10 Things You Should Know Before Going Vegan
Want to #govegan and save some animals in the process? Well, maybe it’s high time you found out the real truth, pros and cons, of switching to a vegan diet. Here are 10 things you should know before going vegan:
#1 Veganism Is A Lifestyle Not A Diet
Plant-based is a term used for someone who eats a vegan diet. Veggies, fruits, almond, cashew or coconut milk, tofu, legumes, you name it. But a vegan worries about more than what’s on the plate. A vegan will eat a plant-based diet, but also refrain from using any animal derived products in their home, including harsh cleaning products. They will also opt for cotton clothing, or animal-friendly clothing. No fur, leather, wool or silk allowed.
#2 Vegan Doesn’t Mean Healthy
There are many different types of vegans. For one thing, there is the unhealthy vegan, who dines out on vegan burgers and fries, vegan pizza, vegan bagels with vegan cheese, doughnuts, you name it. Then there’s the raw vegans, who only eat uncooked vegan food, like raw cookie bars and cakes, salads, and smoothies. Then there’s the well-balanced vegan who typically eats healthy, but will splurge every so often.
So, to answer a burning question, yes, there is such a thing as a fat vegan. It all depends on what they eat, how often they work out, and how many calories they’re consuming versus burning in a day.
#3 You Absolutely Need to Take A B12 Supplement
B12 is a bacteria found in animal products including meat and dairy. Vegetarians and carnivores get enough of it just by eating normally, but vegans can’t. You used to be able to get it from vegetables once upon a time, but now our vegetables and fruits are so waxed and “clean” that there’s no way. So you need a B12 supplement.
And take it seriously: not taking B12 can permanently damage your nervous system, metabolism, and red blood cell formation.
#4 Unless You Work With A Nutritionist, You’re Likely to Miss Out On Essential Vitamins and Nutrients
It’s true, you can get your essential vitamins and nutrients from an entirely plant-based diet. Literally everything except for B12, which you need a supplement for.
The catch is that you need to know what to eat and how much of it. Keeping tabs on everything from iron to vitamins A, B C and D, etc. can all get pretty conflicting.
So, either get vitamins that you can take everyday, or work with a nutritionist to learn how to properly eat each week to get them all naturally.
#5 Iron Deficiency, Unless You Know What to Eat & How Much
Iron is in everything from bean to tofu. The problem is that vegans will often eat things that have iron, thinking that’s all they need to do. In reality, you need to keep tabs on the things that help you absorb iron, like lysine, which can’t be made naturally so it has to be acquired.
A deficiency in lysine can cause loss of appetite, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and more.
Lysine is found in meat, but also dairy products like yogurt and eggs, so vegetarians and carnivores have no issues getting enough, but vegans need to be more careful.
#6 You Save On Average 198 Animals Per Year
Vegans like to say they save 198 animals from being killed per year, but in reality it’s 198 animals that aren’t “produced” to be slaughtered. The less animals eaten, the more demand goes down, which forces farms, ranches, and the big meat industry overall to scale down.
It also instigates more fast food and meat marketing.
The good news is that while vegans get all the glory of “saving” these animals, vegetarians do the same. By not eating the meat, they are bringing down the big meat industry as well.
#7 Unless You Go to A Vegan Restaurant, You’re Going to Have A Bad Time
This is the truth, and anyone who says otherwise is blatantly lying. It takes a toll after a while, not being able to go just anywhere to eat. Always having to research the place’s menu options in advance, and having to request some alterations.
For instance, say you want to go to Taco Bell, because they have a new vegetarian menu. You still need to request that they hold the cheese. And that can send the staff in for a loop, because they’re not used to doing that.
Or say you want to go to a nice sit down restaurant and every single vegetarian dish has either egg-based pasta, a creamy sauce made with milk/cream, or some other type of dairy. Even the dessert, it’s all milk-based or has eggs. Custards, cheesecakes, etc. You cannot eat there, at all.
This is why many vegans only eat at vegan restaurants, or stick to ordering the same meal or two from the few restaurants that are friendly for them to visit.
#8 It Will Impact Your Dating Life
It’s true, when you go vegan, you begin to question if you’d be better off dating another vegan. The trouble is that dating is hard enough as it is. And there aren’t many vegan males out there, it’s predominantly just women. So, if you’re a heterosexual female, or a gay male, you’re in for a terrible dating life.
Dating a non-vegan is possible, and highly encouraged by everyone other than vegans. The vegan community itself is not very supportive of it, due to ethical reasons. Especially if you live with the person. Then your fridge is mixed with vegan items and non-vegan items. Cooking becomes a trap. And your opinions may be scrutinized.
#9 It Will Impact Your Social Life
In the same vein, being the only vegan in your circle of friends means you’re making it hard for everyone. Maybe they all want to go hang out at the bar, and then hit up a restaurant, but you can’t attend because the bar doesn’t serve vegan-friendly beer (yes, that’s a thing), and the restaurant is all meat or dairy.
You can’t expect everyone to change their plans for the night just because of you, you’re the outsider here. If anything, you either need to politely decline, or accept that from now on, you should be the one to come up with plans.
#10 People Will Judge You
It may be trivial, but this is something you desperately need to keep in mind. Vegans aren’t criticized for what they do or don’t eat. They’re judged because
1) they claim their diet and lifestyle are the best and only way,
2) they are often rude and mean to anyone who isn’t a vegan,
3) often try to push veganism onto loved ones and strangers alike,
4) often talk about their diet like it has no flaws, which isn’t actually accurate.