Is a vegan diet healthy?
Definitely! A balanced vegan diet consisting of a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds is the healthiest of all and will provide all the nutrients you need, with the bonus of higher antioxidants and lower saturated fat and cholesterol. However, any diet can be unhealthy if you aren’t eating the right foods. A diet of burgers, fries, chocolate, biscuits, sweets and pizza is unhealthy regardless of whether it’s vegan or not.
Animal products are high in saturated fat and don’t provide fibre, while plant based foods are high in fibre and low in saturated fats. Only animal products contain cholesterol, which along with diets high in saturated fat are linked to health dangers such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer. High intakes of animal protein also increases risks of osteoporosis, and kidney stones, amongst other things. Vegetable protein is not linked to these diseases.
Will I be able to get enough protein?
Getting enough protein is not as hard as you may think. Most adults need only about 50g a day, and most people consume considerably more than this. You can easily include non animal protein in your diet through soy products, tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds, whole grains, lentils, beans, chickpeas, wholegrain rice and pasta, as well as getting a little protein in most of your vegetables. Translated into everyday food this could include:
– Muesli with banana and soymilk
– Peanut butter on wholegrain toast
– Soy shake
– Handful of nuts and seeds
– Wrap with hummus, salad and falafel
– Soy yoghurt or muesli bar
– Veggie stirfry with tofu
Where do I get iron from?
There are lots of plant sources of iron, try to ensure that you eat a variety of foods, such as dark green leafy vegetables, beans and lentils, seeds, wholegrains, nuts and dried fruit. Foods such as breakfast cereals and orange juice are often fortified with iron. Vitamin C aids the absorption of iron in the body so a vegan diet is an advantage as it generally contains a variety of fruit and vegetables. If you are concerned about your iron intake then try to avoid drinking tea or red wine with your food. The tannins contained in them can inhibit the absorption of iron. If you decide to take supplements make sure the labels says they are not from animals sources (Note: Red Iron is vegan and the Freeda brand also produce a vegan iron supplement).
Will I need to supplement calcium if I don’t eat dairy?
You can get an adequate amount of calcium from your diet. Good sources of calcium include green leafy vegetables, baked beans, black beans, dried figs, tahini, almonds and tofu*. Adults generally need about 100mg of calcium daily.
Vitamin D assists the absorption of calcium in the body. A reliable source of Vitamin D is approximately 15 minutes of unprotected exposure to the sun each day (avoid the hottest part of the day). If you do eat products supplemented with Vitamin D, then make sure it is Vitamin D2 as this is of plant origin. Vitamin D3 is of animal origin (usually from wool fat).
*This depends how the tofu was processed. Check the label to ensure that calcium is listed as an ingredient.
I’ve heard that vegans have trouble getting enough B12?
Vegans can get B12 through fortified soy milk, marmite and savoury yeast flakes. B12 has also been added to some other vegan products (eg. some Sanitarium burgers, sausages and ice ‘creams’ – check labels though as some Sanitarium products contain eggs and dairy). We recommend that vegans take a B12 supplement as any B12 present in plant foods is not easily absorbed into the body. (Thompsons Ultra B12 and Natures Own B12 are vegan).
Are there any detox effects when switching to a vegan diet?
In short, the answer is that it depends what sort of diet you are switching from and what sort of vegan diet you are adopting. It will be an individual experience for everyone. There are healthy vegan diets and there are junk-food vegan diets. Let me explain further. Read more…
What is wrong with eating dairy products?
Many people do not realise the cruelty involved in the dairy industry. A cow, like a human, only produces milk when she has a baby to feed. Dairy cows are therefore forced to produce calf after calf, each of whom are taken from her shortly after birth, in order to keep her producing milk. The stress placed on the cow often results in her being killed as young as 3 years old, when her natural lifespan is between 20-25 years. The female calves of these cows often replace other members of the dairy herd, whereas the male calves are unwanted side products of the industry. They are either raised for veal or killed shortly after birth. Dairy is high in saturated fat and cholesterol and is linked to obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis. Dairy can also cause iron deficient anaemia in infants and toddlers. For further information on the dairy industry, head to our `Vegetarianism is Not Enough` section.
