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Issue 33 Print 72dpi

Vegan Myth: “But Vegans Only Eat Grass”

We take some of the biggest lies and misconceptions around veganism and tackle them head on

Food isn’t the only element of veganism, but it is a really big part of it. When people are considering adopting a vegan lifestyle one of the first things they will think about is what they are going to eat.

There’s a lot of misunderstanding about what vegans actually eat, with ‘grass and nothing else’ being a common accusation. When you consider a lot of typical cuisine, it’s no wonder people can sometimes struggle to get their head around just what vegans do eat.

After all, if you think about a common British meal – say, roast meat with animal fat-roasted potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, and honey-glazed veggies – once you take away the animal-based products, nothing is left. But the vegan-curious may be heartened to know it is possible to recreate this meal entirely. You could eat seitan, with oil-roasted potatoes, vegan Yorkshires, and agave-glazed veggies – it’s all very easy once you have a little bit of know-how.

The funny thing is, there are over 20,000 edible plants in the world, and only a handful of animals we eat, and a few of their secretions. Using these delicious plants, we can create an almost infinite number of different foods, encompassing all the macro nutrients (fat, protein, carbohydrates) we need, as well as a rich variety of vitamins and minerals. So as you can see, the vegan diet is not limited at all.

The issue therefore, is possibly more about discovering these food alternatives, as well as widening your food horizons. It’s good to see more and more restaurants start to embrace vegan menus alongside their existing offerings, and to see more choices when it comes to plant-based milks and other products, in the shops.

There is lots of support for newbie vegans and the vegan-curious. Lots of charities like Peta, Viva! and Veganuary (among others) offer lots of info about where to shop, and what to eat. And of course the magazine you’re reading right now offers lots of recipes, information, and vegan support.

Veganuary is a charity which encourages people to try veganism for the month of January (as well as supporting the through it. According to Veganuary: “As well as fruit and vegetables, a vegan diet includes bread, legumes, chocolate, whole grains (wheat, barley, rye, spelt, oats etc…), fortified dairy substitutes, nuts and seeds, fats, and sugar.

“Lots of vegan foods are very healthy, but there are also great vegan pies, pastries, sweets and cakes, so you can eat junk food galore if you do so wish!”

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