Vegans Eat French Fries

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When most people hear the term “vegan” they think of skinny, tree-hugging, granola-eating PETA members with dreadlocks and faux-leather vests. Many also assume veganism is unhealthy because the diet does not provide enough protein, vitamins or minerals. After all, vegans only eat vegetables, right? Additionally, a lot of people believe going meat-free is expensive. If these myths are preventing you from being a vegan or you think they are some pretty strange people, forget anything you have heard because veganism is fun, healthy, delicious and cool.

First is the myth about the appearance of vegans. Sure, there are some stereotypical hippie vegans out there, but not all are that way. Did you know Mike Tyson is vegan? Last time I checked he didn’t have dreadlocks. How about Anna Nicole Smith and Ellen DeGeneres? You would never know about their meat-free diet by their appearance or profession. The stereotype started when veganism was a social statement for the counterculture of hippies in the 1960’s, but now more people are simply doing it for health benefits. The face of today’s vegan is healthy, not hippie.
Also, people go vegan for different reasons so not all are avid PETA supporters. In fact, some dislike the organization because it equates animal and human rights. Personally, I do not agree with the organization because I believe animals were put on the earth for our use. I choose not to eat them for health reasons, not because I feel bad for the little piggy.
My favorite misconception is that veganism is unhealthy because they do not eat a well balanced diet. If a person cares enough about what they do not put into their body, they care about what does go into it. This means plenty of nutrient-dense foods such as whole grains, soybean products, fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and oils. By eating these foods, vegans can get ample protein, fiber, iron and many vitamins. Vegans get protein, iron and fiber from beans, nuts, seeds, soy protein and a variety of grains. Calcium, fiber and even more iron can be found in vegetables like spinach, collard greens and kale. There is also calcium in whole soybeans, soymilk and soymilk products like yogurt and cheese. All foods from the earth contain vitamins so vegans have no problem there.
As for the price, vegan foods are comparable to their counterpart. Faux meat is usually a little pricier than the real thing but it balances out since other foods like bread, rice, veggies, and fruit are considerably much cheaper than meat. Dried or canned beans, lentils and peanut butter are all inexpensive proteins that are cheaper than meat. Though beans and nuts are not as protein dense as a steak, there is no need to worry because the American Heart Association says Americans generally consume too much protein which has negative effects on our health.
It might sound like vegans eat like a rabbit, nibbling on raw veggies all day. On the contrary, vegan food has so much to offer, especially with all of the products available in the super market. While salads and fresh fruit are great, everyone enjoys satisfying comfort food. French fries, PB&J sandwiches, rice and beans and ramen noodles are all examples of vegan fare that appeals to omnivores and herbivores alike. Moreover, just about any dish you can think of can be “veganized” with the help of products like tofu, seiten (a wheat product with a meaty texture), tempeh (a soy based meat replacer) and vegan versions of burgers, bacon, sausage, ground beef, turkey and chicken. Besides meat substitutions there are vegan cheeses, milks, yogurt, mayonnaise, sour cream, ice cream and even whipped cream. They are delicious, easy to prepare and available in regular grocery stores. Now, vegans can remain meat-free and still feast on “soysage” at breakfast, burgers and dogs at lunch and even “turkey” on Thanksgiving.
Now that some meat-free myths have been debunked, you can accept veganism as a healthy, normal lifestyle choice. Whether or not you decide to give up animal products, know that vegans are not too different form omnivores. They can dislike PETA. They can be athletes. They even eat french fries.





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Burumun said...
Feb. 27, 2011 at 7:50 am
It might sound like you're not hurting a cow, goat or any othe animal by milking it, but you don't have to kill an animal to hurt it. In reality, there is no gentle farmer milking the animal by hand, and no seperate stall for each individual cow where they actually have space to move around. There are a ton of industry farms where all of the animals have minimal space and are machine milked. They get infected very easily and are fed tons of drugs and antibiotics, which, in addition to all ... (more »)
 
Medina D. said...
Feb. 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm

hmm................there's always one thing i never understood about vegans.

i can understand if someone wants to be a vegetarian, cause they believe eating animals is wrong, but vegans refuse to eat anything ASSOCIATED with meat, like dairy.

But by milking cows, or goats or sheeps or whatever, we're not hurting the animals.

And i remember visiting a nutritionist and we got to the topic of vegans for a minute or two and she said that yes a vegan can still get the required... (more »)

 
sunnyhunny This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 30, 2010 at 9:34 pm
This was a very well-written article, and I think it's great that you're trying to free vegans of the steryotypes that come with the diet choice.  I haven't eaten red meat for about a year, and it's for health reasons.  (Also because I don't like it)  I like animals, and do feel slightly guilty eating mamals, so that is a contributing factor, but not enough to be my reason for the diet change.
 
Emily_FUS replied...
Jan. 16, 2011 at 8:23 am

Oh wow, I didn't excpect anyone to actually read this, let alone commenet on it. Thank you so much for the sweet words! I am glad someone agrees with me about the whole animal rights issue. I like animals too, but if I see someone eating a hamburger it doesn't bother me one bit. Besides, it's practically impossible to be completely vegan. I'm sure some of my make-up has been tested on animals or I've unknowingly eaten non-vegan fare at a restaurant. It's really not a big deal.

Thanks a... (more »)

 
Emily_FUS replied...
Jan. 16, 2011 at 8:24 am
I don't know why that comment appeared twice?
 
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