Do animal lives matter more than human lives? | Vegan question

I got a rather interesting – and hypothetical – question asked to me which was… if i had to choose between an animal (in this case it was a cow) or a human, which would i save. And this was based on me being a vegan. (It’s a bit like the… if i was stranded on an island with only a chicken/pig would i eat it type of question all vegans seem to get asked).

Of course i hope that i will never be in this situation… and it sounds rather hypothetical. And the answer to that question is that i would save the human…. which someone may think is strange because “I am vegan and for the animals… wouldn’t i save the animals… you don’t want animals to die?” .

And why would i save the human… well, for many reasons but even if a cow has a consciousness and nervous system, meaning they can think and feel, a human being does have that extra consciousness. Of course i wouldn’t want the cow to die, but in this hypothetical situation i would choose the humanbeing to save.

Of course, if it was between my own dog and a human it might be a different answer… but then again if i had to choose between saving (which i never hope happens) a family member or my dog… that would be a completely different answer and situation… i really couldn’t choose.

In our society, the majority of us DON’T need to eat or use animal products to be healthy, to get nutrients or to live. The majority of people can survive without animals having to die for their consumption.

I don’t believe in factory farming. I don’t believe it is correct for thousands and millions of animals to die each year just to be eaten or in worst case… to die, be turned into food and then just thrown away because the food has gone bad. I don’t believe in the animal abuse/torture that happens on a daily basis just for the production of food…. when the majority of people in society don’t need it. It is more sustainable for the planet to actually not consume so many animal products anyway.

So i am against the killing of animals when it is absolutely not necessary.

In the past it might have been necessary to kill animals to get enough nutrients to survive, develop and grow as well as use the fur for warmth… now a days, we don’t need any – or very little in certain cases – animal products to survive. But the killing of animals is on a much higher level than the actual requirement or need.

I am against using animals to test on for different experiments. I am against locking up animals and in some cases beating them just for the sake of entertainment. I am against using horses or dogs for racing or any other animals just to fight each other.

I am against the abuse of animals in all forms.

This however does not mean i think animals are better than humans or that humans should die out so that animals can live in peace, which some vegans believe.

I still believe humans have a higher conscious level and are more developed…. though it also surprises me then that not more people make the choice to go vegan or atleast try to eat as vegetarian as possible.

These types of questions are interesting and can lead to quite a discussion and debate, which i am fine with having – though i would prefer to have it in real life, not online. However they are also unrealistic and hypothetical situations… and i live in a society where i don’t need to choose between saving either a human or a cow…. i can do both. By eating vegan and also doing things such as giving blood, being an organ donar and helping people in other ways.

This is my thoughts on this topic, and as mentioned i don’t mind getting these types of questions…. however it is easier to discuss and bring up different thoughts and nuances in a real life discussion.

If you have any thoughts on this topic, feel free to comment down below… would love to know how others think.

Full but not satisfied? | Plantbased diet | Nutritionpost

A question i have recieved numerous times over the years is, “i never feel satisfied after eating”. This is especially related to a plantbased diet.

This is something i have felt before… where you feel a physical fullness and not really that you are hungry, but you aren’t satisfied. Something is missing.

And the fact is… there most likely is something missing from your diet in total which is giving you that feeling of not being satisfied.

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Many people who ask this question i have noticed are either 1) eating very restrictive diets with very little food, or 2) eating big portions but alot of vegetables either raw or cooked.

To feel satisfied after a meal it is not just about eating a huge volume of food or feeling physically full, but it is about getting in all the food groups and even different textures and tastes help with satisfaction.

Example, if you eat a raw food meal that is mostly salad and watery vegetables you will be lacking in both healthy fats and protein and even relatively low on carbohydrates and salt (unless you season with salt). So even if you feel full from the huge salad you ate, you haven’t actually gotten alot of energy into you and neither have you gotten energy from all the macronutrients.

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And the same goes if you eat a monomeal example just fruit, or just potatoes, or even eating a simple meal like beans and rice may leave you feeling unsatisfied but full. And that is because you are lacking both in macronutrients but even different tastes and textures that can help satisfy you.

