Have you heard these common vegan myths?
They can range from nutrition needs to veganism just being unnatural. I have heard my share of vegan myths over the years. Unfortunately, a lot of them people actually believe.
For new vegans or those wanting to start a vegan diet, these vegan myths can scare them off. If you are told it is going to be too difficult or worse impossible, you might be turned off from becoming vegan.
With any change in lifestyle or trying something out of the norm, you are going to hear a lot of skepticism. People don’t always understand what isn’t familiar to them. Most people are raised being taught certain foods are healthy and necessary so saying you won’t eat them anymore sounds crazy.
Below are 10 common vegan myths and why they are not true.
1. All you’ll eat is salad
I don’t know how many times I have heard this stereotype. As soon as someone learns that I am vegan, they ask if I eat salad for every meal. It’s funny that they can’t imagine any other meal a vegan would eat besides salad.
People are actually really curious about what vegans eat. I get asked on a daily basis and everyone is always asking me what I brought for lunch at work. When I get asked what I eat, I used to always just sprout out a bunch of veggies and beans and grains. They would still look at me like they had no clue and ask me again what I eat. I actually have to tell them meals that I eat and they get it. I think it is shocking when I never mention salad.
2. You can’t get enough protein
This is probably the most notorious vegan myth that vegans hear.
I couldn’t even tell you an estimate of how many times I have been asked where I get my protein. It’s that little joke now between vegans since it is so popular a question.
It isn’t difficult to get protein. In fact, most people get way more protein than they will ever use in their diets and that goes for meat eaters and vegans. If you are eating a well rounded healthy diet, you don’t need to be super concerned about how much protein you are getting and if you are getting complete proteins. If you are eating a good diet, you will be fine.
Worried about protein? Check out this post: How to get enough plant based protein
3. You’ll crave meat too much
Truthfully, yes you will crave foods you used to eat and only because they are so familiar to you and meat will be one of those familiar foods.
Over time, your taste buds change and even if you get a little tiny craving for meat, it will be over powered for your craving for your new favorite vegan foods.
I honestly never crave meat anymore. Sometimes I will smell a food I used to eat and have a moment when I remember eating it, but I never actually want to eat it. It is like I have disassociated from t. I remember liking it, but I have no interest in eating it. I hear this from most vegans that stick it out over a year.
4. You have to eat tofu to be vegan
I hate tofu. I don’t like the texture, the taste, how it looks, or how I know it’s tofu. I have been vegan for quite a while and yet I don’t ever eat tofu.
Most people think that I eat tofu pretty much daily. When they find out that I won’t eat tofu, they are at a loss as to what I actually eat then.
It’s no surprise really that people think that all vegans eat tofu. It has been the poster child for veganism for as far back as I can figure. Before I became vegan, I assumed that veganism and tofu went hand in hand. I was quite surprised that I hated tofu.
A lot of vegans do eat tofu, but you definitely don’t have to eat it to be a true vegan.
5. You will be weak on a vegan diet
This may go back to the protein vegan myth, but many people think that you can’t be strong and a vegan. Veggie’s just can’t possibly fill you up.
It’s funny because there are many pro athletes switching to a vegan diet all the time. Most will tell you that they have so much more energy than ever before.
I know personally, when I am eating a whole foods vegan diet, I have way more energy than my meat eating friends and family. I often am ready to get up and move more after a meal when they need time to recover.
6. Eating vegan is expensive
Price per pound, eating a vegan diet is so much cheaper than eating meat. Even with government subsidies on meat, it is still cheaper to eat vegan.
Vegan food only gets expensive when you try to buy convenience foods and substitutes. I find that vegan cheese is way more expensive than dairy cheese. I don’t personally use cheese subs so I never have this expense.
Organic food is more expensive no matter if you are vegan or not. Organic vegan foods are ridiculous. You don’t need to buy these items. You are going to have a much better diet if you avoid substitutes and focus on eating whole foods with the least amount of processing.
Vegan whole foods staples like beans, rice, and veggies are so much cheaper than buying meat. Per pound of food, you are going to get a much greater value with vegan foods than with animal products.
7. It’s hard to get calcium and iron
One of the biggest vegan myths besides not getting enough protein is that vegans are always lacking in essential nutrients.
Two of the most common nutrients that most people think vegans are lacking are calcium and iron. We were taught our whole lives that the best source of calcium is milk. Without going into a huge spiel on why milk isn’t a great source of calcium (I will probably do a post on that in the future), let me assure you there is better sources available to us.
A list of high calcium foods can be found here.
As for iron, yes you can get a lot of iron from red meats, but you can also get it from plant sources. If you eat plenty of green leafy veggies like kale, then you will be getting in your necessary iron.
If you are in doubt or worried, you can speak with a doctor to get your calcium and iron levels checked. You can also take a multivitamin to get in your added nutrients.
If you want more information, check out Vegan Nutrition Basics.
8. A vegan diet is unnatural
I really don’t know where this vegan myth comes from. I am tempted to say it is ingrained in our heads from such an early age, that we believe it is as true as the Earth was once thought of as flat.
When you don’t know anything else, you will fall back on what is familiar. For the less than 0.1% of us that wasn’t raised vegan since birth, veganism does sound unnatural. We are told so many times by so many sources that we need meat and dairy to be healthy, that we have a hard time stepping back and realizing that it isn’t necessary.
A vegan diet isn’t unnatural, it is a very real and healthy way to eat. We all are different and some people might never need to worry about their health and others might need to look after what they are eating and making sure they stay healthy.
9. A vegan’s diet is boring
A common vegan myth is that you only eat the same meals every day and that it gets boring.
For me and many vegans I have talked to, we actually eat a larger variety of foods than we ever did as meat eaters. I am more willing to try new things now, am not afraid of certain ingredients, and find I taste food at a higher level.
It is easy to fall into a rut with veganism just like with any other diet. I find when people first switch over to veganism they tend to stick to meals they are familiar with. It is already a huge change to be vegan so staying with tried and true meals will make the switch easier.
There are so many exciting dishes that being vegan is never boring. It pushes you to try new things.
10. Being vegan is too difficult
This vegan myth is what is holding a lot of people back from becoming vegan.
I hear it all the time. I can’t be vegan because it looks too hard.
I can’t help but disagree. I have found being vegan easier in many ways. I don’t have to worry if I am eating a healthy diet. As long as I stay with whole plant foods, I feel super healthy and nourished.
Cooking is so much easier than it was with meat. You don’t have to worry about cooking meat to the right temperature, veggies are good no matter if they are well cooked or raw. It takes half the time to make a veggie meal as it does a meat centered meal.
I only find being vegan to be difficult when people don’t understand what it is to be vegan. I do have to explain my diet quite often and turn down food. Being vegan hasn’t been difficult for me because I care more about what I am consuming.
So, there you have it, the 10 common vegan myths and why they aren’t true. It’s easy to believe these myths if you don’t know any better. It’s also easier to disregard something if you have been told the opposite your entire life.
There are so many resources available to us now that we all can do the research we need to better understand the food we eat and make healthy choices.
Have you heard these myths before? What are the common ones you’ve heard?