This article will be the first of a little series where I share my personal experience with veganism, some tips on how to get started with reducing animal products consumption and where to find good vegan foods in the Loughborough area. Oulala! Please feel free to share your own tips too!
WARNING sarcasm incoming (in case you didn’t get it from the title…)
Definitely relevant to people who are trying to reduce their animal products consumption but are not 100% vegans (yet). Vegan was just shorter for the title (and shorter is better. Wait what?)
1. But where do you get your protein from???
Because everybody knows that when working a 9-5 sitting at a desk and driving to/using public transports to go to work (nothing wrong with that, we, in general, in a lot of countries, are getting more and more sedentary), you need at least 200g of protein for those hard-working glutes and quads… Protein is really important, but the amount needed is highly dependent on one’s age, activity level, health and so many other factors. By eating a varied whole food plant-based diet (#heath #fitness #smoothiebowls #Instagram #Influencer), you will get enough protein, I promised. Plant-based sources of proteins include tofu (although quite controversial in terms of environmental impact, I know), beans, quinoa, buckwheat, lentils… Also, just to make it clear, you can eat all the proteins you want, if you don’t stimulate your muscles, they won’t grow… So nope, drinking 3 (vegan) protein shakes a day alone won’t make you the next Schwarzenegger or Anja Langer. Just saying…
2. And what about vitamin B12?
One, I’m pretty sure that before Googling “10 reasons being vegan is going to kill you”, you had no idea what vitamin B12 was and what its functions were. Two, yep, vitamin B12 is one of the few things you’re going to have to supplement with if you’re going plant-based. Outch. Why?
**Warning, mini nutrition/microbio lecture incoming**
Because vitamin B12 is actually produced my microorganisms mainly present in soil, water and in animals’ gut (eww!). That’s why meat, dairy products and fish are high in vitamin B12 (although it can be slightly more difficult to absorb, but that’s not the point here). But vegan-friendly B12 supplements from isolated bacteria sources are easy to find, and most non-dairy milks, cereals, breads are actually fortified in vitamin B12. Phew!
3. But if you were alone (I wish) on a desert island in the middle of nowhere (yes please), and were starving to death (ok that’s not cool) would you eat the fish you fished yourself?
Ok my turn: if you were somewhere where plenty of plant-based foods that do not harm animals were readily available, where scientific studies showed that eating more of these foods could prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high cholesterol and was a good step towards reducing our environmental impact, would you still pay to exploit and torture animals just to eat them? Bonus question: which one of these two scenarios is closer to reality?
4. But does it taste like chicken?
Well, it’s made from soya, so no, it probably won’t taste quite like chicken. I mean are you really expecting a banana to taste like chocolate cake?
5. Oh, but you’ve only been vegetarian/vegan for that many months/years … (that’s why they’re not dead yet, I knew Google was always right)
Because yes, whatever it is that you do to try to make a difference, it’s never going to be enough to some people. “I mean you’ve only been vegan for 2 years, that’s it?” Even when it’s about your personal choices that only impact your own life (how sad, I know). Most of us weren’t born vegetarian or vegan. It takes time to eventually make that choice, and it is necessary to make it at the right time, and for your own reasons!
- Please don’t be offended if you have already asked these questions (I mean it’s too late now anyway, you’re probably already classified, at best, as “and one of those again” in the person’s mind).
- Actually, please do ask questions. Always. But like real questions, not the I-am-asking-you-just-to-throw-a-counter-argument-I-found-on-carnivore.com-at-you type of questions. Do your own research and be respectful of people’s opinion. Make (protected) love not war.
- No, I don’t think vegans are superheroes who are going to save the planet by themselves. No, I am not trying to convince you to go vegan overnight. Yes, I am aware that being plant-based is an option many people don’t even have.
Maybe you too have had similar experiences and could relate, maybe you didn’t at all. Feel free to share your own experiences on this blog too!
(Of course, most people do ask questions in a very respectful way because they are genuinely intrigued and want to know more about the subject, and I love these people very much <3. I love everyone. I mean almost everyone. But sometimes even people I love can get on my nerves a little. Often actually. Most people do. So, do I really like people then? Not sure… But aren’t vegans supposed to be hippies and love everyone? Crap!)
PhD SSN Chair 2020-21
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