#1 What do you eat?
When I explain to people that I don’t eat meat or any kind of dairy, they often start to think there are no other options and they wonder what it is that I can eat. There is actually a HUGE variety, so I certainly can’t list everything here. But I grew up eating mostly fruits and vegetables, so for breakfast every morning I make myself a smoothie with a banana, frozen fruit, and almond milk. As the day goes on, I will often eat fresh fruit like watermelon, apples, oranges, strawberries, grapes, and anything in between. Before dinnertime rolls around, I like to eat carrots and/or pretzel crisps with hummus or avocado. For dinner, there are a lot of options as well. When I’m at home, a few examples of what my mom might make for dinner are build-your-own burritos with fajitas, rice, beans, guacamole, vegan sour cream, etc.; a number of different pastas; a number of different soups; pizza with vegan cheese and vegetable toppings; pancakes with vegan sausage . . . and the list goes on! After some practice and experimenting, it becomes easy to substitute dairy ingredients with almond milk, flax, and other vegan substitutes you can buy at the store. While I’m in college, staying vegan proves to be much more difficult because I don’t have access to a kitchen, but there are microwaveable vegan meals that can be bought at grocery stores as well as the frozen leftovers I bring back from my house.
#2 Where do you get your protein?
In short, I get protein from beans, nuts, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. By eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, I can consume different types of amino acids, which build up to become protein. Most Americans actually have a misconception about protein, which I wrote about last week in The Truth About Protein.
#3 What’s the difference between vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian?
A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat at all. A pescatarian is someone who does not eat most meat, but does eat fish. A vegan is someone who does not eat animal products. So not only does a vegan avoid eating meat, but vegans also do not eat anything containing milk, eggs, cheese, butter, etc.
#4 Is honey vegan?
This is a debated topic amongst vegans. An article by PETA explains that vegans should not eat honey because bees are factory-farmed animals that suffer. For example, many bees are killed during transportation and queen bees often have their wings cut off. Still, a lot of vegans are willing to eat honey because they figure that insects don’t suffer as much as other animals, or they don’t really see insects as animals. In my opinion, honey is not vegan because insects are indeed animals producing this honey, and to be vegan means to eat no animal products.
#5 How do you get Vitamin B12?
I am often low on vitamin B12. To combat this, I take B12 supplements once a week. There are also a number of B12 fortified foods that vegans can eat.
#6 Doesn’t the Bible endorse eating animals?
Yes and no. There are passages that support eating meat and there are passages that support eating plants. In the original state of the earth, however, Adam and Eve did not eat meat — they only ate plants. Genesis 1:29-30 says this:
“Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.’ And it was so.”
After the Fall, however, death was introduced to the world, and God allowed people to eat animals. Genesis 9:3 says this:
“Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”
So, eating meat is not a sin. I choose to be vegan for the sake of being healthy and for the sake of the factory-farmed animals who suffer badly.
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