As an experimental vegan, as the only vegan in my immediate surroundings and as the only vegan a lot of the people in my life know, I get asked a lot of questions. Like I said in a previous post, people are incredibly interested and curious in my new lifestyle. Among the questions I get asked, a number of them are the same recurring questions so to hopefully put all these questions to rest, I’m going to answer as many as I can right here right now.
It’s the vegan frequently asked questions!
Q. What can’t you eat?
A. Literally anything that comes from an animal. That means all types of meat. Yes, even chicken and fish. I also can’t eat dairy products like milk, yogurt, cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, all other kinds of cheese, creme fraiche, and butter. In addition, I cannot eat eggs and even gelatine. Therefore, anything that contains any of the aforementioned foods in its ingredients list I cannot eat. That’s a lot of stuff.
Q. So then what can you eat? A. Well, basically everything else. All the fruit, vegetables, legumes, and grains. And everything else that has these in its ingredients list and nothing else. It doesn’t sound like much but if you think of the variety of fruit and veggies out there it’s boundless.
Q. Why are you vegan? A. I think I’m just too curious for my own good. I wanted to know why vegans do what they do because to be honest, I thought vegans were crazy and I guess I wanted to understand their craziness, so I became vegan.
Q. Isn’t it unhealthy? A. I thought so too once upon a time, but surprisingly enough, it isn’t. Technically speaking, people can survive without consuming other animals. And if you eat well enough you should not experience any nutrient deficiency problems.
Q. Does it make you tired? A. No. If anything it gives you more energy. It’s actually quite amazing.
Q. Are Oreos really vegan? A. It is a known fact amongst people of the vegan community that Oreos are vegan. And if you don’t believe it, read the packaging for yourself.
Q. Where do you get your protein? A. Believe it or not, protein isn’t only found in animals. In fact, protein is found in literally everything. Yes, even lettuce. There just happens to be less of it in lettuce but it’s still there. Protein is not hard to find. There’s just more of it in some foods than in others. Ever heard of someone suffering from a protein deficiency? Neither have I. Because it doesn’t happen. Even if all you eat is rice and salad. *Please note that vegans do not only eat rice and salad. Our meals are much more interesting and diverse, I swear!*
Q. Is it hard? A. It’s only hard if there is nothing that actually drives you to be vegan. If there is no cause you are passionate about or if you are not in love with the way it makes your body feel or if you’re just not in the right mind set then it will be hard to commit. Despite that, it is always difficult to resist temptation if it is there. Especially when you’re famished and the only food you have around you is meat. (That happens more often than not at home. It’s horrible)
Q. How do you feel? A. I feel great, I’m not going to lie. I have energy. I feel light. I feel clean. I look great. I feel healthy. I feel like I’m doing my body a favour. I feel like I’m treating my body well.
Q. How do you go to restaurants? A. By finding a mode of transportation, maybe even some company, walking into the restaurant, finding a seat, sitting down, looking through the menu and ordering food. Okay all jokes aside, it’s not easy. There aren’t a lot of options available and you always have to modify a dish. It’s difficult. But it’s not impossible.
Q. Do you do it for the animals? A. I feel like if I say “no” it will make me a monster, especially because I am aware of what goes on at those farms but I actually don’t do it for the animals. I do, however, understand why other people do it for the animals. It’s a horrible life for any animal destined to turn into a steak or bacon or buffalo wings or to fart out eggs for the rest of its life or be force fed hormones to produce milk even when it naturally shouldn’t be lactating or to turn into a handbag or a fur coat or so that people can have that new range of MAC lipsticks. Perhaps one day I will do it for the animals. But for now my only reason for being vegan is because I want to see what it’s like.
Q. Isn’t it expensive? A. It’s very expensive. Fruit and vegetables are expensive in Namibia and so are all those “weird” seeds, oils, butters and milks.
Q. For how long will you stay vegan? A. I only intend on staying vegan for a year but if things go well it might be a permanent thing or if not then I might only be vegetarian.
And my all time favourite: Q. Do you have a cheat day? A. No. I do not have a cheat day. This is not a fad diet. This is a lifestyle. It’s a way of life. You do not get cheat days in life. In fact, I do not require a cheat day because I’m not punishing myself by denying myself certain foods to look a certain way and I am certainly not doing this for the wrong reasons that would make me want to have a cheat day. Cheat days imply that you are punishing your body to be a certain way but this is not the case. This is not punishment. This is not a diet. No cheat day needed.
Hopefully this has helped clear up anything you’ve been wondering about being vegan. If you have anything to say please do leave a comment. I would love to hear your opinion. And if there’s a question I haven’t answered or something you’re still wondering please ask. I will try to answer it as best as I can.