As we look at a world that is becoming increasingly frayed around the edges, it’s not surprising that more of us are looking at the possibilities offered by a plant-based diet.
There’s no getting around the environmental impact of eating meat, along with the downright cruel nature of factory-farmed animals. Being a carnivore raises both ethical and health concerns.
Even with all these facts, many people are reluctant to make a change in their diets to a more plant-based approach.
Part of the reason is simple animal magnetism—many of us enjoy the taste of meat. We’re reluctant to give up our culinary preferences.
Which is understandable, for sure.
For some of us, the reluctance to adopt a plant-based approach is based on one of the myths about veganism.
So, perhaps, it is time to take a look at some of those myths and bust them.
Myth #1: Vegans are unhealthy/frail/malnourished
Perhaps the most persistent myth about a vegan diet is that it’s impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle without meat, or at least some animal ingredients. The myth of the frail vegan has been pretty pervasive, but actually bears no relation to the truth.
If you’re in any doubt about that, consider that Venus Williams, a tennis pro with an enviable career record, is vegan. So too is WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan The truth is that there are plenty of vegan meals with high protein that can ensure you stay healthy and pack on the muscle if desired. In fact, going plant-based may improve a person’s overall health.
Myth #2: It’s expensive to go vegan
The cost of your food bills may increase if you take a vegan diet to heart, particularly if you replace animal milk with pricey options like almond or oat milk. On the other hand, consider how much you would pay for a few plump chicken breasts or juicy ribeye steaks. Bringing home the bacon has its cost!
Now, think about how much the same volume of mushrooms would cost, or an equivalent serving of butternut squash. While some parts of the diet may incur a higher cost, others will offer a savings. Cutting out meat is likely to mean a lower spend at the grocery store.
Myth #3: A vegan diet is boring
It’s understandable that people will look at going vegan as a process where they give something up. After all, if most of their meals usually contain meat, suddenly going without is always going to feel like deprivation.
And here’s my beef with that idea. A plant-based diet opens up a whole new range of culinary ideas that bring some innovation and new life to your plate. Not only that, but it’s not even the case that you’re giving up all the fun, indulgent foods you used to love.
Pretty much any takeout joint will have meat-free options on the menu. You can also more easily find vegan chocolate without having to go to the ends of the earth to get it.
I have been incorporating a more plant-based approach to my gastronomic excursions. My crusty rosemary focaccia is a meal in itself with whole risen wheat, drizzled olive oil and kalamatas.
The French lentil soup steaming with onions, celery, carrots and cumin is a hearty accompaniment. Little gem lettuce gently torn and dressed with walnut oil, balsamic and dried cranberries completes the vegan feast.
The truth about going vegan is that it’s what you make it.
You can make it boring, expensive and unhealthy if you choose the wrong things. But if you want to get to the meat of the matter and open up your mind, you can make the most delicious meals. And you’ll save money and feel much better in the bargain.
Now that’s something to sink your teeth into!