There’s nothing better than being prepared to answer these obnoxious questions that so many people seem to love to ask vegans!
(by Trent Grassian)
- How do you live without bacon / cheese?
Like just about every vegan, I too once was a meat eater. In fact, I was what you would describe as a ‘meat lover’. At the top of my list of favourite foods was steak, ribs and bacon. Closely following were quesadillas, cheese and ice cream! So, the short answer is: yes, you can live without bacon, cheese, etc., etc. In fact, three things are really amazing about going vegan:
- Your taste buds change! I didn’t believe this was true until I experienced it myself. Foods just taste better, richer and more flavourful because I’m not used to stuffing my face with grease and meat. The result is that you can appreciate and enjoy a much greater variety of foods.
- Similarly, you have the opportunity to try so many new foods! Instead of thinking meal = meat + 2 veg or simply thinking about meat/cheese/milk ‘substitutes’ (of which there are now an endless supply), most vegans (in my experience) end up trying lots of NEW types of food. There are an amazing variety of flavours that most people never even experience.
- Finally, these foods are straight-up bad for you. There is now a wealth of evidence that vegan diets are healthier, while animal-based protein is linked to higher rates of just about every type of non-communicable disease, from cancer, stroke and type two diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and even obesity. For more information on the health side of things, check out the PCRM article in this issue and Dr. Michael Greger’s extensive work in the area.
- What do you EAT?
There are a few ways I love to answer this question. Sometimes I just say ‘everything else’ or just ‘food’. Depending on how invested the person seems to be in the conversation, you can also try to show how convenient veganism is nowadays, by saying something like: You wouldn’t believe the amazing variety of options nowadays, it’s never been easier to be vegan! Sainsbury’s just came out with a whole new range of vegan cheeses, Morrison’s just came out with two new types of vegan ice cream cones and there are over a dozen different varieties of dairy-free milk, from oat and cashew to pea milk!
- Yeah, but hasn’t anyone ever told you that humans are CARNIVORES?
No, we aren’t. Lions are carnivores; they chase down their prey, rip them apart with their sharp, enormous canines in their long snouts designed for biting and catching animals and then use their short digestive tract to make sure they don’t have any nasty bacteria in there too long. Humans have long digestive tracts, tiny tiny canines, short mouths and are much, much slower than lions. Humans are much more similar to other herbivores, like gorillas. We have evolved to be scavengers, some of whom have eaten some very small amounts of meat (which we have needed tools to hunt down and fire to cook) but that is not something we need nor is it in any way inherently ‘natural’ to our biology. Check out this great, five-minute video: Herbivore vs. Carnivore.
Feel free to message us with more questions and we will do our best to answer them in the next edition!
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