This is false through and through. It has been scientifically proved dozens of times that a balanced vegan diet is the healthiest of all (cf. Studies). All essential nutrients are contained in vegetable food, partly in an even higher concentration, as shown under Content of Nutrients (cf. Food content).
The opinion that a vegan diet is deficient is due to the animal industry’s decade long advertising and manipulation suggesting that humans need animal products.
This fictitious conviction holds on to the circumstance that vegetable food does not contain vitamin B12, which has to be substituted by vegans.
But very few people know that when humans eat meat, dairy products and eggs they take in vitamin B12 via supplements, too. For animals in intensive livestock farming cannot synthesize the vitamin themselves, thus it has to be added to their feed as a complement (cf. Vitamin B12).
The meanwhile hundreds of million vegetarians worldwide, who deliberately do without meat, are proof that this statement is untenable. Among them, there are millions of vegans, who in addition do not consume eggs nor dairy products and whose number is growing.
The biggest mistake that can be made when trying out the vegetable diet is to eat the same as before and just leave out meat. You will soon be disappointed by the taste. One needs to be open to new ideas and find substitutes to the habitual animal products. Tofu, Seitan, Tempeh and some lesser-known sorts of cereals and pulses can provide a far bigger variety than our traditional meat products (cf. Alternatives to meat & co.).
Many have said that by changing their diet they have experience a new pleasure of eating and cooking, not to speak of increased well-being. But it is up to you to try it out. One day, one week, one month – what have you got to lose?
Yes, that is true, they lived in caves and did their number one and two in the corner or in the forest and managed to do without cell phones, cars, computers, running water and heating. In other words, it is inappropriate to compare our life to that of our forebears of thousands of years ago.
Many hold on to the fact that man is not a herbivore but a carnivore. Both are true, man is an omnivore and consequently, he can consume plant based as well as animal products depending on what is available.
And until 100 year ago agriculture was not yet developed to such an extent as to provide sufficient plant based food to cover people’s calorific requirement. Especially in the winter people needed to fall back on meat and dairy products.
Today we have a wide range of possibilities to eat and live in a healthy way on a plant based diet.
Besides, prehistoric people did not have to cope with the problems we are faced with today: climate change, environmental destruction, scarcity of resources and overweight. As the consumption of animal products is the main reason of all these urgent problems, we should rely on a vegan diet. You can find further information on the effects of meat consumption on nature under: Food & environment.
Yes, it is true, vegans are extremely environmentally friendly – at least as far as their diet is concerned – and considerate of climate and their health.
But if we consider the almost fanatic cult that is being made out of taste, the probably least important of the senses – we might be inclined to call this attitude extreme. Whenever you switch on the TV, you are swamped by cookery shows, restaurant or dinner shows. Everything seems to turn solely around taste and the pleasure of eating, as if they were the most important things on Earth. And that is why billions of animals are tormented, the Planet and climate destroyed, why people suffering from hunger are deprived of food and why our health is endangered. Is that not far more extreme than being vegan?
Admittedly, many vegans have a militant attitude because they pursue their attitude 100 % and want to tell others about it.
We must keep in mind that very few of them shift to a vegan way of life just for fun. This decision is usually preceded by the gathering of information or by a certain experience. This happens rather accidentally in most cases and can be triggered by a variety of reasons. The ones read about the clearing of rain forest for meat production, others watch a YouTube video about pigs tormented in fattening stations and others watch one of the many TV reports or read about the negative consequences of a traditional diet for our health.
With all the negative effects caused by the animal industry that you can read about on this website, it seems nothing but logical that those who know about it also want to inform others. It is everybody’s responsibility to enlighten another one when he realizes that the other one is on the wrong track without being aware of it. Of course it is understandable that you are often desperate in view of all the cruel things happening behind the high walls of the animal factories (cf. Food & livestock products).
And it is also true that many vegans become intolerant when they see that all these horrible consequences are caused by consumer behavior. Can you expect them to be tolerant of that?
Yet it must be said that omnivorous people are far more intolerant or even hostile towards vegans. Most people do not understand these “grass-eaters” or they regard them as crazy, offend them and spread prejudices without having any solid notion of the whole stuff. The range of the products offered in shops also leaves a lot to be desired. 95% of the refrigerators are filled with meat and dairy products, with at best a 5% share of vegan alternatives. And even this angers some meat lovers.
This allegation is simply wrong. On the one hand, more than 90% of the world’s total soy production is fed to animals for meat production, which means that the meat industry is the main culprit in the clearing of rain forest. On the other hand, most of the products for human consumption that are available here are cultivated in the US.
