7 Odd Vegan Myths DEBUNKED!

A witty, essential myths-buster. Vegan or not, the world needs to read this post on vegan myths, and get their facts straight!

One thing I have realised over time since going vegan is that there are a lot of platforms where this lifestyle is discussed. Whenever you mention the word vegan, everyone becomes an expert: in nutrition, environmental issues, ethical issues and your personal issues too! Jokes apart, today I would really like to lift the veil on some common vegan myths.

Not only to shed some light on the subject but also to give the opportunity, to whoever is flirting with the idea of going vegan, to explain what veganism is NOT.

Myth # 1 – Vegan equals a healthy diet.

Crisps, vegan junk food, processed foods, chips, biscuits… all vegan but sometimes filled with a list of ingredients I wouldn’t even be able to pronounce.

We do not want to harm the animals and want to create as less impact on the planet as possible. If that means eating chips or rice and beans, it makes no difference to us. Personal choices might lead us to eat more healthy, that is, plant-based rather than processed, but either way, it shouldn’t really yield judgement.

Vegans know exactly what they’re eating and why. No need to remind us that the vegan ice cream is still filled with lots of sugar. Guess what? We know. But is it filled with animal ingredients? No. And that is good enough!

Adult, Break Time, Creamy, Girl, Indoors, Ice cream, vegan myths

Myth #2 – Vegan food is expensive.

If you want to shop in Wholefoods or organic stores that charge you more just because they are fancy, by all means, keep going if you can afford it. But you are probably going to spend double the amount that you would spend in a normal local market or supermarket.

Unfortunately everything labelled as vegan will come with a higher price tag. They will even label nuts as vegan and charge you more! That’s the way marketing works I guess.

Olives, Market, Drupes, Mediterranean, Vegan Myths

Contrary to the hype, MOST food in nature is vegan. Think rice, pulses, pasta, veggies, fruits.. and especially if you buy in bulk or if you buy in their natural state, they will be even cheaper. Stick to plant-based and believe me your weekly shopping bill will cost you so much less!

Myth #3 – Veganism is a ‘diet’.

So often people will ask me: are you still doing that diet? And sometimes I really need to think… am I on a diet? Just because we eat no animal products or by products that doesn’t mean we are following a specific way of eating for a specific purpose, aka losing weight.

Some people decide to follow a plant-based diet for health reasons and still go about using products like leather bags and shoes, or silk and use brands that test on animals.

Animal, Mouse, Experiment, Laboratory, Animal cruelty

Veganism comprehends the removal of animal exploitation at 360 degree. Food just happens to be one of the categories.

Myth #4 – Cows need to be milked, there’s no harm in drinking the ‘excess’ milk.

I used to believe that too to be honest, that cows produce milk all the time. As mammals, cows only produce milk once pregnant and until their young ones need to be fed.

Young ones are actually taken away within hours of birth, and not allowed their mother’s milk. Female newborns are continued to be raised on the farm, while male births have a less certain future, such as being sent to the slaughter house, as cited in this article.

So in order to produce enough milk for human consumption and all the derivative products like cheese, cows need to be impregnated mechanically. On top of that, they need to be constantly pregnant to satisfy the market demand, as cited in this article. That leads to cows being sick, on antibiotics and with their lifespan reduced from 20 years to 6 if lucky.

Cow, Beef, Non veg, Vegan myths, Dairy, Jerky
Photo by Jan Koetsier on Pexels.com

Myth #5 – Veganism is the cause of deforestation (and all other environmental disasters).

I hope you catch the sarcasm here, but honestly vegans have been accused of deforestation, of destroying natural animal habitats, we were also recently blamed for the disaster in the Amazonian forest. This is one of the vegan myths that I just can’t imagine people fall for.

Once you know the truth about why so much land gets cultivated with soy crops for example, then you will know that is to feed the cattle that are destined for slaughter. Unfortunately the truth will always be disguised to maintain the balance of political power.

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Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

Myth #6 – Vegans will suffer protein deficiency.

The protein thing is literally one of the biggest vegan myths.

