FAQ Regarding Going Veg
Trying Veg has never been easier! :-) Check out these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and answers. Please contact us if you have a question that isn't addressed here and we will be more than happy to answer it and also add it to this page :-D
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What if I Really Love the Taste of Meat?
There are lots of delicious vegan foods,and foods that imitate animal products are getting more and more realisticevery day. Going vegan doesn’t mean using your will power to endure a diet ofkale and ice chips. Rather, going vegan means discovering your new favoriteplant based foods and learning to cook new delicious dishes.
Protein deficiency is essentiallynonexistent among those eating enough calories. Most vegetables have enoughprotein to meet your RDI for protein if you eat 2000 calories of them. Forexample, 2000 calories of brown rice and broccoli will meet your needs forprotein. Same goes for cucumbers. On average, even vegans get 70% more proteinthan they actually need. It’s also a myth that vegans need to worry about proteinbecause plant proteins don’t contain all the essential amino acids. It’s veryeasy to get all the essential amino acids you need.
Good vegan sources of protein includelegumes (beans, lentils, peas, peanuts), grains (rice, wheat, oats, quinoa, etc.),nuts and seeds, soy products, and seitan. Any diet that includes grains plusone more good source of plant protein is guaranteed to have all the essentialamino acids in it.
What ifI’m an Athlete?
See above for good sources of protein.Dave Carter is a vegan defensive lineman in the NFL. Several ultra-enduranceand ironman top athletes are vegan such as Rich Roll. The winner of Germany’s“strongest man” competition is vegan Patrick Baboumian. The only American toquality for the 2016 Olympics for weight lifting, Kendrick Farris, is vegan.
Is aVegan Diet Healthy?
According to the American DieteticAssociation, the largest association of dieticians in America, vegan diets arehealthy and may help prevent various degenerative diseases. Scientific evidenceshows that you can prevent and reverse heart disease, the number 1 killer inthe U.S, with a vegan diet. The world health organization classifies processedmeats (bacon, hot dogs, sausage, ham, pepperoni, etc.) as level 1 carcinogens,the same category as smoking and asbestos. The world health organization alsoclassifies red meat as a level 2 “probable” carcinogen.
What about B12?
Vegans should supplement with vitamin B12, whichis a vitamin made by bacteria. Theoretically you could get the B12 you need byeating dirty fruits and vegetables contaminated with the bacteria that producesthe B12. However, the best option for health is to take a B12 supplement. B12supplements are cheap and provide all the B12 that you need. You can also pickup B12 fortified foods, many plant based milks are fortified with vitamin B12.
Aren’twe Omnivores? Isn’t Eating Meat Natural?
Just because we *can* eat animal products doesn’t mean that we *should*. (Similarly: just because something is natural doesn’t meanwe *should* do it. For example, itseems like violence is pretty “natural” to human beings and other animals butthat doesn’t mean we should be violent). Also, our closest relatives in theanimal kingdom get 97% of their calories from plants (and the rest frominsects). Moreover, scientists think that for the vast majority of humanhistory that meat has been a luxury item eaten rarely.
Aren’tVegan Foods Expensive?
It is a myth that a vegan diet is moreexpensive than standard American diets. A diet based on grains, legumes, andproduce that is in season is the cheapest diet you can eat and is the dieteaten by poor people around the world. Even some imitation meat and dairyproducts are cheaper than the real thing (e.g Boca “beef” crumbles are cheaprper pound than ground beef from cows). Additionally, imitation products aregetting cheaper everyday as more and more people choose to eat plant-basedproducts.
What About Lions?
We are not lions, and we typically don’tlook to lions as moral exemplars or role models. Unlike lions, we don’t have toeat meat to be happy and healthy.
Don’t Plantshave Feelings Too?
Plants don’t have nervous systems. Allour available scientific evidence suggests that the capacity to feel paindepends on having a nervous system. Even if plants do have feelings, it ishighly unlikely plant agriculture makes plants suffer in the way animalagriculture makes animals suffer. Also, in order to meet the demand for animalproducts we have to feed animals in animal agriculture plant crops. Thus, evenif plants have feelings too, we still reduce our contribution to suffering byjust eating plants.
What Aboutthe Field Mice that get Killed in Plant Agriculture?
See above. Animals in animal agricultureget fed plant crops, thus more animal products consumes means more field micegetting killed in plant agriculture. We minimize our contribution to sufferingby eating plants.
Can I ReallyMake a Difference?
By reducing our consumption of animalproducts we decrease economic demand for animal foods. More and more people aregoing veg, and by going veg you help normalize veg diets. This in turn willmake other people more likely to go veg which has a ripple effect resulting inmore and more people going veg. And we’re already making a difference: in 2014 (comparedto 2007) 400 million fewer animals were raised and slaughtered for food.
Don’t FarmAnimals Only Exist Because We Eat Them?