So first off… eating a monomeal or rawfoodsalad from time to time is not a problem, somedays you just want a fresh salad for a meal or you just want to eat fruit. You don’t have to have all tastes, textures and macronutrients in each meal. The important thing is what you do overtime. So even if you just eat fruit for a whole week or just raw food for a whole week it is “ok”… maybe not the most optimal nutrition and in the long term can cause issues with nutrient deficiencies, digestive issues or huge cravings which i will talk more about below.

If you are eating restrictevly in some way, whether it is retrictive in food groups or restrictive in calores, or both… eventually you will begin to get cravings. You won’t feel sastisfied after a meal.

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So if you are in this situation, my best recommendation is to:

1) Eat varied with foods. Eat from all food groups meaning you get carbs from example oats, beans, lentils, whole grain bread and pasta, rice, quinoa and the list goes on

2) You get protein from ex: tofu, seitan, tempeh, beans, lentils, peas, oats, soy protein etc

3) You get fat from healthy sources such as: avocado, nuts, seeds, rapeseed oil, olive oil

Eating more regular meal times and not eating huge amounts of low energy, high volume foods such as salad/raw vegetables, and instead making sure to actually eat foods that provide more energy and different flavours can give you more satisfaction after a meal.

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Remember that fats provide you with energy which is needed for a healthy body, but also help you feel full for longer. Not to mention it adds flavour to your meals. (Read more about why you need fat here)

And protein is important for your whole body and even to help you feel full (which may not be the actual problem when you feel full but not satisfied. However, protein can also help you feel more satisfied after a meal as it adds essential nutrients and energy to your meals) (More about protein here &food combining as a vegan )

And carbohydrates provide energy, nutrients and fiber and can leave you more satisfied than  if you example eat zoodles instead of noodles or use cauliflower rice instead of rice . By cutting out carbs you also cut out important vitamins and minerals and you lower your energy intake which can leave you feeling unsatisfied and hungry. Of course… for some situations maybe cutting down on carbs a little or doing 50/50 rice and cauliflower rice or 50/50 zoodles and noodles maybe beneficial, but completly cutting out carbohydrates for a long period of time is not recommended. Post about: carbs and why we need them

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And lastly… adding more textures to your meals can help with satisfaction, as well as combining sweet and salty. Granted, not everyone likes sweet and salty in the same meal… but sometimes if you eat a very sweet meal you may notice you crave something more savoury and salty afterwards. Thoiugh this is individual, not everyone gets salty cravings after a sweet meal.  However, note… constantly having sweet cravings can be a sign of not getting enough energy or carbohydrates, or maybe you are not getting enough sleep. (Post: Constantly craving sweets and chocolate )

So, to end this post. Look over your diet and how you eat….. are you lacking in a food group? Are you eating high volumes of food but very little energy? Is there a certain taste that is lacking from your diet (salt, sweet, bitter, sour, umami)?

Hopefully this post helps you and don’t be afraid to change your diet or way of eating and see if that works better! If you constantly have cravings or you never feel satisfied after eating, then you need to make a change to your diet or look over how you eat and see if something is missing!

Other posts that may be relevant:

Craving meat? Sign of deficiency?

Scared of eating vegan becuse of the higher carb intake?

Scared of eating vegan becuse of the higher carb intake?

Substituting food – but not with the same nutrients? | Vegan

When i promote a vegan/plant based diet, i always mention the importance of substitution. I.e you shouldn’t just take away food, you also need to replace it with something.

Not only for nutrients, but also it can make it more sustainable when you feel like you aren’t “Missing out”. I.e when you can still eat burgers with friends, or you can still eat your favourite dishes – but vegan.

Of course, the important thing – which many don’t think about – when substituting, is that it is not just substitution of the food, but also the nutrients in the food you are replacing.

