This guide is always being updated! Please excuse typo errors or please contact me at Gracemccarter[AT]gmail.com!
Many people whom may or may not know much about veganism still have questions. Heck, even after nearly two years of being vegan, I still have a few questions myself! As I go along the way, I try to answer them.
If there is a question you have, but is not answered here, feel free to send me an email with it! ♥
Vegan(Vee-gahn) is a term used to classify a person whom doesn’t consume ANY animal products. This includes, but is not limited to, cheese, meat, milk, and eggs.
Also to clarify, many people ask us vegans if we can or can't eat something. We are humans, and we can eat anything we want. Veganism is about choosing what we will or will not eat.
Many vegans prefer to not purchase products not meant for consumption that have been tested on animals or contain animal products, such as leather seats in a car, lotions containing urea, etc. Those of us vegans whom participate in this boycott as well tend to call veganism not a vegan diet, but the vegan lifestyle.
A vegetarian, will, unlike a vegan, consume eggs, milk, and/or cheese. They do NOT eat any meat.
A Pescetarian will eat ONLY fish, and perhaps other seafood. They, however will not eat any other kind of animal, like a chicken or a cow. They may still eat eggs, milk, or cheese.
A Pullitarian will only eat chicken. They do not eat any other kind of meat, but may, like a pescetarian, eat eggs, cheese, and/or milk.
Why are YOU vegan?
I’m vegan because I believe it is ethically sound that animals are not meant for us to use, eat, wear, or test on. They are living being with feelings, such as fear and happiness. They may or not have as much intelligence as us, but just because a creature doesn’t have the intellectual capacity that we do doesn’t mean we have a right to kidnap their babies to kill and eat, steal their milk(which was intended for their babies), and then murder them. I do not feel it is an ethical lifestyle to consume or use animal products, but I am ecstatic whenever anyone decides to make the change to eliminate certain animal products. After all, it can be harder for some to give up animal products than others. If a person is willing to go pescetarian, I don’t nag them for still eating fish, and perhaps eggs milk or cheese. I applaud them for taking the step to cut out all the other kinds of meat. They may become vegan in their own time, being pushy won’t help them to embrace the lifestyle, only to reject it. After they have acclimated to their new dietary lifestyle, I may gently nudge them to take steps to cut out even more cruelty.
Isn't Veganism Expensive?
No more expensive than eating meat! Animals require food to grow, and people have to work to grow THAT food, then they must hire workers to tend to the animals, which is not usually a loving tending.
If you go veg*n, you help eliminate the necessity of raising your food, which would cost more.
If you buy some basic staple ingredients you can keep your costs low.
Soy milk is great if you can afford it, and is not much more expensive than milk that perpetuates rape and violence of helpless cows.
With these few basic things loaded in your pantry you can create many wonderful dishes.
If your budget is what is holding you back you will want to check out the going vegan guides some friends of mine wrote:
Going Vegan Guides
Faux meats/cheeses are great on occasion, but can be somewhat pricey(and unhealthy!). It’s nice to have a box in your freezer in case you get dragged to a cookout, however. Not to mention, a vegan hot dog looks just like a regular hot dog, meaning if some people at said cookouts are ultra critical, you don’t have to hear them whine(which is always a plus; I, personally, would rather enjoy my food without people playing 20 questions at me).
Why is it okay for a vegetarian to eat fish and eggs? Aren’t they still meat?
Submitted by dancemacabre of Mobamingle.
Good question! The truth is, if a person calls themselves a vegetarian but still eats fish, they are NOT a vegetarian. They are a pescetarian, provided they don’t eat any other kind of meat.
However, a vegetarian can still consume eggs and milk, because they are not actual “meats”. They are by-products of the animal. Many vegetarians take care to make sure the eggs they buy are unfertilized.
A vegan will not eat anything from an animal, whether it be actual flesh or it’s byproducts.
Aren’t Vegans Anorexic?
Studies have been done, and if you become a vegan, the chances of you becoming anorexic is the same amount as if you stayed a meat eater(lower actually).
A person whom is anorexic, however, may use vegan(or vegetarianism) as a means of cover for not eating meals.
If your child, or a friend has decided to go vegan, support them entirely! Don’t deprive them of healthy food! But if you ARE worried about anorexia, pay attention to what they eat and how often. Try cooking or baking with them, to try establishing a closer relationship.
Oh, here’s is the link to the PCRM study. Sadly, it is not mobile friendly. http://www.pcrm.org/news/release090402.html
How is honey cruel?
Three words. Colony Collapse Disorder. And even if it did not exist, many bee-keepers steal so much honey from the colonies and replace it with sugar-water, which does not contain the nutrients a honey bee needs(Starvation?). Also, many starve or burn their hives in the winter! Source: http://planetgreen.discovery.com/food-health/reason-vegans-honey.html
Did you know if you don’t milk cows they explode?
