Crudites

3 Myths Vegans Tell You

Though I haven't been vegan for a full year yet, I figure the amount of nooch I've eaten these past ten months is all the certification I need to tackle some of the most popular lies vegans will tell you.

  1. 1. It's All Or Nothing...

    low angle of green trees

    ... if you want to make an environmental impact.

    It's true that recent research has shown that going vegan is one of the best things to do for the environment and it's what made me go vegan in the first place. But to say that you can only reduce your carbon footprint by going totally vegan is not only over-simplifying the science but just false. Anyone can minimize their carbon footprint by reducing the amount of animal-based food they eat and increasing the amount of plant-based food they eat. Whether that might be easier to do if you think about it in terms of eating vegan certain days of the week or adjusting the proportions of what you buy at the grocery store, you are making a difference even if it's not as big as it would be if you were plant-based 24/7.

    Beyond that, there has been some discussion on the concept of food miles, that is, the distance food is transported from where it is produced to where it is consumed and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with longer transportation. Some environmentalists consider food miles more relevant to their activism than strictly adhering to a plant-based diet, choosing instead to only eat food that's locally-sourced.  

  2. 2. Everyone Can Go Vegan

    sunday brunch food

    Controversial, but true. It's good to emphasize that everyone is capable of making a difference because not everyone can go completely vegan. 

    Last November, after receiving a lot of backlash online for quitting before her goal, influencer Quenlin Blackwell candidly shared on her twitter how her attempt to go vegan ended up bringing back symptoms of her eating disorder. Throughout these past ten vegan months, I've personally heard lots of similar stories from people who struggle with disordered eating. Pushing the narrative that there are no excuses when it comes to not going vegan can be alienating and incredibly harmful—the way we talk about veganism can have real-world consequences for people's health. Being confined to a vegan diet can be an unnecessary obstacle when you're already struggling with your health.  

    Similarly, going vegan might be really difficult for people with certain allergies to things like soy or nuts. While there are vegan alternatives for people with allergies like these, they often come with a hefty price tag, making them inaccessible.

    Acknowledging that going vegan isn't an option for everyone doesn't take away from all the good that can come from going vegan. 

  3. 3. There's Only One Type Of Veganism

    ratatouille

    This myth might not be one that's consciously spread, but the attitude that there's only one reason for going vegan is downright prevalent on the internet.

    The truth is that there's a lot of diversity within the vegan community and that's a direct result of there being a plethora of reasons to go vegan in the first place. People can go vegan for animal rights, the environment, their health, or even spiritual/religious reasons. These different reasons are why some vegans consider honey okay to eat and why some don't prioritize purchasing cruelty-free products. This is an important myth to debunk not only because over-generalizing minimizes people's experiences in a way that's not helpful to anyone involved but because its diversity is what makes the vegan community so great (oftentimes, treating veganism as one thing ends up white-washing it).