I.e it is great that there is vegan cheese which you can use instead of dairy cheese. However, vegan cheese is usually just made out of oil and some sort of flavour, or it is made from cashews and nutritional yeast. This doesn’t give you the same nutrients, i.e protein and calcium which dairy cheese gives you. So if you want to use vegan cheese instead of dairy cheese, that is great… you just have to make sure to get your calcium from other sources (such as sesame seeds, tahini, tofu, enriched oatmilk, dark leafy greens etc).

And the same goes with example making tofu fish/using jackfruit instead of fish. Granted, white fish is mostly just protein, but if you are replacing tofu/jackfruit with fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel or herring, then you are also missing out on D vitamin and Omega 3 (and other healthy fatty acids). So it is important to get those nutrients from other sources – such as walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds. And D vitamin from a supplement.

^^Important to note, that when ex. making veggie schnitzels or ex. using eggplant instead of meat, you will be cutting out a protein source in your meal – as well as other vitamin sources. (Once or twice it is fine… but switching meat for just vegetables i.e not legumes/grains is not a good idea).

And the same goes for making ex. potatoe based “cheese” sauce for pasta. Sure it is great and creamy and delicious, but i would also recommend you add some beans or tofu along with the pasta (or use bean pasta) if it is an everyday meal you eat. Of course, if you just eat it from time to time, it is no problem that it is more carb rich.  ^^

 

Also, when you are replacing dairy milk with a plantbased milk, it is good to choose a fortified plant based milk.This is because otherwise you could be missing out on important nutrients such as b12, calcium, d vitamin. (Note, the organic plant based milk aren’t allowed to be fortified, so then you are missing out on nutrients).

When your replace meat with vegan protein sources, it is also important to make sure you are getting iron from other sources. Ex, if you switch meat for seitan, or you switch a portion of meat for a small portion of beans or legumes, you won’t be getting the same amount of iron. So increasing your intake of iron rich plant based foods is a good idea when you cut out meat.

Typically, vegan fake meat based on soya do contain a good amount of nutrients and typically are the same nutritionally compared to meat (maybe higher on the fat, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing).

I do not mean to diss or bash a plant based diet, i just think it is important to bring awareness to. Especially as a nutrition student i think about these things… i.e when i eat vegan cheese i do it because i want the texture/flavour, but i also know that nutritionally it is lacking in vitamins/Minerals compared to dairy cheese.

Also you typically need to eat more food/portions are bigger when you are consuming lots of legumes/grains/whole foods instead of animal products. I.e a small portion of beans/lentils is not the same as a portion of meat – nutritionally.

Hopefully this post will help you, and maybe bring awareness to something you didn’t think about before. Also important to note that you can get all the vitamins and minerals you need on a plantbased diet, but you may just need to think/plan a little more than if you were to eat meat and dairy as well.

 

How to cope as a vegan during the holiday season – (Wanting to eat non vegan food? | Dealing with people eating animal products?)

I got the question of how to deal with people eating non vegan around you, when it comes to social events.

Or infact, i got asked the same question but from two different perspectives:

  1. How to not get angry at people who eat animal products around you during example Christmas. Being vegan and knowing what animal products are i.e they are not just products or food, but were once living animals can be incredibly tough. It can be hard to not feel sad or frustrated when you see so many animal products being eaten and people not really thinking about what they are eating.

 

  1. How t o deal with people eating animal products around you and trying to not eat the food themselves (this came from a new vegan). – And i can understand this, when you are new to veganism and you haven’t fully gotten used to all the different foods or tastes that a plant based diet has, or maybe you still miss certain animal products it can be tough to be around that food and not eat it.
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I always try to bring this bag with me when i go food shopping. (Or i wil put the items into my school bag!) And when i do need to buy a bag i’ll buy paper instead! *I always think it is comical when i show my “happy vegan bag” in the store and look angry/tired, haha

So the first angle, how to not get angry – well i try to think that getting angry at people or accusing people of being “murderers” isn’t going to make anything better. If anything, it will make them defensive and less likely to want to listen or change.

What i try to focus on is inspiring others, and i do that by 1) making tasty vegan food and 2) getting others to try the vegan food or get tempted to try the food. Also, i focus and encourage discussion and conversation about a vegan lifestyle and plantbased diet.

