FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about VEGAN Lifestyle

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Frequently Asked Questions

BASIC QUESTIONS

Veganism is a diet and lifestyle choice in which one makes the conscious decision to omit all animal-based products from their diet completely. Thus, consuming the majority of the plant-based products as well as meat and dairy substitutes.

To become a vegan, you have to change what you eat, meaning swapping your milk for dairy-free alternatives as well as not consuming any meat, fish, chicken, and eggs. Anything that comes from an animal is not vegan. It means you are eating a diet that is cruelty-free and largely based on foods that come directly from nature and plants.

The biggest difference between a vegan and a vegetarian is that vegetarians only avoid meat, whereas vegans avoid ANY animal products. Vegetarians allow you to eat eggs, dairy, and honey, whereas vegans avoid these, replacing them with alternatives that come from plants. Although both of these diets make an effort to eat mostly plant-based foods over animal products, a vegan diet is one hundred percent plant driven whereas a vegetarian diet still includes and allows the intake of products that come from animals, even though it’s not the animal itself.

In the past decade, veganism has become increasingly popular. As more people began to understand what they are putting in their bodies as well as the harm caused in creating animal products, they started seeking a way to avoid this. As more and more people caught onto this idea, the number of vegans increased tremendously. It’s hard to say what the exact number of vegans is, but it seems increasing.

Yes, it is healthy to be vegan, but it is no healthier than a regular diet since you can still indulge in unhealthy junk food, even though it doesn’t contain ingredients that come from animals. You would have to make the conscious effort to make healthy choices, even if you are vegan. Having a predominantly plant-based diet gives you extra vitamins and minerals, but you should keep in mind that food doesn’t become healthy just because of its vegan. Take this example: if you eat a vegan pizza, it does not make it healthier than a meat pizza, it’s still junk food, so the ‘healthy’ part comes with your choices.

Becoming vegan is pretty simple — it’s just a decision you can make. You could start this process step by step. For example, you can cut off eggs from your daily diet. But if you are motivated – you can cancel off all of the animal products at one time. The key when making the transition to veganism is to look at the ingredients, start by understanding what is not vegan, and make sure to check products for these ingredients before buying and consuming them. Nowadays, there are so many vegan options available and restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets. You’ll be able to find vegan versions of all your favorite dishes and probably won’t even notice the difference!

People decide to go vegan for many reasons. Mostly because they believe this is better for the environment and that killing and torture of animals is wrong and does not align with their morals and values. Others choose this diet for health reasons and find it easy for the digestive system and overall well-being, and some stick to it as a result of allergies and intolerances. Vegans are mostly believers in saving the environment, and this is the way they choose to contribute to that cause as well as an act to protect and bring awareness to the injustice treatment of animals used to make our food. Some people choose veganism for personal preference, it may make them feel good, healthier, and more energized.

Eating one hundred percent vegan is most definitely possible, but being fully vegan means all the products that you buy should be vegan too. It means anything from the shampoo, body washes, and makeup you choose to the bags, shoes, and appliances you purchase. Being vegan means your goal is to live in a way in which you cause as little harm to the environment and animals as possible. If you fully invest in this idea and make clever and conscious decisions to choose what you buy and the way you consume it wisely, then yes — it is possible.

HEALTH AND NUTRITION

Since vegans avoid all products that come from animals, their diet includes many variations of plant products. These include fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, and substitutes for meats and dairy. However, vegan food doesn’t just mean eating salad — there is a wide range of diverse meals out there for vegans to enjoy. For example, burgers, whereas usually they would be made from beef, vegan versions are often made from beans or tempeh. Things like cheese, deli meats, and a variety of desserts, pastries, and snacks are also included in a vegan diet and are easily accessible.

So how do you make cheese vegan? Well, the cheese we know and love is usually made from dairy (mostly from cows) however, the vegan type is made from cashew nuts, tapioca starch, and nutritional yeast (a vegan alternative to parmesan). This plant driven version of cheese gives the same cheesy flavor, texture, and smell. You can learn more about how it’s made here!

One of the most argued topics of veganism has been that of honey. This topic has divided vegans into those, who include it in their diet, and others, who don’t. Unlike most animal-based products such as meat, fish, chicken, and eggs, this is a product that comes from an insect and is not always classed in the “animal” category. Many choose not to eat honey because of the exploitation of bees involved in the process, as well as the unhealthy protocols of honey bee farming. As the goal of veganism is to create the least amount of harm possible, this may be a factor to consider. Bear in mind that if you choose to avoid honey, there are many alternatives such as maple syrup and agave nectar, providing the same sweet sensation without any animal harm at all. To read more about alternatives for honey, click here.

