Some of you may not even really know the answers to these top 5 questions vegans get asked, and so today I really wanted to give you a useful bite-sized post to help you understand the best way to answer these questions, based on your comfort level and who you’re talking with.
“Where do you get your protein?”
Raise your hand if you’ve heard this one before!
If you haven’t heard this one yet…get ready because you’re about to…a lot!
This is just one of the MANY questions new vegans get asked, and it can totally catch you off guard when you aren’t used to explaining anything about the way you eat.
Who’s Asking These Questions Anyways?
For sure you’re going to get the most detailed questions from those closest to you…
These are the people who have known you most of your life or for a very long time, and they are super comfortable asking you All. THE. THINGS. based on your previous shared experiences together.
This is also the group of people who will be expecting more detailed responses from you.
And just a disclaimer here…you don’t need to explain your diet to anyone!
If you don’t wanna talk about it you can simply say something like,
“Ya, I’m not exactly sure about that, but all I know is my health has never been better, and I’m really enjoying this way of eating.”
Then you can point them to a documentary if you want, like What the Health or Dominion or share where you first heard about veganism or plant-based eating.
Let them do their own research if you don’t want to dive right into the answers yourself.
With that being said, let’s get into the top 5 questions you’ll be asked when you first go vegan so you can learn the best and easiest responses for each.
I’m using my experience here of 6 years living this lifestyle along with my husband and 4 kids.
By the way…If you’re a parent, get ready because the questions you’re about to get are doubled for you!
If you’re new here, nice to meet you! I’m Megan and my content teaches you everything you need to know about going vegan the right way from recipes to resources. I offer free resources as well as incredible programs to help you out.
The Top 5 Annoying Questions New Vegans Get Asked
Watch the video here:
Here’s what we’re taking a look at in this post:
- “Where do you get your protein?”
- “Bacon tho…”
- “Isn’t it hard to be fully vegan?”
- “Don’t you need milk for strong bones?”
- “What’s wrong with eggs and dairy if the animal doesn’t get killed?”
#1 is, you guessed it, “where do you get your protein”
If you know the answer to this one, high five….tell everyone in the comments now!
So, we’ve all grown up hearing that we need to get protein from meat and dairy products in order to be healthy.
And, if you were to become a vegetarian, the plants you eat would need to be combined very technically in order to not die from protein deficiency.
But, in actuality, every single plant food contains ALL of the amino acids necessary for your body to take those short chains, and combine them all on its own.
You see, our bodies are incredibly efficient and they can hold on to certain amino acids until they get a matching pair to create a full protein.
You do not need to eat rice and beans at the same time or even day to get the benefits of a full protein.
And, in fact, most people are more in danger of getting too much protein than not enough.
Because every single plant food contains protein, the only way you would be protein deficient is if you were CALORIE deficient.
Dr. Michael Gregor’s books, How Not to Die and How Not to Diet are excellent resources.
Both of these are a wealth of science-based, non-bias information.
You can also check out nutritionfacts.org his site where he has a full research team combing through all of the latest health studies on nutrition and breaking them down for the public.
He doesn’t make any money from his book sales and his site is a non-profit.
#2 Bacon tho….
This one can show up as literally, “I love bacon too much” or some other variation like, “I could never go vegan because I love cheese, meat, etc etc….”
And though it’s true many vegans and plant-based eaters hate the thought of meat and won’t go near faux meat products, most of us didn’t just wake up one day losing our taste for the foods we all grew up on.
No….instead we learned about the animal ethics, the implications for our sustained health, and how eating vegan can be a powerful tool to help combat the climate crisis.
Once you have your reasons set in stone, suddenly your taste buds are not worth the cost of eating animal products anymore.
When you check those resources down below, I have a freebie called Finding Your Why Workbook.
This walks you through your personal motivations and makes them crystal clear so you can easily articulate your decision to those closest to you, and keep your motivations at the forefront of your mind as you being your transition to a plant-based or vegan lifestyle.
And as you continue to eat more plant foods, your taste buds do eventually change.
Okay, quick story time….
I remember years ago, when we first went vegan I wanted to try a piece of my favorite chocolate bar at Halloween.
I took a bite and I was so disappointed.
All I could taste was the milk. I could actually taste the animal fat in it and it completely turned me off.
Same with smelling BBQ meat burgers, or turkey or roast beef cooking.
I can smell the animal fat and it turns my stomach.
As a true foodie, this completely surprised me.
For those of you guys who have been eating this way for a while now I’d love to know if this happened to you as well?
#3 “Isn’t it hard to be vegan? I could maybe go vegetarian, but I could never go fully vegan”
I hear this a LOT!!!
It’s like somehow making the leap from removing meat to removing meat, dairy, and eggs is just way too much.
