Lots of people feel like, as much as they would like to transition into a vegan lifestyle, that they just couldn’t do it. It’s too hard, they wouldn’t be able to enjoy their favorite meals, it would be too expensive — there’s all kinds of reasons someone might give for not wanting to make the switch. But, it turns out, for most people it’s not really as difficult as it might seem. For one thing…
We Have So Many Options Today
Most people who adopt a vegan lifestyle will acknowledge that it might not be for everyone. Certain people may have specific health requirements that would make veganism physically burdensome. Some people may live in contexts where animal byproducts and meat make up a significant part of the available food. Obviously, not everyone everywhere has to be a vegan. Rather, the principle is that if you can live healthfully and happily without consuming or exploiting animals, then you should.
And for most of us, we certainly can. We are not living in a period of scarcity. While there are all sorts of dietary problems in our society, these aren’t really caused by a lack of available nutrients. We have access to an over-abundance of fruits and vegetables of all types from all over the world. I think it’s fair to say that there are more health problems caused by over-indulgence in meat and dairy than by a lack of animal proteins in our culture. The fact of the matter is that we can very easily obtain most of the nutrients we need from plant sources.
While there are exceptions that vegetarians and vegans need to be conscious of, such as B12 and iron, for the most part there is not great difficulty in acquiring the nutrients we need to be healthy and strong. Getting protein from plants is probably a lot easier than you think. In fact, most plants contain protein — simply by eating enough grains and legumes you can get the complete protein spectrum you need to be healthy.
But it isn’t just about health, lots of people don’t want to give up meat and cheese because they simply like it too much and they don’t think they have it in them to give it up. Well, first of all, you need to consider how important is your preference for buffalo wings compared with what actually happens to real living creatures in modern chicken farms, and whether that suffering is worth you getting to eat something you find tastier than other kinds of things. So there’s that. But even still, we live in the future now and there are so many vegan and vegetarian-friendly options now in most grocery stores.
Mycoprotein and soy-based meat alternatives might not be exactly the same as “the real thing”, but who cares? They’re still really good! Are we really so spoiled that we will abandon our ethical principles simply because we think vegan cakes just don’t have the exact same tangy zip as the crab cakes they’re imitating?
There are now vegan substitutes for everything from cheese to butter to eggs. You can still have your buffalo wings, you can still have your pizza, you can still have your burgers, and they’re all delicious! Are they exact replicas of meat and dairy? No, but why should they be? They don’t have to be, they taste awesome in their own right!
But don’t think that switching to a vegan diet will just automatically make you a healthier person. It might. But you can still make a damn fine chocolate cake using entirely vegan ingredients. Any recipe call for eggs? Well 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in 3 tablespoons of water will give you that gooey consistency you need, whether it’s for your vegan chocolate donuts or maybe a caramel tarts.
Still don’t believe me? Take a look at the recipes being posted on This Rawsome Vegan Life. Not only is this stuff vegan, most of it isn’t even cooked! And look how incredible it is. No excuses!
Veganism Doesn’t Have to be All or Nothing
I don’t want to take all the credit away from vegans. It is really a hard choice to make and it requires commitment and fortitude to stick with it. However, life rarely requires absolute resolutions, and here is no exception. You don’t have to be able to commit to it 100% or not commit at all. If you just can’t give up ordering that delivery pizza every month, you don’t have to hate yourself for it, and you don’t have to give up on your goal of reducing your contribution to the exploitation of animals. You only have to do your best.
If we all reduced our consumption of meat and animal products dramatically, then our relationship with farmed animals would move away from the horrifically abusive and exploitative reality of modern factory farms. If this is a vision you share, then you should make an attempt at veganism. No one expects you to be perfect all the time! If your 90 year old grandmother insists on baking you cookies with butter in them, you know what? Maybe you should eat those cookies. But when you go to the grocery store, you can still make the right decision and buy the vegan butter. And then, when you make your granny cookies in return, maybe you can tell her how you made them without butter, and why.
It doesn’t matter whether you label yourself a vegan or how many consecutive days you can maintain your vegan edge. What matters is that we make efforts to reduce the damage we, as a society, are causing to this planet and to the other creatures that live on it. That’s what it’s all about.