Vegan, not Vegetarian: Common misbeliefs about Veganism

Updated: Jan 9

Veganism has been the fastest picking change globally. TBH, there's much more to it than non-vegetarians getting offended to reconsider their food choices. While most situations have two sides like flipping a coin here there's a sphere which has no sides. Some advocate Veganism as a business propaganda, some call it a trend, some may state it to be a gimmick. What I have learnt out of following a cruelty-free lifestyle for 2 years now is that, there are a lot of misbeliefs floating around pertaining Veganism.

But before you question where do I get protein, vitamins and all other nutrients from if I'm eating plant-based, the answer is in the very question itself - PLANTS! To make this easy for you guys I thought I could bring a list of misbeliefs that come sticking around with my Vegan Life:

1. Vegan or Vegetarian they're both the same.

NO! To put this in simple words, a Vegan does not consume the following: Milk or any dairy based products, animal or bird meat, seafood and everything that comes from another animal. While food is one part of the list, Veganism is not only a diet unlike being Vegetarian, it’s a lifestyle. Vegans would choose to eat no food derived from animals for compassion, they also believe no other animal products should used to avoid causing any harm to all sentient beings. These would be leather, ivory, natural fibres like silk, wool and more. I'll emphasis on this point yet again, "A Vegan diet is dairy-free & meat-free".

In my perspective veganism is a conscious choice to live a cruelty free life that strikes a balance of 3 - mind, body and the surroundings. Why I intertwine a connection of 3 of these spheres has a simple answer. I'm going to get my own theory here, to which I'm sure a lot of my Vegan friends would agree. Giving a conscious thought about my food choices my mind feels at peace by omitting animal products, not just that but this step of feeling animal-compassion has made me reflect upon my material needs in my life too, being a shopoholic in past, I now stick to buying things only as per necessity and I value them more than before (these are both also pocket-friendly ways to practice). Over the years that I started to become a good observer to my own body, I gradually realised how it silently suffered from multiple health issues. My body projected symptoms consuming dairy that I was made to ignore through years as most individuals including doctors considered them as menial problems (I have loads to share about this through my experience, let me know if you'd like me to write about it). I could only catch hold of the malefactors when I keenly looked out for the pattern of my suffering - dairy was the first culprit I caught. As I learnt about my own body, I could come down to making peace with my mind and give my energy towards living harmoniously with my surroundings in which ever environment I was.

2. Veganism is a privilege, luxury, a trend that's going away soon.

The first thing I get told by my friends and most people I meet is that they can't afford to get alternatives to dairy milk and meat. Almond mylk is not the only substitute guys - I clearly understand your concerns regarding tight monthly grocery budgets but, in this 21st century big wild world, there's a variety of non-dairy mylk you and I can choose from. I'll make it easy for you - Peanut mylk, Coconut mylk (already used very widely in Thai cuisine), Oat mylk, Rice mylk, Soy mylk, Cashew mylk, Pistachio mylk, Hemp mylk. What's fun is, all of these could be prepared in your own kitchen with a just a little effort. Checkout this video from my Youtube Channel to start making Oat Mylk at the comfort of your home :D Coming onto the meat that you think is friendlier for your pocket, let's leave this on restaurant menus to compare which among vegetarian and non-vegetarian items is costlier. Or if you're a regular with grocery shopping you'll know the prices of vegetables right. Practically, most Indian dishes could be plant-based if dairy is eliminated. So if healthier food is luxury for you, well then I'm living a luxurious life.