I think it took me a few years to realize that FAQ stood for "Frequently Asked Questions"...I always just thought it was a cute and polite way of spelling the other F word. Hey, it made sense to me that when you click on it you got helpful answers! haha.
Anyways, here we go, here are some FAQ's but if you have more questions, feel free to ask away in the comments below!
What is a vegan?
The term vegan refers to people who don't eat or use any animal products. A vegan doesn't eat meat, seafood, eggs, or dairy and they don't use or buy any animal products, including anything tested on animals, leather, fur, silk, wool, etc.
How is that different from vegetarian?
Vegetarians don't eat meat or seafood, but they usually do eat eggs and dairy. Some vegetarians avoid leather and fur, and others don't.
So what do vegans eat?
Plants! Grains, beans, legumes, fruit, and veggies. That may seem boring if this is new to you, but check out my recipe page here, and you will see that there is no limit to creating awesome and satisfying meals.
Veganism is so extreme!
A vegan is someone who has the nutty idea that hurting animals is bad. I know, we're so extreme like that. 😉
While cutting out all animal products may seem extreme to someone who is new to the idea, it's actually really easy (and delicious). There are endless varieties of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seed, and even more ways to prepare them. Every dish can be veganized, and probably already has been. I actually eat a much more varied diet since going vegan, than I ever did as a meat eater.
Not only are you gaining the benefit of not causing harm to animals, a healthy vegan diet is way better for your health and the environment. It's really win, win, win.
What about gluten?
I get asked this often. Vegans can totally eat gluten! Some people don't eat gluten if they are gluten intolerant, but eating or not eating gluten has nothing to do with a vegan diet.
Why do people go vegan?
Lots of different reasons including animal cruelty, religion, environmental, weight loss, health, allergies, to help feed the world, to annoy people (that one is a joke), or a combination of these.
Where do vegans get their protein?
Protein is found in all whole plant based foods. Let me say that again so you really hear it, protein is found in all whole plant foods. So yes, beans and nuts have protein, but so does fruit, veggies, grains, and seeds.
Greens like spinach, kale, peas and broccoli, have somewhere around 20-30% protein, even rice has 8% protein. You only need 8%-10% of your diet to be protein, so as long as you eat a varied diet, you will easily get all the protein that you need. In fact, the average vegan gets about 70% more protein than they even need in a day! Don't believe me? Watch this.
Where do vegans get their Calcium?
Let's take a step back here, what are iron and calcium? They are minerals. And where are minerals found? Minerals are found in the soil where plants absorb it. The only reason animals (such as cows) have high quantities of calcium in their bodies is because they eat plants that grow out of the soil, such as grass. So by eating leafy greens and veggies that grow in soil, we can skip the cow and go directly to the source!
Just like protein, plant based foods are loaded with all the calcium you will need. Greens like kale, collards, broccoli, have a lot, and so do foods like nuts, beans, molasses (who knew, right!?), figs, dates, tempeh, fortified non-dairy milks and orange juices. As long as you eat a diet full of varied whole plant foods, you will easily get all the calcium you need.
Sure, dairy often contains more calcium than veggies, but plant based calcium is absorbed into the body a whole lot better. Not only that but it comes along with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, instead of dairy calcium which comes along with saturated fat and pus. Don't believe me? Watch this.
Where do vegans get their iron?
I think you are starting to get the hang of things by now, you guessed it, whole plant foods. In fact, the average vegetarian gets more iron than the average meat eater! Don't believe me? Watch this.
What about B12?
B12 is a bacteria based vitamin, not meat based. Animals don’t make it and neither do plants. Microbes make it! B12 can be found in soil, water, and feces (ew), but since we wash our produce so heavily, filter our water, and (I hope) don’t eat feces, we often remove a lot of this bacteria from our foods. Just like us, animals need to get B12 in their diets too. In the wild, the animals get it from those natural sources. In animal agriculture, the animals are often supplemented with it. Drinking unfiltered water can carry many diseases, so the healthiest, safest, and most effective source of B12 are supplements. Lots of vegan foods are fortified with B12 such as nutritional yeast and non-dairy milks, but just to make sure it’s a good idea to supplement. You need 2,500 mcg a week. You can either take that once a week, or divide it in smaller doses everyday. You can buy vegan B12 supplements on Amazon here.
How does going vegan help my health?
Animal protein is actually quite toxic for your health, it increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers. To learn more about this I highly recommend watching the film Forks Over Knives which can be found on Netflix.
How does going vegan help the animals?
The simple answer, by not causing their pain, suffering and death. Think the meat industry is a cruelty free place, or that meat can be ethical? Think again and watch the documentary Earthlings on YouTube.
How does going vegan help the environment?
"Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill."
One hamburger uses the same amount of water as showering for two months!
Learn more by watching the documentary Cowspiracy which can be found on Netflix.
More great documentaries to watch:
Want to read books?