“Vegan diets are lack in nutrition” “You can’t get b12 as a vegan” “Feeding your kid a vegan diet is child abuse” “I could never go vegan because it’s so expensive” and so on and so forth…
Sound familiar? There are so many misconceptions when it comes to veganism, it’s insane. In this blog post, I’ll be exploring and debunking four of the most talked about vegan myths. Because let’s be honest, these are excuses people use to defend their own meat eating, animal cruelty mindset, remember the best way to defend is to attack, and that is what non-vegans do best (I explain why this is the case and how to deal with this later on in this blog post). These myths can actually be very damaging to the vegan movement because they can genuinely scare people and prevent them from going vegan. I’m going to shine a light on some of the most talked about vegan myths or ‘excuses’ as I like to put them and help you understand why they are nothing more than that – a myth.
Also, I am not sure whether you have noticed something recently? It’s something that is really frustrating me and I am holding back from speaking out about it even more. But this blog post pretty much covers how I feel about it. Basically, if you follow social media, like Instagram and Youtube, you will find ex-vegans speaking ‘out’ against the time they were once vegan. Some things that ‘ex-vegans’ say are completely absurd and focus around the my ‘excuses’ I’ve debunked below with actual evidence that will (if you aren’t vegan already) shock you to say the slightest! If you want to read more, this is an interesting read in Tanja’s blog post, Why People Love the No Longer Vegan Confessions.
“Vegan Diets are Lacking in Nutrition”
I grew up heavily brainwashed by the meat and dairy industry. Like most people, I thought that I needed meat for protein and dairy for calcium. I literally thought my bones would break when I got older if I didn’t drink enough milk. Trust me, I completely understand the worry about not getting enough calcium on a vegan diet, or not getting enough protein, because this type of fear has been instilled in us from such a young age. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to eat meat for protein, and dairy actually causes your bones to break! Yup, you read that right. Dairy has been scientifically proven to leach calcium out of your bones (because it’s so acidic that your body has to alkalize it) (Source).
Maybe I should have called this article debunking myths about animal products, because the statement that “milk gives you strong bones!” is one of the biggest deceptions out there. Plus, whoever says that plant foods lack nutrition, have no idea about how nutrient dense plant foods are in comparison to animal products, especially these plant based foods which are the best foods for boosting brain power.
Fruits and vegetables are literally the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
There is nothing that you can get from meat and dairy that you can’t get from plants. And in this day and age, why are people still drinking milk when there are plant-based and diary free vegan milks available? I just don’t get it?
Think about it – when you were younger, your parents never said: “eat your steak!” They likely said something along the lines of “eat your fruits and vegetables!”Our parents, doctors, and the food pyramid encouraged us all throughout our lives to eat more fruits and vegetables. However, when you go vegan and eat more fruits and vegetables, they suddenly get concerned.
As long as you eat enough calories and a variety of food, I promise your vegan diet will not be lacking in nutrition. I know so many people who have gotten a blood test done before they were vegan, and also 1 month after changing their diet. Their levels of all the minerals and vitamins actually got higher, not lower! Plus, there is so many dietitians and nutritionists that promote a plant-based diet. For instance, I started following Joanna and her plant-based eating blog, she is a really awesome, down to earth, realistic dietitian. She not only promotes a plant based diet but also looks at it holistically, by also specializing in heart disease and diabetes which are the leading causes of death, contributed by eating a non plant-based diet.
“You Can’t Get B12 on a Vegan Diet”
There is some truth to this statement. You can’t get B12 from plant foods unless they’re fortified. But did you know that the exact same thing can be said about animal products? In the past, humans would have gotten B12 from eating some soil on their organic fruits and vegetables. Animals would have gotten b12 from grazing on grass. However, in today’s world, everything is sterilized and nothing is natural. Plus animals rarely get to graze on grass anymore, they’re raised in factory farms and fed an unnatural diet of genetically modified corn and soybeans.
