10 Reasons to Not Become a Vegan
If you get out once in awhile, scan magazines in a grocery store check-out, or surf your social media feeds, you probably know that veganism has been trending sharply upward in the last decade. Vegetarianism, in all its forms, has also been growing in western countries including the US.
At the very least, you know being a vegetarian or vegan means not eating meat. Vegans eat no animal products at all (not even honey) and are also called "pure vegetarians." Vegetarians might eat eggs and dairy products, and they're generally not as strict. Maybe you've seen some of these crunchy soyf***ers in your local grocery store, loading their carts with tofu, soy milk, and piles of vegetables and fruit.
And you can bet your baby back ribs that they're the ones blocking the aisles as they check the ingredients on food packages. "Just get the damn shit," you grumble as you squeeze by with your own cart.
You might even have a sibling, a friend, or a colleague pushing their way of eating on you. "You should eat less meat!" they lecture. "It's not good for you. It's mean to animals, and you'll die of a heart attack by the time you're 50."
"La, la, la I can't hear you!" You've always eaten meat, and why should you change now? People have always eaten meat; who hasn't? Humans are at the top of the food chain, after all, and it's perfectly normal. No way are you going to change your ways for a bunch of garden-gobbling snobatarians.
Going vegan does make life a little different, that's for sure. I know from experience because I've been a vegetarian most of my life. And two years ago, I cut all animal products from my diet including dairy products.
I even avoid processed foods like many plant-based eaters do (I always have), and fast foods are out (what would I eat?). Sure, I had my share of mac and cheese and ramen noodles in college. Cooking takes a lot of time and effort, after all, especially when you can barely keep up with school assignments, work, or whatever else you're into.
So, yeah. Being a vegetarian or vegan is a royal pain in the ass, and here's why you should stick with eating meat.
1. You'll have to do some thinking and planning.
It's true. You can't just stop eating meat and eat whatever else. Oh, you'll probably be fine for awhile with cold cereal and oatmeal, a cheese sandwich, spaghetti, or frozen veggie burgers. But it gets boring. Worse, you might not be getting the nutrients you need. Even with the best, most well-planned vegan diet, you'll probably have to take vitamin B12 supplements.
Prepared, fortified foods like breakfast cereals or plant-based milk have added B12, but you'll have to read labels carefully since you can't get much from plant sources. Other nutrients to be careful about and possibly supplement include Vitamin D, calcium, zinc, folate, and the Omega-3 fatty acid ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Some organizations list still more, like these.
Vegetarians have it easier than vegans if they eat eggs and dairy products. But either way, you'll have to eat lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes like peas, beans, and lentils. Add soy products like tofu, tempeh, and seitan for variety, additional nutrients, and protein. Plus nuts. "Nuts!" you say. "Why not just grab a burger and fries? Much easier."
2. You'll need to spend time on food prep and cooking.
If you already know cooking basics, this part won't be too hard. And if you already do "batch cooking" you might spend even less time on food prep than you do now.
But if you don't know how to chop up vegetables, this will suck, especially if you don't have a food processor that can do 90% of the work. And if you can't make a pot of rice without burning it, if you can't figure out how to spin a salad spinner, and if you can't slice some onions or garlic without cutting yourself, then don't even think of going vegan. It's just not worth all that misery.
3. You'll probably lose weight if you go vegan.
You don't want to lose weight, do you? More than two out of three Americans are overweight or obese, and standing out in the crowd isn't much fun. Your friends will bust your chops or get jealous, and that's hard to deal with. They won't want to hang out with you, either, especially if you start working out or getting some serious exercise. You won't go to the same pubs or restaurants anymore or, if you do, you'll have to order whatever vegetarian or vegan options they might have. How embarrassing. And if you quit drinking, forget about it.
Besides, if you're a man's man, you like your beer gut. And if you're a woman, you might lose all those curves you worked so hard to love. Plus, you'll go down a few bra sizes, and you'll have to buy all new clothes. Who can afford it these days? And your partner says he or she loves you as you are, so who cares? They might not want you anymore if you get all healthy and trim. So forget it.
4. You just might save money.
If you stock up on all sorts of packaged processed food for vegans and shop only at high-priced specialty stores, you might spend more on food than you do now. Organic vegetables cost more than conventional veggies, too, and that will rack up your food bill pretty damn fast. Read more...