Does vegan food taste good?
Yes it does! Our culture is all that limits us in eating an amazing selection of delicious vegan foods. We are increasingly programmed to eat highly processed and animal based diets. Yet, there are plenty of vegan products and recipes available with more coming on the market all the time. Some you will like and some you may not, like with any food choices. You’ll have your favourites and you may be surprised that a lot of the food you already eat is vegan or can be easily adapted.
Is honey vegan?
Honey is an animal product and is therefore avoided by vegans. Surprisingly a lot of bees are factory farmed and live in unnatural conditions. The queen is often artificially inseminated, has her wings clipped and is replaced (killed) after 1 or 2 years (normal life span is around 5 years). Many bees are casualties of harvesting and transportation. Try using agave nectar, maple syrup or golden syrup instead. Watch: Is Honey Vegan? Healthy? Humane?
Is Smoking vegan?
It’s pretty clear by now that cigarettes are bad for your health, but are they objectionable from a vegan perspective? In this video we look into hidden ingredients, animal testing, worker conditions. Watch: Is Smoking Vegan?
Where do I start finding out what I can and can’t eat?
To put it simply – anything from a plant you eat and anything from an animal you don’t eat! You’ll be pleasantly surprised there’s heaps more you can eat than can’t. For instance, natures bounty of unlimited fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes as well as your standard pantry items such as pasta, rice and bread – just check the label until you’re familiar with which brands are vegan, as some may contain egg or dairy. If a product is processed always check the ingredients as many vegetarian products use eggs and cheese. More and more labels now say whether the product is suitable for vegans, as time passes and veganism grows this should become standard practice for food labelling.
Some common ‘hidden’ animal products you may not be aware of include;
Gelatine (boiled animal tissue such as bones, skin, cartilage and ligaments)
Casein (milk protein)
Cochineal (food colouring made from powdered insects)
Vitamin D3 (from wool fat)
Rennet (enzyme from a calves stomach, used in cheese making)
Lactose/Lactic acid (can be from animal or plant origin)
And few of us were born chefs! – so make sure to arm yourself with recipes for menus that are easy and mouth watering delicious! This challenge provides you with many exciting and easy recipes.
What about products that have items such as eggs and dairy listed as ‘May contain traces of…’?
This is something that you will have to make your own decision on. ‘May contain traces of…’ generally means that the product in question is made on the same production line, or in the same factory as others which do contain those ingredients – and not because it is actually an ingredient of the product. The wording is generally there as a disclaimer in case someone has an allergy to that particular ingredient (you’ll usually find that it is only allergens that are listed, for example. eggs, dairy, seafood and peanuts). The chance of the product containing that item is generally very small, and if it did, the amount would most likely be a minute quantity – obviously if you do have an allergy to the item then you should avoid it.
Can I still eat out at restaurants?
Yes of course, choosing a vegetarian or vegan restaurant will provide you with the most options when eating out. However, there are options available at most restaurants. Check out the vegetarian dishes on the menu, some may already be vegan, or may easily be adapted simply by omitting cheese for example. Some ideas for popular restaurants are given below:
Chinese/Thai – rice paper rolls, vegetarian dim sims or spring rolls, stir fries or curries with vegetable and tofu. Check whether they use fish sauce or shrimp paste in their dishes.
Italian – antipasto such as olives, sun dried tomatoes and artichokes. Tomato and vegetable based pasta (hold the cheese), pizza with plenty of vegetables and no cheese, garlic bread.
Indian – poppadums, samosas, vegetable bhajis, vegetable or chickpea curries, dahl, rice and roti. Check whether they use ghee (clarified butter) in any of their dishes.