This does not justify the suffering thatanimals experience on factory farms. Just as it would be wrong to bring a humaninto existence just to torture and slaughter them, it is wrong to bring ananimal into existence only to torture and slaughter them.
Isn’tthe Problem Really Industrial Capitalism?
We currently live under capitalism, andunder capitalism the best thing we can do to ease animal suffering is to buyand eat plant-based foods.
Won’tGoing Veg Put Farmers Out of Business?
Farmers can transition to growing plantcrops. Cattle and pig farmers have been transitioning to growing soy, corn, andwheat. Elmhurst Dairy, a dairy company which has been in business for 90 years,recently switched to producing 100% plant based milks.
WhatWill Happen to All the Animals If the Whole World Goes Vegan?
A vegan world won’t happen overnight, itwill be a transition. As fewer animal products are demanded in the market,fewer animals will be brought into the world only to be slaughtered.
Doesn’tthe Bible Say We Have Dominion Over Animals?
Dominion means stewardship not the rightto do whatever we want to animals. Vegan values are Christian values. Eden wasvegan, several prophecies such as Isaiah 11:6-9 (where the “lion lays down withthe lamb”) foresee a return to a vegan world which is depicted as ideal. Godwant us to be merciful: “Blessed are the merciful” Matthew 5:7. Jesus taughtcompassion, and there is nothing compassionate about 99% of animal agriculturefacilities [as 99% of animal products are products in Concentrated Animal FeedingOperations such as the one found here (warning- link contains graphic content)according to the latest USDA census data].
Isn’tSoy Bad For You? Does Soy Have Estrogen in it?
There are several misconceptionsregarding soy. Soy doesn’t actually contain estrogen or any chemical that hasthe effect of estrogen on the body. This myth derives from the fact that soycontains chemicals that look similar to estrogen, but research has shown thatthese chemicals do not affect the body like estrogen. Soy is actuallycorrelated with a decrease in riskfor breast cancer (which is linked to high estrogen levels). Both men and womencan eat many soy products and be healthy. Other people who are veg eat zero soyproducts and are healthy.
Don’tCows Need to be Milked?
Cows don’t produce milk unless they havea child. Cows only need to be milked because we artificially impregnate themwith a highly invasive procedure (which involves a farmhand putting their wholearm into the Cow’s anus to manipulate the uterus) and then separate them fromtheir children. The bond between mother and child is the strongest bond thereis and mothers will cry for their children for days. Male offspring in thedairy industry are raised for veal which involves restricting their motion andfeeding them a purposely iron deficient diet so that they’re flesh has the“pale grey” look that veal consumers want. Once a cow’s milk production startsdeclining they are slaughtered for low-grade meat. Dairy is the cruelestindustry.
WhatAbout Organic Meat?
The organic label does not require higherwelfare standards. In fact, welfare conditions on organic farms are worse becauseanimals aren’t given antibiotics. Given that conditions are ripe for disease onfactory farms (cramped, stressed animals often standing in their own waste)this results in large numbers of sick animals on organic farms.
WhatAbout Local Meat?
Local does not mean humane, factory farmsare typically “family owned.” Even “small” farms practicing “traditionalagriculture” typically engage in many cruel practices such as castrating pigswithout pain killers, separating babies from mothers soon after birth, andrestricting the movement of veal calves.
WhatAbout “Free Range” or “Grass Fed” Meat?
The USDA does not regulate the use of thephrase “free range” with respect to any animals except poultry raised for meat.Since there is no legal definition of free range with respect to eggs, thelabel is essentially meaningless. In order to count as “free range” accordingto the USDA farmers only need to provide chickens “access” to the “outdoors.”There are no requirements for the length of time the outdoors are available, orthe quality of the land they have access to (may be dirt or gravel). There isno legal definition of “grass fed.”
WhatAbout “Humane” Meat?
There is no legal definition of “humane”enforced by the USDA. Deceptive labeling practices are the norm in theindustry. According to the USDA 99% of animal products come from CAFO’s (ConcentratedAnimal Feeding Operation) where humane treatment is effectively impossible andabuse is the norm.
WhatAbout People Who Can’t Go Veg (e.g the Inuit, those living in food desertsetc.)?
It is not the position of the ColumbusVeg Community that everyone in the world should go vegan. Rather, only thosewho can go vegan should go vegan. That includes most, if not all, of us livingin Columbus. Please contact us if you would like support making veg changes toyour diet and we will be so happy to help in any way we can :-)
AnimalsAren’t Self-Aware/Aren’t Conscious
If animals aren’t conscious, then soaren’t many humans (infants, senile, persons born with limited cognitiveabilities). But we don’t think it’s OK to eat any of those humans. Besides, arewe really sure that animals aren’t conscious? Why not just play it safe? Animalsdo have brains, nervous systems, and nerve endings, so at the very least theyare capable of experiencing pain in the same way humans do.