I read up on facts so that i can answer with real facts and not just with propaganda, fear or anger.

Of course, i am lucky that my family are pescetarian and so they don’t eat any red meat or poultry, but they do eat fish, egg and a little dairy. Also, usually when i am at home they eat 99% vegan so i never really have to deal with them eating alot of animal products around me. Not to mention that they already know alot of information and we have had plenty of convesations about veganism and a plant based diet. And they do try to eat as vegan as possible even when i am not at home.

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I understand though if you are the only vegan and the rest of your family eat ALOT of meat and animal products around you. It can be tough to feel “Ok” when those around you are eating alot of dead animals, and that is all you can see. If you find it too tough then you can either 1) speak to your family about it, however if they are the type that don’t want to listen or don’t want to change their ways maybe you can choose to skip the eating together part and instead eat your meal on your own and join for the rest of the celebrations? Or if possible, if you can find other vegans in your area to celebrate with. I have seen in some FB groups which i am part of that each year there is sometime a vegan get together for those who don’t want to celebrate with their family or can’t celebrate with their family. Otherwise,you could always be the one to arrange it (next year anyway, as it may be a little late now!).

Also another thing is to focus on how many people ARE turning vegan each year. Focus on how much progress there is in vegan products (all types of products). Companies have stopped testing on animals, banned fur, stopped the hunting and killing of certain animals and the deamnd for meat and animal products is declining while the amount of vegan options on the shelves is rapidly increasing.

It can be tough, but focus on all those positives and know that even if your family aren’t supportive of your choices – there are many out there who ARE vegan and do care. Try to focus on inspiration and not anger – though that is just my opinion.

And onto the second question…

How to deal with not eating all the animal products when you are new to a plantbased diet.

And my answer to that is 1) Make sure you have plenty of vegan options to eat. 2) Veganize your favourite recipes. 3) And better to make too much than to have too little.

Most foods can be veganized or you can buy a vegan option. If you know your family or friends will be eating chocolate, make sure to bring your own or make your own vegan chocolate. If your family will be eating cake or buns etc have your own vegan option. You won’t feel left out then!
Of course, you can always suggest that everyone eats a vegan version – if that is possible.

Also, think about WHY you went vegan. If you went vegan for the animals, then it isn’t so hard to not want to eat the animal products when you think about what the food actually is.

You could always watch some vegan documentaries (POST here) to help you feel more confident and secure as to why you choose to be vegan.

Those are the things that helped me in the beginning – now i am not tempted at all to eat any of the animal products that will be on the Christmas table this year. Infact, i am jjust excited to eat all the delicious vegan options i have made.

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A post to read is from itdoesnttastelikechicken

The longer you are vegan, the easier it is to not want animal products (or that is my opinon anyway) 1) because you like the vegan options and alternatives, 2) you know why you are vegan, 3) you just don’t crave any animal products and if anything can get a little grossed out about them the longer you are vegan.

Whatever situation you are in this Christmas (or any other celebration/season), you can get through it.

Hopefully one day the majority of people will be vegan and it will be more uncommon to actually eat meat or animal products. Where 99% of people eat all vegan and there will be that 1 person who sits at the table and eats meat isntead of the other way around as it is in many households now a days.

Let me know your thoughts on this or if you have any advice for others in these situations!

Also, i have a post with tips on going vegan: Guide to going vegan – Masterpost. Useful resources & Thinking about going vegan? Masterpost with vegan information!

World Vegan Day 2018

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As it is World vegan day i think everyone who reads this post (and in general, everyone!) should at least eat a completly vegan meal today (Hint, veggies and hummus, potatoes and avocado, falafels with rice and tahini, tomato pasta with veggies, oats with peanut butter and banana with soya milk etc etc … Or why not get inspired by some of the recipes i have on my blog?)

Vegan recipes category

Vegan nutrition & vegan posts (i.e i have alot of different vegan related posts and have answered many different vegan related questions!)

