Why Yes, I Am Vegan

Even as more people opt to become vegan, questions abound. I've got a few friends who have been following a vegan lifestyle for a while now. For a quick lesson in the animal-free lifestyle, I decided to pick their brains about the common questions they get asked.

Here is their list of the top five questions they are asked most often:

  1. Do vegans get enough protein?
    Meat is not the only source of protein. Nuts, seeds, avocados, certain vegetables, soy beans, legumes and many more plant-based foods contain significant amounts of protein.
  2. Are you able to eat out at a restaurant?
    Many restaurants have vegan-friendly options, as it is a more common diet to follow as compared to years ago. Even though there may not be a "vegan dish" on the menu, we often can piece together a decent meal.
  3. Are vegans deprived of chocolate?
    Most dark chocolate is vegan. As one friend told me, "Living without chocolate is silly!"
  4. Are you obsessed with tofu?
    First of all, being vegan doesn't mean you have to eat tofu. Just like eating meat doesn't mean you have to eat chicken or pork or beef. Don't just assume if someone is a vegan that tofu is their only substantial option. Quick tofu fact: If it is marinated and cooked appropriately, it can take any flavor you want.
  5. Are all vegans extreme with their diets?
    Vegans do not only eat granola, berries and tofu. Different variations and combinations of fruits, vegetables, plant-based proteins and desserts are all part of our diet. Veganism is a choice, but it is not the "heavy burden" or "inconvenienced lifestyle" it is made out it be.

In short, veganism is a healthy, exciting alternative to the modern American diet. In fact, Dr. T. Colin Campbell in his book, The China Study, demonstrates that those who ate primarily a plant-based diet were the healthiest.

One last note: I'd like to thank Danielle Devine-Baum and Grace Farren for offering their personal insight!

Anita Mirchandani on Twitter
Anita Mirchandani
Anita Mirchandani, MS, RD, CDN, is registered dietitian and recently cofounded FitMapped, a free "trip advisor for fitness" to help users find fitness easily and connect with fellow fitness enthusiasts. Follow Anita on Twitter.