It makes me laugh so much when people ask me what I eat for proteins or how I cope without animal proteins… never anyone asked me this question before going vegan. I am Italian and we thrive on carbs… proteins not an issue there?

Read More : Vegan Pasta in Asparagus Sauce

Noodle, Pasta, Brown, Food, Wholesome, Italian, Recipes, Vegan Myths

Also, everything, from broccoli to potatoes from pasta to pulses have proteins. Infact, this factsheet will make it more clear than ever, that plant-life is all the body really needs.

So as long as you eat some forms of carbs and some pulses in a period of more or less 24 hours, you would have a complete nutrition. I would mainly worry if you are not eating enough veggies and fruits of fibre-deficiency.

Myths #7 – Vegans are aggressive, imposing their beliefs on the world.

I get it. We are extremely passionate about our beliefs. We get quite fired up when we hear that people don’t care about eating animals or that animals were created for our own consumption. Because we take every single living thing very seriously.

And why wouldn’t we?

Life is a gift that should be granted to everyone. At the very bottom of our choice there is a very strong decision made with awareness in consciousness. When people attack us as know it all, hippies, aggressive, arrogant, preachy and judge us in such harsh ways, in truth, they are only avoiding to look at themselves.

Some vegans can be aggressive when they educate in veganism. I get it. But we are all different and we only want to make you understand our point of view, which is the point of view of a minority when we feel it should be the norm.

We don’t know everything, just like non-vegans don’t either. But we don’t feel better than anyone else. We have simply made a choice from the heart and we do our best to be coherent. We fail, we beat ourselves up, and we make mistakes too.

Next time you indulge in a conversation about veganism, remember, we want to give voice to the voiceless. We want every living soul to enjoy the gift of life that nobody should have the right to take away.

And now that these vegan myths have been debunked, I hope you’re better informed. Veganism will also hopefully make a lot more sense! Worth making this choice, I hope?

Sending love and light,

Annalisa x

Annalisa D’Agostino is a Reiki Master, also professionally pursuing holistic and spiritual counselling.

She enjoys cooking and making delicious vegan takes on everyday food.

So here you can find a little corner, TheVeganSense, where you will find recipes and Vegan insight to show love not only to your loved ones, but also the animals and the planet.

Follow her on Instagram @TheVeganSense

Easy Vegan Gnocchi in Pesto Sauce

Easy, 7-ingredient vegan gnocchi, prepared in pesto sauce. This is a perfect recipe for mid-week meal preparation on lazy days!

Easy, 7-ingredient vegan gnocchi, prepared in pesto sauce. This is a perfect recipe for mid-week meal preparation on lazy days!

THE BACKSTORY OF THIS RECIPE

You know, carbs are at the very centre of Italian food. And homemade food too, in general, ofcourse.

I grew up with my mother making everything from scratch, so this is something that I take with me as a very deep meaning of love. Nothing tastes like homemade. Loving, delicious and healthier.

I love gnocchi, those little potato balls that are so easy to make but need a bit of preparation and not everyone might have the time!

So if you want to enjoy something similar and surprise your loved ones, I urge you to read this recipe and to find out how to make these gnocchi that requires no cooking at all. Well, almost. *wink*

INGREDIENTS FOR PREPARING GNOCCHI

For 2 portion you will need:

  • 200gr of wholegrain couscous (alternative given below)
  • 70 gr of basil leaves
  • 150 gr of green peas
  • 40gr of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (alternative given below)
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
ingredients to prepare vegan gnocchi

SUBSTITUTES

You can use any type of cous cous, gluten free too. If you cannot find cous cous or you don’t like it, you could use white risotto rice instead.

As for nutritional yeast, I love to use it for its cheesy taste. But you can easily substitute it with pumpkin or sunflower seeds roughly blended with some salt and garlic powder. That would work a treat too!

RECIPE PROCEDURE FOR GNOCCHI

  • Cook couscous according to packet instructions.
    Normally it would be 1 portion of cous cous to 2 portions of water.
  • Add some salt and let it fluff.
  • Then, wash the basil and prepare the peas for the sauce.

