Veganism is a lifestyle choice, an ethical and compassionate one. People turn vegan for different reasons, maybe health, environment, or animal welfare. If you are unsure and swayed by common myths on veganism, here are some facts from a vegan herself:
Fact: Absolutely not! Vegans do NOT consume any animal by-products in any form or way. A simple example is not consuming dairy and honey, while vegetarians continue to consume those.
Fact: When did our regular Indian food WITHOUT ghee and dairy become too expensive? Going to fancy, expensive vegan restaurants daily is not a part of the diet. In fact, in any restaurant, aren’t the non-vegetarian dishes priced higher? There are several affordable dairy alternatives available in India very easily.
Fact: False! False! False! Tofu, tempeh, lentils, chickpeas, beans, grains, nuts, seeds, peas, oats and millets are just a few examples of locally available sources of protein that can be consumed. A balanced vegan diet will encompass all these ingredients. Besides, do we really need more protein than sportsmen like Virat Kohli, who is vegan?
Fact: Veganism came into existence in 1994 and 27 years later, the lifestyle simply get more popular. When is the trend passing over? It is NOT a trend. I have never come across a vegan who has decided to switch back to their older lifestyle.
Fact: Nope! Your every-day Indian is vegan too, WITHOUT the ghee on your roti. It is all about awareness. Cuisines like Chinese, Thai, and Mediterranean are also naturally vegan without the meat. Hummus is the most common, most loved dish by all and it IS vegan. Vegan cooking is also just like regular cooking, you do not have to give-up anything, simply replace your dairy ingredients with plant-based substitutes.
Fact: Not true! Vegans are people who give up meat and dairy for animal welfare. It is not just a diet, it is a lifestyle. The animal by-products given up are not just in the form of food, goods like leather and wool are also banished.
Fact: NO! Vegans are just trying to help and spread awareness to those who are blind to the animal cruelty. The reason why I turned vegan was because of compassion and I stumbled upon vegan documentaries. I am thankful for these “extreme” videos but that is what the reality is and it has to reach the masses.
Fact: Not at all. Vegan diets are well-balanced and healthy. If we try to remember our high school biology textbooks, they clearly state that the closer we r to the beginning of the food chain the better. This lifestyle has the ability to provide you with a nutrient-rich diet without the unrequired cholesterol from animals and their by-products.
Fact: Plants do not have feelings and neither do they feel pain when plucking fruits and vegetables. They DO NOT have a central nervous system. However, animals are smart, vulnerable beings with feelings, and watching their fellow animal get butchered in front of them is inhumane and disgusting on our part.
Fact: No way. I am studying culinary and in being vegan for 3.5 years, never have I felt that I am missing out. Being in the food industry, I can assure you have vegan food does taste good you will have no regrets.
After reading this, you may still find some or the other excuse to not be vegan, however, you need to just find one reason to turn vegan and hold on to that. There are several vegan support groups you can be part of and know more about it. A small change on our part can have a positive impact on the world.
(Check out my Instagram page here and look at the mouth-watering vegan dishes, try the recipes, order desserts and turn vegan.)