Who would think that a beverage would contain animal by-products? Even though you feel like you’re not drinking an animal product, unfortunately, the process of making wine use it. These usually include milk proteins called casein as well as gelatin, egg whites, and isinglass (fish bladder). The use of these products is to help with the fining process of wine, making it easier and more efficient for the producers. Read more about Wine and Veganism

Luckily for you, there are a lot of plant-based cereals. Weetabix, Shreddies, All-Bran, Special K, and Quaker Oats are all vegan. However, not all breakfast cereals share this quality. Products like coco pop, cornflakes, and Rice Krispies are all non-vegan as they often contain either milk or honey or both. Luckily a wide variety of vegan versions of these cereals have become available and can be found in the health section of the grocery store. Try double-checking the ingredients for milk, milk protein, whey protein, milk powder, and honey to make sure, as sometimes it can be tricky.

The deal-breaker question for all wanting to go vegan is that of alcohol consumption. Fortunately, most beer and ciders are vegan, popular brands of beer such as Corona, Guinness, and Miller light are all vegan. It’s necessary to do some research into your favorite alcoholic beverages before consumption, as they often contain gelatin and fish bladder protein called isinglass during the brewing process. You can find out more about vegan beers and what to watch out for by checking out more about it.

YES! Almond milk is most definitely vegan; it is an alternative to regular dairy-filled milk but replaced by almonds. It is equally as creamy, and with a hint of nutty flavor, it works perfectly for coffee, cereal, or to drink straight out of the carton. This nut-based milk is completely plant-based manufactured using only non-animal ingredients. It also a great addition to your warm vegan beverages, baked goods, and smoothies. Read more about different types of milk substitutes for vegans

MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS

Vegan clothing means it’s made from sustainable materials and environmentally friendly production processes. Most of these clothes are made from products that come from plants such as organic cotton and Tencel (which comes from wood) instead of human-made fabrics like Nylon and Polyester (which take years and years to dissolve into the soil). Vegan clothing brands are often small and independent stores that are trying to step away from the fast fashion industry, which accounts for a vast part of pollution, CO2 emissions, and environmental damage as a whole.

Many celebs stand strong for the cause if you’re looking for some inspiration for your big transition. People like Pamela Anderson, Miley Cyrus, Stella McCartney, and even Arian Grande have all adopted this plant-based diet and stand strong and loud for the veganism, bringing awareness to environmental harm and animal abuse caused by our diet choices.

Where leather itself makes use of animal skin, innovative vegans have created a vegan leather using creative materials from fruit waste, recycled plastic bags, leaves, and cork to create a sustainable version of faux leather material. Amazingly they can create an environmentally friendly version of leather that looks and feels just like the real thing, in fact, better than the real thing.

Well, unfortunately, for all the smokers out there, cigarettes are not vegan. It is because of animal testing, meaning that they used animals in a cruel and harmful way during the experimenting process in creating the Tabaco filling. So unlike other non-vegan products, it does not contain any animal-derived products like gelatin or isinglass, which can be found in wines. But the act of cruelty towards animals still stands when you invest in a company that uses these tactics in a harmful way to make their product successful. However, there are many vegans, who ignore this fact and believe that cigarettes can be “allowed” on a vegan diet.

There is a stigma out there that you need to eat meat to get enough protein, but this far from the truth. It’s fairly easy to get protein on a vegan diet. Beans and legumes such as chickpeas and lentils contain a large amount of protein and are a great addition or base for many meals. Meat substitutes like tofu, tempeh, and Seitan also contain large protein quantities and are a perfect substitute for chicken and beef with the same amounts of protein. All soy-based proteins also help you maintain your protein intake, soy milk, edamame beans, and tofu are high in protein too.

You can get all the calcium you need from plant-based milk alternatives as well as sesame seeds and products that use them as a base. Green leafy vegetables like broccoli and cabbage also provide a fair amount of calcium. Soy-based products like tofu, soy yogurt, and soybeans are also made with calcium and will ensure you hit your correct intake daily. Read more about vegan sources of Calcium

The biggest mistake made when people transition into veganism is the thought that because it’s vegan it’s healthy. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Like any other diet, there are healthy and non-healthy products, having a high-fat and high-carb vegan cheeseburger will have the same effects on your body as a regular meat-based burger. So it’s all about balance: try taking a look at what you are consuming daily and adjusting the number of carbohydrates and fats to a moderate amount. It may take a while and a little bit of trial and error until you find what works for you, and then your body should adapt and normalize.

Can you believe that just by changing your diet, you are actively saving the environment, animals, and our planet’s future? On average, it’s said that a vegan can save about one hundred animals a year! It is a lot, a lot more than nothing, and even more animals will be saved.

Any small reduction in the consumption of animal products helps save the environment. Although the contribution of vegetarians is less than that of vegans, it still helps lower the number of animals harmed and emissions being released into our air. Just try to cut down your consumption. Even if it seems small, it does help, and the more people will do it, the higher the change will be!