5 Frequently Asked Questions About Veganism—Answered

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Veganism—Answered

Pooja Maheshwary

More and more people are adopting a vegan lifestyle. Its environmental, health and ethical benefits can’t be contested. And so often, we get posts on Malini’s Girl Tribe on Facebook as well, with different members wondering what veganism entails, why people are following this lifestyle, and how a beginner can adopt it.

So, we invited Shivya Nath to host a #GirlTribeAMA for the Tribe, to answer all questions on veganism. Shivya is a Travel Writer and has been practicing a vegan lifestyle for over 4 years.

She answered questions on ways to transition into a vegan lifestyle, the ethical side of veganism, its environmental impact, how to travel as a practicing vegan, the vegan alternatives to our favourite foods including cheese and butter, the impact of this lifestyle on the pocket, ways to tell if cosmetics contain animal products, things to know before going vegan, and more. Read on to know all that she had to say!

Q. How do I start my vegan journey, and is it possible to do so during this pandemic? 

I think the lockdown is the best time to start since there’s more time at hand to spend on research, looking up recipes, experimenting in the kitchen, etc. The best way to begin is to have strong motivation.  For me, the primary motivation is animal suffering. The moment I visualise the pain inflicted on animals so I can consume that little bit of meat, milk, cheese or ghee, I know I don’t want to contribute to it. You might feel the same way about animals, or about the environment, or your own health. Think long and hard about what YOUR motivation is. What tugs at your heartstrings? What drives you? Because when the going gets tough, you’ll need to remind yourself of all the reasons you transitioned in the first place.

Q. What’s the best way to fulfil my protein requirement if I turn vegan? Since dairy and meat is non-vegan.

It’s easy to get protein on a vegan diet. Basic things like lentils, chickpeas, rajma and other legumes are great sources, and it’s a lot easier for the body to absorb protein from there. If you’re working out, pea/ hemp protein powders/ protein bars are other options.

Q. How do you supplement Vitamin D?

Take a supplement, It’s a common misconception that only vegans are deficient in Vitamin D. Many non-vegans (vegetarians and meat-eaters) are also deficient. Irrespective of your diet, you must monitor their levels. The natural source of Vitamin D3 is sunlight, but not all human bodies are able to process D3 directly from the sun.

Q. How effective is a vegan lifestyle in reducing our impact on the environment?

Researchers at Oxford did one of the most comprehensive studies in 2018, spread across 119 countries and found that: ‘Cutting meat and dairy products from the diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint by up to 73 per cent. Meanwhile, if everyone stopped eating these foods, they found that global farmland use could be reduced by 75 per cent, an area equivalent to the size of the USA, China, Australia and the EU combined.  Not only would this result in a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions, but it would also free up wild land lost to agriculture, one of the primary causes of mass wildlife extinction.’

Q. What are the best vegan cosmetic brands?

Some popular ones are The Body Shop (none of their products are tested on animals but some contain honey or beeswax; the vegan ones are labelled), Forest Essentials, Botanics, Disguise Cosmetics and Plum.

For more information on how to turn vegan, click here.

Do you have any tips for someone who is looking to adopt a vegan lifestyle? Please share it with us in the comments below!

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