Veganophobia?

cookiesThe other morning, at my place of work, someone brought in vegan “Breakfast Cookies”.  (Breakfast cookies, I suppose,  are like regular cookies, but have enough “healthy ingredients” like oats and pumpkin, to be considered a good replacement for cereal).

Now, these cookies were delicious, moist and sweet, and although the cook is not vegan, she was experimenting with a recipe and wanted to share the results. Those cookies didn’t last long–people ate them up faster than a labrador eats spaghetti! But there were plenty of comments like, “Careful, they’re vegan!”, and  “Not bad, for vegan”. My colleagues were almost blinded by their veganophobia. Did they think that by eating the cookies, they’d somehow turn into a vegan?

Veganophobia happens all the time. A vegetarian friend was planning her wedding and wanted to have a meal that reflected her and her fiance’s values.  Pressure from relatives resulted in her decision to include fish on the menu. “They couldn’t stand the idea of eating vegan for just one night!” she said. “Even though it was my wedding and my preference to be vegan.” Veganophobia caused her guests to put their focus on the meal instead on the celebration of the couple.

Animal rescues have been debating whether to serve meat at their fundraising events for a long time now.  They worry that their attendance and fundraising efforts will suffer if they don’t serve meat. Veganophobia forces the organizations to sacrifice the well-being of some animals (livestock) in order to raise awareness of other animals (pets).

Will eating one vegan meal really be so painful? Will giving up meat for a special occasion be a terrible sacrifice? Will eating one vegan cookie turn you into a vegan? Obviously, the answer to all three questions is no. But where does veganophobia come from? Wikipedia detail some history of veganophobia.

One explanation might be the fact that vegan food, until recently, has had a bad reputation for being tasteless “rabbit food”. Luckily, many talented vegan chefs are slowly changing the perception of vegan food.  As more people are exposed to better tasting vegan food, perhaps they’ll be less likely to freak out at the thought of going without meat for one meal.

bedbug - more popular than vegans
More popular than vegans

Read any number of comments in an article about veganism in a mainstream publication and you will find a level of taunting and derision that rivals that found in any political debate these days. Other dietary choices like gluten-free or paleo may be targets of online ridicule, but not at the level aimed at the vegan diet! If you google “Why do people hate vegans”, you get about 1.4 million results! Compare that to “Why do people hate bedbugs”, with about 765,000 results, and you can see that vegans are strongly reviled.

Sure, there are plenty of examples of sanctimonious and obnoxious vegans. But same goes for meat-eaters. How many times have I heard, “I didn’t get to the top of the food chain to eat lettuce!” As if that person single-handedly was responsible for the evolution of the entire human population. As with any minority, though, the bad behavior of a few will reflect upon the entire group. So vegans in general have gotten a bad name.

What’s the best way to deal with veganophobia? I’m not sure, but humor always helps. Some vegan comedians might give you some inspiration!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Athletes Rowing Across Atlantic

Rowing is a hard-core sport. It’s a heavy cardio workout that works all the major muscle groups. Rowers burn a lot of calories even during a regular row in their local waterway. How about an ocean crossing? One estimate is about 12,000 calories per day per rower. According to physicscentral.com, who made the calculation in terms of burgers, it would take 2,400 cheese burgers for the crossing! Or about 3,400 veggie burgers!

On January 18, 2018 two brothers began their attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a rowing boat. They happen to be vegan. “Ocean Brothers” Greg Bailey, 27, and Jude Massey, 18, are making the crossing to raise awareness–not of vegan diets, but of skin cancer, the disease that claimed the life of their father.

The voyage began out of the island of Gran Canaria (93 miles off the northwestern coast of Africa) and will terminate in Barbados, anywhere from 5 to 11 weeks later. They will be rowing 24 hours a day, taking turns rowing in one-hour shifts around the clock.  And they’ll need to consume a ton of calories, but there won’t be a gram of animal protein in their freeze-dried meals. We’ll be checking in on their voyage from time to time to see how they’re faring. There have been 317 Atlantic Crossings in a rowing boat since the first successful voyage by two Norwegian-born Americans in 1896.

 

Veg Athletes on the Rise

kendrik farrisVeg athletes are in the news more and more these days.  The only male weightlifter for the USA in the 2016 Olympics, Kendrick Farris, is vegan. Ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek, of Eat and Run  fame, is vegan.  Ironman Brendan Brazier, vegan.  Tennis stars Martina Navratilova is vegetarian and Venus Williams is vegan.  Many veg athletes say their diet helps their performance, aids in quicker recovery and generally makes them feel better. And as one vegan athlete put it, a vegan diet “eliminates the middle man”. Plant power  goes directly to the athlete rather than through the costly and cruel meat option.

But following a vegan diet does have its caveats, whether you’re an athlete or not. Vitamins B12 and D can be harder to obtain and absorb in vegan diets. Protein intake isn’t a problem for normal vegans, but for extreme athletes, it may be. Just consuming the right amount of calories can be harder as a vegan, and an athlete’s caloric requirement is even higher. Make sure you’re getting enough calories, and a good ratio of carbs to fat to protein.

How much protein?

According to VeganHealth.org, the protein needs of athletes is  .8 – 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. So for a 180 pound man, that translates to about 65 grams of protein per day. A modest breakfast of oatmeal with almonds is about 15g. A quinoa bowl for lunch –18g. Snack on a banana with peanut butter, for about 9g. Vegan chili with tempeh or tofu for dinner (Recipe to come) is 24g. Daily total? 66 grams.

So, Ocean Brothers Jude and Greg aren’t undertaking an epic row across the Atlantic to prove that vegans can and do perform at a high level. They are likely more concerned with dangerous storms, high winds,  equipment failure or even sharks, than their meat-free diet. Best of luck, guys! We’re rooting for you!

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New and improved Vegan News Site


Welcome back, readers! Vegan News Site has undergone some changes in the first few weeks of 2018.

Like lots of people, we made some New Year’s Resolutions. One is to feature a lot more original content related to all things Veg. We’ll also highlight what’s going on out there Vegan Country but highlighting some interesting news, discussing a trending topic or maybe just share some photos of cute animals.

There are plenty of great veg blogs out there. I salute my veg-colleagues who are getting the good word out there. I would like this site to be a place where people can find helpful information about the veg lifestyle, including but not limited to, food, fashion, trends, athletics, gardening, and travel.

The term “veg” refers to either vegan or vegetarian. While the main focus of this site will be on vegan stuff, some people aren’t there yet. If you eating cheese, we can still be pals. The main point is to educate people. Vegan is becoming more mainstream, but still there’s a lot of misinformation and confusion out there.

If there’s a topic you’d like to see covered here, leave a comment, send us a message, or hit us up on Twitter.

Veg out,

~Ed.