Veganism Misconceptions

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by Roberto Miranda

There are a lot of misconceptions with changing any diet, let alone being a vegan. All of my interviewees had to answer the question, “What are some of the biggest misconceptions that vegans hear from others?” Here’s what they had to say:

 

Fransisca Montenegro, 21, North Bergen, NJ

“They say, when you become a vegan, ‘you’ll feel bloated.’ Which it was a big problem with me, I always felt bloating like that, [but now] it’s lighter, and it’s good. I [also] have sensitive skin. Ever since becoming a vegan, my rash breakouts are gone. I don’t get all rashy and stuff, my skin feels better.”

Mitul Shah, 23, Jersey City, NJ

“The biggest misconception is that we’re extremists that use false propaganda and scare tactics to ‘convert’ people. There have been people who negatively criticize me, blatantly say they’d never be vegan, then try my cooking and think completely differently.”

Susannah Goya-Pack, 24, Jersey City, NJ

“As far as misconceptions go, people think that it’s going to be really expensive, or that you’ll have to replace everything: you’ll have to replace cheese, you’ll have to replace this and that, and you don’t need to replace any of it. If you’re eating enough beans or enough vegetables, that’s only a psychological need to replace things. You don’t physically need to replace meat; you don’t physically need to replace cheese; if you want to, and it makes you happy to go get some fake cheese, go do it; but, it’s not a requirement. You don’t need to buy all the fancy stuff to stock your kitchen, you can use regular food.”

Jean-Paul Chin, 26, Bayonne, NJ

“The biggest misconception about being a vegan is that vegans only eat lettuce and pasta every day for meals. Had lots of folks criticize about the choice of diet without having tried it for themselves, but this happens in all avenues of life, so it isn’t a surprise.”

Anthony Petrucelli, 23, Bayonne, NJ

“There are plenty misconceptions of veganism. Firstly, understanding veganism is a lifestyle, not a strict diet. The only standard veganism has in its diet is that you lose the animal products. Just because you’re vegan does NOT mean you are healthy. In a healthy diet, it not always what you don’t eat, it’s what you DO eat. You can technically eat junk processed food, or junk conventional food all day every day, and still be considered vegan. And going organic and non GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) is extremely important to health. Most vegans do usually avoid GMO. But again, it’s always up to the individual of that person. Then, there is the full vegan lifestyle, where you don’t wear animal products, use animal products, or use any product tested on animals like shampoo, soap, etc. There are many kinds of veganism, like raw veganism, plant based veganism, macro vegan, and the list goes on. The other misconception is protein and getting enough or complete. Anybody paying attention in the world of nutrition knows that’s an old paradigm, and it’s usually ignorance of the subject of nutrition.”