healthy diet is everything in moderation. I love junk food just as much as the next person but I don’t make a habit out of it.
COMMON MISCONCEPTION #6 – VEGANS NEVER GET SICK
I either hear “vegans must never get sick” or “vegans must get sick all the time because they are so nutrient deficient.” Neither statement is correct. Since becoming vegan, I can honestly say I don’t get sick as often but that doesn’t mean I’m immune to germs/bacteria. Nobody is. We are all susceptible to contagious diseases and infections. That’s called being a human! Vegans can get just as sick as anybody else. For any new vegans or vegetarians, I would highly encourage that they supplement Vitamin B-12 as it does not exist in plant-foods, only in the soil that cattle consume. Meat-eaters get their B-12 secondhand but they should also take a supplement as it is not always present in the meat they eat. You can take this vitamin as a pill, a spray or have injected by your doctor. It exists in a few plant-foods such as nutritional yeast, fortified plant-milks and seaweed but these should not be relied upon to meet your recommended requirements. A B-12 deficiency could lead to serious nerve damage overtime so please do the right thing.
COMMON MISCONCEPTION #7 – VEGANISM IS TOO EXPENSIVE
And finally, I have heard multiple times over the years: “I’d like to go vegan but it’s way too expensive.” Once again, this is incorrect. In fact, a vegan diet is the cheapest and most environmentally friendly. A weekly shop for us includes plenty of fruits, veggies, canned legumes, whole-grains, pasta and rice. We save so much living off of healthy, whole-foods. If you are buying vegan speciality items like mock-meats, cheeses, ice-cream and beauty products, then you are looking at a big spend. As veganism becomes more and more popular, hopefully the speciality items will decrease in price. However, they are not what makes up a healthy diet and you do not need to buy any of them to meet your nutritional needs. Whole foods will do that for you.
I hope this post was informative and you got something out of it. If you have any other questions regarding veganism, I would be more than happy to answer them. Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo