200 Frequently Asked Questions About
Going Vegan You Need to Know
Are you interested in veganism? Do you plan on switching to a vegan lifestyle? Before you make the decision, you may have plenty of questions in mind. And we can’t blame you! After all, this is a big transition to make!
As we all know, almost all of us eat meat. It comes as second nature to us so I was surprised when my daughter told me this last week—I have learned from books and TV shows that we should love animals. Seems like a perfectly normal statement, right? Well, she followed up with this question—If that is the case, why do we still eat meat every day?
Now, that is one question that surprised me. In fact, I was not able to answer my daughter right away. Because of that, I decided to do a deep research about it and I hope that the research I have done is enough to answer not just the question my daughter asked but the questions about veganism that you are all asking as well.
To help you determine if veganism is right for you or to provide you the information you need to know about transitioning to veganism, we have compiled 200 common vegan questions (and their answers!) below.
200 Frequently Asked Questions
General Vegan Questions
1. What is vegan and veganism?Veganism is the type of diet that shies away from the consumption of meat, dairy products, eggs and other ingredients that have been derived from animals. Vegan is the term used to refer the person practicing veganism.
2. We have been eating meat since forever. Why change that now?There are many things that we have been doing since forever but that doesn’t mean that all those activities are right and we should continue doing them. Eating, exploiting and slaughtering animals do not come natural for us—they have been taught to us. This means that all these activities can be unlearned and we should start unlearning them.
3. Why would you go vegan?There are actually many reasons why people go vegan. Aside from the advantages that we will be tackling in a different section of this article, the main reason why people go vegan is to prevent the exploitation of animals. Being vegan is one of the best ways to take a stand against animal cruelty that is quite rampant today.
4. Should you be an animal lover to be vegan?No, you don’t have to be. However, being vegan will give you an opportunity to appreciate and empathize with them.
5. Is veganism just for people who know how to cook? If I do not know how to cook, how can I make veganism work for me?There are plenty of vegan foods which will not require culinary skills to be prepared—fake meats, salads, French fries and smoothies—so veganism can also be for people who do not know how to cook.
But be reminded that making your own meal is healthier and more affordable so do give cooking a try. Who knows, you might be surprised to find out you have cooking skills. Plus, there are always available recipes that you can follow.
6. What's the difference between vegetarians and vegans?Vegans and vegetarians are people who do not eat meat. However, vegetarians eat eggs, dairy products and other foods and products derived from animals. On the other hand, vegans shy away from eating and using any foods or products that have been collected or derived from animals.
7. Is it hard to go vegan?To be honest, the transition can be a bit tricky, especially if you try to change drastically. The secret to managing the transition is to make some changes in your own pace. Take it slow, and you will get the hang of it soon.
8. Is eating vegan expensive?While dairy and meat alternatives can be quite expensive, there are also other affordable vegan options like oatmeal, tortillas, beans, potatoes and much more. Thanks to the growing vegan industry, food options are starting to become more accessible and affordable.
9. What do vegans eat?Vegans eat any foods that came from a plant like vegetables, fruits, seeds, and the regular items that you can find in your pantry including rice and pasta.
10. What foods should I avoid on veganism?Basically, you avoid all foods that came from animals. In addition to meat, seafood, and fishes, you should also avoid eggs, dairy, animal by-products (you will find more details about this as you go through the article). They also do not use beauty and household items that contain animal by-products or those that have been tested on animals.
11. How do I know if a food is vegan?Raw vegetables and fruits are automatically vegan. On the other hand, processed and packaged vegan foods are usually marked with labels. But still, it is important that you take a closer look at the ingredients. Anything that contains eggs, fish, dairy and other animal by-products (you can find a list of the animal by-products to avoid in the next question below) are considered to be non-vegan.
12. What animal by-products do vegans need to watch out for?Animal by-products to watch out for in food are butter fat, gelatin, casein, lactose, albumen, bone char, lard, shellac, l-cysteine, whey powder and vitamin D3. For beauty and skin care products, you should avoid lanolin, beeswax, castor oil, keratin, pearls, musk, and tallow.
13. Isn't vegan diet boring and bland?The truth is vegan diet is far from being bland nor boring. There’s actually more to veganism than eating vegetables and fruits. In fact, you may find thousands of delicious and delectable vegan recipes online now.
14. Is a vegan diet healthier?Yes, it is. In fact, studies have shown that a plant-based, low-fat and whole-food diet can help reverse diabetes and heart diseases. Vegans are at lesser risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, and obesity.
15. Can a vegan diet help you lose weight?In general, a plant-based whole-foods diet can help you lose weight. But keep in mind that your diet is just one of the few factors you need to consider for weight loss. You also need to consider your physical activity level, hormones and genetics.
16. Is veganism for everyone?Yes, veganism can be for everyone. However, you have to have a strong stand on animal cruelty and great passion for animals for you to sustain living the vegan lifestyle.
17. Is veganism sustainable?Before, it is hard to go vegan. But thanks to the expanding vegan industry, you can now have access to a wide array of vegan products and alternatives, making it easy for you to sustain the vegan lifestyle.
18. Isn’t veganism quite limiting?At first, it can be restrictive with all the ingredients and foods that you need to avoid. But when you think of the amount of animals that you can save from suffering, this lifestyle will seem a lot more liberating.
19. Do you eat nothing but veggies?No, a vegan diet is different from raw food movement (a lifestyle that requires people to eat only raw foods such as veggies and fruits). While vegetable is a staple in a vegan diet, it is not the only thing that vegans eat. In addition to veggies, vegans also eat beans, nuts, fruits, tofu, seeds and many more.
20. Is veganism an eating disorder?Once again, veganism is neither a type of diet nor an eating disorder. Veganism is a philosophy that aims to exclude different forms of animal exploitation and cruelty. That is its only aim.
21. Is veganism just for hippies?Veganism is for everyone. In fact, vegans today come from different races and cultural backgrounds.
22. Is veganism for white people only?Again, veganism is for everyone. Anyone can be vegan. It is not limited to only a certain race, cultural background or social class.
23. If you were trapped alone on a deserted island, would you eat an animal?This is kind of a survival question. A handful of people who have survived from an extreme isolation case and have told their story hunted and succumbed to unimaginable eating pattern for survival. Some even consumed their own urine for hydration. If you can go as much as live on your own excrement, then probably eating an animal is a better choice.
24. What about plants? Don’t they feel pain too?Pain is a warning system for animals (and humans too) that what they are experiencing is unpleasant and they should move away from it. However, plants don’t have an elaborate central nervous system to be able to feel pain.
25. Animals eat animals, why should we not?Animals do not have the sophisticated reason humans have. Animals eat animals because they cannot control their instinct. On the other hand, we human beings, have a cultured brain and we can be compassionate with animals and choose not to kill and consume them.
26. If all of us will go vegan, will there be enough vegetables and grains for everyone?Animals eat plant derived feeds. Cattles eats 13lbs of grains to grow a pound of meat. If we, instead of farming feed grade plants, grow grains for human consumption, we would have more than enough supply of grains and vegetables for everyone.
27. If we don’t eat animals, they will outnumber and overpopulate the Earth. Isn’t it better to just make use of them instead?If everyone will switch to plant based diet, animal farmers would not need to breed their stock in crazy numbers!
28. What is wrong with milking cows?In nature, cows only produce milk when they are pregnant (their milk is for their baby, not for human consumption) and the calf will drink the mother’s milk and after that, her milk supply will run out.
But in order to provide enough cow’s milk for humans, dairy cows in farms are inseminated so they would constantly provide milk. Sometimes, they are also given hormones so they could produce more milk.
Last but not the list, milking a cow hurts the cow because their udders are often attached to milking machines which may lead to cuts and ultimately—infection and development of pus.
29. Chicken naturally lay eggs, right? If that’s the case, what’s wrong in eating eggs?Chicken can lay eggs naturally, that’s right. But vegans don’t eat eggs because by doing so, they will take part in the expansion of the egg business industry which has unethical practices. For example, farmers euthanize eggs which carry roosters (male chickens) on the first day because they will not be useful to the egg production business.
30. Aren't humans natural carnivores?Nope. Humans are not carnivores. We do not have long fangs and claws for an exclusive meat diet.
31. People have canine teeth so it means we are meant to be meat eaters, right?If we would be basing our natural food consumption on having canines, some few animals are in the wrong direction. A hippo (a herbivore) has huge canines. A gorilla has large canines too and feasts on leaves, stems and shoots.
32. You don’t have to kill animals to get dairy and eggs, so why wouldn’t you eat such products?No cows die while getting milked. No chickens perished while laying eggs. Or weren’t there? The crowded living conditions of these farm animals continually place them at risk for getting sick, or worse, dying.
Vegan and Fitness
33. Can athletes go vegan?Yes. As proof, there are actually some great vegan athletes like David Meyer (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), Heather Mills (Winter Sports for the Disabled), Cody Elkins (Racquetball) and many more. Many athletes are doubtful about trying a plant-based vegan diet because they are afraid of the possible problems that may come with it, including constant hunger, muscle stiffness, cramps, and low energy level. But these problems come with solutions. You can get more information about how to deal with some problems here.
34. Can you get ripped when on a vegan diet?The main principles of getting ripped are all about consuming minimally processed foods, eating foods that have high nutritional value, getting the right amount of omega-3 fats and protein and limiting the consumption of refined sugars. A vegan diet allows you to do that so you can get ripped even when on a vegan diet.
35. I need a protein hit after I work out. Are there any vegan post-workout snacks available?There are plenty of vegan powder and energy bars in the market today. Plus, you can also find lots of vegan post-workout snack recipes online.
Transitioning to Veganism
36. How do I get started?The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you fully understand and believe in the vegan philosophy. Once you are fully sold out in this principle, you can start by assessing your current diet and determine what changes you need to make. You should also start looking for vegan recipes, alternatives, and resources to make the transition as easy as possible.
37. Could I go vegan if I don't know any vegan recipes?Yes, you can. Making the decision to go vegan is probably the most difficult thing you can ever do, but once you have made the decision, all possible roadblocks that you will encounter will be a lot easier. When it comes to vegan recipes, you can find plenty of those online.
38. How can I let go of the taste of milk, cheese, and ice cream?The truth is, you do not have to let go of the taste of these dairy products when you go vegan because you can now find vegan alternatives that taste just like the real thing.
39. What kitchen equipment do I really need to start out?Some of the kitchen equipment that can be highly useful when starting out are blender, slow cooker, food processor, and juicer.
40. What is the best way to wean off meat?The key here is to take things slow, and you can do that by doing the following: go meatless once a week, substitute red meat first, substitute poultry next, substitute fish and seafood later on.
41. How do I stay motivated as a vegan?When things get tough, always go back to the main reason why you decided to go vegan. Try to watch documentaries of animals being exploited – that would be reason enough to keep you motivated.
42. How do I deal with my nonvegan cravings?First things first, wanting animal products is an automatic response of the body so don’t feel guilty about it. However, you also have the intellectual ability to recondition and reprogram yourself. Again, think of the animals that have been slaughtered and have died just to manufacture the food that you are craving for. After that, would you still want that cheese or chocolate? I bet not.
Is it Vegan?
43. Is fish vegan?No.
44. Are dairy products vegan?No, milk, cheese, and other dairy products are collected from cows.
45. Is refined sugar vegan?No, this type of sugar is bleached using animal bones.
46. Is honey vegan?No, it is harvested from bees.
47. Is silk vegan?No, cocoons with living moth larvae inside of it are boiled to create longer threads of silk.
48. What about products that have been tested on animals?No, because there are pain and suffering involved in the testing.
49. Is leather vegan?No, it is made from skin of animals.
50. Are free range eggs vegan?No, even the free-range method of farming animals involves the killing of male chicks.
51. Is kosher gelatin vegan?No, this is made using fish bones and beef.
52. Is marshmallow vegan?No, gelatin is used in its production.
53. Are fortified fruit juices vegan?No, the vitamin D that these juices contain come from lanolin which is derived from the wool of the sheep.
54. Are red candies vegan?No, these candies are colored with carmine.
55. Are hard coated candies vegan?No, the coatings of these candies are made from shellac.
56. Are salted peanuts vegan?No, most companies use gelatin to help the spices adhere to the nuts.
57. Is a cake mix vegan?No, most cake mixes contain lard.
58. Is Worcestershire sauce vegan?No, it is made with anchovies, molasses, and sugar.
59. Are store-bought vegetable soups vegan?No, most of them have beef or chicken stock as base.
60. Is yeast vegan?Yes, these are micro-organisms that fall under the Fungi Kingdom and are not derived from animals.
61. Is imitation cheese vegan?No, it contains casein which comes from milk.
62. Is gelatin vegan?No, gelatin is made from the bones, connective tissues and skin of animals.
63. Is molasses vegan?No, it is a by-product of the sugar industry.
64. Is maple syrup vegan?Pure maple syrup comes from tree sap, so it is vegan.
65. Are breakfast cereals vegan?Most cereals are vegan but watch out for cereals that contain vitamin D or honey.
66. Is bread vegan?In general, yes but some bread contains animal derived ingredients so do check the label.
67. Are potato chips, corn chips, and tortilla chips vegan?No, most chips, especially the barbecue flavored ones contain chicken fat.
68. Are wines and liquors vegan?Most alcoholic products in the market are not vegan because the winemaking process use fining agents that have been derived from animals.
But please bear in mind there are a few who are considered to be vegan, so it is important that you look for the vegan label as well as the list of ingredients.
The production of beers uses isinglass which is derived from fish bladders. Ciders are fined using gelatin while most cochineal is often used as coloring agent for most red wines and sodas.
69. Is cochineal/carmine vegan?No, this colorant is manufactured by drying, crushing then boiling cochineal beetles.
70. Is wool vegan?No, wool is harvested from sheep.
71. Are medicines vegan?No, medicines use gelatin and other animal by products as excipients. In addition to that, they are tested on animals.
72. Is down vegan?No. In Poland, Hungary, and Russia, there is the process called live plucking wherein the feathers of the bird are ripped out from the birds which may lead to injuries.
73. What about animals as entertainment?No, keeping animals for our personal gain is not a vegan.
74. Is seaweed vegan?Yes. In fact, it is an alternative source of vitamin B, magnesium, calcium and omega 3s for vegans.
75. Is olive tapenade vegan?The traditional tapenade recipe contains anchovies, but there are canned and jarred products that are vegan so be sure to check the label.
76. Is non-fat yogurt vegan?No. Most yogurt products, even the non-fat ones, use gelatin as a binding agent.
77. Is pesto sauce vegan?It depends. Most pesto sauces contain a small amount of cheese, so it is better to make your own if you want to be sure.
78. Is dark chocolate vegan?Yes, it can be vegan since most of it does not contain milk. But to be sure, take a look at the label and watch out for milk ingredients.
79. Is refried bean vegan?It depends. There are refried bean recipes that can be considered vegan, but the traditional refried bean recipe contains lard.
80. Is horse riding a vegan act?No, it isn’t. Horses are meant to be free and keeping them for the purpose of riding them is considered to be animal exploitation.
81. Is shellac vegan?No, it isn’t. Shellac is harvested from the cocoon of newly hatched beetles.
82. Is breast milk vegan?Yes, it is. Breastfeeding doesn’t harm the mother and is given with full consent to the baby, so no exploitation is involved.
83. Is whey protein vegan?No, it isn’t. Whey protein is a by-product of cow’s milk.
84. Is semen vegan?Yes, it is. Just like breastfeeding, the semen is taken with consent, and the collection of it does not harm anyone.
Common Vegan Problems
85. What should I do if my medicine contains animal ingredients?If you need your medicine in managing a life-threatening disease, then, by all means, you can take the said medication. After all, you can be of no service to animals if your body is not at its healthiest condition, right?
But as much as possible, try to maintain good health by carrying out precautionary measures like regular exercise and healthy diet.
86. Too much vegetables give me gas. How can I manage this?There are plenty of ways on how you can reduce gas formation on a plant-based diet. Some of the possible interventions are chewing food thoroughly, taking smaller bites, eating balanced meals, using probiotics and avoid getting too full.
87. What if I feel hungry all the time?This is the most common problem of many vegans, but sometimes, it’s all in the mind which is pretty understandable considering that we have been raised to believe that proteins found in meats can make us feel full.
The key here is not in eating meat but in consuming the adequate amount of calories and balancing the proportion of protein, fats, and carbohydrates in your meals. Make sure that you plan your meals properly, and you will never go hungry.
88. How to save money on vegan diet?Many people believe that a diet with no animal or animal-derived ingredients is expensive and that is quite understandable. After all, meat and dairy products are already highly accessible for us. Therefore, they are considered to be cheaper.
But there are plenty of ways on how you can go vegan on a budget. First, you can try buying fresh foods in bulk (as they are a lot cheaper than the frozen ones) then freeze it. To make the most out of its nutrients, make sure to freeze fresh fruits at the peak of its ripeness.
Second, you can buy in bulk (the price by weight of the largest package is always the cheapest). Some of the vegan food items that you can stock up on are grains, seeds, nuts, flours, and herbs.
Third, it is best that you prepare your own food. Prepackaged vegan foods are considerably much more expensive than making your own food from scratch.
89. What are the most common problems with a vegan diet?The first main problem that you would encounter is the lack of vegan foods and recipes, so you need to be creative and experiment with your menu planning. Other than that, other common problems include resisting non-vegan food cravings, gas, bloating and sometimes, it can interfere with your social life too.
90. Can a vegan diet cause diarrhea?Yes, consuming fiber-rich foods can cause diarrhea but you will only experience it during the transition. This comes as a result of your body adjusting to the new diet you are in. Wait for your body to adapt to your new lifestyle. This will be manageable after a few weeks.
91. What are the most common vegan diet mistakes?To minimize possible vegan problems, you need to stop or avoid making the following mistakes.
First off, you should avoid eating the same amount of food during your pre-vegan days. Keep in mind that the staples of a plant-based diet have a lower caloric density as compared with animal-derived foods so in order to have the same calorie consumption, you would need to eat more.
Another big mistake is not taking supplements. It is true that a vegan diet is healthy but still, it cannot provide you the full amount of certain nutrients (B12, A and omega 3 fatty acids) so you need to take some supplements.
You should also stop eating too much processed vegan foods. Yes, they are vegan but these foods are still highly processed and may contain huge amounts of preservatives and chemicals that may be harmful for your health.
Lastly, do not just rely on salads. A vegan diet is not just about eating raw veggies. There are plenty of vegan recipes to explore and try out!
92. Does going vegan require lots of food preparation?It depends on you. You can prepare your own food which may require time and effort but you can also take advantage of the canned or frozen vegan items.
93. Is there a way to mimic scrambled egg?Yes, there is! Scrambled tofu features the same texture as the scrambled egg and it is quite versatile as well. The best type of tofu for this is the extra-firm tofu (not the silken tofu!). Using a potato masher, you can break the tofu to mimic scrambled eggs.
94. What are the best oils for cooking vegan dishes?For frying, roasting and baking, the best oils are canola oil, coconut oil, ghee, corn oil cottonseed oil, sesame oil and peanut oil. For salad dressings, your bets option is flaxseed oil.
95. What sauces and dips do vegans avoid?The most common sauces and dips that are considered to be non-vegan are Worcestershire sauce, Caesar dressings and other cream-based dips and dressings.
96. What are the best vegan menu planning tips?When planning your weekly menus, stock up on vegan cookbooks, look for recipes online and opt for recipes with somewhat similar ingredients to help you save on time and money.
97. How long do fruits and veggies last in the fridge?Produce, like fruits and veggies can last up to 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
98. Which fruit or vegetable wilts the fastest?Berries tend to get mold the fastest.
99. Which fruit or vegetable lasts the longest?Root crops, like onions, garlic, beets and potatoes last the longest in the refrigerator.
100. Can you freeze veggies and fruits?Yes, of course! But you need to know a few tips when freezing produce. First of all, you should freeze produce when they are the peak of their freshness. You should keep them in air-tight freezer bags and store them at 0-degree Fahrenheit or colder. When freezing vegetables, make sure that you blanch it first, place it in ice water then dry properly before putting them in freezer bags.
102. Do you have any vegan snack recommendations?Some of the most popular vegan snacks are nut butter, energy balls, nuts, popcorn, roasted chick peas, fruits slices, salads, baked fruit chips, seaweed and smoothies.
103. What is the vegan substitute for dairy milk?There are actually plenty of dairy milk alternatives including (but not limited to) soy, almond, oat, hemp, coconut, rice, flax and quinoa milk.
104. What is the best vegan substitute for cheese?You can find lots of commercially available vegan cheese in grocery stores or you can also try making vegan cheese yourself.
105. What is the vegan substitute for egg in baking?There are plenty of egg substitutes for baking. For baking muffins, cakes and quick breads, you can use applesauce, fruit purees or a combination of vinegar and baking soda. For cookies, yeast breads and brownies, you can use flaxseeds and chia seeds.
106. What’s the best vegan substitute for eggs in cooking?For other recipes, you can substitute egg with agar powder, arrowroot powder, yeast mixture, tofu and apricot puree.
107. What’s the vegan substitute for eggs in binding?For binding purposes, eggs can be replaced with blended bread crumbs, mashed potatoes, flaxmeal, nutritional yeast and tomato paste.
108. What’s the vegan substitute for Worcestershire sauce?You can buy vegan versions of this sauce in grocery stores.
109. What’s the best vegan substitute for buttermilk?You can create a vegan buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of rice or soy milk. Let it stand for 30 minutes before using.
110. What is the vegan substitute for ice cream?There are already plenty of dairy-free ice cream products in the market. In addition to that, you also have the following alternatives—frozen bananas, shaved ice, and avocado.
111. What is the vegan substitute for meat?Some of the vegan meat substitutes are tofu, seitan, tempeh, mushrooms, jackfruit, legumes, beans, and lentils.
112. What is the vegan substitute for gelatin?The best gelatin substitutes are agar agar, carrageenan, pectin and vegan gel powder.
113. What is the vegan alternative for fish sauce?You can find lots of homemade vegan fish sauce recipes online.
114. What is the vegan alternative for oyster sauce?The best substitute for oyster sauce is mushroom stir fry sauce.
115. What is the vegan alternative for shrimp paste?To achieve the shrimp paste’s taste and texture, you can use a combination of fermented bean paste and miso.
117. What is the vegan alternative for animal broth?There is no better alternative for animal broth than the vegetable broth.
118. What is the vegan alternative for yogurt?Some of the emerging yogurt alternatives are coconut milk yogurt, arrowroot yogurt, soy yogurt and rice yogurt.
119. What is the vegan alternative for butter?For butter, you can use flax oil, margarine, nut butter, applesauce, coconut oil and prune puree.
120. What is the vegan alternative for sour cream?You can replace sour cream with coconut milk or soy yogurt.
121. What is the vegan alternative for mayonnaise?You can use hummus, guacamole, cashew or almond butter, mustard or tahini in place of mayonnaise.
122. What is the vegan alternative for honey?Some of the usual alternatives for honey are agave syrup, maple syrup or date syrup.
123. What is the vegan alternative for refined sugar?In place of sugar, you can use barley malt syrup, agave syrup, or maple syrup.
124. What is the vegan alternative for chocolate?You can find non-dairy vegan chocolates in the market today.
125. What is tofu?Tofu is a vegan meat substitute that is made of condensed soy milk that are sold as solid white blocks. This is manufactured by mixing soy milk with nigari, which is a salt that is extracted from seawater and helps tofu maintain its solid form.
126. What is tempeh?Tempeh is a vegan burger patty made from slightly fermented and cooked soybeans. As compared to tofu, this vegan alternative is much more flavorful.
127. What is miso?Miso is a paste with brownish to reddish color that is made from fermented soybean. It is usually used in Japanese recipes and is used in combination with bean paste to achieve the taste of shrimp paste.
128. What is TVP?TVP stands for texturized vegetable protein is a type of flour that is a by-product of the extraction of soybean oil. This ingredient is often used as a meat analog or extender.
129. What is seitan?Seitan is made from wheat and has the texture and look of meat when cooked. As a result, it has become one of the best vegan meat substitutes today.
Vegan and Health
130. Don’t we need to eat meat to be healthy?No, humans do not need meat to be healthy. In fact, all the vitamins and minerals that we need can be supplied by an animal-free diet. For every nutritional need that you have, you can find a non-vegan source for it (see nutritional sources section), so you do not need to consume meat to be healthy.
131. Is a vegan diet healthy for infants and children?The straightforward answer is yes. With proper meal planning and the right knowledge, infants and children can get the nutrition that they need from a vegan diet. In fact, there are a few vegan moms who are raising vegan children. However, there is one big concern about a vegan diet during early childhood, and that is the increased risk for vitamin B 12, D and calcium deficiency, so you need to find ways on how to properly prevent it.
132. Can I get enough protein from a vegan diet?It is a common misconception that we have to eat meat to get protein. For your information, grains and legumes are also good sources of protein too so you can get enough protein from this kind of diet.
133. Can I get enough vitamin B12 from a vegan diet?Yes, if you will carry out a few nutritional tips. What you can do is to consume vitamin B fortified foods two to three times a day or take supplements with at least 10 micrograms of vitamin B12.
134. What supplements do vegans need?To make the most out of your vegan diet, you need to take the following supplements—vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and DHA.
135. Can I get enough iron from a vegan diet?Green leafy vegetables, which are vegan diet staples, are also rich in iron and while the iron content in these foods are not as well absorbed as iron in meats, there is one thing that you can do to improve absorption—consume foods rich in vitamin C.
136. Can I get enough omega-3 fatty acids in a vegan diet?Yes, there are plenty of vegan foods that can provide you omega 3 fatty acids and you can find which foods are those in the nutritional sources of this article.
137. Is veganism safe for pregnant woman?Yes, there are actually plenty of vegan women who have had perfectly safe and healthy pregnancies. Here is a vegan diet story of Yulia Tarbath when she was pregnant.
138. Is veganism safe for breastfeeding?Yes, veganism is safe for breastfeeding women and breastfed babies. Go here for advice about food safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
139. Are vegans prone to osteoporosis?Yes, vegans are at risk of osteoporosis because of the lack of calcium in their diet. To avoid this, it is recommended that you take calcium supplements. These supplements can help you achieve the recommended dietary calcium that you need daily.
140. Isn’t too much soy bad for your health?Studies have shown that soy is not a threat to health. It has also been proven to be a healthy source of protein. If you are still in doubt, you will be happy to know that you can still enjoy a well balanced vegan diet without consuming too much of it.
141. Is it safe for me to go vegan even if I am anemic?Yes, a vegan diet is safe even for people with anemia. But there is a chance that you may suffer from iron or vitamin B12 deficiency. To minimize such risk, you can take supplements or fortified food products.
142. Can I get enough calcium from a vegan diet?It is true that dairy products are the most reliable and easiest source of calcium but today, you can find calcium-fortified foods (you can take a look at the nutritional sources section for this) that are vegan approved so getting enough calcium won’t be a problem.
143. Can I get enough fats from a vegan diet?Many people think that a plant-based diet is low in fats. The truth is, this type of diet may be low in saturated fats, but it is rich in the good fats—essential fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids. But if there is one type of fats that this type of diet lacks, it is DHA so make sure to take a DHA supplement.
144. Can I get enough vitamin A from a vegan diet?Vegans actually do not have any preformed vitamin A in their diet because this vitamin is often found in meat. However, this vitamin can be synthesized from carotenoid which is a substance that is found in plant foods.
To get enough vitamin A from a vegan diet, it is recommended that you consume at least one carotenoid rich food a day (you can find which these foods are in the nutritional sources section of this article).
145. Does vegan help you get rid of belly fat?The consumption of fiber-rich food can aid in losing belly fat but still, you should accompany it with regular exercise if you want it to work.
146. Is veganism safe for diabetics?According to studies, vegans with type 2 diabetes can significantly lower their blood sugar levels in the long run.
147. Is veganism good for the heart?Yes, and there are lots of reasons why. The consumption of plants increases the fiber in your diet and can reduce cholesterol levels because plants have less saturated fats. It can also reduce your risk of heart problems and lower blood pressure levels because plants contain omega-3 fatty acids.
148. Is it true that going vegan can improve mental health?Yes, it is. There have been studies that showed that people who have switched to vegan diets have improved mood and lesser stress. Researchers suggested that this benefit may have something to do with the removal of long chain fatty acids that are associated with symptoms of depression in the diet.
149. I am vegan, and I have low cholesterol. What can I do about it?Yes, since you are eating a plant-based meat-free diet, there is a chance that this may happen. To prevent this, it is recommended that you incorporate more healthy fats sources in your diet including avocado, seeds, nuts and coconut oil.
150. What are the best vegan calcium sources?The best calcium sources for vegans are kale, beans, dates, oranges, blackberries, broccoli, sesame seeds, almond butter, tahini, fortified products, and orange juice.
151. What are the best vegan protein sources?Some of the best vegan protein sources are quinoa, hummus, buckwheat, soy, quorn, beans, rice, seitan, and spirulina.
