A stereotype is ‘a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.’
One of the key words here is ‘oversimplified’, and why do you think people like to take this approach to life?
Because stretching your mind, knowledge and imagination beyond takes some work – it not simply involves gathering information, but also opening your mind to it and possibly admitting you were wrong about certain beliefs. This does ask you to put your ego to the side.
Some stereotypes are so persistent and strong that they have even been instilled into the minds of dedicated vegans – like the idea of having to combine certain foods in order to get ‘complete protein’. You can learn more about this here.
So, if you are still finding it hard to un-cling yourself from the mass hypnosis, here are the
10 Biggest Lies About Veganism Debunked
1. Vegans are scrawny and weak
In our culture, meat is associated with muscle and brawn. So, a lot of people incorrectly assume that vegans are going to be really scrawny and weak. News flash people!
While protein is important for growth and repair, the amount we need is often exaggerated. In reality, if you eat a variety of plant foods, a protein deficiency is almost impossible to achieve. Quinoa, beans, lentils, seeds, and even broccoli contain adequate amounts. Not to mention tofu, seitan, tempeh, mock meats (options are becoming more and more abundant).
2. Vegans always get vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
If you choose nutrient dense, plant foods, you’re unlikely to run into deficiencies. Greens are packed with calcium, legumes are filled with foliate, seeds contain omega-3’s — the list goes on. From my experience, there’s nothing beneficial in animal products that you can’t get from plants. Here is an article on how to avoid the 4 main shortfalls of a vegan diet nutrition-wise.
One exception is vitamin B-12. There are many arguments as to why it’s not found in vegan foods (such as soil degradation) but the details don’t really matter. It’s safer to take a supplement.
Even if you don’t like to cook, there are still plenty of vegan food options. Increasingly more restaurants and fast food places are offering vegan meals and supermarkets have a wide range of quick veggie options, like mock meats and instant dinners.
4. The vegan diet is bland and boring
When omnivores think of going veg, they usually think of their exact same diet but without the meat. When looked at this way, the veg diet probably does seem really boring. But vegans don’t just cut meat out of their diet! They replace that meat with other foods. A lot of vegans ultimately become “foodies” because they get excited about trying all sorts of new foods. So, whereas the typical meat-eating American falls back on the same foods for their daily meals, many vegans are constantly trying new, exciting foods that they may never have tried if they hadn’t gone veg. There is nothing boring about that!
5. A vegan diet is always healthy, or always unhealthy.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that replacing animal products and processed foods with whole, plant foods reduces your risk of developing various chronic diseases. Personally, this way of eating has improved my health issues, and I know others who have experienced similar success.
But let’s not get it twisted: being vegan doesn’t guarantee health. You can eat fries and candy all day and still be vegan, but you won’t be healthy. Even if you do stick to whole foods, diet isn’t everything. Health is made from many interacting components. Regardless of nutrition, you won’t thrive if you’re constantly stressed, or if you don’t exercise regularly.
6. Veganism is not for athletes.
In fact, a lot of athletes who have gone vegan report faster recovery times, less inflammation, and more energy. An increasing number of vegan athletes are thriving in their sports, and it’s not just the long distance guys like Rich Roll and Brendan Brazier. Take a look at free-running extraordinaire Tim Shieff, strongman Patrik Baboumian, and MMA fighter Mac Danzig.
7. Veganism is expensive.
It can be expensive if you only buy organic, gourmet foods and pseudo-grains. But with a little planning and shopping around, a vegan diet can be very affordable. Bulk buying lentils, pulses and whole-grains works out cheap, and you can often get deals at markets on fresh produce. You’ll also save money in the long run, with less being spent on medical bills.
8. It’s just too hard
It is not hard to be vegan – it is just very easy to eat meat. Making changes can be daunting, especially dietary ones. Most of us have habits that are ingrained from years of repetition. If you attempt to change everything at once and go vegan ‘cold turkey’, you’ll probably struggle.
But if you let go of the idea of a perfect plant-based diet, and instead focus on making small, gradual changes, suddenly it isn’t so hard. Once you look beyond all of the meat dishes at restaurants and the meat counter at the supermarket, you’ll see that there are actually tons of vegan options available. Once you’ve settled into your new routine, you’ll realize that being veg is actually very easy.
9. Vegans Are All Hippies
There are a lot of different reasons to follow a cruelty-free lifestyle. Ethics, religion, health, animal-rights, and the environment are just a few. Because of all of the reasons for choosing to eat veg and go cruelty-free, this lifestyle has attracted a wide range of people – not just the “hippies” and other “weirdos” that were associated with vegetarianism back in the 60s and 70s. About 5% of US adults consider themselves vegetarian or vegan. So, no matter what your lifestyle is, you are sure to find like-minded vegans.
10. Vegans are self-righteous and will try to get you to stop eating meat
Dea is passionate about pursuing gentle, pure living in all its forms. She’s a veg and fruit foodie, who loves to explore the healing properties of plant-based foods and then fully indulge in their sun-filled taste. She believes that “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”