    NOTE: I don’t normally cook peas if I am making a sauce out of it. I would just pour boiling water on them and let them sit for a while until they are a bit softer. But you can cook them, if you’d like. So up to you. It does save you time and pots to wash!
  • Once the couscous is lukewarm, start mashing it together with your hands. You should create a play dough texture. You can work in smaller batch if it’s easier for you.
  • Roll the dough in between your hands and make little sausages. With a knife, cut small pieces of around 2 cm and place in a plate previously oiled. This will avoid the gnocchi sticking to the plate.
  • Now make your sauce by simply blending the basil leaves and the peas together with nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and 1 cup of boiling water.
  • Optional : feel also free to add a garlic clove, if you like it.
pesto sauce for gnocchi
  • Now, we’re ready to assemble the dish and to warm it up!
    In a pan, add the sauce, the gnocchi and the sun-dried tomatoes cut into thin strips.
  • Let it simmer for 5 minutes, add more hot water if you want a creamier sauce and the dish is ready!

Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with some extra sundried tomatoes, nutritional yeast and basil leaves, to add that extra zing.

And in less than 30 mins you can eat a healthy, nutritious meal that will be also fun to make. Who doesn’t like playing with play-dough?

I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as much as I have enjoyed making it.

You may also enjoy another easy, high-protein recipe, the Vegan Blondie.

Sending love to all beings,

Annalisa ❤️

Annalisa D’Agostino is a Reiki Master, also professionally pursuing holistic and spiritual counselling.

She enjoys cooking and making delicious vegan takes on everyday food.

So here you can find a little corner, TheVeganSense, where you will find recipes and Vegan insight to show love not only to your loved ones, but also the animals and the planet.

Follow her on Instagram @TheVeganSense

10 Vegan Tips for Stress-Free Veganism

Going vegan almost overnight felt extremely easy – here’s Anna’s story, and vegan tips for everyone getting started!

Anna’s story on her vegan journey is inspiring and her tips in the second half of this post are powerful, for anyone that’s just getting started. Let’s dig in!

Veganism : Anna’s Story

I went vegan almost 9 years ago. Even though I grew up as an omnivore, eating almost everything apart from fish, I always thought it was extremely weird to eat something that came from the sea. I later discovered a very strong connection with the sea inhabitants. But this is a totally different story, maybe for a different time!

While growing up, I had severe iron deficiency and doctors kept saying I needed to eat red meat to help raise the iron levels in my blood.

In hindsight, my iron levels continued to stay low almost all my life, despite all the animal products in my diet. I should have just thought better, but oh well!

The older I grew up though, the more I started to feel a certain disgust every time I used to eat meat and realised that eating animal flesh was not only cruel but also unnecessary. I remember one episode in particular, when looking out from a train window I saw all these animals bred for meat and destined to a very early death. I remember that I started crying so much, from the pain which I could feel for these innocent beings.

That was the moment when things started to slowly change for me.

cows, dairy, farm, cattle, milk, vegan

I started reading tons of books on vegeterianism, watching countless videos on YouTube and gathering as much information as possible.

The more I read, the more I became aware of the cruelty that involved the dairy and the egg industry. And the more I found out, the more and more I felt outraged by the cruelty that these beautiful, innocent, sentient beings had to endure.

Becoming vegan became the only way to be. And almost overnight, I took the best decision of my life.

As I become more and more knowledgeable about veganism, I also became conscious that many of the clothes I was nonchalantly buying were the result of more exploitation and suffering. The washing up liquid I was using, was more of that.

I felt that all my life I had been supporting animal cruelty without even knowing. I was hurt, I felt guilty, I was angry.

And yet, that was the turning point of my life. My life vision completely altered. I was changed forever

Mixed with the sadness, there was also a very real excitement about this new phase of my life. I bought even more books to make sure I was giving myself enough nourishment and I was feeding my body with everything it needed.

I also wanted to make sure that my lifestyle was free from animal by products and 100% cruelty free.

Needless to say, I have been vegan for almost 9 years. And, it is a choice that I not only regret not having taken earlier, but that also fits with my spiritual path of love.
rooster, chicks, chicken, poultry, farm, animal-cruelty
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

Veganism : Top 10 Vegan Tips

To me, going vegan almost overnight felt extremely easy. It came within me, strong and powerful. It was almost like a moment of enlightenment where the world showed me how colours could look different, how light could be brighter. I was the same, and yet deeply changed.

