When I tell people that I’m vegan, I may as well tell them that I am a communist. Many with disbelief ask “How do you get your protein?” or “Isn’t that hard to do?”
I will admit that I was vegetarian for years before I became vegan and often thought I could never give up cheese. But then one day I saw an undercover video of how cows are treated on dairy farms and I decided right then and there that I would give it up no matter what. If I had to do without it for the rest of my life, I would. All I had to do is conjure up in my mind some of those heartbreaking images.
Fortunately, today there are many vegan cheeses on the market that no longer taste like cardboard. The earlier cheese were not very tasty, but the newer ones made from nuts and other plant based foods are really delicious. I recently tasted a vegan pizza that was truly the best pizza I ever had.
When I hear people say things such as “I’m such a carnivore, I love meat”, I respond with “You love the TASTE of meat, not necessarily the meat itself with all the violence that goes with it, right?” Of course, I have to use a gentle tone so that I’m not considered preachy.
People are sleepwalking when it comes to eating. No thought is given to how much suffering went into their meal for that momentary taste sensation. I like to remind folks that three-quarters of what we eat everyday is vegan. Only a portion of that meal usually comes from an animal. So why is that so hard to give up? The protein argument, that alternatives to animals aren’t enough protein for our daily needs, is simply untrue. Moreover, plant protein is better than animal protein. Here is what One Green Planet says:
Why animal protein is not better than plant-based protein:
First of all, there is a lot of evidence to suggest our bodies are herbivores not carnivores. Protein from animals can be high in unhealthy fat and cholesterol, and eating animal protein has been linked to some types of cancer and poor heart health. Plus, plant-based proteins have fiber and complex carbs. And by choosing plant proteins, you’ll save animals from factory farms and limit your intake of toxins, like insecticides and antibiotics, which can be found in meat.
In fact, there’s an overwhelming amount of research that corroborates this. I sometimes wonder if eating meat is simply an addiction for people…those same people who mistakenly believe they are compassionate. Eating animals absolves one’s capacity for any compassion.