Wildlife animals like lions, wolves, foxes, predatory fish and birds of prey, etc. cannot live without meat. Several of these animals are bound to eat meat for reasons of their digestion, on the one hand, on the other hand they are not capable of cultivating plants. There are cruel practices in nature, too, in the way the prey is hunted and eaten.
But these are not more than a shadow of man’s industrial livestock farming. No other system will be found in which animals are exploited in such a cruel and planned way.
In wildlife, animals can at least live in freedom and have a fair chance of survival. And they are not mutilated in their lifetime (cf. animal protection laws) just for the sake of profiting from them more easily. It is exactly man - who ought to be superior to animals in what he thinks and does - that lets himself be induced to do such immoral, irresponsible acts.
Yes, in principle. Especially when a healthy diet and way of life are concerned, everyone can decide himself. But when this decision involves the death of animals, damage to the environment and to climate, and the hunger of the poorest of our fellow humans, this freedom to decide appears in quite another light. Moreover, most people would not be capable of killing an animal themselves, so they do not directly decide themselves what to eat.
It is true, besides the diet, a vegan way of life also comprises cosmetics, clothing and household articles, which cannot always be traced back 100%. But here, too, with the required standard of information, it is relatively easy to lead a vegan way of life (cf. clothing, cosmetics, household)
From a quantitative point of view, however, the most suffering is caused by eating animal products. So it would be a big advantage, already, to do without eating animal products, even if you keep on using products of animal origin in other respects.
Even if you can avoid the slightest injustice, this is better than avoiding nothing. Imagine the fire brigade has to save 15 people from a house on fire, but the firemen know that they can only save 13 at most. They would do it nevertheless, even if they knew they could only save one person.
So every instance in which you do without eating animal products is a success.
What makes the difference between vegetarians and vegans is that the latter do not consume eggs and dairy products. Many people say, “I can understand vegetarians but I find vegans too radical.”
Vegetarians do without meat because they want to avoid doing harm to animals. Unfortunately, there is a far higher degree of cruelty to animals in the milk and egg industries than in meat production, which can be looked up under Cows and their milk and Eggs and one-day chicks.
And at the end of the short times when a cow, a laying hen (a one-day chick) is productive they are bound to be slaughtered. A milking cow is exploited for four years on average, e.g. Her horns are burnt out (cf picture), she is artificially inseminated every year and her new-born calf is torn away from her. In many instances, she stands in her own manure for her whole life without seeing daylight. And as soon as she does no longer give enough milk, she is slaughtered. A bull which is fattened for mere meat production does not have to suffer so hard and its suffering lasts only one year instead of four.
Wrong! It would pretty well be possible. As can be looked up under Food consumption of animals, 6.9 billion people could be fed with the grain and soybeans that are fed to livestock animals. In contrast, the animal products made with that amount of feed cannot nourish more than 1.5 billion.
For talking we need our mouth, for thinking our brains, for flying wings – and for feeling pain we need our nervous system – which is what plants definitely do not have. Yet, if plants were capable of feeling pain, this would be a far bigger reason still to live on a vegan diet. For a multiple amount of plant based calories is necessary to produce one single animal calorie. Cattle need 12 kg of plant based feed on average to produce one kilogram of meat. About 60% of the plants grown worldwide are needed for feeding animals.
Thus, far fewer plants would have to be grown if all people lived on a vegan diet. Estimates have shown that we would only need one half of the soybeans grown worldwide and only 60% of corn grain. For further information cf. Food & Resources.
This statement is based on the fact that in the cultivation of plants many small animals are killed by fertilization or by farming machines.
As explained in the preceding chapter, most plants are grown for the production of animal feed. However, if all people lived on a vegan diet, we would not need more than just one half of all the grain and maize fields, and, consequently, only one half of these small animals would have to die. And we must also bear in mind that the lives of more than 100 billion land and sea animals that are eaten by man every year could be saved.
Wrong again! As can be looked up under Nutrient Content soy products, nuts, pulses and cereals have a similar protein content as meat, fish and cheese. Seitan, a typical vegan food, consists of even up to 80% of protein. This is four times the amount of meat
This opinion is based on the assumption that not enough protein can be taken in with a vegan diet (cf. precedent chapter).
Yet, there are many instances which prove that one's physical strength can be increased with a healthy plant based diet. These instances are popular sportsmen like Mike Tyson, Patrick Baboumian (Germany' strongest man in 2011) and many others, to be looked up under:
Besides, many Basketball, Football and Soccer pros are attaching more and more importance to a vegan diet.
