So I am new to PETA, and I really want to start helping out! I’m a pescetarian, and I want to start slowly transitioning to become a vegan but not many people are supportive and they make fun of me. I told my mom about how they have vegan butter and vegan cheese, and she said, “Yeah, that’s all FAKE food.” It made me think for a second… What are those foods made out of, and are they really fake?? I like to be healthy most of the time, and I want to make sure eating vegan is both healthy and nutritional. I’m going to have a hard time giving up dairy, so what is vegan dairy replacements made out of??
You would have to read the ingredient labels but if people are giving you a hard time then tell them that the meat they eat is sprayed with chemicals in order to be kept from decomposing. And they are calling vegan food “fake”?
PS: Don’t let soy scare you. I know there are a lot of people out there, especially those consuming meat, pushing that soy is bad for you. Edamame and tofu have known health benefits. Many studies showing that they interfere with natural hormones, cause cancer, etc, usually study these effects in other species or use such concentrated amounts over short periods of time that the results are rendered useless. We do the same thing in animal drug testing and that is why 95% later fail in human studies. I consume soy almost every day, either as tofu, edamame, or in a substitute product. Since eating soy I have noticed that my skin cleared up, I have more energy, and all around in much better health. My non vegan husband will tell you the same thing. That being said, some people are intolerant to soy and should not consume it in excess. Listen to your body. It will tell you what is good and bad for you.
First of all, they are “fake” in that they are not the real deal. However, many of the products require special processing, making many of them overly processed. These foods should be enjoyed in moderation. Most of them, unlike the “real” prducts, do not contain many of the harmful fats and chemicals “real” products do, making them better for you in that regard. I honestly prefer more natural substitutions when it comes to vegan products. I use tofu, veggie patties made from vegetables and grains, mushrooms, or Gardein products. Gardein does contain soy, but is mostly boiled down vegetables. Loooove their products. I use almond milk instead of soy milk because it tastes similar to milk (I prefer it that way because I grew up eating lots of cereal and soy milk just doesn’t taste right). If you are worried about the foods being too processed or “fake” try veganbaking.net. The have recipes for vegan butter and shortening along with a number of other recipes contain “whole” ingriedents. As soon as we move, I am going to be making our own almond milk instead of buying the more processed store bought version.
I finally gave up cheese all together a couple months ago. I have been eating vegan at home for almost 3 years, but would eat cheese when we ate out. After not having it for a couple weeks, I stopped wanting it. In fact, the taste of cheese makes me sick to my stomach now. There are a couple options of vegan cheeses out there. Daiya is a big hit among the vegan community but I find it to be a tad bit oily and it somethings makes me bloated and my husband gassy. However, Kite Hill just released a line of nut based cheeses that are getting great reviews from vegans and nonvegans alike. They are supposed to go nationwide this summer at Whole Foods. Check your local one to see when they are getting theirs and if they aren’t request that they do. This will likely be my replacement to Daiya.
Vegan substitues can be bad if that is all you eat. Your diet as a vegan should not be focused around dairy and meat substitutes. Instead, fruits and vegetables need to be front and center. Right now you are still in omnivore mood where meat and dairy are your center focus of a meal. Becoming vegan requires you to shift this way of thinking to plants. Instead of trying ot veganize sour cream, think of what vegetables you can add for creamy texture. I promise you you will get the hang of it. There are times I just have to have pizza, so I pop in a Tofurky Vegan Pepperoni pizza and ignore whether or not its the best thing I could be eating. You need to eat healthy 95% of the time. The other 5% you need to let go and experience those simple pleasures of eating poorly, but I always suggest you do it in a humane way. =)