Pub – bread and dips such as hummus, baba ghanoush and tapenade, bruschetta, pasta, baked potato, chips, stir fries.
What can I use instead of cow’s milk?
There is a wide variety of non-dairy milks available. Your local supermarket is likely to stock the more common items such as soy and rice milks, and many health food shops, organic stores and Asian supermarkets offer less common ones such as nut, oat, quinoa and hemp milks. These products can be found both on the shelf and in the refrigerated sections. . They also all have different amounts of fat, protein, vitamins, etc so check the label to find which suits you best. There are also some flavoured varieties available and some are also fortified, for example with calcium or B12.
What can I used instead of cheese and other dairy products?
There are a wide variety of products such as vegan margarine, butter, creams, cream ‘cheese’ and other ‘cheeses’, ice ‘creams’ and yoghurts available. Check out our Vegan Pantry page for details of some of the products available.
What can I eat instead of meat, for example when I’m at a barbecue?
If you are just starting out on a vegan diet you may miss having a ‘meat’ part of the meal and be unsure what to cook. However, there are plenty of products you can use instead. Some of the more readily available items are mock meat burgers, sausages, veggie mince, schnitzels and roasts. Be sure to read the ingredients as some may contain eggs and dairy. If you have an Asian grocery close to you they are worth investigating. They often offer a range of ‘mock meats’ (usually frozen), including mock ‘pork’, ‘duck’, beef’, ‘chicken’ and ’prawns’ . There are also vegan varieties of other items such as bacon, pepperoni, chicken and ham slices. If you are unable to find these in a shop you may want to order them online from www.crueltyfreeshop.com.au and www.veganperfection.com.au
You may also want to try tofu, seitan and tempeh which are all high in protein and can make a delicious hearty meat substitute.
If a recipe calls for chicken or beef stock – you can simply replace this with Massels Chicken or Beef Style Stock which is vegan, or try miso which is a great way to add flavour.
Is alcohol vegan?
Some is and some isn’t. Most spirits are vegan, although there are the more obvious ones that contain cream or honey that are not. Most wines and beers go through a filtering process, often using animal products. Such filtering agents include milk, albumen (from eggs), isinglass (from the swim bladders of fish) and gelatine. Although the filtering agent is not present in the finished product (except trace amounts) the process still requires the use of animal products. Labelling regulations require allergens such as milk and egg to be listed on labels, but it is not a requirement for isinglass and some other animal products to be listed. If you are unsure whether a product is vegan it is advisable to contact the beer/wine maker. Coopers, Boags and Heineken beers are all vegan.
I don’t like tofu. Do I have to have it?
There are plenty of things to eat without ever touching tofu, and even if you don’t like tofu as is, you may find it useful for mixing into things to provide extra protein or a creamy texture. Tofu can be used to make sauces, as a replacement for ricotta in pastas and pastries or crumbled up as a ‘mince’ substitute! Check out our recipe page to find out how to make scrambed tofu and frittata.
If you want to try adding a few pieces of tofu to your stirfry or curry, and don’t have a clue about marinading there are plenty of premarinated tofus available in a range of flavours. Easy!
Can I still eat Vegemite, Marmite, Promite etc?
Yes, and Marmite has the added benefit of containing vitamin B12!
What about things like toiletries? How can you tell if they contain animal products or are tested on animals?
Choose Cruelty Free’s ‘Preferred Product List’ contains a list of companies that do not test on animals and whose products are suitable for vegans. There are no regulations governing the labelling of products as ‘not tested on animals’ so if you are unsure about a product then do some research. Contact the manufacturer to ask them their testing policy. Remember that just because a product has not been tested on animals it doesn’t mean it is vegan. Some products, for example skincare and make up, often contain animal products.
Is it healthy to raise a baby or child as a vegan?
