As I wrote in one of my articles, my journey to veganism was gradual, and quite long. I know people around me who made the change from one day to another (for example, after seeing documentary). I also know people that from veganism returned to the gastronomical mainstream. We definitely have met and still meet people with different questions and arguments about why being vegan cannot work. It is important to realize, that these people usually have good intentions when arguing with us. Veganism is new for them and maybe they don’t have the knowledge required to fully understand it. They worry about us, and want to protect us from lack of nutrients and so on. In these situations I try to stay calm, gentle, and explain my opinions and what works for me.
What protein can you eat? / How do you get protein?
This is the most common one. My answer is from legumes, nuts, and vegetables. People may look confused because they don’t think it’s enough. So, it is nice to know some facts, like that with 100g of beef you gain 14g of protein and with 100g of beans you get 21g of protein. It’s important to say that bean protein is much more digestible than meat protein. One of the reasons is that beef protein contains also 30 g of fat and in beans there’s only 0,9g of fat. So, there is enough protein in a plant-based diet, and much of it comes from beans and other legumes.
Vitamin B12 is only in meat, so how can you get that?
The truth is that vitamin B12 is missing in about 40 % of today’s population. The source of B12 is bacteria naturally occurring in land/soil and fresh spring water. The more an animal eats real grass and drinks from a river, the more B12 it will have. People eating meat from conventional farms, get their B12 because animals are fed with added B12. Animals today often suffer from a shortage of this vitamin. Their water contains chlorine and their land is sterilize.
The best way to get B12 is to eat fruits and vegetables from a garden or small farm, and occasionally drink spring water while hiking in nature. Another tip is to also including pickled veggies and kombucha into your diet, so you support your gut bacteria and absorption of all vitamins. According to some scientists it takes many years to deplete your B12 storage. If in the summer you eat your vegetables and fruits from a garden, you shouldn’t worry. But, to be sure, ask your doctor to test your level once a year .
If all people were vegan, we would not have enough land to grow the tremendous amount of vegetables and fruit needed to feed everyone.
The truth is, to produce 1kg of beef it is necessary to grow about 40kg of feed. For the same amount of beef we need about 15 500 liters of water. So just think about it. How long will you survive with 1kg of meat and how long with 40 kg of feed (wheat, barley, oat, corn, peas). More facts here. With the same space, we can produce much more food to sustain people with plants than with meat.
People since prehistory killed animals, it is natural for us to eat them.
There is a great video, that I recommend watching regarding this argument. The point is, that if we really are carnivorous, we would be naturally adapted to kill animals. A wolf has fangs and claws. With our fangs we cannot easily bite into a rabbit, can we? Have you ever tried to kill rabbit with your hands and fangs? Not to mention the fact that rabbits were caught freely in nature before now. We were hunting mammoths only when nothing fresh was available, because it was too cold to scavenge.
Vegetarianism is ok, but veganism? You really need to make sure you get enough vitamins and nutrients.
From my experience vegans and vegetarians generally eat many more fruits and vegetables than the average meat eater, although of course there are exceptions. By eating so many fruits and veggies, they ensure they get a rich supply of nutrients and variety in their diet. I eat at least 700g of fruit and vegetables per day. So, let’s turn the question a bit back to the person asking. Do you also make sure you have enough nutrients? What did you have for breakfast today? Maybe we can say a croissant with coffee. In this meal are there enough vitamins? What about lunch? Meat with potatoes or hamburger with fries. Hmmm… ?
This argument can be presented to people with all kinds of diets and should definitely not be targeting vegetarianism and veganism. If you’re met with this argument, I advise you to turn it back on the person asking the question and urge them to think about their own diets.
You will have problems when you visit restaurants or when you travel if you have so many dietary restrictions.
That is a problem with simple solution. Vegans often prepare meals to go in their own containers. That is in most cases also more ecological than buying something quick in packaging at the gas station or shops. We choose vegetarian or vegan restaurants when possible, and when it’s not possible we can easily choose something vegan from the menu. For example, fried potatoes with grilled vegetables, steamed vegetables, rice with steamed vegetables, salad with olive oil. Pizza is an easy option if you add lots of vegetables and order it without cheese.
It is always possible to find something if you want to. But you also have to think about where the staff may help and understand your dietary needs.
Do you have any other anti-vegan arguments that I didn’t mention? I am always interested, so let me know in comments below or message me.
Have a beautifully vegan day,
Translation with the help of Ellie Farrier