How to go vegan - the most asked questions
A beginner’s guide to veganism
This is explainer video is a beginners guide for everyone who wants to find out more about what being vegan and a plant-based nutrition means. Plus more in-depth explanations and links to further reading, videos and movies.
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WHAT IS A VEGAN DIET?
Being vegan means you don’t eat any animal products, so no meat, dairy, eggs, fish or anything that contains animal products (e.g. gelatine). Vegans do this for a number of reasons, including ethics, health and the planet. People who are going vegan for ethical reasons also don’t use animal products like wool, leather, etc.
Where do you get your protein from?
Plant foods can provide all the essential amino acids. In fact all protein is initially made by plants and it’s not necessary to eat animal tissue in order to get protein. Any animal protein you get is simply recycled plant protein. While protein is used for everything from maintaining muscle, to building blood cells, to growing your hair we actually need a lot less of it to than you think: the average male needs 55 grams, and the average woman needs 46 grams per day. Read more here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z8899j6
Plant protein is everywhere!
Below is a list of some of high-protein plant sources to give you some idea how easy it is to get even lots of protein on a vegan diet. I linked each of them with a recipe of mine as well: Nuts & seeds, beans & lentils,tofu, tempeh, quinoa, soy milk, chia seeds (I yet need to upload a recipe for you) and leafy greens.
There’s a major stereotype about vegans: that it’s unhealthy due to a lack of nutrients but this is false. A lot of people still hold the misbelief people that you need animal products like meat and dairy to gain muscle.
However, many vegan athletes have disproven this theory!
CHECK OUT THESE VEGAN ATHLETES
The tennis starsSerena and Venus Williams, the boxer David Haye, 9x Olympic gold winner Carl Lewis, Strongest Man Germany’s and world record holder Patrik Baboumian. Even former Mr Universe Barny du Plessis went vegan! And these are just a few of an ever growing list.
AND THERE ARE LOTS OF VEGAN CELEBRITIES
Alicia Silverstone, Joaquin Phoenix (executive producer of the documentary WHAT THE HEALTH), heartthrob Liam Hemsworth, the singer Miley Cyrus, Babywatcher Pamela Anderson and the lovely Ariana Grande. And of course Beyonce has raved about it. These are just a few examples.
Most restaurants offer vegan options on their menu and lots more vegan restaurants are opening every day all over the world. Cities like London, Brighton, New York, Berlin, Los Angeles are at the forefront of this massively growing trend. Below is a short selection of a few of my personal favourites:
By Chloe (US and UK soon)
Vegan healthyish food from burgers to salads
Copper Branch (Canada),
All vegan, similar concept to by Chloe
Le Pain Quotidien (all over the world) plenty of vegan options)
Swing Kitchen (Austria)
Tibits (Switzerland and UK)
Vegan and vegetarian buffet style
IS IT HEALTHY?
Vegetarians and vegans live, on average, 6 to 10 years longer than meat-eaters. Read more here: http://prime.peta.org/2012/11/longer
However, a lot of vegans still love junk food and sweet treats, so as long as you only treat yourself every now and then you will reap the benefits of going plant-based.
It’s all about taking the right steps and you will mess up occasionally but don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s a continuous learning process.
You can reduce the risk of mortality from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, obesity and cancers. In the US, cardiovascular disease is the number one health problem, causing nearly 1 million heart attacks annually and 2,150 deaths each day. Read more here: https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/...
Also, another great source of knowledge is the non-profit website www.nutritionfacts.org
WHAT ABOUT B12?
Omnivores get their B12 mostly by eating fortified animal products. B12 is fed to animals and this is how omnivores get their B12, by eating those animal products. To ensure you are getting enough B12, you will need at least 2,500 mcg B12 supplement once each week, or 250 mcg daily. Or, if you’re not a fan of taking supplements, you will need to make sure you are eating B12-fortified foods three times a day, each containing at least 25% daily value on its label. Source: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/daily-source-of-vitamin-b12/
Also check out this really interesting article by happycow.net for further infos about B12: https://www.happycow.net/vegtopics/health/vitamins...
Foods high in B12 include (check labels to be sure):
- Most breakfast cereals
- Soya milk
- Soya/veggie burgers
- Vegetable margarines
- Nutritional yeast
- Fruit and vegetable juices
A VEGAN DIET IS ALSO BEST FOR THE PLANET
By going vegan for one year, you can save 1,519,823 litres of water, 6,607 kilograms of grain, 1,022 square metres of forest and 3,322 kilograms of Co2. Read more here: http://thevegancalculator.com
More greenhouse gas emissions come from farming meat and dairy than from all modes of transport combined!
Going vegan can cut your carbon footprint by 50%!
AND BEST FOR THE ANIMALS
By going vegan for one year, you can save 198 animals. Noam Mohr, PETA member and mathematician extraordinaire, calculated each year the average person consumes:
- Roughly 130 shellfish
- 40 fish
- 26 chickens
- 1 turkey
- almost half a pig
- a little more than a tenth of a cow
This is because of the way supply and demand works. The less people buying animal products, the less animals factory farms will need to kill. https://www.peta.org/blog/vegans-save-185-animals-...
BUT I COULD NEVER LIVE WITHOUT…
Trust us, you can! The demand for vegan food has increased remarkably (in the UK alone by 1500% in one year!). It’s now easier than ever to find even vegan meat, dairy and even egg replacements in shops! Tastes are acquired, so you will also notice your taste buds are changing over time when you change your diet, so hang in there.
Below is a list or vegan products which are available (US and UK mainly). Please note this list is just a rough overview to give you an idea of the best brands catering for vegans. There are so many more products, it would be impossible to list them all though:
Linda McCartney Foods
Ranges from sausage rolls, to beef burgers, to scampi bites!
Please note that not all Linda McCartney products are suitable for vegans.
Ranges from fillets, to burgers, to fish fingers!
Please note that not all Quorn products are suitable for vegans.
Ranges from beef crumble, to sliders, to bleeding burgers!
Ranges from crispy chicken, to fish fillets, to barbecue wings!
Ranges from sausages, to deli slices, to pizza!
Ranges from roasts, to cheese, to sausages!
Ranges from mac and cheese, to cheesecake, to cheese sauce!
Ranges from spreads, to snacks, to mac and cheese!
Follow Your Heart
Ranges from mayonnaise, to cheese to eggs!
And think of all the amazing new dishes you are yet to explore!
The best thing about being a vegan, is the never-ending list of flavours you are yet to explore!
CHECK OUT VEGAN DOCUMENTARIES AND MOVIES
What the health (available on Netflix)
Okja (brilliant movie with Tilda Swinton, Netflix)
Forks over knives (Netflix)
AND THINK OF ALL THE AMAZING DISHES YOU'RE YET TO EXPLORE!
Check out lots of delicious vegan recipes here!