Helpful Vegan Handout

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If you are vegan, then I am sure you are tired of the idiotic questions we are asked on a daily basis by family, friends, and even strangers. Granted, some are questions that I had myself before reading more about the lifestyle and experiencing it for myself. Nonetheless, they are extremely annoying and tiresome to have to go over countless times with people who seem to think their “clever” questions will show you that you need meat or other animal products in your diet. It is quite frustrating, so I wanted this post to be  a quick Q&A sheet that you may hand out to the non-vegans in your life so you will no longer have to deal with that hum of irritating questions. Here we go.

1. Q: Where do you get your protein? 

A: As the chart below shows, vegans and vegetarians have no problem with protein. In fact you may want to worry a little bit more about if you are getting enough protein. Oh, and also did you know that cooking meat cuts the amount of protein your body can use from it in half? Yeah. Seems like vegans are getting more protein now, doesn’t it?

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2. Q: Where do you get your calcium?

A: There are plenty of vegan calcium options. The foods listed in the image below along with many other sources provide more calcium for far less calories. And once again, if you are worried about the strength of our bones, maybe you should be more concerned about your own. Dairy products aren’t natural, so our bodies struggle to digest them, hence why there are so many people who are lactose intolerant. In order for our bodies to break these things down they must use the calcium we already have in our bodies. In the end, we have less calcium then before we drank that milk. I guess vegans get more calcium than meat-eaters too.

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3.  Q: Humans are omnivores though, right?

A: In fact, no. No, we are not. The oh, so common childish excuse that we have canine teeth isn’t going to cut it anymore. Despite the fact that this doesn’t matter because even if we were it wouldn’t justify us massacring and torturing others species with no physical need, are canines are actually meant for protection. They are far different than the canines of carnivores and omnivores. If you tried to bite into the hide of a cow, (surprise, surprise) you would not be able to. Not only that, other parts of our bodies say otherwise as well. The structure of our jaws, facial muscles, and intestines do not match those of omnivores either.  We are classified as frugivores. This means we are meant to eat fruits, vegetables, and nuts as the chart below demonstrates. Try arguing with those facts. (I’m sure you will.)

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4. Q: Why not just be vegetarian?

A: Well, apart from all of the other evidence that we are not intended to eat any type of animal product and they are detrimental to our health, vegetarianism just doesn’t cut it. It is nice to think you are saving animals by not devouring their flesh, but contributing to the dairy industry is just as cruel. Cows and chickens experience unimaginable suffering for their milk and eggs. In order to acquire a cows milk, a farm must get rid of its intended recipient, the baby cow. This is a horribly painful experience for the new mother and her child and happens countless times within the cows lifespan before she too is killed for her meat. As for chickens, they are packed into tiny cages sometimes with multiple chickens in one cage. They have their claws and beaks clipped off so that they cannot peck one another to death in response to such close conditions. Even in “free-range” farms, chickens are only given up to three feet of space each. And once again, once a chicken can no longer lay eggs, it will be killed. We must protect animals from not only their demise, but their torture and abuse as well.

5. Q: How do you go out to restaurants?

A: It’s easy. If you are lucky, there may be vegan restaurant options in the area. If not, there is always something on the menu that is vegan or can be made vegan, even if it has to be a salad. If eating a fancy, high-calorie meal that will last 20min. is more important to you than the entire life of another being, then you may have some issues. Self-control is an important part of life, get used to it.

6. Q: How are you helping the environment?

A: The meat and dairy industry is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock are also responsible for 64% of anthropogenic ammonia emissions, which contribute significantly to acid rain and the acidification of ecosystems. Factory farming also is responsible for the largest sectoral source of water pollution, contributing to eutrophication, “dead” zones in coastal areas, the degradation of coral reefs, human health problems, the emergence of antibiotic resistance and many others. Also, the need for pasture and feed-crop land is resulting in more and more deforestation. 70% of previously forested land in the Amazon is now occupied by pastures. This is an unreasonable amount of harm being caused to our environment by something that is so unnecessary for our health or survival and is even detrimental to both. Veganism could also aid in ending world hunger as less farm animals would allow large amounts of grain to be used to feed the starving people of the world.

 “[T]hose who claim to care about the well-being of human beings and the preservation of our environment should become vegetarians for that reason alone. They would thereby increase the amount of grain available to feed people elsewhere, reduce pollution, save water and energy, and cease contributing to the clearing of forests.…[W]hen non-vegetarians say that ‘human problems come first’ I cannot help wondering what exactly it is that they are doing for human beings that compels them to continue to support the wasteful, ruthless exploitation of farm animals.” — Peter Singer, Animal Liberation, 1990

7. Q: What if you are an athlete?

A: Veganism does not hinder your physical abilities in any way. In fact, veganism has helped improve the performance of many professional athletes and bodybuilders. The man in the photo below is vegan. He won the German log lift title for the fourth time in a row in 2012, and set a keg lift world record (115kg). He took the European Powerlifting title in Finland, and set a world record for fronthold by holding a 20kg weight for 86 seconds. A vegan diet has also helped ultramarathon runner Scott Jurek do better than he ever had previously in his 100-mile races, soaring above and beyond his competitors. If you are an athlete, maybe you should do yourself a favor.

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8. Q: But what about bacon?

A: Such an infuriating question. What about it? There are endless vegan versions of bacon that are just as delicious. You can buy them or you can even make them yourself. Also, bacon is horrible for you. I recommend developing some sense of self-control instead of killing pigs so that you can kill yourself for one moment of flavor.

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9. Q: Isn’t being vegan expensive?

A: It certainly doesn’t have to be. There are many pricey vegan alternative food options on the market, but they are not a staple for most vegans. All you need to do is buy fruits, vegetables, pastas, tofu, and grains. Once you figure our some recipes and what you need to have around the house, it can be even more affordable than a non-vegan diet. Milk and “fresh” meats are raising in price. Save yourself some money. Go vegan!

10. Q: Isn’t being vegan inconvenient? 

A: It can seem that way at first if you are in an area without many vegan outlets. However, once you get used to it, not at all. Knowing what you can and can’t eat becomes second-nature. You become exposed to the many others options there are around you besides meat and dairy, and trust me, there are a lot.

 

Well, I hope this will help all of you out there to better understand veganism and why it is the right choice for the animals, the planet, and your body. I also hope it can aid my fellow vegans in answering these mind-numbing questions again and again. So read up and pass it on! And don’t froget to stay peaceful. ❤