(These kinds of falsehoods are highly annoying to Motherland Faeries ---also herbivores)
image: Dazjae a.k.a PurpleZoe 2009
Since becoming a Vegan I've heard some out-there myths that are believed by a wide range of people who have been miseducated. Miseducation is rampant in Western society, and it's truly the duty of any knowing the real time on any given subject to speak up and share mental wealth.
I've been a herbivore for going on 4 years, and don't claim to be an expert, but I do my research and pay attention to the way my body reacts to different foods. Experimenting with enough vegan recipes to have a general grasp of the best way to prepare comfort foods is important to enjoying the vegan lifestyle (especially in areas without vegan restaurants). It is also essential to know the value of comfort foods that give the body nutrients. Our nutrients are the energy our brain and body use to perform.
Veganism can be very healthy if organic vegetables (fruits and legumes) are actually eaten *_^ There a number of ways to prepare these that are deeply gratifying on sensual levels. Visit the ongoing Vegan prn category for more on delectable food preparation.
Here are a few myths that need to be dispelled for both beginning and intermediate vegans:
-b12 deficiency is not a norm for vegans, as b12 is neither produced by plant or animal. It is produced by bacteria that plant and/or animal become exposed to. It is even produced within our bodies by bacteria... b12 deficiency is largely caused by parasites and is not a 'vegan' dilemma. It is known to strike high-protein diets.
-The average brand of bread is not vegan. Check the label for mono-diglycerides [animal=parts... often pork]. Sad but true. Good news is, you can reach for the organic breads in your local market. Flat wraps can also contain animal parts, so look for organic wrap bread as well. Organic labels can generally save you from the sneakiness that finds its way into products that truly don't need or call for animal parts in the recipe (they are probably added to make people more physically dependent on the brands via food cravings seeking familiarity...).
-Massive amounts of protein aren't needed.
The average adult only needs about 2 or 3 grams of protein daily
(See first paragraph beyond the link).
-It is not difficult for vegans to meet protein and iron needs.
The average amount of protein in a piece of meat is anywhere from 15-20 grams. The average tub of tofu (dry-fry or squeeze dry, then marinate, then finish cooking for maximum taste-texture ---thank @thinblackduke for the intel) is 17-20 grams total servings.
Blackbean steaks are about 20 grams each ('T-bone steak-sized'). 8 Tbs of peanut butter is equal to 32 grams of protein (at 4 grams protein per Tbs). 1 tbs of [Unsulphured] Blackstrap Molasses provides 20% or higher the recommended daily value of iron.
-Baking is easy with a vegan diet. 1 tbs of cornstarch and equivalent water is the equal of one egg for binding in a recipe. Everything else is vegan when used form scratch ( sub oil instead of butter if no vegan butter is available- and Rice Milk if dairy milk is called for--- Use organic sugar or agave to sweeten).
You can also sub the flour for the equivalent amount of white beans (blend) (it will still taste like cake).
You can also make pancakes easily with flour (or white beans), desired amount of water for consistency, optional dash of vanilla extract, and organic sugar or agave. There is very little (if anything) that can't be veganized contrary to past popular beliefs... There's even an Indian salt (Kala Namak) that tastes like hard-boiled eggs naturally. I kid you not. I have it in my cabinet as we speak.
- Just because you give up meat, it doesn't mean your diet is completely healthy. It's very easy to rely on processed foods, and neglect to take in leafy greens, organic fruits, beans, and other nutrient yielding foods. A cup of broccoli is equal to a cup of dairy milk calcium-wise (and the broccoli's calcium is natural, not added to 'fortify' it like dairy milk).
There plenty of starchtarians who call themselves herbivores. Herbivores take in the nutrients of plants as well as starches.
If taking in greens is really difficult for you, add it to a daily smoothie before you start your day or end it. Promise you won't taste a cup of kale blended with a banana (or white beans for thickening), berries or peaches/plums (your fruits of choice), a tsp of Blackstrap molasses (for iron, and calcium), optional organic sugar or agave. You will feel the benefits however, early on in the practice.
... And it is nums.
-People who eat fish aren't vegetarian and they definitely aren't vegan. The appropriate term for a fish-eater who has given up poultry and red meat, is a Pescetarian.
-You can find a vegan cheez you can live with. Whether you like Follow your heart Vegan Gourmet (Monterey Jack is excellent alone or in dishes), Cheezly (The dairy eaters in my life have loved Cheezly White Cheddar), or another brand (Sorry 'Teese' tastes like a weird popcorn to me--- though the texture is definitely mozarella-like), there are tasty cheez products you can use in your dishes.
You can even make your own sauces (<---Dairy eater approved)and hard cheeses. There are a myriad of recipes that work well. There's even a mayonaisse that tastes like 'Hellman's original' (for reals): Vegenaise.
You just have to find the brand you like best. Who knows how many cookbooks are holding gems underknown to the vegan world. Enjoy the adventure of finding these shiny morsels.
-There are Vegan cookbooks for many cultures. Original (pre-colonized) culture is primarily herbivorous (e.g. Indian cultural diets are quite vegetarian).
Several soulfood cookbooks are on the market from Bryant Terry, Afya, and even a mini cookbook via PurpleMag in Issue 6. A Mexican cookzine is available, and a 'Dirty South' cookbook can be purchased. You don't have to sacrifice flavor. Strike the falsehood from your consciousness. Veganism is delicious, cruelty-free and very healthy.
I hope these help clear up some misconceptions about the Vegan path. At present the only real difficulty is eating out in areas that don't have vegan restaurants or vegan friendly items or condiments on their menus. This is changing however, and you can help veganism become mainstream.
If you have additional Vegan myths (for a possible part 2 to this article) you'd like to see dispelled feel free to drop them in the comments, contact me on twitter, or email: purplemag at gmail.com
Getting enough iodine: http://friendfeed.com/purplezoe/bf3050f4/vegan-for-added-iodine-in-your-diet-you-can-enjoy
Extremely easeful maximum protein option: http://friendfeed.com/purplezoe/f4572d1b/vegan-2-1-cups-of-peas-provides-same-amount
Blackstrap Molasses taste undetectable in smoothies http://friendfeed.com/purplezoe/3ddc008a/vegan-5-tsp-of-unsulphured-blackstrap-molasses
Beancake recipe http://friendfeed.com/purplezoe/68f75b2a/researching-various-bean-cakes-e-g-correct-link
Plants do not feel pain