Fear #1: But I'm not a hippie!
Most vegans aren't alternative, anti-vaccines, capitalist-hating, twice-a-week-protesting hippies. Just like any religion or movement, there are always the extremes that end up on the news and become the face of the religion or movement. Not every vegan starts off every conversation with facts about animal abuse and 1% capitalists ruining our forests just for agriculture for meat and dairy productions. Most of us are living our best and quiet lives and minding our own business. You can be whatever kind of vegan you want to be.
Many vegan bodybuilders are thriving off of just fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. and some don't even take unnatural supplements. Not all mommy-vegans refuse to vaccinate their kids and feed them acai bowls and raw vegetables daily. Not all yoga-instructing vegans meditate with goats every morning and let mosquitos bite them because "they need their food". Not all off-grid vegans live with rats in the middle of a forest because "they need shelter too!". I'm not here to make fun of people who do that but many non-vegans (and even some vegans) may consider these more extreme groups to be the faces of veganism which is not the case at all. Every vegan is the face of this wonderful lifestyle. Even the normal, boring ones who eat vegan junk food daily.
Fear #2: What about traveling?
If you are a frequent traveler, this may concern you the most. Road trip food, airplane meals and finding anything vegan to eat at a foreign place are just some of the worries you might have. When it comes to finding food for on the plane, you can either bring your own airplane snacks (without any liquids of course) or (if you booked your flight yourself) most airlines allow you to choose your vegan in-flight meal up to 48 hours before take-off. To combat the issue of getting relatively healthy snacks for road trips, you can also either pack your own picnic or visit websites such as HappyCow to find vegan-friendly restaurants wherever you are in the world. You can also use HappyCow or simply use Google to search for vegan-friendly restaurants when you arrive at your destination so you know exactly where you can find something to eat. For a worst-case scenario, you can always head to a local supermarket and get fresh fruits, vegetables and other snacks: it's cheap, easy and a great way to explore the local cuisine other than from tourist-based hotspots.
Fear #3: Isn't veganism expensive?
On the contrary! This is one of the biggest misconceptions about veganism. Yes, the so-called meat or dairy replacements are in fact pricier than the original kinds. It is also not a necessity. For most vegans, those products are just for occasions, such as summer grill parties or when you are really lazy to cook something up. Many vegans who started their journeys over a decade ago thrived on just cooking their own meals with grains, rice, vegetables, legumes, etc.
Kidney beans, lentils, rice, potatoes and tomatoes are just some examples of cheap ingredients that you can implement to your daily needs. Buying locally and seasonally also reduces your budget. Besides that, certain fruits and vegetables don't necessarily need to be organic. For example, fruits with hard outer shells (such as bananas, avocados and grapefruits) don't need to be organic, as their thick outer skins prevent pesticides from touching the edible parts of the fruit.
For those who are daily coffee drinkers like me, dairy-free milk alternatives may be a slight price increase when you do your coffee at home but it's a small financial sacrifice for your health. If you often drink coffee on the go, lattes with dairy-free alternatives cost exactly the same as their "normal" counterparts, so you can take advantage of that.
Chia seeds, nutritional yeast, goji berries and other exotic superfoods may have a lot of super ingredients in them but they are not a necessity for daily life. All in all, prioritize what is more important for you: your health and well-being or cheap, toxic meals that cause your body damage in the long run.
Fear #4: But I love cheese so much!
Cheese was honestly the biggest hangup for me when it came to switching from vegetarianism to veganism. I always thought to myself: It would be so easy to become vegan if I wasn't so addicted to cheese! So then I wondered why I thought this way.
After doing my research, I realized the addictive nature of this animal product. Even back then (circa 2014), there were already studies claiming that cheese has the highest concentration of the animal protein casein in comparison to other dairy products. Casein is a substance that, when digested, results in casomorphins. Caso-MORPHINS. Yes, they are opioids that belong to the same chemical family as morphine and opium. Protein powders including casein are therefore also addictive, fellow gym-freaks!
But don't worry, the addictive qualities of casein are not nearly as strong as with recreational drugs. It is still good to know why cheese may be the biggest hangup for those switching to veganism and take action by quitting it. And cheese is full of pus, antibiotics, and growth hormones anyway so that may also be a good reason to quit it.
Don't forget to subscribe if you want to receive e-mail notifications for when I upload the next blog post!