What are Vegan Foods?-All you Need to Know About the Vegan Society
What are Vegan Foods? Vegans are those who consume food product and keeps animal products out of their consumption. For instance, if you are inviting a guest who is a vegan, you must ensure that the menu you prepare for them follows two basic rules. Food from plants are fine but food from animals are completely off-limits. This includes common ingredients like eggs, cheese, milk, and honey too.
The Vegan Society and its Origin
The existence of mankind relies on its major source of energy – food. This particular expression has met evolutionary changes since the prehistoric times.
The beginning of this change dates back to 2.5 million years ago when the ancestors of our ancestors consumed different forms of wild grass for their living which led to the production of grains and one of the most staple diet of every human being – bread.
Soon there was a scarcity of lush green plants and grasslands thrived because of the rapid increase in temperature. This led to our distant human ancestors, collectively known as hominins, to look for an alternative source of food which in turn led to the evolution of meat and gave birth to hunting.
Once humans shifted to occasional meat-eating, it didn’t take long to make it a major part of their diet. However, there were various philosophers and writers like Mahavira, Plotinus who considered strict vegetarianism. Their argument was based on health, animal welfare and transmigration of souls. They strongly believed that if humans deserve justice, then so do animals.
Currently, humans consume varieties of meat. Leave alone the basic chicken, lamb, beef, pork and fish meat, the current generation also consumes some exotic games and seafood like venison, rabbit, shark, turtles and even snakes. However, the evolving trends in social media talk a lot about veganism and vegan foods.
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Social Media and Vegan food
The power of social media has made hardcore non-vegetarians turn into strict vegan. The viral videos of brutal animal killing like deer, squeals, sharks and even dogs have affected the common man in a disheartening manner.
Moreover, the health issues due to the consumption of meat have been a fear factor for the new generation.
Special Ingredients Consumed by Vegans
- Fruits and vegetables: One of the most healthy substitutes for the new age man is fresh fruits and vegetables. They are easily available and cost-effective.
- Vegan sugar/ Natural sugar: It’s quite disappointing to realise that granulated sugar crystals that we consume in our day to day life is processed using the by-products of cattle meat. The sugar substitute for vegans is called artificial sugar. For example, stevia, Splenda, etc. Natural sugars are also available. For example – Date sugar, corn syrup, palm syrup, maple syrup, etc. Honey cannot be considered as a vegan source of sugar.
- Milk: soya milk is the most widely available source of milk. Other sources are – almond milk, coconut milk, oats milk, etc.
- Cheese: Paneer or cottage cheese in any form is every vegetarian’s favourite dish. But vegan society has replaced paneer with tofu – very similar to paneer in texture and taste. Tofu is made from soya milk.
- Protein-rich food: Quinoa, a cereal grain is considered as a rich source of protein. Cheaper than meats and also a healthier way of maintaining diet, quinoa is also known as a vegan man’s best friend. Nuts, soya and pulses are few other protein-rich foods.
Pros of Vegan Foods
- Accelerates weight loss – If you are considering weight loss, turning into vegan is more effective than any other form of exercise.
- Lowers blood sugar levels – Risk of diabetes reduces and hence it promotes healthy living.
- Minimises the risk and lets you live a healthy life: Risk of kidney failure and heart diseases minimizes.
- Live and let live – If we start turning into a vegan, we may reduce the demand for meat which will, in turn, minimize the crime of wild animal hunting.
Cons of Vegan Foods
- Improper diet: We have discussed before the protein-rich vegan food. However, nothing is as rich as meats when we talk about protein. Eating vegan food as your regular diet is not sufficient and it won’t provide you with every form of nutrition. There is no confirmed data or report proving that being vegan is being healthy. Many nutritionists and health executives will argue on veganism and they won’t recommend veganism as a healthy way of living. They will always suggest you be vegetarian but not vegan.
- High calories: Nothing is as nutritious as cow milk. Soya milk is not recommended if you are on a diet because it has more fatty acids. It also doesn’t have all the vital protein compounds.
- Monotonous life: Trends doesn’t last forever. Many people start their vegan phase of living with tremendous excitement and motivation but give up. Humans look for change and self-control in this regard is almost impossible.
- An expensive way of living: Affording vegan food in everyday routine suits only to the upper-class society and celebrities like Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli. Middle-class man cannot afford almond milk in their day to day life.
- Disbalances the food chain and ecosystem: There will be a sudden increase in herbivore population and the natural cycle may disrupt if the entire population turns into vegan.
At this point, it is to be noted that there are no proper studies confirming the points mentioned on the cons list.
In conclusion, the world is not turning into a vegan overnight. If you are well equipped with resources of rich vegan food and able to maintain a healthy balanced diet, turning vegan is a win-win situation.