Veganism is a lifestyle that is completely free of any animal products. For true vegans this means not wearing leather, wool, down, and not eating any dairy or eggs.
This is a far cry from the lifestyles many people live in this day and age. It would be a huge change for modern day Americans. Virtually everything is made with some kind of animal product. Even butter is made with milk, a dairy product. Earthbalance is a brand of vegan butter that is widely used by vegans but it is not always readily available.
I am interested in baking vegan goods every once in a while. I do enjoy it but some of the ingredients are hard to locate. If you are looking for a cake to taste just like the chocolate cake you grew up with, it may take you many recipes to find the right one. Vegan foods often have different textures and tastes than the “normal” foods.
If you are interested in vegan baked goods I recommend this cookbook:http://www.amazon.com/BabyCakes-Gluten-Free-Sugar-Free-Recipes-Talked-About/dp/0307408833/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1283641743&sr=8-1
Also, the website http://www.101cookbooks.com features some good vegan meal recipes.
The same reason why people don’t do a lot of things that are good for their health and the environment: because people are scared of the unknown. One might be scared to go to a gym or sign up for a yoga class, even-though they desperately need to loose weight, because their afraid of feeling out of place or uncomfortable around new people that might judge them. Veganism may be attractive to young liberals, but what about successful, upper-class people who are used to buying whatever they want and indulging in all areas of their lives? They might be afraid of loosing the freedom to indulge, which they’ve worked hard to gain the “right” to do. Or, there’s a lot of misconceptions about veganism: one being that it’s not healthy or that you might loose too much weight. I think the more vegans can share the benefits of living the lifestyles they do, the more attractive it will be for others. Just live happily, that may be the best way to spread a message!
Mainly because it is a whole different lifestyle. You cannot wear certain clothes, use certain soaps, wear certain shoes and consume certain foods. I do not believe people are afraid to go vegan; they just do not have the dedication to follow such a lifestyle. Many of us have been bred to believe we need meat in order to live a healthy life, but with farms and industries not properly handling the animals they end up selling, eating meat at times seems dangerous. I am currently a vegetarian and have adapted pretty well. People can adjust to any lifestyle they want; they just have to have the dedication and will-power to want to live that way.
I agree with eliw92 – I think it has a lot to do both with dedication, but more with the simple idea of not having meat. Especially in the US, meat is seen as an absolutely essential part of a healthy diet. The question I get most often as a vegetarian is, “But where do you get your protein from??”. A lot of people simply aren’t sold on the idea that a meatless diet is actually beneficial. Then for those who are already vegetarian, it’s true, becoming vegan is a huge step, requiring a lot of willpower (no ice cream, chocolate, donuts…).
There are many, many reasons why everyone is not a vegan. In some cases it may have to do with comittment and dedication – but there is seldom only one way of looking at good health. So even if you or I believe that it is environmentally better and healthier to be vegan – many people do not agree with that. They may also be perfectly healhty including low cholesterol, healthy weight and all and see no reason to change their diet. Many items such as Earthbalance vegan spread are not readily available, and many people are allergic to soy – which is a main ingredient in almost everything vegan, so sometimes it is other challenges that dissuade people from being entirely vegan. Additionally – although we only need a small amount of protein in our diet – animal protein does provide all (9) of the essential amino acids your body needs – as well as fats and cholesterol, which in small amounts your body handles fine. The body cannot synthesize these amino acids so they must be taken in by food. No one fruit or vegetable has all nine – though animal protein does. This leads many people to mistakenly believe that they cannot get “complete protein” from vegan diets – but they can as we don’t need them all together or in one day. Additionally – plant and nut based foods do not provide all three types of omega 3 fatty acids necessary for health – flaxseed, walnut and almonds are all good sources, but only fish or beef contain all three – ALA, DHA and EPA. But standing against that argument is the fact that the beef must be grass fed (as cattle evolved to eat – not corn fed) and the fish must not be farm raised as they also do not consume their natural diet of algae when farm raised, and they must be free from contaminents to make consumption safe. I hope that giving up ice cream or donuts is not the issue, I really don’t know that many people that consume these foods anyway. Also at issue is that until now, humans have not had the leisure to decide what their diet would be. If your an Eskimo – your diet will not be fruits and vegetables. If you are in a country that is facing devastation from drought or other natural disaster – you will eat what you can eat. Also – being successful does not prevent one from looking into the healthiest ways to live life or raise our children – in fact it almost guarantees that these conversatios will arise. People just need to know the facts, and make informed decisions and then make what changes they can as they can.
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