I understand that not for everyone becoming vegan will be that easy, smooth or heartfelt. And it is absolutely fine.

dessert, dairy, chocolate, hungry, food, fridge, snack, vegan

Every experience deserves its time, its personal approach and beliefs. But if you are flirting with the idea of becoming vegan and don’t really know how, here are my top 10 tips.

Tip #1 – Have fun while learning about the lifestlye.

We all mess it up at the beginning. It’s OK to make mistakes, it’s OK to miss cheese and maybe also to eat it sometimes. Slowly transitioning into a vegan lifestyle is what makes this choice easier to stick to.

Tip #2 – Take it one animal at a time.

For some people radical changes are not really practical and doable. Start by removing one category at the time until you have completely removed all animal products from your diet. For example, remove fish (or seafood first), then land animals, and finally any produce by animals (honey, milk, etc).

Tip #3 – Make sure the reason you are going vegan is motivated by your inner sense.

It could be to improve your health, to actively do something for the planet or to stop animal cruelty. Whatever the reason, it needs to come from you and not just to follow a fad.

Tip #4 – Educate yourself as much as possible.

Read a lot of books; connect with like minded people and don’t be afraid to ask for advise. Get all the vegan tips you can. If you are worried about nutrients deficiency, consult a nutritionist. Don’t be shy. People are always happy to help when someone is trying to make a big, positive change.

Tip #5 – Experiment with your cooking.

Try different recipes, have fun in the kitchen, get creative! You might even find a talent you didn’t know you had! Share your culinary experiments with your friends and show them how tasty vegan food can be. I’ve been experimenting for years, and that’s how I’ve come up with recipes like Vegan Roulade and Vegan Pasta.

Tip #6 – Stick to plant based food.

Everything coming in its natural state is very likely to be always vegan. This seems also to be the cheapest and most affordable way to eat vegan.

Non-vegans always tell me that they don’t go vegan because it’s more expensive. Food such as rice, pulses, broccoli, potatoes, tinned tomatoes are the cheapest things you can find. And, they make delicious, satisfying meals!

Tip #7 – Veganism isn’t limited to food.

It means also removing from your day-to-day life animal products and byproducts. Support companies that are certified cruelty free and vegan.

NOTE : Not all cruelty free brands will have the official certification. It is quite an expensive application and not all small companies might be able to afford it. In doubt, a quick search online will clarify any doubt.

Tip #8 – Come out of the frame of mind that you are missing out.

Friends and family might make you feel that you will be missing out on social gatherings and functions. Truth is, times have changed and restaurants and caterers will easily accommodate any request especially when made in advance. Infact, there are exclusive vegan restaurants too, and they’re growing in number by the day!

Tip #9 – Stand strong in your beliefs.

Be prepared to be challenged, criticised, made fun of by the people around you. When you bring about such a change in your life, people will feel challenged in their own beliefs. That’s why is important to know your facts and your nutrition. When people will see you thriving and enjoying life more than ever, they will want to follow your example.

Tip #10 – Remember becoming vegan is a choice of love that reconnects you with love. So, love yourself in the process, too!

Life will improve in so many levels that I could just write an article about that! Be kind to yourself as you are trying to be kinder to the world. Every little step made towards a better world is already a big change and the world, the animals and your own soul will bow to you with reverence and respect.

Becoming vegan is not only an ethical choice, it is also a choice that will bring you more peace into your being and in the world around you. Hope my tips reassured you that not only is going vegan possible, it is easy.

Sending love and light to all beings,

Love,

Annalisa xx

Annalisa D’Agostino is a Reiki Master, also professionally pursuing holistic and spiritual counselling.

She enjoys cooking and making delicious vegan takes on everyday food.

So here you can find a little corner, TheVeganSense, where you will find recipes and Vegan insight to show love not only to your loved ones, but also the animals and the planet.

Follow her on Instagram @TheVeganSense