FAQ Regarding Going Veg
Trying vegan foods 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 Love the Way Meat Tastes?
There are lots of delicious vegan foods, and foods that imitate animal products are getting more and more realistic every day. Going vegan doesn’t mean using your will power to endure a diet of kale and ice chips. Rather, going vegan means discovering your new favorite plant based foods and learning to cook new delicious dishes.
What about Protein?
Protein deficiency is essentially nonexistent among those eating enough calories. Most vegetables have enough protein to meet your RDI for protein if you eat 2000 calories of them. For example, 2000 calories of brown rice and broccoli will meet your needs for protein. Same goes for cucumbers. On average, even vegans get 70% more protein than they actually need. It’s also a myth that vegans need to worry about protein because plant proteins don’t contain all the essential amino acids. It’s very easy to get all the essential amino acids you need. Good vegan sources of protein include legumes (beans, lentils, peas, peanuts), grains (rice, wheat, oats, quinoa, etc.), nuts and seeds, soy products, and seitan. Any diet that includes grains plus one more good source of plant protein is guaranteed to have all the essential amino acids in it.
What if I’m an athlete?
See above for good sources of protein. Dave Carter is a vegan defensive lineman in the NFL. Several ultra-endurance and ironman top athletes are vegan such as Rich Roll. The winner of Germany’s “strongest man” competition, Patrick Baboumian, is vegan. The only American to quality for the 2016 Olympics for weight lifting, Kendrick Farris, is vegan.
Is a Vegan Diet Healthy?
According to the American Dietetic Association, the largest association of dieticians in america, vegan diets are healthy and may help prevent various degenerative diseases. Scientific evidence shows that you can prevent and reverse heart disease, the number 1 killer in the U.S, with a vegan diet. The world health organization classifies processed meats (bacon, hot dogs, sausage, ham, pepperoni, etc.) as level 1 carcinogens, the same category as smoking and asbestos. The world health organization also classifies red meat as a level 2 “probable” carcinogen.
What about B12?
Vegans should supplement with vitamin B12, which is a vitamin made by bacteria and found in dirt. The reason vegans and many omnivores as well should supplement with vitmain B12 is that our hyper sanitized modern world has removed the bacteria that make this vitamin from our plant foods and water supply. B12 supplements are cheap and provide all the B12 that you need. You can also pick up B12 fortified foods, many plant based milks are fortified with vitamin B12.
Aren’t we 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 mean we should do it. For example, it seems like violence is pretty “natural” to human beings and other animals but that doesn’t mean we should be violent). Also, our closest relatives in the animal kingdom get 97% of their calories from plants (and the rest from insects). Moreover, scientists think that for the vast majority of human history that meat has been a luxury item eaten rarely.
Is Veganism Expensive?
It is a myth that a vegan diet is necessarily more expensive than standard American diets. A diet based on grains, legumes, and produce that is in season is the cheapest diet you can eat and is the diet eaten by poor people around the world. Even some imitation meat and dairy products are cheaper than the real thing (e.g Boca “beef” crumbles). And imitation products are getting cheaper everyday as more and more people go vegan.
What about Lions?
We are not lions, and we typically don’t look to lions as moral exemplars or role models. Unlike lions, we don’t have to eat meat to be happy and healthy.
Don’t Plants Have Feelings Too?
Plants don’t have nervous systems. All our available scientific evidence suggests that the capacity to feel pain depends on having a nervous system. Even if plants do have feelings, it is highly unlikely that plant agriculture makes plants suffer in the way animal agriculture makes animals suffer. Also, in order to meet the demand for animal products we have to feed animals in animal agriculture plant crops. Thus, even if plants have feelings too, we still reduce our contribution to suffering by just eating plants.
What About the Field Mice That Get Killed in Plant Agriculture?
Please see the answer to "Don't Plants Have Feelings Too" above. Animals in animal agriculture get fed plant crops, thus more animal products consumed means more field mice getting killed in plant agriculture. We minimize our contribution to suffering by eating plants.
Can I Really Make a Difference?