Yes a well balanced vegan diet is definitely a healthy way to raise your child. Check out Nick and Azai on the http://veganeasy.org Vegan Profiles page, both have been vegan since birth. If you are considering bringing up a vegan child then it would be worthwhile investing in a book about raising vegan children (eg. ‘’Pregnancy Children and the Vegan Diet’ by Michael Klaper), or researching via the internet to help you make the correct choices.
The above FAQ`s are from http://veganeasy.org . We highly recommend this website.
Domestic animals, such as cows and pigs, and laboratory rats would not exist were it not for our bringing them into existence in the first place for our purposes. So is it not the case that we are free to treat them as our resources?
No. The fact that we are in some sense responsible for the existence of a being does not give us the right to treat that being as our resource. Were that so, then we could treat our children as resources. After all, they would not exist were it not for our actions–from decisions to conceive to decisions not to abort. And although we are granted a certain amount of discretion as to how we treat our children, there are limits: we cannot treat them as we do animals. We cannot enslave them, sell them into prostitution, or sell their organs. We cannot kill them. Indeed, it is a cultural norm that bringing a child into existence creates moral obligations on the part of the parents to care for the child and not exploit her.
It should be noted that one of the purported justifications for human slavery in the United States was that many of those who were enslaved would not have existed in the first place had it not been for the institution of slavery. The original slaves who were brought to the United States were forced to procreate and their children were considered property. Although such an argument appears ludicrous to us now, it demonstrates that we cannot assume the legitimacy of the institution of property–of humans or animals–and then ask whether it is acceptable to treat property as property. The answer will be predetermined. Rather, we must first ask whether the institution of animal (or human) property can be morally justified. http://www.abolitionistapproach.com
Rights were devised by humans. How can they even be applicable to animals?
Just as the moral status of a human or animal is not determined by who caused the human or the animal to come into existence, the application of a moral concept is not determined by who devised it. If moral benefits went only to the devisers of moral concepts, then most of humankind would still be outside the moral community. Rights concepts as we currently understand them were actually devised as a way of protecting the interests of wealthy white male landowners; indeed, most moral concepts were historically devised by privileged males to benefit other privileged males. As time went on, we recognized that the principle of equal consideration required that we treat similar cases in a similar way and we subsequently extended rights (and other moral benefits) to other humans. In particular, the principle of equal consideration required that we regard as morally odious the ownership of some humans by other humans. If we are going to apply the principle of equal consideration to animals, then we must extend to animals the right not to be treated as a resource.
It is irrelevant whether animals devised rights or can even understand the concept of rights. We do not require that humans be potential devisers of rights or understand the concept of rights in order to be beneficiaries of rights. For example, a severely retarded human being might not have the ability to understand what a right is, but that does not mean that we should not accord her the protection of at least the basic right not to be treated as a resource of others. http://www.abolitionistapproach.com
Is the wool industry cruel?
Australia has more sheep than any other country on the planet, roughly 82 million. Millions of these animals suffer and die every year because of neglect. In cold parts of the country, newly shorn sheep, new borns, pregnant and mother ewes regularly die of exposure to the cold. And disease, parasites, foot problems and lack of food during drought can all go unnoticed and unaddressed. Around 33 million sheep are killed every year for their flesh in Australia. That’s 13 million adults and 20 million lambs. These animals, who aren’t used to human contact or confined spaces are crammed into tightly packed trucks and can face up to 48 hours without access to food or water as they are trucked to slaughter.
The smell of fear permeates slaughterhouses. Sheep are forced down narrow chutes and wait helplessly for their turn to enter the abattoir to be electrically stunned. Finally their throat is cut and they are hung by their legs on an overhead conveyor line to let the blood and life drain from their body. Rough handling is the norm at shearing sheds. Shearers are paid by number of sheep shorn, not by the hour, so speed is prioritised over precision. Ultimately, nearly all sheep in Australia, including those raised for wool are killed before their time. When sheep are no longer profitable to the wool industry they are trucked off to the slaughterhouse.