152. What are the best vegan B12 sources?To get vitamin B12, you would need to consume fortified foods and B12 supplements.
153. What are the best vegan sources of omega 3 fatty acids?For omega 3 fatty acids, you should consume more of flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, seaweeds, beans, leafy greens and winter squash.
154. What are the best vegan iron sources?The best plant iron sources are soybeans, tempeh, tofu, lima beans, lentils, quinoa, oatmeal, prune juice, blackstrap molasses, sunflower seed, squash seeds, cashews and unhulled sesame.
155. What are the best vegan vitamin A sources?The best sources of vitamin A are carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens.
156. How can I go vegan without damaging my relationships?The key here is to not impose your beliefs on others. Respect their beliefs, and they will surely respect yours.
157. My friends and family members are not vegan so how can I get the moral support I need to sustain this lifestyle?Many vegans have this problem—they don’t get support from their friends and family. Lucky for you, there are plenty of vegans who are willing to give you the support you need. You can join vegan forums where you can meet other vegans who will give you advice and support that you need.
158. Don’t vegans think they’re better than everyone else?The philosophy of veganism aims for fairness and equality for all and not superiority.
159. Will I be isolated from my friends and family when I go vegan?Some vegans tend to be extremists, causing people to shy away from them. To avoid this, you should avoid making veganism a big deal and avoid forcing your beliefs on people.
160. What should I do if my family and friends mock my beliefs?This is one of the saddest parts of being vegan—your family and friends making fun of something that is so important to you. If this happens, the best thing that you can do is to take the high road and explain to them calmly what your reasons are for going vegan. You can also encourage them to watch animal cruelty documentaries so they can have an idea of where you are coming from.
161. How can I survive holidays with non-vegan family?If you can’t stand seeing people cooking and eating animals, it would be best that you avoid spending time with your family over the holidays. But if you are willing to compromise, you can try bringing your own food to gatherings and events.
162. How can I raise awareness about veganism without getting hostile responses?The best way you can talk about veganism without receiving any hostility is to share your experience with others—what made you decide to be a vegan, how it changed your life, what benefits you have enjoyed and how it made you feel.
163. Do vegans hate people who eat meat?No. Again, veganism is about fairness and equality for all.
164. Why should we care about animals?Just like us, animals feel pain and suffering too, and that is why we should try to treat them as we treat other people.
165. I understand why vegans do not eat meat and use leather but why is going to the zoo prohibited too?Many people go the zoo to learn more about animals but the animals in the zoo are in captivity, and they are not free to roam around and live in their natural habitat. As a result, they easily get stressed and bored, and they would not act as naturally as you would want them to which would defeat the purpose of you learning more about them.
These days, zoos have become more for entertainment purposes than educational purposes, and by paying the zoo entrance, you are taking part in the belief that animals are created for our use and pleasure which is against the whole philosophy of veganism.
166. What about the insects killed to grow vegetables and fruits?Insects do not have a highly developed brain, so they do not feel pain.
167. How about animals raised in free-range farms?Free-range farming gives animals freedom to roam outdoors so it may seem less cruel but the living conditions of the animals are still inhumane because they are all crowded in one shed with only a single exit. Plus, they will also be killed for consumption later on so what’s the difference?
168. Why should I be vegan when I don’t care about animals?Yes, because veganism is not just about animal-friendly—it is environmental-friendly too. Farms and establishments which raise animals for food uses up more resources (water and land) and creates more greenhouse gas emissions than the emissions of all vehicle in the world combined.
169. How does consuming dairy products hurt cows?Just take a look at how cows are treated in farms—they are housed indoors, and cows who are lactating are tied in stalls.
170. Why should animals have rights?Animals are living things like us, so they have every right to have their rights.
171. Is animal suffering more important than human suffering?No, of course not but animal suffering is not, in any way, less important than human suffering so we should care about them too.
172. Can fish feel pain?Just like mammals, fishes have nervous system and brain so they can feel pain too. There are also some studies that showed that fishes might also feel fear too and they may have increased breathing rate and adrenaline rush when they are feeling threatened.
173. Will my choice make a difference?Yes, your decision may seem simple and little but it can make a great impact and can save the lives of many animals.
174. Didn’t the bible say we should eat meat?There is no verse in the Bible that says that we should eat meat.
175. Why is eating meat bad?It is not a matter of being right or wrong—it is a matter of saving animal’s lives or reducing their suffering.
176. Is it wrong to keep an animal as a pet?There is nothing wrong with keeping an animal as a pet, but it would depend on where you will get the animal. If you will get your pet from a shelter, then you would be giving that animal a better life. But if you will be getting it from a pet store, then you will be helping the breeding industry which practices inhumane methods of breeding animals.
Eating out and Traveling
177. Isn’t it difficult to eat out when you are vegan?Before it can be a big problem since there are only a few restaurants that offer vegan options but that is not much of an issue today.
178. How can I be sure that the dish I will be served is vegan?The best way to make sure that you will not be served anything non-vegan is to order dishes that are straightforward vegan like beans, salads and fruit platters.
