Here at MUTTS, we applaud our friends who’ve adopted plant-based diets, and encourage our omnivorous friends to explore meat-free options by participating in Meatless Mondays. And for those on the fence about going vegan, we’ve compiled (and debunked!) the following list of common vegan-related myths.
Myth #1: A plant-based diet lacks important nutrients.
We often hear concerns about whether vegan diets provide vital nutrients like calcium, B12, iron, and protein — but it’s actually quite simple to get all of these (and more) without consuming animal-derived products. For example, broccoli, nuts, and fortified soy milk are all excellent sources of calcium. Similarly, B12 is found in foods like breakfast cereals and veggie burgers, iron is found in oatmeal and leafy greens, and protein is available in ample supply in beans and lentils. Supplements, too, can play an important role in rounding out a balanced diet. For more information, we recommend the Humane Society’s Tips for a Complete Diet.
Myth #2: Going vegan is difficult and/or expensive.
Going meat-free doesn’t mean you’ll need to change your entire diet. Like most people, you likely already consume a wide variety of plant-based foods (such as beans, whole grains, peanut butter, and orange juice, to name just a few). And thanks to the growing popularity of vegan food, delicious and affordable meat alternatives are available at nearly all mainstream grocery stores. Some stores, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, offer an even wider selection than others.
Myth #3: Plant-based diets lack flavor.
We vegans know from experience that this myth simply isn’t true, and that plant-based diets are packed full of satiating flavor. But don’t just take our word for it! See for yourself by trying some of our favorite meat alternatives — such as those from Beyond Meat or Field Roast — or by checking out the MUTTS Vegan Recipe board on Pinterest.
Myth #4: Humans are “meant” to eat meat.
While humans from many cultures have indeed eaten meat for years, this history doesn’t prove that eating meat now is our most healthful option. For example, a Harvard Medical School article titled “Becoming a Vegetarian” states: “Traditionally, research into vegetarianism focused mainly on potential nutritional deficiencies, but in recent years, the pendulum has swung the other way, and studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating.” The article also refers to evidence that vegetarians are at lower risk for heart disease, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes.
Myth #5: My choices don’t really make a difference.
With any societal movement, effecting widespread change requires the compassion and dedication of individuals — one person at a time. Sure, in this case, some of those individuals include vegan celebrities like Miley Cyrus or Woody Harrelson, but even we non-celebs possess the ability to influence those around us. By choosing a plant-based diet, you may inspire someone close to you who’s considering making the switch. You can also create change by “voting”, so to speak, through the purchases you make. For example, if you and your family (and others in your community) buy fewer animal-derived products and more vegan products, your local grocer will be compelled to support those products, too.
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