Most of us have had the wool pulled over our eyes about what sheep really go through for that lamb roast or woolly jumper. You have the power to help end their suffering. Don’t follow the flock. Take a stand against cruelty! INSERT SOURCE.
Please avoid purchasing angora, mohair, cashmere, shearling, shahtoosh, pashmina and anything labelled wool. Cruelty-free alternatives include cotton, cotton flannel, polyester fleece, synthetic shearling, microfiber, acrylic yarn, rayon, linen, viscose, modal, soysilk, bamboo, hemp and tencel/lyocell (a new durable, breathable and biodegradable product). Polaguard, goretex, thinsulate and primaloft are also vegan. Polartec Windpro is made primarily from recycled plastic soda bottles, and is a high density fleece with four times the wind resistance as wool.
Please watch the video and decide for yourself if the wool industry is cruel. Keep in mind that sheep have been brought to Australia to be used for profit. The Australian climate conditions, which are getting hotter each year, are also very unconducive for sheep to live. Watch: The Wool Industry EXPOSED.
`Bloated Sam Kekovich Does More For Veganism Than Any Before Him.` Enjoy the article below
Why Doesn’t the government do something about the cruelty ? Doesn`t the `RSPCA Approved` sticker on animal products stand for `well-treated animal ?`
The publics ignorance is a result of decades of secrecy by the industries that profit from animal agriculture. They are well aware that keeping the public in the dark is the only way that they will continue to profit from misery. The politicians are ensuring that the public remains unaware. The NSW government recently introduced laws that will harshly penalize those who attempt to expose cruelty. These laws are referred to as “Ag-Gag” and are a cynical attempt to silence whistleblowers and protect industry profits. Noun / ag-gag / Any bill or law that punishes those who expose conditions on factory farms. Verb. The act of silencing opposition to the abuse of farmed animals.
`Free Range Fraud`: http://freerangefraud.com/free-range-fraud/
But what about fish?
Do fish feel pain? Fish are often relegated to a somewhat sub-animal status. They are hard to relate to and not as emotionally expressive as other animals. But does this mean they don’t feel? In this video, we take a hard look at the science and the heated debate within the scientific community over whether fish can, in fact, feel pain.
Do fish feel pain
Do fish feel pain? Fish are often relegated to a somewhat sub-animal status. They are hard to relate to and not as emotionally expressive as other animals. But does this mean they don’t feel? In this video, we take a hard look at the science and the heated debate within the scientific community over whether fish can, in fact, feel pain. Watch: Do Fish Feel Pain?
But don`t we need Omega 3`s and fish oil?
May not be the most exciting video ever, but it needed to be made. Now you know that yes, all the essential omega-3s are accessible on a vegan diet, and via what foods. And NO, you do not need to eat fish or fish oil to get your essential omegas in the form of DHA and EPA. You can eat what the fish eat!
If the cow is already being eaten, can`t we just use its skin for leather?
Anyone who cares about animals or the environment should become informed consumers on the issue of cruelty in the leather industry. `As a designer I like to work with fabrics that don’t bleed. That’s why I avoid all animal skins.` Talented British designer Stella McCartney narrates this shocking insight. There are cruelty-free alternatives now for leather belts, wallets, boots and jackets. Time to ditch leather. Watch: The Wool Industry EXPOSED.
Can you tell us more about about b12?
B12 supplementing fully explanied by Naturopath Robyn Chuter – http://empowertotalhealth.com.au/the-vitamin-b12-issue/
Can you give us some more tips on what to eat when starting out as a vegan?
For new Vegans, it can seem overwhelming figuring out what to eat. In the following video, I explain fundamentals to succeeding on a plant-based diet, ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks. I cover tips for eating out, eating cheaply and eating for busy lifestyles. I also discuss substitute products, alcohol, palm oil and explain how to check labels. I also briefly discuss nutrition.
But won`t going vegan be too expensive?
