“I would be vegan but…”
After nearly two years as a vegan, this phrase has become quite familiar. The way people finish the sentence typically falls into one of three categories: finances, nutrition or flavor.
In this article, I won’t try to convince you to be vegan, but I will make a case for how veganism is cheaper, more nutritious and more delicious than you might think. If you have been curious about veganism’s benefits to personal health, animal welfare or the Earth, I hope this encourages you to take the next step.
A major reason I see people avoiding veganism is because it is perceived to be a more expensive diet. A recent study conducted by the University of Oxford shows that this might not actually be the case. The study found that in high-income countries, like the United States, vegan diets are more affordable than a typical meat- centered diet. They suggested that cutting out animal products could reduce food costs for consumers by up to one-third.
I approach my grocery shopping from a framework that centers on a few affordable base foods like rice, noodles and bread. From there, I add vegetables and beans. Typically, I am able to meet my nutritional needs without spending extra money on fancy substitutes for animal-based products like Beyond Burgers. There are some plant-based meats that are more expensive, unfortunately, but they can make a great treat from time to time when money is a factor.
Plant-based diets are also full of valuable nutrients. Claims that veganism will fail to provide you with adequate nutrition are false. Regardless of your dietary framework, it is important to eat a well-balanced diet. By eliminating animal products from their diets, vegans must be conscientious about how they are replacing nutrients such as vitamin B12 and iron. When balanced sufficiently, vegan diets can offer many health benefits and reduce the risks of heart disease and some types of cancer that are associated with diets containing a high volume of red and processed meats.
Many athletes believe the myth that the vegan diet could hinder their performances; however, there are elite athletes providing examples of the contrary. Kendrick Farris, an Olympic powerlifter, and Scott Jurek, a successful ultramarathon runner, among other vegan athletes, have shown that eating a plant-based diet is compatible with world-class athletic performance. Going vegan won’t magically make you become a star athlete, but it clearly won’t stop you from doing so.
Taste is subjective, but I think you will find that there is some amazing vegan food to eat. I have easily figured out how to veganize most of my favorite recipes at home and most restaurants have at least one or two strong options as well. Here are a few of my favorite vegan dishes to order in Goshen:
Maple Indian Cuisine: Aloo Matter
The Oasis: Beyond Burger
Los Primos: Bean Burrito
Goshen Brewing Company: Falafel
If any of those sound good, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding vegan food that satisfies your tastes. At home, vegan recipes are instantly accessible online, and supermarkets carry just about anything you could need for your meal.
I hope that you consider these points. The meat and dairy industries work very hard to make arguments in favor of veganism seem radical and illogical. The reality is that there are many great reasons to be vegan. It might not always be the most convenient option, but veganism is more accessible than it has ever been.