By reducing our consumption of animal products we decrease economic demand for animal foods. More and more people are going veg, and by going veg you help normalize veg diets. This in turn will make other people more likely to go veg which has a ripple effect resulting in more and more people going veg. And we’re already making a difference. In 2014 compared to 2007 400 million fewer animals were raised and slaughtered for food.
Don’t Farm Animals Only Exist Because We Eat Them?
This does not justify the suffering that animals experience on factory farms. Just as it would be wrong to bring a human into existence just to torture and slaughter them, it is wrong to bring an animal into existence only to torture and slaughter them.
Isn’t the Problem Really Industrial Capitalism?
We currently live under capitalism, and under capitalism the best thing we can do to ease animal suffering is to go vegan.
Won't Eating Vegan Put Farmers Out of Business?
Farmers can transition to growing plant crops. Cattle and pig farmers have been transitioning to growing soy, corn, and wheat. Elmhurst Dairy, a dairy company which has been in business for 90 years, recently switched to producing 100% plant based milks.
What’ll we do With all the Animals When we all go Vegan?
A vegan world won’t happen overnight, it will 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't the Bible Say We Have Dominion Over Animals?
Dominion means kingly stewardship not the right to do whatever we want to animals. Vegan values are Christian values. Eden was vegan, several prophecies such as Isaiah 11:6-9 (where the “lion lays down with the lamb”) foresee a return to a vegan world which is depicted as ideal. God wants us to be merciful “Blessed are the merciful” Matthew 5:7. Jesus taught compassion.
Isn't Soy Bad For Humans? What About the Estrogen In Soy?
This is a myth, soy doesn’t actually contain estrogen or any chemical that has the effect of estrogen on the body. This myth derives from the fact that soy contains chemicals that look similar to estrogen, but research has shown that these chemicals do not affect the body like estrogen. Soy is actually correlated with a decrease in risk for breast cancer (which is linked to high estrogen levels). In contrast, dairy products contain actual mammalian sex hormones.
Don't Cows Need to Be Milked?
Cows don’t produce milk unless they have a child. Cows only need to be milked because we artificially impregnate them with a highly invasive procedure (which involves a farmhand putting their whole arm into the Cow’s anus to manipulate the uterus) and then separate them from their children. The bond between mother and child is the strongest bond there is and mothers will cry for their children for days. Male offspring in the dairy industry are raised for veal which involves restricting their motion and feeding 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 starts declining they are slaughtered for low-grade meat. Dairy is the cruelest industry.
What About Organic Meat?
The organic label does not require higher welfare standards. In fact, welfare conditions on organic farms ARE WORSE because animals aren’t given antibiotics. Given that conditions are ripe for disease on factory farms (cramped, stressed animals) this results in large numbers of sick animals on organic farms.
What About Local Meat?
Local does not mean humane, factory farms are typically “family owned.” Even “small” farms practicing “traditional agriculture” typically engage in many cruel practices such as castrating pigs without pain killers, separating babies from mothers soon after birth, and restricting the movement of veal calves.
What About "Free Range" and "Grass Fed" Meat?
The USDA does not regulate the use of the phrase “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, the label is essentially meaningless. In order to count as “free range” according to 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, or the quality of the land they have access to (may be dirt or gravel). There is no legal definition of “grass fed.”
What About Humane Meat?
There is no legal definition of “humane” enforced by the USDA. Deceptive labeling practices are the norm in the industry. Our best estimate based on USDA Agricultural Census data is that 99% of animal products come from CAFO’s (confined animal feeding operations) where humane treatment is effectively impossible and abuse is the norm.
What About the People Who Cannot Go Vegan (e.g the Inuit, those living in food deserts etc.)?
It is not the position of the CVC that everyone in the world should go vegan. Rather, only those who can go vegan should go vegan. That includes many of us living in Columbus.
Is it Less Ethically Problematic to Eat Meat Because Animals Aren't Self-Aware/Aren't Conscious?
If animals aren’t conscious, then so too many humans aren't (infants, senile, persons born with limited cognitive abilities). But we don’t think it’s OK to eat any of those humans. Besides, are we really sure that animals aren’t conscious? Why not just play it safe?