You may be convinced by the health, environmental, or ethical benefits of going vegan but you’re afraid of the cost of adopting a plant based diet. Money shouldn’t worry you as being plant based is far cheaper than an omnivorous diet. Watch: Veganism is Too Expensive?
But where do you get your protein?
My top basic vegan nutrition advice for building muscle and overall health by Vegan Gains
But whats the point in me going vegan ? How can just one person make any difference?
It is hard to comprehend that it took 400 years to abolish human slavery. But remember this was before the age of social media. The internet gives us the power to share a message with people from allover the world. Living at this time we have an amazing opportunity to do something. The ripples you make will be infinite..
What about iron ? Don’t I need to eat animal bodies to obtain iron?
Vegans are often depicted as pale, weak and anemic due to the lack of meat in our diet. But is iron deficiency really an issue on a plant-based diet? In this interview with Dr. Michael Greger of Nutritionfacts.org, we look at the difference between heme and non-heme iron, which is better for our bodies, and what food sources contain ideal dietary iron. Watch: Pale, Weak & Vegan? Getting Iron In A Vegan Diet | Dr. Michael Greger
But I didn’t climb to the top of the food chain to eat plants. Why should I go vegan?
A lot of people justify eating animal products because they believe humans are on top of the food chain. They fail to realise that eating animal products is inevitably going to cause them to destroy the food chain completely. Want to stay at the top? Watch: Humans are on top of the food chain?
Don`t plants have feelings too?
As a huge Gary Yourofsky admirer I felt it fitting to upload a clip of him discussing the whole ‘plants have feelings’ fallacy in which he speaks so clearly, passionately and intelligently that one simply must watch! Watch Plants have feelings – By Gary Yourofsky.
Will my sex drive improve when I go vegan?
Yes , considerably. Arteries allover the human body open up when saturated fat and animal cholesterol is removed from the diet. Enjoy the advantages of being vegan.
Will my bowel movements change when I go vegan?
Definitely yes. There will not be rotting flesh sitting inside your body for days on end, with all items backed up in a queue in the stomach and intestines. You will be surprised how effortless going to the toilet becomes and how little time you spend in the bathroom compared to the bad old days.
Do vegans attend circuses with performing animals?
No. Animal trainers would like the public to believe that animals are coaxed into such behaviours for the promise of rewards. But the truth is animals perform because they fear punishment. In essence, circuses condemn animals who are wild by nature to live out their days isolated in tiny barren cages, denied normal exercise and socialization, shuttled around from place to place and shackled in chains for up to 95% of their lives.
Do vegans go to seaworld?
Only to protest the captivity of beautiful animals who belong in their natural habitat, not in a jail.
Can I go to the zoo if I am vegan?
Zoos exist because we are intrigued by exotic things. And to zoo goers, zoo animals are just that, things. Besides, what can we learn about wild animals by viewing them in captivity. In both cases of circuses and zoos, wild and exotic animals are captured, chained, transported and trained to do what humans want them to do.
Is buying a pet from a pet shop or breeder ok?
Never buy from a breeder. Always adopt or rescue an animal.
Do vegans attend horseracing?
Only to protest an industry that sees 1800 horses killed annually in Australia because they are too slow to earn a profit. Read more at http://www.horseracingkills.com; watch why horse racing is cruel in this short clip.
Is seaworld cruel?
Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health. Watch: Cove the documentary
Religion though. Didn’t God give us animals to eat?
Don’t talk about politics or religion at the table, right? Well veganism is already a political way of eating and add in a religious discussion and you’re set for a tense meal! What is the relationship between veganism and religion? Do the tenants of veganism fit within religious practices and beliefs or are they mutually exclusive? Can people from any religious background be vegan? in this interview, vegan activist Gary Yourofksy shares his view on the intersection of religion and veganism. Watch a video on veganism and religion
Now that I’m going vegan, will I continue to be able to walk on my hands when catching trains?
Yes, watch a vegan catch the London train while doing a handstand.