This is not true, but it is a common misconception. It’s true, however, if a cow is forced to produce more milk, and is over-milked , she can get mastitis, a painful inflammation in the mammary glands, but this would not be a problem if we just let them live in a pasture, and instead of stealing their milk, by letting their babies, and only their babies consume it. Obtained from the Vegetarian Starter Kit from Mercy for Animals. You can visit their official site. http://mercyforanimals.org
Not ALL farmers raise their animals in factory farms…But isn’t the goal of nearly every farmer out there the same? To make money? Not all of them are cruel to their “stock” while it is alive(for most of it’s short life, and most are cruel) but the result is always the same. Kill or steal(or both) from the animal for money. http://www.mercyforanimals.org/menu.aspx
What do I say when people ask why after I told them I’m veg?
Tell them the truth! If you went veg for health reasons, even if you’re against the cruelty, which you learned about AFTER your decision, that’s still fine. You could always say “I went veg*n because… But another good reason for being veg is…”
Why Is palm oil bad? I mean, it’s a vegan food right? Why are so many veg*ns boycotting it?
Palm-oil, despite being vegan as in it’s plant derived, is being shamed for many reasons. Here’s two: 1-It’s being irresponsibly harvested. Rain forest is being cut down in order to grow it! 2-The fact that rain forests are being hacked down for the agricultural industry is it’s killing off local wild life, including orangutans. Obtained from http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/01/palm_oil_a_rain.php
What ingredients are veg*n and which are not?
The List is INSANELY long, so many veg*ns tend to just stick to a list of the most common ingredients.(there are NONVEGAN products, many of which are Non-vegetarian too. So if you wanna shorten this for Vegetarianism, you’ll have to do that yourself. If you wish to be a militant vegan(not necessarily a bad thing) there are apps you can download for various smartphones. Animal-Free is a good one for android and Iphone(free too!). If you’re unsure about an ingredient and an omni is hovering acting like they know better than you, simply look it up.
How does being vegan help the world?
In many ways!
*You help reduce your environmental impact. [Vegan Outreach] http://moourl.com/28u0f
*You help promote a healthier lifestyle. [PCRM] http://pcrm.org/
*You don’t support cruelty! [Mercy For Animals]http://www.mercyforanimals.org/menu.aspx
* “A Lifelong VEGETARIAN saves around: 760 Chickens, 5 Cows, 20 Pigs, 29 Sheep, 46 Turkeys, 15 Ducks, 7 Rabbits, and a HALF A TON of fish.” And that’s just vegetarians! Imagine how much less death is a result of a vegan diet! (From PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook)[PETA2]http://peta2.com/
Okay, I’ve decided to go veg*n, but HOW can I get started?
Well at the grocery store of course!
Look on http://pcrm.org to get an idea of what you need to eat to be healthiest. Talk to a nutritionist about what to do to be on a healthy vegan diet! If you can't afford to make a trip with a nutritionist, at least discuss your decision with your general practitioner. While they may not be the most educated in nutrition, they may be able to point you in the right direction for at least a website for nutritional info(Mine did, which was cool, she even gave me the link to PCRM, which is hilarious since I had been sing their site for info since before I went vegetarian! ;3 )
If you’re out living on your own, it’s a lot easier, you can simply phase out your cabinets by buying veggie versions of what is in your cabinets after you use up the non veggie versions.
To keep costs down, you will want to buy more whole foods and less of the processed items. I also recommend taking a vegan-friendly liquid B-vitamin complex to ensure you get all your nutrients and ensure all your bases are covered. (If you're a lady whom normally suffers from bad period cramps, I also recommend supplementing your iron, it's supposed to help, regardless of diet).
Even if you’re always on the go, you can soak beans overnight and they’ll be ready to cook when you wake up!(I also reccomend slowcooking them. They turn out AMAZING, and its not as scary as cooking with a pressurecooker, which is the fastest route).
For health reasons I recommend buying foods labeled NON-GMO(Commonly genetically modified foods are soybean, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil, and many animal products, but since you won’t be buying animal products we won’t have to list those. :D ). Of course it's more expensive, so if you find those options out of your budget range, I encourage you to get what you can non-GMO, but it shouldn't be at the tippy top of your priorities. GMO fruits/veggies are still healthier than processed foods(still made w/GMOs) and antibiotic and cholesterol laden animal products.
If you live in the house with your parents, GET. A. JOB. Nothing will make them more lenient with you going vegan than providing your own means to support yourself, ESPECIALLY if you want to buy all sorts of specialty foods(NOTE SPECIALTY VEGAN FOODS MAY NOT BE HEALTHY) Regular Oreo’s are vegan BUT we all know they are unhealthy as can be. Tofu is a healthy specialty food, just don’t opt to deep fry it only, try making a “creamy” veggie chip dip and use tortilla chips, which are often less oily than conventional potato chips.
I also Recommend Checking out a few of the Vegan Guides some of my vegan firends have written. http://winksite.mobi/xhtml/ms_fo_pg_l.cfm?susid=32378&fid=23902
My Parents Might Not like the Idea of my Going Veg. Any Advice?
[We are working on a PDF version for this due to being unable to find an official version from a larger website!]
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