10 Vegan Myths Debunked

10 Vegan Myths Debunked


10 Vegan Myths Debunked 10) ‘Humans Are Natural Vegetarians’ To answer whether or not this often used statement
is the case, we need to look at humans on an anatomical level. OK so we’re definitely
NOT primarily carnivores – our teeth are certainly no good for tearing through flesh in the same
way as lions, for example. Plus the acid in our guts is nowhere near strong enough to
digest raw meat. So if we are looking to work in line with
our anatomical design, our diet should be similar to that of our cousins – monkeys and
apes. Their dinnertime mainly consists of fruits, nuts and leaves. So we too must be
natural vegetarians, right? Well actually, wrong. According to LiveScience, learning to cook
and eating meat was actually what EVOLVED humans FROM apes. Studies published in the National Academy
of Sciences have found that it would have been biologically implausible for humans to
develop such a large brain without the extra calorie boost that comes from a meat-based
diet. And it’s this larger and more developed brain which key in distinguishing us from
our cousins. So what this ultimately shows us that humans
are evolutionarily plant AND meat eaters. It’s likely if it wasn’t for meat, we
would never have gotten top of the food chain. 9) ’Eating Soy Causes Cancer’ One myth commonly cited by non-vegans is that
eating soy, one of the biggest meat substitutes in a vegan diet, increases the risk of cancer
– most notably breast cancer. So where did this myth come from? Well it’s
because of the isoflavones which are found in soy. They’re plant-derived oestrogens
and, since most breast cancers are sensitive to oestrogen, soy has been linked to causing
breast cancer. BUT according to dietician Katherine Zeratsky,
food sources of soy DON’T contain high enough levels of isoflavones to increase the risk
of breast cancer. In fact the American Cancer Society even reported
that there is growing evidence that eating traditional soy foods may even LOWER the risk
of hormone-dependent cancers such as breast cancer. This might be because the isoflavones
can actually block the more potent NATURAL oestrogens in the blood, therefore making
them less likely to grow. And if that’s not enough of a health benefit
in itself, the British National Health Service reported that a diet high in fiber, such as
that supplied by eating soy-products, has been found to LOWER the risk of some cancers
such as bowel and colorectal cancer. 8) ‘Vegan Diet Reverses Heart Disease’ According to the British Heart Foundation,
it has long been speculated that a low-fat vegetarian or vegan diet is the ONLY one capable
of ‘reversing’ heart disease. Yes going vegan has lots of health benefits, but this
isn’t necessarily one of them. A British Heart Foundation study published
in 2014 looked at 198 patients to investigate whether eating a strict plant-based diet could
in fact stop or even reverse heart disease. It found that in the 177 patients who stuck
to the diet, the majority reported a reduction in heart disease symptoms and 22% had disease
reversal confirmed by test results. So far so accurate. But the study didn’t JUST rule out animal
products – it also cut out sugar, juice, salt and nuts – products which vegans can eat as
part of their diet. Therefore to say that it’s a VEGAN diet alone that reverses heart
disease is somewhat inaccurate. In fact, not only is it inaccurate, but the
OPPOSITE may just be true. That’s because according to work published by the NHS, some
unbalanced plant-based diets can even INCREASE the risk of heart disease. 7) ‘Fish Don’t Feel Pain’ It’s sometimes thought by non-vegans or
pescatarians that fish have a short memory and are insensate which means, therefore,
they can be caught, killed and eaten without guilt. Well, they’re wrong. Back in 2016, the journal ‘Animal Sentience’
published Australian neuroscientist Brian Key’s essay ‘Why Fish Do Not Feel Pain’. In it, he argued that it’s only mammal brains
that have a structure called the neocortex, which therefore mean they feel suffering.
Therefore, fish, who DON’T have a neocortex, musn’t be able to feel pain. But that’s
like saying that because we travel using legs, then fish, who have no legs, can’t travel.
It doesn’t really stack up. Angling is the so-called ‘gentle art’,
but really there’s nothing gentle about it at all. According to PETA, scientists have
identified and mapped out TWENTY pain receptors in fishes’ mouths and heads – among them
is those VERY areas where an angler’s barbed hook would penetrate a fish’s flesh when
catching fish for food. PETA also notes that fish have been found
to release endorphins and, just like in us mammals, the only REASON for their nervous
systems to produce these painkillers is to alleviate pain. 6) ‘Vegan Diets Are Dangerous For Children’ It’s widely acknowledged that the first
year of life is one of the most important developmental periods for a child. And it’s
ALSO widely acknowledged that nutritional deficiencies are common among those who adopt
a vegan diet. So surely it follows that a child raised on a vegan diet will not receive
all the nutrients needed for the first stages of life? Not necessarily. According to Britain’s NHS and the British
Dietetic Association, a well-planned vegan-based diet can be suitable for anyone of ANY age.
