I’ve been vegan for a couple years now, and there are a few conversations that I consistently find myself having. After engaging in these conversations, I’ve noticed that many people are genuinely interested in veganism, but are simply uninformed.
MYTH #1. We need meat/animal products to be healthy.
A lie that we have been told our whole lives. Our parents told us that milk = strong bones. Elementary school teachers presented us with food pyramids showing the “essential” food groups, with meat and dairy being among the top sections. 2-3 servings per day, it said. Unfortunately, many of us still believe this, despite there being significant evidence that there is no nutritional need for humans to consume animal products.
MYTH 2. Not everyone can be vegan.
What people usually mean when they say this is that being vegan is too expensive. For many, the term conjures up images of health gurus enjoying organic pressed juice and avocado toast. While there may be a crossover between health conscious people and the vegan community, keep in mind that you don’t have to buy non-GMO fruit to be vegan.
I am a college student who works a part-time job and I will say that it is entirely possible to eat vegan while staying within a small budget. In fact, I will argue that a plant-based diet is actually more affordable. One of the most expensive things you can buy in the grocery store is meat, while the cheapest foods are vegan: rice, beans, potatoes, tofu, and vegetables.
MYTH 3. Veganism is for white people/hipsters
The white, middle-class 30 something-year-old is far from a true representation of the vegan community. Yet, it seems to be the only image that the media ever portrays. Meanwhile, the stories of people of color and poor people are neglected. In a way, it makes veganism seem inaccessible to those communities. I grew up poor and I know that I always had this perception. I used to think, “one day I’ll be able to afford it,” not knowing that I was just uneducated.
Veganism is for everyone
The truth is, our bodies don’t need meat, but we are obsessed with convincing ourselves otherwise. Being vegan can easily be healthy and affordable, and it doesn’t have to be boring either. These are all just misconceptions that limit our potential as human beings.