Or if you can… make it a whole vegan day of eating (or from when you read this – maybe you have already eaten your usual non vegan breakfast?). Of course if you had planned a few days before it might have made it easier, but it really isn’t so hard to eat plant based and it can be a good challenge today! Infact, many eat fully vegan meals without thinking about it – which is awesome!

Most recipes/dishes can be veganised… some easier than others. But it is about replacing the animal products with alternatives, and now a days there are plenty of alternatives to use instead.

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Skip the eggs, skip the dairy, skip the meat. Instead find alternatives today….. if you are craving chocolate, then find a vegan chocolate to buy. If you want yoghurt, buy some soya or oat yoghurt! The least you can do is try. Maybe you can’t eat completely plant based, or live a completely vegan lifestyle, but you can atleast make choices and changes sot hat you eat more plant based and live more vegan 🙂 Such as when you can, choose the vegan option!

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What about other things you can do today and in the future? I have a whole post with things you can read HERE , but i will list some below!

*Post:  Tips for going vegan – documentaries, information, ntutrition, facts | Masterpost *

You can skip the plastic bags and bring your own bags when food shopping.

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I always try to bring this bag with me when i go food shopping. (Or i wil put the items into my school bag!) And when i do need to buy a bag i’ll buy paper instead! *I always think it is comical when i show my “happy vegan bag” in the store and look angry/tired, haha

You can buy CF and vegan house hold and beauty products (will try to do more posts about those in the future.) You can find some vegan beauty product brands HERE and household product brands HERE (In Sweden the brand Grumme is vegan!)

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Note, from what i have read – Dove has stopped (or will stop) testing on animals. However not all their products are vegan… and i read that from about 2019 it should be “ok” to buy Dove products [the vegan ones].
Watch vegan documentaries and films to make yourself more aware. You can see a list of documentaries HERE

Follow vegan facebook groups, follow vegan accounts on social media! Also, this can be a way to make new friends who are vegan, and this in turn can help support you/make it easier for you to stay vegan, if example your parents or friends aren’t supportive of your lifestyle choices.

Find your reason to be vegan – make the connection. Per definition, vegan means ”

Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” (source)

I.e veganism is about animals and animal rights and their right to life. However… whether you eat more plantbased for the sake of the planet or your health, it still makes a difference to the lives of the animals. So find your reason whether it is more about the ethics and animals, the planet and climate, reducing waste or just about eating a plant based diet.

Ask questions. I know this can be scary and sometimes you don’t get the answer you want to hear, or even worse, people answer rudely and try to belittle you when you were just asking out of curiosity or because you wanted to know the answer. But dare to ask vegans questions, this is so that you can LEARN more and educate yourself, however you also have to be OPEN to the answer because it may not be what you want to hear. As a vegan, it can be frustrating to get asked a question and you spend time gathering the facts and information and answer in a correct way only to be disregarded and the person who asked the question just answers rudely and doesn’t even take in the facts or information. If you ask a question, be prepared to learn more and maybe hear an answer you don’t want or hadn’t thought you would hear.

Donate to an animal charity or animal rights organisation. Just €5 can make a difference, i send a monthly as well as an annual donation to an animal rights charity and in all honesty its basically the same as 2 cups of coffee each month which i can definitely spare and the money goes to a good cause. I may not be able to do alot or donate alot of money, but a little can go a long way!

Think about what changes you can make in your life right now. Maybe going 100% plant based or vegan isn’t possible but ask yourself, are there any changes i CAN make right now? Maybe as simple as buying soya milk instead of regular milk or eating only plant based lunches or maybe you can even make enough changes to eat completely vegan when you are making your own food but then eat meat/dairy when eating out or when offered food. Or maybe you can decide to eat only vegan snacks or breakfast. I am sure there are changes you can make now!!

When faced with the truth you know you’d have to make a change

So tell me… will you being completely vegan today or will you be making some vegan meals today? And are you planning on making changes in your life to go more plant-based/vegan? 🙂

Also if you have any questions or topic ideas or vegan questions just comment below and i will try my best to answer!