And, I mean I get it, because if you’re on the standard American or Canadian diet, that means you’re eating eggs for breakfast, grilled cheese for lunch, and chicken for dinner…or some other variation.
Regardless, you’re eating all three of those foods most of the days of the week.
So, it’s like thinking you need to change breakfast, lunch, and dinner is way harder than just changing dinner.
And I personally know many people who are fully vegan now and took a longer path to get there.
Plenty of vegetarians have gone vegan 20 years later, usually once they understand the ethics behind the egg and dairy industry which we’ll get into in a minute.
But I can promise you that once you find your go-to swaps for these foods, life will be infinitely easier as a vegan.
To help you out, be sure to grab a free copy of my Vegan Swaps Checklist.
It takes you through all of the animal based foods and shows you multiple plant-based options for each one so you can find your favorite.
Today there are so many more plant-based options, both at the grocery store and when you eat out at your favorite restaurants.
It wasn’t this way just 6 years ago.
Veganism isn’t going anywhere, and our culture is definitely moving toward a plant-based norm.
When someone asks me this, I usually respond by saying,
“The food isn’t what’s hard about being vegan. The hardest thing is being vegan is doing it in a non-vegan world, meaning, being the odd one out or different from most people because I’m vegan.”
#4 “You need milk for strong bones”
Ah yes….the dairy industry paid a lot to have this one ingrained in our heads….
It’s true, milk has calcium and vitamin D.
It has protein and other essential vitamins and minerals.
That’s totally true.
But so do plants.
And we don’t need to filter our nutrients through a cow to make them more easily accessible.
1 cup of skim milk has about 300mg of calcium.
To get 300mg of calcium on a plant-based diet you can eat 1 cup of cooked kale for 180mg and half a cup of tofu for another 200mg.
Even 1 orange has 55mg!
And don’t forget about the fortified foods you eat like cereal and plant-based milk which are super delicious and there are so many to choose from!
#5 “I get why vegans don’t eat meat, but what’s wrong with eggs and dairy? The animal doesn’t get killed.”
I used to think this too….
And I’m so sorry to tell you this, but in reality the dairy industry is the cruelest of all.
Without getting into to many details here…
I’ll just say that in order for us to get milk from a cow, she needs to have a baby….just like female humans.
When that baby is born, the farmers will take it away and feed it formula so they can collect the cows milk for sale.
If the baby is a male, he is sent to veal or beef because the dairy industry only needs a few males to keep up production.
If the baby is female then she is subject to the same fate as momma.
Pushed through as many pregnancies as possible before she’s spent…all while having her baby taken away from her again and again.
I’ve seen heartbreaking footage of the mother cows crying days on end for their babies to be brought back, thinking they are lost from the heard.
So, in essence if you support dairy financially, you are also supporting beef and veal financially.
Eggs Aren’t that bad…
When it comes to eggs, a lot of people think that the eggs are just a byproduct of the chicken.
That’s true, however in the wild most chickens will actually eat their own eggs in order to regain the lost nutrition when it isn’t fertilized.
In addition, we’ve bread chickens to produce an exorbitant number of eggs nowadays compared to what they would have produced naturally.
This reduces their lifespan significantly.
When it comes time to cull the flock when their egg production diminishes, they will resupply with a new batch of baby chicks.
When these chicks hatch, they are actually color coded so the males or females are darker than the other gender.
This way the farmers know which ones to keep.
Because the males are not needed, just like in dairy, the baby male chicks are destroyed on day 1 of their life.
Typically, in an efficient way like through a macerator.
These are just the ethical reasons why vegans do not eat dairy and eggs.
There are health issues as well, but for me, this is more than enough of a reason to never eat eggs or dairy again.
That was heavy..
There isn’t really an easy way to come out of that part of the post.
But, I want you to know that although the reality of the situation is very sad and at times it can feel hopeless, every choice you make really does matter!
The more you vote with your dollar and speak up for the animals by educating those around you, the less harm will be done to them.
Most people really have no idea about what really goes on, so try to have comapssion for non-vegans when you’re speaking with them.
It can take time for people to really process this information.
And, you may find, that people don’t want to know the truth, because deep down they know they’ll have to change what they’ve always done and that can feel like a lot.
What did I miss?
I want to know what you guys hear most often when people find out you’re vegan.
Did I cover the main ones, or was there something I missed?
Let’s chat in the comments!
I’ve had my fair share of struggles speaking with friends and close family members when we first went vegan.
It sucked because nobody we cared about understood our decision, and they didn’t want to try and understand either.
If you’re going through something similar, then be sure to read this post next all about How to be Vegan Long Term.
If you don’t have a community yet, come on over to my free mentorship community on Facebook.
We share recipes, resources and tips to keep you motivated!
I hope to see you there!
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