Unless you're super out of touch with reality, chances are you know somebody who is vegan. Or maybe they've made sure you know.
Regardless, veganism is a diet that is growing explosively in popularity. Nowadays, it's easier than ever to be vegan, with more meat and dairy alternatives available in grocery stores and in restaurants.
However, not everybody is committed to the lifestyle nor has any intention to be, so being vegan always brings some repetitive questions and statements from non-vegan people, though. Like, always.
Most of them are genuine concerns, but sometimes (not always, but sometimes) they also mask the ulterior motive of trying to talk the vegan out of veganism. Most of the time it just feels like this. I'm not even trying to have the meat-eating debate.
So, I, one of those annoying plant-eaters, have compiled a countdown list of my favorite things to hear when I mention my diet.
5. What if cows overpopulate the planet if we don't eat them?
I mean, humans are already overpopulating the planet, so I just want to mention that real quick, but in response to the actual question: the answer is no. In animal agriculture, the animals are very frequently forcibly inseminated by the factories to produce more livestock to keep up with the demand for meat.
There's lots of cows, chickens and pigs because we've bred so many cows, chickens and pigs. Without that demand, they won't be forcibly inseminated and will breed less.
Mother Nature also does indeed do her job. If those animals returned to the wild, their populations would decrease before they stabilize, and their populations would function as undomesticated animals do. Additionally, no longer farming land to keep up with the meat demand would cause an increase in biodiversity; a biodiversity we destroy trying to keep these livestock.
Anyways, I digress, I love the idea of a world overpopulated by cows. They're grass puppies. However, it won't happen, even if cows would totally run the world better than we do.
4. Aren't you eating the animals' food?
...Cows aren't even supposed to eat corn...
Additionally, one acre of land produces 250 lbs of beef... or 50,000 pounds of tomatoes or 53,000 pounds of potatoes
While there is a complex series of issues regarding distribution and humanity's uncapped population growth (use condoms, people!), there's much more food that can be produced with land and resources that are currently going towards our livestock (they eat 70 percent of the grain and use 70 percent of our domestic freshwater in the US!)
Imagine what we could try to do to feed the hungry if we devoted all of that to people instead. I promise the chickens and cows will be fine.
3. But bacon...
Believe me, I loved bacon when I was still eating meat. It was also the first thing I gave up when I was making my transition into veganism.
"How?" you may ask.
Honestly, while watching videos about what they do to animals in factory farms was more than enough to convince me, I was starting to get grossed out by the grease and fat in bacon anyways.
Also, nobody needs to eat a bacon-wrapped Oreo, bacon-wrapped hot dog or bacon-flavored lollipop ever. My arteries hurt just thinking about it.
2. I could never give up cheese!
I said the exact same thing before I decided to make the change. Some people get grossed out or develop allergies to meat or dairy and decide to transition, but a lot of vegans genuinely loved the taste of meat and dairy and made the change regardless.
Cheese was one of the harder things to give up since there's actually addictive substances in it, but there's some really awesome substitutes that taste a lot like real cheese without the health risks and guilt. Check out Field Roast's chao cheeses or Follow Your Heart!
We aren't meant to consume any milk of any kind past babyhood anyways, so that yucky feeling you might have after having something with dairy in it could be a sign of lactose intolerance (cashew milk is great, btw).
1. How do you get your protein?
America as a nation places a huge emphasis on protein, so naturally this is the first thing I'm always asked. Believe it or not, though, the average recommended protein intake is 42 grams a day... which everybody goes over, typically getting 70+. Unless you're a bodybuilder, protein isn't really something you have to worry about no matter what your diet is.
However, the answer to the question is chickpeas, beans, and even veggies like broccoli (which a single serving of has 4.2 grams of protein). Fake meats and even non-dairy milks have protein in them, too. It's actually very easy to get your daily intake without meat.
(Please don't ask me anymore.)
Whether you feel me on hearing these things or are the one who might be saying them, hopefully this list helps you either have a more cohesive answer to these questions or made you reconsider asking a vegan these questions altogether. We don't mind explaining the lifestyle to people, but it's definitely annoying to have to say the same things over and over.