I recently started a new job where we have about two lunch meetings a week, or like this week, we have three. As a vegan, this was not very good news, as most people hold several very common misconceptions about those of us on a vegan diet.
- “You must not like food.” I think that this is the most common misconception about veganism. If we eat a plant-based diet, we must not like bread, cookies, or any food that would be worth eating, which is certainly not true, at least not for me. In fact, I love food, but as a vegan, I choose to exercise awareness about the food I am putting in my body. For instance, I read the ingredients of the food that I am eating and consider how those ingredients will I affect me once I consume them.
- “You must only eat salad.” No, I don’t only eat salad. In fact, I probably should eat more salad, and I would probably surprise a lot of people with how few salads I actually eat. Yes, I eat a plant-based diet, but there are so many more options for someone on a plant-based diet than a bowl full of lettuce. Some people may be surprised that many vegans enjoy pasta or french fries, while others may be surprised to learn that there are a wide variety of vegan recipes for vegan desserts, like this one.
- “You must be skinny.” I have some vegan friends who are very thin, but I lean more towards the slim side. In fact, despite being a vegan, I struggle with my weight. As I noted above, there are still many foods available on the vegan diet that could cause one to put on weight. As with any diet, one must exercise moderation when consuming food, as well as monitor how much one is eating from each food group. For more information about the four food groups vegans should eat from, please click here.
- “You must be a fitness guru.” I wish I was. I love to workout, but I am by no means a fitness guru. Diet and fitness are two completely separate things. For instance, I may practice a vegan diet, but that doesn’t mean I also practice yoga. Without having conducted a study to prove this, I would like to assume that vegans generally tend to be more health conscious and, therefore, tend to be more concerned with maintaining an active lifestyle. However, I know plenty of vegans who don’t exercise at all.
- “You must not get enough protein.” I left this for the very last one because I hate this comment. If I only I ate lettuce, like most people assume, I would not get enough protein. But because I try very hard to eat from the four food groups mentioned above, I manage to get protein just fine. Some of my favorite sources of protein include black beans, quinoa, and broccoli. These items are all relatively inexpensive (definitely less expensive than meat) and simple to incorporate into one’s diet. If you haven’t already, you should try it sometime.
What did you think of these common misconceptions? As a vegan, has anyone ever assumed that you only like to eat salad or as a non-vegan, were you surprised to find out that many of these things do not apply to some, if not all, vegans? Please share your thoughts and comments down below.
The featured photo was taken by Omar Lopez. Find more of his work at unsplash.com.