The short answer to the headline above is misinformation and stupid people but I digress….
I swear the older I get the more misanthropic I become. I read an article the other day titled “9 lies vegans love telling.” Admittedly it’s a catchy little headline if you are trying to sell your fitness coaching and nutrition plans – which is of course the reason this type of drivel exists.
So because I am in a particularly snarky mood today and a bit tired of being bashed so that others can make money off of shitting on a vegan diet, a diet that has scientifically been proven over and over again to be one of the best defences against many noncommunicable diseases and lifestyle diseases, I wrote my own catchy headline and will have a little fun with the referenced article.
People who choose veganism or a plant-based diet do so for various reasons but the three pillars are usually health, environment and compassion for animals. Whatever drives you to make this decision, we all applaud you and the last thing you need is fear mongering and misinformation to knock you off track. In a world where we now have the attention span of goldfish, (the research was done in Canada, some maybe it’s just us Canucks) you owe it to yourself to do some research and talk to others. The vegan community hasn’t always been given a fair shake and the media representation that we are all a bunch aggressive, intolerant wing nuts is one based out of fear rather than curiosity. The face of veganism is changing and what was considered a fringe behaviour is now gaining mainstream acceptance. I started this blog because I want to be another positive voice in that choir (albeit a snarky one – hey, go with your strengths).
So let’s get started shall we? So according to said article (which I will not link to because they are asshats) the lies vegans tell are as follows…
- There’s more protein in vegetables than meat – no vegetarian or vegan professes this. What we do say is that there are plenty of excellent sources of protein in plant foods that offer a compassionate alternative without all of the cholesterol and fat. More than 40 years ago, Vogue magazine popularized the myth that plant foods had to be combined in order to achieve a complete protein profile. This misinformation was debunked years ago by Dr. John McDougall but still persists today. It’s an urban legend, let it go. Vegans will also tell you that you should eat a whole foods, plant based diet and not to chase after specific macronutrients. Pay attention, but don’t obsess. Getting away from eating whole food and consuming processed food is what got us into a lot of this trouble in the first place. Bottom Line: Eat a whole foods, plant based diet and not for specific macronutrients. Do your research and if you need to supplement your protein intake because you are extremely active, an athlete or body builder, supplement your diet with a quality vegan based protein source. There are many bars, shakes and powders on the market that do the trick. Athletes have been slurping down whey protein for decades – there are more compassionate, healthy choices available.
- Our primate ancestors are vegan so we should be to – Seriously where do people come up with this shit. Vegans will say things like, “Eat what elephants eat,” or “Gorillas eat vegetables and look how big and strong they are.” I would hope that we have evolved since our ancestors time. Now if we are referring to eating lots of grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables – carry on.
- Humans were not meant to be carnivores – They go on to say that, “It was most likely impossible to survive on an exclusively raw diet when our species appeared.” Ummm okay. We know that humans were scavengers and hunter-gatherers just like many other species. I hope to live a wee bit longer than our ancestors did. Now let’s pretend for a second that it’s 2017 and we, as a species, have evolved socially and culturally to understand that we do not need to mass produce animals for food. If vegans do in fact state this, it’s a weak argument and one that shouldn’t be used. I have free choice and I choose to reduce suffering as much as I can. I choose compassion for all living beings as much as I can. I choose to not eat animals or products derived from animals. I choose to avoid processed products. I choose to improve my health, the environment and the welfare of animals. These choices are based on sound science. We are all allowed to make these choices, or not – it’s always up to you. No one can control what you put in your mouth or wear on your body.
- Vegans get enough healthy fats – None of us, regardless of the diet you eat, get enough healthy fats. Our processed world is screwing up the omega 3 to 6 ratios and we could all do with a bit of supplementation. I regularly take an Omega 3 supplement. The research is here.
- Vegans get all of their nutrients from plants without supplements – My responses will get shorter as we go on because clearly the writer of this article was trying to achieve a specific word count and scraped the bottom of the bullshit barrel to come up with the “lies we tell.” All of our diets – omnivore, paleo, vegan and vegetarian are deficient because here’s a secret – food producers do not have your health as their main priority when manufacturing food. They are driven by profit, not health. Eat whole foods as much as you can but supplementation is necessary. Many are becoming deficient in vitamin B12. I personally supplement with vitamin B12, vitamin D (we Canadians do not always get enough sun) and Omega 3. The research is at nutritionfacts.org – this is my go to site for scientific based information that hasn’t been torn apart by weenies and reassembled into something that suits a particular agenda.
- Vegans never have heart disease or cancer – Sounds like the guy who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day and drank a 26’er of whiskey and lived to be 101. C’mon! That is not something vegans say. What we do say is, “a whole foods, plant based diet can reduce your chances of developing heart disease and cancer.” I guess the other sounds more controversial and gets more eyeballs on articles. I want to see my grandkids and be around as long as I can. We don’t need to eat animal products to survive anymore – this is a conscious choice. We vegans do have to take special care to supplement when necessary. The benefits to the health, environment and animal welfare far outweigh the risks. Oh and this guy is doing just fine….
- Vegan Food is always healthier – Whole plant foods are always healthier. There are examples of vegan junk food out there – I’m looking at you Oreo cookies. Make smart choices.
- Eating vegan is cheaper than eating animals products – I really believe this is true. The article I’m referencing goes on to list a bunch of mock foods (i.e. vegan sour cream) as being far more expensive, concluding that overall eating vegan is too expensive. I don’t spend money on animal products and I save a tonne of dough. Even though meat and other animal products are heavily subsidized, it still costs mush more than plant based products. Lentils, beans, legumes, rice and potatoes are all extremely inexpensive and form the centrepiece of most vegan meals. Add a few veggies and some bread and you have a feast that cost much less per person to serve than say a roast of beef. Not to mention that nothing has to die to fill your plate and stomach.
- It’s becoming easier to be a vegan – Yes. It. Is. So easy in fact, that you can get all the information, resources and support you need online as long as you avoid idiots like the one who penned this article. Thankfully most of the misinformation about a vegan diet out there has been disproven by science and day by day people are realizing that adopting a vegan diet will save their health, the environment and the animals.
I took the time a have a little fun and poke holes in an article I found online. We all need to call out the crap people put out in the name of selling their products. By the looks of the comments below the article, people did just that. A compassionate life is the way to go. Now I just have to work on taming my misanthropic ways – there’s always tomorrow. Have an amazing day vegan brothers and sisters and if you ever need me to snark out on someone for you – drop me a line.