A large number of studies have proved that soy products increase our health and reduce the risk of cancer (above all breast cancer). http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/breast-cancer/about/risks/diet-and-breast-cancer
Unfortunately – as nearly always - there are also studies which refute this, which however seem to be influenced by the meat industry. It is obvious that the meat industry regards a soy-based diet as its big competitor.
One reason of the bad reputation of soy products is the instance of a Chinese, which was covered in the media recently. 420 kidney stones had to be surgically removed from this man, who had eaten tofu every day for many years. This case was welcomed with open arms by the meat industry and by opponents of a meatless diet. What was not said in the report is that the man had drunk far too little and that he had had an operation for kidney stones even before his tofu period. http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/69290316/420-kidney-stones-removed-from-man-after-too-much-tofu
Soy products are important protein suppliers which contain a large amount of minerals, like iron and calcium.
The argument that men tend to effeminate when they eat soy products is untenable, too. It is true that soybeans contain phytoestrogens, which are similar in structure to female estrogens, but their amount is so small that it can be neglected.
This ridiculous argument is put forward in many discussions when vegans criticize the meat industry's responsibility for environmental destruction. Why is this so?
Vegans are no supernatural beings and most of them have chosen this way of life in the first place because they want the cruelty to animals to be stopped and not for ecological reasons. Apart from that, it is a proven fact that by opting for a vegan lifestyle an individual can make the biggest contribution to protect the environment and climate and to prevent cruelty to animals.
Just by eating a single steak as many greenhouse gases are emitted as in a drive of 200 miles. (cf. 1 burger = 200 car miles).
So, one could not do very much by cutting down on driving and flying. Besides, these two means of transport are essential to many to earn their living, whereas the consumption of animal products is unnecessary and avoidable. To be vegan means to "avoid what can be avoided" and not to be supernatural.
First of all, it must be said that the words 'sausage' and 'burger' by definition refer to the shape of the products. These shapes are best suited to form the products and to fry them. Or, have you ever tried to fry a ball?
Besides, after watching the video "Simply. Live. Consciously." you know that there are so many reasons to eat a purely plant-based diet. Many people refrain from doing so because they fear that they will miss the taste of meat. Consequently, it would be desirable if one could imitate the taste of sausages, burgers, steaks and escalope – and on top of it avoid the far-reaching negative effects on nature, climate, our health, animals and world hunger.
So what can be wrong about making it easier for people to start a vegan lifestyle and to persevere in it by imitating these popular products?
Cooking and eating animal products have been integral elements of this civilization for centuries and it is impossible to turn this upside down from one day to another. Nearly all of us have learnt at least how to make scrambled eggs or how to fry an egg or a steak. Those who really want to do the whole cooking themselves instead of buying ready-made vegan burgers and steaks all the time, need to have some new background knowledge.
Obviously, it cannot be satisfactory at all to prepare the traditional dishes and simply leave out the meat in them. But you will quickly get used to the new way and it is big fun to try out new dishes and to get to know the huge amount of new products.
The variety of products is increasing constantly, which makes the start easier. You can find a survey under Alternatives to meat & co.
Prepare your meals with tofu, seitan, soy meat, nut butter, nuts and seeds, soy- or barley cream, with grain products, quinoa, amaranth grain and – above all – with lots of fresh vegetables and fruit.
It is undeniable that vegans are often laughed at or are not fully accepted. Yet it is often neglected that everybody feeds on purely vegan products at a rate of 60 to 70 percent. And now and then each of us has eaten purely vegan meals: spaghetti aglio e olio, penne all'arrabbiata, pasta with tomato sauce, French fries with ketchup, chips, peanut puffs, nuts, etc. But even if people may look at you questioningly, do not allow them to dissuade you. Those who decide to become vegans usually have good grounds for it. Unfortunately, our society does not make life easy for people with divergent opinions, which we are also shown by history. That is why as many people as possible must have background knowledge about veganism. The good thing is that there is a growing trend towards a healthy and conscious way of eating.
Also when you go to a restaurant for a meal with friends, it can be wearying to find a vegan dish. But most cooks are happy if they can try out something new from time to time and sometimes they offer animal-free dishes themselves. Here is a list of existing vegan restaurants in the US: https://www.happycow.net/north_america/usa/
It is also a prejudice that vegans have to spend more money on food. It is true that plant-based yogurts and milk drinks are twice as expensive as the originals but you can save money with other products.
In the long run, the costs of food are comparable.