If you’re considering following a vegan diet, chances are you’re doing it for ethical reasons. Vegans don’t just avoid eating meat, poultry or fish – they also avoid any animal products and by-products like honey, eggs and dairy. They also don’t wear fur, leather, wool or silk, and they don’t use personal care products that are made from substances obtained from animals.
Vegans object on principle to exploiting animals, and believe that animals that are raised to provide foods and other commodities to mankind are not well treated. They consider the production methods to be inhumane.
It is possible to obtain proper nutrition on a vegan diet, and it needn’t be boring. A varied and healthy vegan diet includes vegetables, fruits, leafy greens, seeds, nuts, legumes and whole grain products.
On a vegan diet, contrary to popular belief, one isn’t typically deprived of protein. Vegans can consume chickpeas, peas, tofu, lentils, soymilk, peanut butter, rice, spinach, almonds, kale, broccoli, and any number of other foods that contain enough protein to allow for a well-rounded diet.
In order to get enough healthy fat in a vegan diet, nut and seed butters, coconut, and avocado as well as most oils can be consumed.
One thing that isn’t present in a vegan diet is vitamin D. However, the body manufactures its own vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.
Calcium doesn’t have to come from milk – it can be found in tofu, dark green vegetables, and fortified soy or rice milk. Blackstrap molasses is also a good source of calcium.
Iron is, of course, another important nutrient. For most people, iron comes from meat. Vegans obtain iron in dark green vegetables, dried beans, chickpeas, blackstrap molasses, lentils, prune juice, bok choi, watermelon, and tahini, to name just a few delicious foods.
We could go on and on, but you get the idea – vegans can obtain their essential nutrients from non-animal foods. If you think a vegan diet has to be boring, consider some of these delicious suggestions: stir fried veggies, three bean salad, popcorn, baked beans, orange juice, guacamole, peanut butter on whole grain bread, soy yogurt, rice pudding, corn chowder, banana muffins, vegetable curries… again, we could go on and on.
It’s very possible to obtain all your essential nutrients on a vegan diet. There’s no need to sacrifice variety, and your conscience won’t be troubled either.