Many people associate the word vegan with plant-eating. People know that vegans, or vegetarians, do not eat meat. But there’s so much more to being a vegan than not eating meat. As a matter of fact, you might be part vegan. I’ll explain why.
First of all, eating meat will disqualify you from being a vegan. But you eat other things that are considered vegan foods. Yogurt, beans, nuts, and even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich are all considered vegan. Look at all of those choices!
There’s nothing uncool about being a vegan. It’s not even too out of the ordinary. After all, much of the food that is considered vegan is eaten universally. That’s why I say you’re part vegan. I am part vegan myself. I like to eat healthily. I don’t always eat meats. White meat is healthier than dark meat. I suppose no meat is the healthiest. Or maybe not.
For example, salmon is a fish, but it’s considered a meat. Salmon has numerous health benefits to include protein and omega-3 acids. Chicken, the white meat, also had a great amount of protein. Eggs, not surprisingly, also have a great amount of protein.
If someone is a strict vegetarian, there are other natural ways to get protein, however. They can eat beans, which I referenced earlier. Beans are a wonderful source of protein. These people probably won’t eat hamburgers or hotdogs. That is great because the bread buns that come with these are not healthy.
Taking these buns out of a diet will reduce carbohydrates. They must be made up but in a healthier way. The answer is oatmeal. Oatmeal is one of the healthiest foods one can eat for breakfast. This is because oatmeal is made up of complex carbs which are slow-burning and keep the person full for a longer period of time.
I’m an omnivore and therefore open-minded. I’ve always enjoyed a good burger, given that it was farmed in a sustainable way. That being said, I enjoy vegan food as well. However, I tend to prefer knowing exactly what I’m eating. One day, not too long ago, I ate my first vegan meat. I did not know that it was vegan! At least right away.
A few months ago I was preparing to eat a nice spaghetti and meatball dinner. I was preparing to eat, but I did not prepare the meal. When it was ready, I was called to eat. It looked great! The pasta, red sauce, and meatballs have always been a treat for me. However, there was something “off” when I chewed the meat.
It wasn’t bad. It was just different. I found out soon after that the “meat” was actually a plant-based creation. I was very surprised that what I was eating could actually pass for real meat. Because technology continues to increase, these types of options are now readily available.
A quick trip to grocery stores such as Whole Foods or Mom’s Organics will show this. There, one can find vegan “meat” and other vegan options. They even sell vegan “meats” at Trader Joe’s and will probably start selling them at large chain stores. That is, of course, if people begin purchasing this product regularly.
Grocery stores aren’t the only places one can find vegan “meat”. A hip burger joint in my city has begun selling plant-based “meat” burgers. Will it catch on! Time will tell. However, for vegans, this is a time to be excited about. People who don’t eat meat have their reasons. They might love animals or simply want to eat healthier. Either way, this option should satisfy them since they have more choices.
Tastes change over time. Perhaps I should say tastes change over generations. It’s a slow process. In the 1950s, TV dinners were widespread. These days, people are generally healthier. They are healthier because we know how bad those meals are for us. In the quest to become healthier, some opt to choose vegan food.
Not everyone who eats vegan food is a vegan. Does this make sense? I know it sounds counter-intuitive. Let’s put it a different way. Take someone who drinks a diet coke. Yes, their drink is the diet version of the pop (some might say “soda”). However, that person is not necessarily on a diet. In the same way, a person can eat a vegan meal and not be a vegan.
This person eating the vegan meal might be doing so for the first time. Perhaps they are trying out a new lifestyle. Yes, there is a vegan lifestyle! There are vegan websites, vegan magazines, and vegan beliefs. The vegan lifestyle is just as real as a dieting lifestyle or other lifestyle.
Vegan food is becoming more popular because people perceive it to be a healthier option. You won’t find much vegan food at most fast food restaurants. Vegan food can be found in higher end food stores such as Whole Foods. Smaller chains, like Mom’s Organic, also highlight the vegan lifestyle and therefore carry many vegan products.
In the never-ending desire to become healthier, more people may try vegan food. Some may like it. Some may not like it. But one thing is for sure. Vegan food is more popular now than it was a few decades ago. There are many options as well. Therefore, people are sure to find an option they would find tasty. There are even vegan versions of popular foods such as hot dogs or pizza. Head to Whole Foods and see the options!