There are an array of preconceived notions when it comes to being vegan, so it’s likely that we all face the same opposing views when people discover we’re plantbased.
Often, people make out that vegans have the dying need to tell everyone about their diet preferences. Whilst this may hold some truth as the movement obviously does require an outreach, it is mostly untrue. In my experience it’s not me finding the need to repeat to everyone that I am vegan but more the fact that it can soon become apparent. If somebody asks you if you would like to eat out, they soon start to discover that you are plantbased. If you are asked if you’d like a cup of tea, then you are soon met with various questions about why you don’t have milk or why you’d rather green tea. If you are offered cake or chocolate and reject the offer, then this is met with huge dismay. So personally it seems to me that I have no option but to talk about why I eat like I do, as I get bombarded with questions. This is not a problem for me, I like to educate and try to offer a new perspective on things. But it depends on whether the person you are telling is interested or just simply asking questions so they can reply with negativity.
Here are five questions or phrases I often hear when people observe how I eat:
You don’t get enough protein!
It’s funny how nutritional advice surfaces from the most unlikely sources once you tell people you are vegan. Everybody becomes a dietician. The biggest misconception is that you can’t get enough protein on a plantbased diet. I feel that this hardly warrants an answer these days as many athletes have done their part on debunking this myth. There are many vegan athletes who have made huge achievements and endure what your average person couldn’t come near to, look at the likes of David Haye and Brendan Brazier. It is estimated that we need between 0.8-1 gram of protein per kilogram of our bodyweight. That is easily achievable on a balanced diet without meat and dairy. There are so many protein packed foods you can enjoy with soybeans, tofu, tempeh, almonds, pumpkin seeds, kidney beans, chickpeas and more.
You are having too much potassium..
This one always gets me! The reason this one makes my mind boggle is because I am shocked with how many people have this information stored in their mind. This is often said without malice or negativity intended, which is why I wonder where this fact has came from? Many people that have saw me eat more than one banana in a go, or hear how many I put in a smoothie worry for my welfare. There must be a lot of subtle mainstream coverage on this potassium issue. I can say that I have had 20 within 8 hours and I am living to tell the story. When people talk about overloading on potassium they are referring to potassium chloride, which is the same thing found in the lethal injection. Don’t let this worry you; to make potassium lethal you need 2600mg of potassium chloride per kilogram that you weigh. This means if you weigh 75 kilograms you would need 487 bananas and you would need to have them within 30 seconds of each other. It’s understandably not a common way of committing suicide. You don’t need to worry about potassium unless you have a problem with your kidneys such as renal failure. Check out the book from Dr. Douglas Graham- 80,10,10.
I’m not going vegan or I couldn’t do that!
People instantly approach your experience from their stance and quickly cement their position on being pro meat eating. They emphasis how they couldn’t do it purely down to their taste buds’ needs. I promote my own diet for health issues and I’m always happy to share why it works so well, but it’s not like I go out my way to force my beliefs. So why it’s met with this response I don’t know. My encouragement would be to not revert back into your shell but to open your mind and at least look into some of the facts and benefits of incorporating plantbased foods into your diet. People around me have already started making changes, whether that’s to a complete vegan lifestyle, a plantbased diet or just implementing some new ways of eating/living. So it’s all positive, don’t rule out what you are capable of doing!
What do you eat, grass?
Obviously, once you eliminate meat from your diet, you are left with grass. Because all non-vegans eat animals and grass with nothing else. When you put it like that it makes you see how pathetic that is. Most of the population eat plantbased foods, in fact 90% of the world’s food comes from plants. So think about that, there really is an abundance of food. Stay tuned with our blog, Facebook and Instagram to get a greater idea of what to eat on a daily basis.
Vegans are skinny..
Another misconception I feel doesn’t need answering anymore. You can quickly change someone’s mind with this. We train hard and thrive on our diet. There are so many examples to disprove the ‘skinny vegan’ notion. Look at the likes of Torre Washington (pictured below), Patrik Boboumian and David Carter.
I’m sure you could think of many other responses you often get, leave them in the comments below. There are so many stereotypes with veganism but with the lifestyle quickly evolving many of the myths are being revealed.