Veggie Myth-Busting: thinking of taking the meat-free plunge? Here are the facts
As a life-long vegetarian, I have become accustomed to hearing numerous myths about my lifestyle choice, some of which are harmful in the sense that they can discourage those that wish to try something new. In this article, I set out to de-bunk the top 5 myths on vegetarianism and hopefully shed some light on the realities of living meat-free.
1 You will not get enough protein with a vegetarian diet
False. This assumption presumes that the one and only protein source in the human diet comes from meat, and this is simply not true. Cheese, eggs, pulses and numerous other ingredients more used to being relegated to a side dish will provide you with protein, whilst the star of the vegetarian show – mycroprotein – is literally made from the stuff.
Mycroprotein, the leading ingredient in the popular meat substitute, Quorn, is readily available in this forms at all mainstream supermarkets. Products come in a variety of forms, from vegetarian nuggets to vegetarian toad-in-the-hole; believe me when I say Quorn has it all.
2 It will make you lose weight
Depends. Sadly, going veggie doesn’t guarantee you’ll drop all those unwanted pounds – whilst certain meats do carry a higher element of fat, they are by no means the sole factor in our diets that causes us to gain weight. If you are planning on going meat-free but carry on eating fatty foods such as processed or fast food, lots of cheese or sweet treats, then don’t expect an instant miracle.
3 Your diet will become boring
A complete myth. As previously mentioned, the leading meat-free alternative, Quorn, offers practically all the veggie equivalents to almost every meat product you could imagine. In addition to this, your diet will be as varied as you personally make it – it’s all about being adventurous and discovering new dishes!
4 Vegetarians are all meat-eater haters
Whilst I cannot speak for every individual vegetarian out there, I can assure you that the majority of us are not. As long as you respect my diet, I’ll respect yours – it really is that simple. Furthermore, we aren’t all out to ‘convert’ everyone either – if you want to know more about our lifestyle than most vegetarians will be happy to tell you, but if you don’t, then we won’t force it on you. Diets are primarily down to individual choice and flexibility; whether you wish to experiment or stick to the same one all your years, it’s completely down to you.
5 Vegetarians are all animal rights activists
Wrong. Whilst people’s opinions about animal ethics certainly can encourage them to make the shift to vegetarianism, it is by no means the only reason for a change of diet and/or lifestyle. People become vegetarians for a variety of reasons: some are born into a family of vegetarians, like me for example, whilst others avoid meat or animal products due to their religious beliefs, and some individuals will cite the simple reason that they don’t like the taste of meat. Ask a group of vegetarians the question ‘why’ and you’ll be sure to get a mixture of responses!
So, there you have it – 5 vegetarian myths well and truly busted! If you’re keen to find out more about this lifestyle and diet, then please visit https://www.vegsoc.org/ for everything from recipes to general tips and information.