If you were to have a peek inside my fridge, you might be surprised by what is NOT there. You won’t find vegan margarine. There isn’t any vegan sour cream or mayonnaise. No seitan, tempeh or tofu. There isn’t even soy cheese or tofurkey luncheon “meats”.
I think most people would have a shocked expression on their face and ask, “Is this a vegan fridge?” Well, yes and no. I DO eat a whole-food, plant-based diet, so you will find a lot of fresh produce. But, I do NOT eat vegan products. Why is that? I don’t believe in faux foods. When I made a change to a vegan diet, I made a commitment to a whole-food, plant-based life-style. I remember friends telling me when they became vegans they bought vegan hotdogs, vegan bacon, vegan cheese, etc. In short, vegan versions of everything they used to eat. They were trying to live their old lifestyle by switching to vegan products. There are plenty of recipes for me to use which are whole-food, plant-based, so I don’t need to live on substitutions.
Produce or products? It is a choice. I’ve made mine and here are my top 10 reasons why I choose not to eat vegan products.
1. Faux foods are not real food. The idea of eating anything imitation is disturbing.
2. They are manufactured and processed—even if they are vegan.
3. Just because faux foods are vegan doesn’t make them any better for the environment.
4. Soy and corn-based products are causing a huge rise in allergies as people are over-exposed to them.
5. They do not taste as good. If you are craving meat/cheese/dairy, then have a small portion occasionally and move on! Imitations are a poor substitution for the real thing and seldom satisfy.
6. They are expensive.
7. I don’t want to use vegan products just so I can keep “meat and dairy” in my diet.
8. There is no need of it. There are so many whole-food, plant-based recipes available, that I don’t need to use faux foods to enjoy my old recipes.
9. While I appreciate that vegan products don’t contain casein*, they don’t provide the broad spectrum of nutrients and minerals that plants do, either. They might not be harmful, but if they aren’t really healthy—what’s the point eating them?
10. Many vegan products that are taken for granted in the USA are not available in rural areas or outside of the nation. Plants are available globally and that is why I focus on them. I want my family and my friends worldwide to be able to enjoy the same recipes I cook with.
*According to T. Campbell, PhD., author of The China Study, casein, which promotes all stages of of the cancer process, makes up 87% of a cow’s milk protein.