Guess how the animals get B12 now? Farmers literally give them a B12 injection! (Source) I was shocked when I first found out about this, but it makes complete sense. Meat doesn’t naturally come with b12 in it, it’s just fortified with b12. Vegans can get b12 from injections, supplements, oral sprays, and fortified foods (most non-dairy milk, cereals, and granola bars have b12 in them).
According to the USDA, 40% of Americans are B12 deficient. And we both know that 40% of Americans are not vegan. Therefore, the vast majority of people who are b12 deficient aren’t even vegan!
“Plant Based Versions are Worse For You”
Just like I’ve mentioned above how eating a vegan diet is actually more nutrition for you than a non-vegan diet. And the fact that there is actually more B12 in plant based foods as compared to animal products, the same goes that plant based foods are actually better for you than animal products. For me, eating a plant based diet isn’t just back up by science (see what I mean below), it’s also backed up by how we are vegans feel on a daily basis in comparison to how we felt when we were consuming animal products. It’s night and day the feeling.
If you ask any vegan, they will tell you they feel more alive and healthy eating a plant based diet because it’s the food we are supposed to eat. And when we talk about science, for instance, I actually read the other day on this awesome site, InspireNStyle.com, in their article about 7 Surprising Things You Can Do to Add Years Onto Your Life that it’s been proven that consuming soy products reduces your risk of breast cancer by 50%. (and if you read the reminder of that list, no-where does it mention to eat animal products?!?!) Amazing – 50%! I didn’t realize soy had an effect as much as this! So, if you are here reading this and you are not consuming soy, then you have a 50% more chance of developing breast cancer than someone that consumes soy on a regular basis.
“Kids Can’t Be Vegan”
Something that really gets me going is when people claim that feeding your child a vegan diet is child abuse. I could go on and on about this. Even though children have more specific dietary needs, they can still eat a plant-based diet, and thrive on it. All of the required nutrition that kids need can be obtained from plants. There are many doctors out there who recommend plant-based diets for kids and have confirmed that it’s nothing but healthy.
When it comes to what you feed your kids, many people are very hypocritical. They’ll say that feeding your kids avocados, oranges, rice, potatoes, and lettuce is child abuse. Meanwhile, they’re literally feeding their kids poison – fast food full of chemicals and antibiotics, diary full of hormones and pus, junk food snacks with artificial flavors and colors, preservatives, and processed sugars.
There are thousands of vegan children of all ages who are thriving on a plant-based diet. I know some vegans my age who are lucky enough to be raised vegan from really young! They are some of the brightest and healthiest people that I know.
And if you child liked to snack on sweets, why not opt to give him or her, vegan chocolate which is the healthiest chocolate that we can possibly all eat!
“Vegan Food is Expensive”
I wish I could count the number of times someone said to me “I could never go vegan, it’s too expensive.” But just like any diet or anything that we consume, a vegan diet can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. If you fill your shopping cart with vegan cheeses, non-dairy ice creams, mock meats, and other specialty vegan items, it can add up quickly. However, these vegan alternatives are not necessary in the slightest. If you focus on whole foods or a plant-based diet such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, a vegan diet is literally the cheapest diet in the world. A large majority of people in developing countries eat vegan most of the time not by choice, but because that’s all they can afford.
Oatmeal, rice, potatoes, lentils, beans, and corn are not expensive. They are the most affordable foods on the planet. Next time you’re at the grocery store, compare the price of a pound of meat to a pound of lentils. I can almost guarantee the lentils will be cheaper, plus you’re going to get way more meals out of them!
Plus to tie all of the myths together, there is so many examples of vegan foods, supplements and spices that are not only can be given to your kids, are considered ‘poor mans food’ but are raging in nutritional value. For example, Turmeric, which you can read on this really informative and awesome vegan blog. What meat product can actually be an anti-oxidant, reduce cholesterol levels, help prevent cancer amoungst so many other health benefits?
I could go on and on, but the above 4 myths are only the tip of the iceberg. It’s crazy how much misinformation there is out there in regards to veganism. The more we correct people and educate them about the truth, the sooner companies won’t be able to get away with spreading false information such as “milk does a body good”.