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Vegan FAQs

Find the answer to the most common questions, myths and arguments about veganism.

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Veganism

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Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.


There are many ways to embrace vegan living. Yet one thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey - as well as products like leather and any tested on animals.
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It's probably much easier than you think!

Let’s be honest. If you grew up eating meat, milk, and eggs in almost every meal, the idea of going vegan certainly seems hard—maybe even impossible!

But most vegans discover the switch is far easier than they ever imagined. All you have to do is focus on crowding out animal-based foods rather than cutting them out. That is, don’t eliminate a meat, dairy, or egg product from your diet until you’ve found two or three great new vegan foods than can take its place. When you focus on crowding rather than cutting, you eliminate all feelings of strain and sacrifice. Your diet actually becomes more interesting, varied, and delicious as you fill it with more and more vegan foods.

Some ideas for beginning your transition:

Remember that you’re not the first person to do this, so you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself. Read vegan related books to help you find the answers to your questions, you can visit out Must Read page to find out books.

  • Visit your closest natural foods store, and buy at least ten vegan products you’ve never before tried.
  • Pick up a good vegan nutrition book like Vegan for Life to make sure you steer clear of any needless nutrient deficiencies.

Don’t put pressure on yourself. Just make a point of constantly trying new vegan foods, and move at whatever speed you feel comfortable. If you make a mistake and end up consuming animal products, don’t call the whole thing off. You’ll find that over time, it gets easier and easier to stick with a mostly or entirely vegan diet.

Vegan answers

Nutrition

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You'll soon find a whole new world of exciting foods and flavours opening up to you. A vegan diet is richly diverse and comprises all kinds of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, beans and pulses - all of which can be prepared in endless combinations that will ensure you're never bored. From curry to cake, pasties to pizzas, all your favourite things can be suitable for a vegan diet if they're made with plant-based ingredients. Check out our vegan recipes for ideas.

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Despite what you may have heard, protein is actually not much of a worry for most vegans.

Not so long ago, conventional wisdom had it that vegans and vegetarians would inevitably develop dangerous protein deficiencies. But over time this myth has largely died out, doubtless due to the fact that have been virtually no instances of vegans dropping dead from lack of protein.

Unfortunately, a harmful counter-myth has arisen within the vegan world: that plant-based foods are so loaded with protein that vegans need never give the topic a thought. That’s an unreasonable belief that has set a lot of vegans up for inadequate protein intake, even if they’ll never be hospitalized for deficiency. Protein is a vital nutrient and falling short of your needs is harmful in a variety of ways. So it’s worth making sure you’re incorporating several rich sources of protein into your everyday diet. Here are some protein-rich vegan foods that will help ensure your needs are met.

  • Legumes (alfalfa, clover, beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, lupins, soybeans, peanuts, etc)
  • Seitan
  • Nuts
  • Tofu
  • Quinoa
  • Tempeh
  • Edamame
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Hempseed
  • Spirulina
  • Oats and Oatmeal
  • Wild Rice
  • Chia Seeds
  • Protein-Rich Vegetables (broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts)

Maybe the best approach to making this happen is to make sure that most of your meals include a solid source of protein. That can mean using nuts, seeds, or gomasio as a garnish. It could mean adding sautéed tempeh or vegan meats to your spaghetti sauce. Or it could mean making a side-dish of fried tofu mixed with a little barbecue sauce and a dusting of nutritional yeast. If you construct your diet with protein in mind, you’ll find an abundance of vegan foods to meet your needs. But protein is just the start of nutrients worth paying attention to: also keep an eye on zinc, iron, calcium, and especially Vitamin B-12. For more on these and other nutrients, visit our vegan nutrition page.

Vegan answers

Health

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Some research has linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. You can eat a totally plant-based diet that supports excellent health, whilst helping animals and protecting the planet.

Animals

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Would it be alright to kill and eat people if they’d had a good life? And what do we mean by a ‘good’ life, anyway? In the case of animals, we certainly don’t mean a long one. ‘Meat’ animals are killed as babies in the case of pigs and lambs between 6 - 8 months old - never get to lead any kind of adult life. Animals, of course, want to live just as much as we do. The first instinct every animal has is to survive. By killing them at all, we are taking away from them the most important thing they have; we are denying their intrinsic right to life.

It is also naïve to imagine that any farmed animals lead good lives: the overwhelming majority of them are exploited, neglected and frustrated on factory farms – forced to lead lives of misery by a farming systems which sees them only as ways of producing a profit. They then face a violent, frightening death in the slaughterhouse: despite supposedly humane stunning, millions of animals are still conscious when their throats are cut. Even free range and organic animals suffer on farms and they face the same shocking death at a young age as factory-farmed animals.

Learn more about factory farms

Environment

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The production of meat and other animal products places a heavy burden on the environment - from crops and water required to feed the animals, to the transport and other processes involved from farm to fork. The vast amount of grain feed required for meat production is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction. In Brazil alone, the equivalent of 5.6 million acres of land is used to grow soya beans for animals in Europe. This land contributes to developing world malnutrition by driving impoverished populations to grow cash crops for animal feed, rather than food for themselves. On the other hand, considerably lower quantities of crops and water are required to sustain a vegan diet, making the switch to veganism one of the easiest, most enjoyable and most effective ways to reduce our impact on the environment.

Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. 1

Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually. 2

Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction. 3

3/4 of the world’s fisheries are exploited or depleted 4

90-100 million tons of fish are pulled from our oceans each year 5

1/3 of the planet is desertified, with livestock as the leading driver 6

1. WorldWatch1. Independent1. Georgetown environmental law review2. USGS2. Oxford Academic3. World Bank3. The New York Times3. Mighty Earth4. Food And Agriculture Organization of the United StatesBook: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work5. World Review of Fisheries and Aquaculture6. Un news6. The Encyclopedia of Earth6. United Nations6. Free from Harm

Miscellaneous

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Plants do not feel pain. A plant lacks a central nervous system, pain receptors and a brain which means that they don’t have the ability to feel pain as we or other type of animals do.

Even if plants did feel pain, the average meat eater is responsible for ten times more plants being killed than vegans do, because all the animals that are bred for meat, dairy and egg eaters, eat huge amounts of plants themselves. It takes up to 12 kilograms of plants to create 1 kilogram of animal flesh 1 , meaning vastly more plants are killed in the production of animal products than they are vegan products.

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Be Vegan. Be Happy.

Be Vegan. Be Happy.

More and more people are turning to a vegan lifestyle for the health benefits among others: increased energy, younger looking skin, reduced stress and eternal youth are just some of the claims from enthusiastic plant eaters.

2019 - 5 Vegan