Why being vegan isn’t always healthy

Switching over to the vegan side of eating certainly has its benefits. You generally eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and discover countless ways of cooking tofu and tempeh (actually, that might be a downfall, since I really hate tofu). I’m not a vegan, and I don’t know quite yet if it’s truly the best way to eat, but I do know that I’ve had the impression for a long time that vegans, in general, eat healthier and are healthier than a lot of people.

Once I see an interesting idea or a possible new way of being healthier, I research the crap out of it. It is both a blessing and a curse, for it not only makes me more knowledgeable, but also consumes a lot of my time. So, when I ventured into the world of vegan foods, I found out that actually, much of what the American diet consists of is, in fact, vegan. In general, it probably is healthier, but it’s not always peace, love, hippie foods, and health.

Oreos are a vegan food. Cocoa Puffs are vegan (in fact, many sugary, processed cereals are also vegan). Red Bull is vegan. Apparently a “7-Eleven 7 Select Apple Snack Pie” is vegan. You could literally live off of Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs, Red Bulls, Unfrosted Pop-Tarts, and Boca Burgers (which are highly processed and most likely contain GMOs) and call yourself a vegan.

This might please you or it may disturb you, but either way, consider yourself informed. I’m just plain confused, and a little grossed out. So, instead of focusing on eating things that don’t contain meat or dairy, I think I’ll just focus on the whole-foods, plant-based diet thing. I prefer my food to actually look like food—like it came from a plant or even an animal.

What are your thoughts on this? What does your “food” look like?

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5 responses

  1. I totally agree with you! I think putting ourselves into a ‘VEGAN’ box can definitely be misleading. Yes, you can consume loads and loads of Oreos and still call yourself ‘VEGAN’. But isn’t the whole point of eating Vegan to be more healthy? That’s why I like to put myself into a ‘Plant Based’ box. 🙂

  2. I soo agree with you. I have many friend who are vegan for the health benefits, but somehow they end up eating waaaay more sugar and processed carbs than anyone I know. I agree that the best way to go is to just focus on REAL foods. The less processed the better. I have said many times that there is no processed food on earth that can touch the incredible flavor that hits your mouth when you bite into an apple, carrot, red pepper, etc.

  3. Becoming “veganish” (I am not all the way there, yet) is an interesting journey. I have had my days of Boca burgers and oreos, and other days filled with only vegees, fruit and whole grains. Some days are a combination of the two. 🙂 For me, it’s about eating with a conscience, without causing death or suffering to animals which I consider to be created so uniquely by my Creator Father. It’s about my own little protest against factory farms and their contribution to the devastation of the environment (Dead Zone, anyone?). It’s about knowing I am doing all I can do for my health, something which has become much more important to me as I age. So yeah, I want my food to “look like food” (and most of the time it does)…. but it goes much deeper than that.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts everyone. I love hearing how other people think of the food in their lives and what it means to them when they prepare and eat specific foods.

    Another thing I find interesting about the “vegan movement” is that a lot of vegans are very much against the maltreatment and killing of animals for food (and very passionate about it), and are at the same time vegans because they are concerned about their health and eating more “naturally”, yet things like Boca Burgers, processed cereals, and Oreos are made with genetically modified ingredients, which we know are terrible for the environment, our soil, our water, for the animals (the cows, chickens and pigs) that they claim to care so much about, and quite possibly not good for our health. I am still just very confused by this, and I have a feeling some vegans out there trying to adapt to this post-modern nutritionism-driven culture are as well…

  5. Well, until I move in with a group like The Dancing Rabbits, convenience food will probably always be part of my life. I guess the goal is to buy it as infrequently as possible. I’m happy to live in such a country where such things are available, though. It certainly makes life a whole lot easier at times.

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