There are tons of misconceptions and prejudices about veganism and vegans, here are four that seem to keep popping up:
1. Vegans eat only salad
There’s so much plant-based foods out there, and so much you can do with these foods, still many people believe vegans eat only salad. Vegans eat tons of vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds, but also plant-based meats, cheeses, yoghurt, ice-creams etc. Contrary to what many people believe being vegan is hardly limiting. I write about vegan foods in the ongoing “What do vegans eat?”-series.
2. Veganism is a diet
Many people have during the years thought I’m a vegan as a way of keeping myself slim and healthy, that it’s a diet just as any other. But veganism is not a diet, for most vegans it’s a lifestyle that includes so much more than just eating healthy food. It’s an ethical decision made out of compassion for animals and humans and a concern for the environment. That it’s healthy is more of an extra plus for most vegans.
3. Vegans are weak and skinny
I’m not a very big person, and some people give veganism the credit for that. And maybe it plays a role in the fact that I don’t really gain weight even though I eat more than a lot of people who I know, but far from all vegans are skinny. Being vegan doesn’t either mean that you are weak, there are a lot of vegan athletes out there (not to forget the world’s strongest man is a vegan!), and building muscle mass on a vegan diet is not really a problem.
4. It’s difficult to be vegan
Just as any life change, becoming vegan is hard. You have to change habits and routines and learn new ways. You have to encounter social situations and answer questions. But once you’re over the initial phase, it gets easier, and eventually it’s not hard at all. For me, the difficulties were never really a big concern, even as a new vegan, because the reason I chose to do it was so much bigger than me. If I would have done it for myself only, maybe I would not have stuck to it, but since I’m doing it for a bigger cause (animals, humans and environment) it’s so much easier.