Tuesday, May 20, 2008

On Why Veganism is Perfectly Normal

I'm sure you have heard the very worried question, "where do you get your protein?," anytime you tell someone you are vegan. Perhaps your pediatrician has written "crazy hippy" beside your name on your kid's medical chart, or maybe your grandmother wonders what in the world you eat for Sunday dinner if it isn't pot roast. Yes, everyone is protein obsessed (and not just those on the Atkins diet), but it seems that few people are stewing over the more important question, "am I getting enough vegetables?" Behold the following table from the Canada Food Guide:

You will note that we adults only require 2-3 servings of "meat and alternatives" per day. That's right. For non-meat eaters, that means as little as 1.5 cups of tofu or beans per day. And let's not forget our dear friends tempeh and seitan. Piece of friggin' cake. We also need two servings of "milk and alternatives." Soy milk easily fits the bill. The bulk of our diet is supposed to come from fruits and vegetables and grains. Really, the vegan diet conforms more to the recommendations of the Canada Food Guide than the standard North American diet that makes a rather large chunk of meat the centrepiece of each meal. I'll leave you with this tidbit of advice from the Food Guide:

Mission accomplished.

24 comments:

Alice (in Veganland) said...

And yet no one seems to understand/believe this...

romina said...

I have a copy of this on my fridge. Just to say to my parents "see! Even the government agrees!" =)

mollyjade said...

I wish the U.S. guidelines were this sane. They're still telling us to drink three glasses of milk a day. And if you can't drink milk, you should eat cheese or drink lactose-free milk because "calcium-fortified foods ... may not provide the other nutrients found in milk and milk products". Yes. Cheese is much more healthy than soy milk.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad the U.S. government is so concerned with appeasing the meat, dairy and poultry lobbies- we might get a similar recommendation.

vegandenovo said...

there is clearly some sort of vegan government conspiracy going on. =)

Jenn said...

I go over and over it with friends, family and coworkers. I feel the best I ever have, I'm well and likely in vastly better health then the rest of the naysayers in my life - I exercise at least 4 times a week, I walk everywhere I humanly possible can, even if that means budgeting in 45 minutes. My diet does not contain the chemicals in their frozen lunch entree, in fact it contains: fibre, vegetables, lean protein and lots of amazing non-salt, natural based flavour. I'm at the point where I don't know what to say the next time they are negative, other then you sure you don't want to try a bite?

jakc said...

No, kiddin' ... I dugg this with the hopes that the word will get spread. My in-laws (to be) think I'm abusing my fiancee by withholding flesh from her (which I don't, she eats meat around me whenever she wants). Every time she is a bit under the weather or feeling faint, they ask her "are you getting enough protein?" and give me a wary eye.

Allison said...

Thanks for this nice summary - I'm going to have to send this link to all my family who think I fell into the deep end!

By the way, although I've never commented before, I enjoy getting ideas from your blog, as I am fairly new to this lifestyle.

Eesh said...

LOL Loved this post!

sledgewig girl said...

i found your blog a while back and LOVE it! I have shared it with so many vegan friends--
thanks for this post in particular! My parents are great and completely understanding! My in-laws... not so much! They think we are crazy! Even though both of our families have either insanely high cholesterol and/or heart disease-- and both our numbers have dropped dramatically improving health... we are still crazy!
so all that to say-- THANKS FOR ALL YOUR TASTEY MEALS, HELPING US STAY ON COURSE!

Vegan Dad said...

sledgewig girl,
Aw, shucks. You just made my day.

Vegan On Stage said...

hi! i just discovered your blog and it is absolutely amazing!!!
I really love this post... i think its so important for people to be educated about what they put in their mouths,, and im sick and tired of people asking "so where do you get protein from!" from now on im going to say.."ya know what... go look at vegan dad's blog..and read"!!

ill def be comming back to check out your site... thanks for the great tips and yummy recipes!!!

Anonymous said...

I love the new Canada Food Guide too - we printed off individualised guides for my husband and I - chock full of soy milk, tofu, beans, and all things vegan. It just makes it a bit easier for us to explain these things to others. Good job Canada.
-jcd (a fellow vegan Canadian)

SSM said...

Thank you for this, I am sharing this info right away! I am really sick and tired of having the argument "Well, I only eat meat because it's a nutrition thing" If people really needed meat to be healthy and vital wouldn't all of us vegetarians and vegans died off long ago?

Love your blog, thank you so much for your wonderful recipes, and info like this! I've subscribed so I don't miss any posts!

Nisi said...

My favourite thing is when people comment on how "gross" soy milk is. You know, because it's made from *beans*! How they fail to notice that cow's milk is gross is a mystery to me...

Just.Kate said...

Apologies- I'm almost a year late to comment, but when I stumbled across this I wanted to throw my (proverbial) hat in the air!

HALLELUJAH and THANK YOU.

(and it was posted on my birthday! hehe)

rgotcher said...

thank you so much for posting! My husband and I have been vegan/veg(mostly vegan)for about 2 1/2 months and i have been strugglin try to conform to us guidelines trying to make sure we get everything we need and felt like we were going overboard w/fruits and veggies but it look like we are right on target!

Morgan said...

I just started changing my diet and learned about your blog from Susan (Fat Free Vegan). Great blog!! Thank you for sharing all your wonderful recipes!

Aloha,
m

Logan said...

Yes! I get tired of people asking about protein, as if they suddenly care about my health. I've been vegetarian and raising my kids veg and have tried to move more toward vegan.

Margaret said...

Great Chart! I've set it as my screensaver. I must print this off and put it on my fridge.

Kasia said...

Well said :D But I think the reason behind all the bashing is the "hidden truth" - we all know that eating veggies and fruits and grains is the best, but most people choose entirely according to tradition, societal pressure and the rest is taste buds. Veggies tend not to taste addictive - aside to people who love them generally - if not prepared well, while meat, dairy or eggs are relatively fast to trigger those "pleasure" areas in the brain, thanks to the super high fat content and all the other stuff which ruins the health in the end. That is the tragic of modern life, and the reason for many misunderstandings and useless fights, and all the "modern diseases" of course. The omnis think "I know meat tastes good, so those vegans must be insane", and this is the real base for the nonsense (I know that some say meat would be gross, but if this would be true nobody would eat it or like it, and the world would be veggie since thousand years). So we all know it is healthier, but it is not quite as easy to get the meals done well and the life going on smoothly, as long as one does not have the luck to live in India and be highly respected as a vegetarian.

But the times they are a-changin', in favor of the greener solutions :)

Kate said...

It's true, people really should have small portions of meat or meat alternative as a side dish, rather than the big chunk that omnivores do.

In fact in my research into veganism, the only thing I've found that doesn't naturally occur in a vegan diet is B12. This is pretty critical for brain development etc, but it's easy to get a fortified milk, or supplement, or even nutritional yeast has some I think. :)

Veggie Tales said...

It's so silly how protein obsessed the world can be. Out of curiosity I used some calorie counting website to calculate how much protein I eat that day to see if it was close to the recommendations according to my weight. It turns out that on this day, when I had not had anything that I think of as specifically protein filled I was just in the middle of the recommended grams of protein.

Livia said...

To second Kasia's observation:

But meat tastes soooo amazing!