All the questions you have ever wanted to ask a vegan

Did she mention she’s vegan?

If you’re thinking of going vegan, or even just want an insight into one of the most prolific, and controversial lifestyle choices of the past ten years, then look no further. If a drastic diet overhaul and Spanish inquisition-style daily questioning isn’t your cup of green tea, and you can’t deal with the hate, veganism may not be for you.

Just why?

This is a fair question. Watch the documentary ‘Cowspiracy‘ (available on Netflix,) and try eating meat afterwards. It focuses on the environmental effects of the meat and dairy industries, so initial concerns may be more eco-based. After a few months of being veggie, lots become incredibly sensitive to the unnecessary cruelty happening within these industries every day, and may make the jump to veganism. This means not eating any animal products or by-products.

Where do you get your protein?

Classic. Are you ready for this list? Its a long one. Lentils, chia seeds, hemp seed/milk, chickpeas, asparagus, tofu, all kinds of nuts, kidney beans, peas, broccoli, oats, spirulina, quinoa, mushrooms, tempeh, avocado, soybeans, leafy greens, buckwheat, nutritional yeast, cocoa, soy milk, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, artichoke, cauliflower, green beans, miso, edamame, etc. The more you know.

How do you get enough protein?

The average woman needs 46g of protein per day, and the average man needs 56g. In 1 cup of broccoli there is 4g of protein, 1 cup of black beans has 16g, 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast has 8g and 1 cup of spinach has 8g. Along with the many other sources of protein vegans consume, we got it covered.

Standard vegan couple photo

Wouldn’t it be easier to just eat meat?

Well, my carnivorous friend, 1 cup of diced chicken has around 35g of protein, so yeah this seems like the easier option. However, chicken has very little nutritional value besides protein. Containing around 25 percent of your daily saturated fat intake, whereas, foods like broccoli contain 30 percent of your daily calcium needs in just one cup. Sure, vegans have to eat a lot more to fulfil their protein needs, but by doing so we have a higher, more diverse intake of nutrients.

What do you even eat?

Ah, this old chestnut. Vegans can eat everything non-vegans can, just with substitutions! The best part is, its totally guilt free.

Bacon though?!

Super salty, wobbly fatty bits, makes your whole house smell for days, an all round 2/10. Anyway, rice paper bacon is amazing and so easy to make.

What about cheese?!?!

Cheese is difficult to avoid, being in delicious dishes like pizza and mac and cheese. However, since learning what it really contains, and how bad it is for you, you too can be put off for life. Plus, cheese alternatives are pretty sick and the vegan community has adorably named it ‘Gary’. What more do you want?

It must be so expensive

Really no. Meat is expensive. If you’re super savvy and have even a vague meal plan, you can save yourself a lot of money. Most meat substitutes are cheap anyway, it really just depends on what you’re choosing to eat. It’s the organic vegetables that are the downside to a vegan’s bank account, however in my opinion it makes very little difference what calibre my potatoes are.

Oh sorry, do you mind if I eat this in front of you?

It makes no odds whether you eat the corpse in front of a vegan or not, you’re still eating it.

Humans are predators, we’re supposed to eat meat.

Did you chase down that cow yourself, and kill it with your bare hands and teeth? Didn’t think so. Human digestive systems are actually more adapted to a plant based diet anyway.

If you don’t want to eat meat, why are you eating meat substitutes?

The flavours you taste when you eat meat are predominantly from plant based seasonings, why should a vegan miss out because we don’t fancy eating a dead animal? Also, a lot of meat subs are packed full of nutrients, and seeing as non-vegans are so concerned about vegans’ supposed protein deficiency, we ask you to leave us to eat our Linda McCartney spinach burgers in peace.

What do you miss?

Honestly, nothing. A vegan diet isn’t about depriving oneself, its about finding alternative sources of nutrition. Sources of nutrition  can always be found whilst avoiding the industries which promote cruelty. If one day a vegan decides to eat some cheese, it is okay! Vegans haven’t sworn an oath to the vegan gods – nobody is being condemned.

Are you an animal lover?

Not all vegans love animals that much. Being vegan can give people a completely new appreciation for them, along with a whole lot of empathy, and even if you’re not a hardcore animal lover, it doesn’t mean they deserve to die for our pleasure though.

Do you hate meat eaters?

Of course not. Vegans and meat eaters can live in harmony, and vegans will never have the right to judge somebody’s dietary choices. However, the thing vegans do hate is ignorance. For example, when people are clueless as to how their food came to be on their plate, or when they avoid learning about it because they know they won’t like the answer. Hypocrisy is another pet hate, when people are actively protesting against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, whilst eating a burger. It is kind of twisted.

Is THIS vegan? Or THAT? Surely not THIS!

Acceptable responses include but are not limited to: a 10 second stare into an imaginary camera, Jim from The Office style, and a curt nod. Unless in the time since you last asked, a vegan’s ethical standing isn’t likely to have changed, and the food they’re eating is definitely vegan.

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