179. How to eat vegan when traveling?The key to eating vegan is doing your research. Know which restaurants offer vegan and what kind of dishes they are offering. And as mentioned above, stick to safe choices like the ones that we have mentioned.
180. How can I stay vegan when eating out?The key here is to be creative. It is important that you check ahead about what the restaurant is offering. You can also ask the server for vegetarian substitutions. If you will be eating at a steakhouse, order just the sides.
181. What do I do if the waiter screwed up my order and gave me a non-vegan dish? Should I send it back or should I just throw it away?This is the very reason why it is recommended that you stick only to eating in vegan restaurants—to minimize the risk of having non-vegan ingredients in your food. But if this happens to you (which is quite inevitable), the best thing that you can do is to send it back and ask them to create your order correctly (in the most polite way possible). Do not be afraid to speak up for yourself (after all, you are a paying customer) but make sure that you do it in a non-confrontational manner.
182. How can I find vegan-friendly restaurants?You are one lucky vegan because these days, you can now find plenty of apps that can help you locate restaurants that offer vegan-friendly options in their menu.
184. What apps can I use to help me in my vegan transition?Some of the vegan apps that can make the transition easier are menu planner, ingredient checkers, vegan restaurant locators, farmer market locators and apps that give you nutritional of different recipes.
185. What ingredients to avoid in skin care products?Common animal by-products that can be found in skin care include lanolin, castor oil, beeswax, musk, keratin, tallow, and pearls.
186. What ingredients to avoid in shoes?Animal by-products found in shoes are suede, alligator skin, kangaroo skin, snakeskin, and leather.
187. What ingredients to avoid in wallets and purses?For wallets and purses, try to avoid suede, leather, and snakeskin, kangaroo and alligator skin.
188. What ingredients to avoid in ties?For ties, the ingredient that you need to avoid is silk.
189. What ingredients to avoid in food?Aside from cow’s milk, other animal by-products that can be found in food are shellac, whey powder, vitamin D3, lard, l-cysteine, lactose, gelatin, casein, carmine, butter fat, albumen and bone char.
190. What ingredients to avoid in cosmetics?Some of the commonly used animal by-products in cosmetics are hyaluronic acid, royal jelly, beeswax, squalene, tallow, mink oil, musk oil, caprylic acid, emu oil, silk powder, and keratin.
191. What ingredients to avoid in clothes?Animal by-products used in clothes are fur, wool, angora, silk, cashmere, and leather.
192. What are some hidden animal ingredients?Some of the hidden animal ingredients are lard (baked goods and crackers), lactose (baked and processed goods), casein (cream cheese and sour cream), suet (baked goods and margarine), whey (bread and crackers), carmine (hard candies) and albumin (cereals and puddings).
193. What about “organic” label?Organic foods have become quite popular because they share the same goals with vegan foods regarding environmental quality, health, and animal welfare. However, a product that has an organic label does not automatically mean that it is vegan.
194. What is pareve?This is the term used for foods that are neither meat nor milk. However, these foods are not automatically considered to be vegan as some of them contain animal by-products.
195. What is the difference between cruelty-free and vegan?A vegan label means that the product does not contain animal or animal-derived ingredients while cruelty-free label means that the products are not tested on animals.
196. What do they mean about products labeled as “99% Vegan”?Such term is used to refer products that were manufactured using equipment used in manufacturing products that contain dairy. This means that there is a chance that the product contains residual dairy. Many vegans refrain from buying these products, but some would claim that you should not bother yourself with this. Fussing over this issue will not help any additional animals. Instead, it will just make veganism look challenging and complicated than it really is.
197. What are the environmental advantages of becoming vegan?The production of meat and other animal-derived products require plenty of environmental resources. The amount of grain feed required for these processes contributes to habitat loss, deforestation, and extinction of animals.
198. What are the digestive benefits of going vegan?When you eat more of fiber-rich foods, like vegetables and fruits, you can enjoy plenty of digestive benefits like the prolonged feeling of fullness and regular bowel movement.
199. What are the health benefits of becoming vegan?In addition to digestive benefits, some of the scientifically proven health benefits of a plant-based diet include increased energy and a youthful looking skin. In addition to that, this type of diet is rich in essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. It also reduces the risk of obesity, heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes.
200. Is a vegan diet safe for cats and dogs?If you are on a vegan diet, it will not come as a surprise that you would want your pets to enjoy the same diet too. According to studies, cats and dogs have high chances of thriving on a vegan diet but they do, however, need some supplements.For cats, they would need additional Vitamin A, arachidonic acid and taurine while dogs may benefits from additional L-carnitine and taurine.
Make the Right Decision
Making the decision to go vegan is a tough choice. It would require enormous amount of lifestyle change so you have to make sure that you are fully aware of what you are entering before you decide to make the switch.
I hope that by answering 200 of the most frequently asked questions about going vegan can help you take the right step. If you have found this article useful, please do share it with your friends!
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