Vegans. Probably one of the most misunderstood species. All categorised together as self loving, preachy hippies. “How do you know if someone is a vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you,” is a long running joke among meat eaters and a stigma that doesn’t sit comfortably with vegans that are constantly been given a bad name due to a handful of “preachers”.

I am here as an unbiased carnivore to set the record straight. Myths, legends and fables are spun around veganism giving out false information which forms people’s opinion on the lifestyle choice.

What do you eat?!

Every supermarket now has a “free from” aisle and there are more and more “normal” products that are becoming vegan friendly. The meat substitute Quorn often finds their way into a vegan’s, vegetarian’s and even meat eater’s diets too. There are so many items that are already unintentionally vegan, you just need to look. Eating out is being made much easier now with popular restaurants such as Zizzi and Pizza Express offering vegan options. It’s not all quinoa and kale…

The Jolly Vegan pizza from The Pizza Bike. Sourdough base topped with butter beans, reduced fat hummus and seeds. Credit: @greencleananddlean

If you don’t eat meat you don’t get protein

It’s a common myth that you only get protein from meat therefore vegans and vegetarians lack this massively. However your average meat eater will consume about 80 grams, when the recommended intake is 42 grams. Vegetarians and vegans actually average 70% more protein than they need every day, over 70 grams.

It’s so expensive

It really doesn’t have to be. Maybe if you choose to shop at Whole Foods every day. But in reality meat is one of the most expensive things you can buy and cutting it out your diet allows your budget to go so much further. Fruit, vegetables and pulses are all very affordable and cooking meals in bulk such as stir fries, curries and pastas saves time as well as money.

Heart shaped cookies made with oats, mashed banana, cocoa powder, blueberries and cinnamon. Credit: @greencleananddlean

But what about cheese? Or chocolate? Or bacon?

Vegans argue that the welfare of all the animals on the planet are far more important than any Hunters Chicken or Mars bar. Besides there are so many tasty substitutes instead. Georgia Parnham who has been vegan for 6 months and vegetarian for 8 years said: “There is a stigma around being vegan. We are not all following a trend or plaiting flower wreaths for headwear 24/7. We simply switch our lifestyle to reduce animal exploitation.”

Don’t you miss out on loads of nutrients

The only difference between carnivores and omnivores is vitamin B12. It’s needed to keep our nervous system, DNA and red blood cells healthy. Everything else is exactly the same but vegans and vegetarians tend to consume more yeast extract and cereals so a B12 supplement is recommended.

Smashed avocado topped with chilli on pumpernickel rye bread

Weak and frail vegans

NFL players, power lifters and fitness influencers and bloggers are amongst the professions of vegans, not to mention Venus and Serena Williams; two of the greatest tennis players of all time, who both eat a raw vegan diet. One of the world’s fittest men Rick Roll has been vegan for over a decade. Even Jeremy Corbyn himself, is contemplating switching from vegetarian to vegan.

With more and more people turning vegetarian and vegan in the UK, numbers now reaching over 1.5 million, it seems vegetables are the way forward.

 

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