Vegans are an oft-misunderstood group, even in today’s society. Those who make this lifestyle choice are often animal lovers, environmentalists, health-conscious individuals or some combination thereof who want to do good in the world. You might think this would garnish them admiration or at the very least the same respect for their personal private choices most humans afford each other, but the reality is a little different.
Vegans like Gale Tobin occasionally encounter disdain and even hate. Even those who don’t actively have anything against veganism might subconsciously associate them with labels such as “hippy” or “liberal”. They may also not believe any of these things but not want to try it. This is all the result of the many misconceptions floating around about veganism.
1. Vegans must spend a lot
One of the biggest fallacies about veganism is that it is way too expensive. Vegan products can be expensive, especially meat and dairy substitutes and prepackaged vegan snacks or desserts. However, meat and dairy are pricy themselves, and many of the cheaper staples such as grains and beans are intrinsically vegan. So veganism can be costly, especially for individuals who spend all their money on mass-produced, specifically created and marketed for vegan products, but it doesn’t have to be since they could just as easily choose options such as rice, lentils, and chickpeas.
2. Vegans just can’t be healthy
Getting all of the proper nutrients is a major concern for people considering veganism. They often think that vegans must be chronically malnourished, unable to get enough protein and calcium and forced to rely on supplements (which, by the way, those on an omnivorous diet often have to use as well). Some individuals ascribe to the idea that a plant-based diet is just plain not good for the body.
Vegans are more likely to consume the correct amount of vegetables and fruits than non-vegans since these account for a large portion of their diet. Since most Americans eat more than they are supposed to, cutting it out is actually beneficial in some instances. Both protein and calcium are naturally found in foods such as kale, beans, legumes, and chia seeds. Meat and milk are not the sole sources of these two necessities.
3. Vegans are all judgemental
Another image associated with the group is that of the self-righteous, preachy converter. Supposedly, vegans judge all non-vegans. This is untrue. While some vegans may do so, the fact is, that is their choice as individuals and not something that defines the practice of veganism as a whole.
Society labors under many misconceptions about veganism. Factual information and open minds can help debunk these myths so interested individuals can make informed decisions.