In fact, some scientists have EVEN speculated that a vegan diet might be of MORE health
benefit for children due to its naturally low saturated fat content. Of course with a vegan diet there IS risk
of vitamin D, calcium, iron and vitamin B12 deficiency. Yet with the right planning, knowledge,
and supplements, a child CAN get everything they need while following a vegan diet. The same too can be said for pregnant women.
As long as mums-to-be make sure they get enough iron and vitamin B12 through supplements,
it is perfectly safe to remain on a vegan diet during pregnancy. Here’s a question for you: Would you raise
your child on a vegan diet? Let us know in the comments below. So far we have spoken about myths surrounding
a vegan DIET. But as any one of the 6.5 million vegans in the US would tell you, being vegan
isn’t just about food – it’s a LIFESTYLE choice which tries to avoid cruelty to animals
in ANY way. As such, there are a whole host of things
you may not even realise AREN’T vegan. First up, there’s smoking. For one, the
act of smoking itself is harmful to the planet and the animals within it, but the manufacturing
methods of cigarettes also frequently involve animal testing. Then there’s condoms. While there ARE vegan-friendly
condoms out there, most REGULAR condoms contain casein [kay-seen]. It’s a protein derived
from cow or goat’s milk which softens the latex, making it more comfortable for human
use. And don’t forget about all the medicines
that contain animal-based derivatives such as lactose and gelatin. That’s not even
to mention the fact that all medicine in the US, and in the UK too, is lawfully required
to be safety tested on animals before entering the market. All of this means that no medicine
is technically vegan-friendly – quite the predicament if you’re feeling under the
weather. 4) ‘Rearing Cattle Is Bad For The Environment’ Cattle are often cited as being one of the
biggest contributors to global warming. The United Nations has calculated that, due to
the release of methane, animal farming is responsible for 14.5% of all greenhouse gas
emissions. But despite what people believe, cattle are
actually one of the KEYS to reversing climate change. That is, however, if the livestock
are allowed to feed in the correct way. OK so this next bit is a bit science-y. In
conventional grazing, cattle feed on the same area of land. That area then becomes overgrazed
and farmers douse it with fertiliser to make it grow back. While the fertilisers cause
the grass to regrow, its use also means that organic matter in the soil DECREASES. With a type of grazing called ‘mob’ grazing,
however, the herd doesn’t graze on the same area. They are instead rotated to OTHER areas,
giving each area a longer resting period. Without the need for fertiliser, the grass
is able to grow more organically, in turn increasing the soil’s capacity to store
carbon. Therefore carbon dioxide is able to be taken OUT of the atmosphere and sequestered
in the soil. So I guess cows really DO their bit for the environment after all. 3) ‘You Need Meat To Be Healthy’ According to organisations such as the NHS
and the British Heart Foundation, a balanced diet comprises eating meat and fish. They’re
a rich source of high biological value protein and essential nutrients. Therefore, a diet
with no meat or fish is unhealthy, right? Again, wrong. According to PETA there is NO nutritional
need for humans to eat any animal products – all of our dietary needs can be met by an
animal-free diet. Not only that, but in reality it may just
well be that EATING meat is unhealthy since its consumption has been linked to a whole
host of health problems. Processed red meat is now classified as a
Group 1 carcinogen. For a bit of context, that means it is now in the same category
as SMOKING and ASBESTOS. The International Agency for Research on Cancer
reviewed more than 800 studies that examined the link between meat and cancer. The authors
concluded that each 3 ounce portion of red meat eaten DAILY increases the risk of colorectal
cancer, and in some cases pancreatic and prostate, by a staggering SEVENTEEN (17%) percent. 2) ‘Vegans are Destroying The Rainforests
For Soya’ In the last few years in particular, soy production
has become a huge culprit in the destruction of rainforests and other critical ecosystems.
And who exactly is it that has the most soya in their diets? Vegans. So it’s vegans who
are destroying the rainforest. Except, it’s not. Rather, the destruction of the rainforest
for soya can largely be blamed on heavily soya-dependent livestock farming. LIVESTOCK
farming? Yep. Turns out the vast majority of soya grown is used in ANIMAL agriculture
i.e. not for a vegan diet. Oh how wrong people can be. According to the World Wildlife Fund, soybean
is the largest source of protein feed in the WORLD and is generally used in animal feed.
In fact up to SEVENTY percent of the soya grown globally goes into making the feed. That means then that MOST of the world’s
soybeans are consumed INDIRECTLY by humans through products like meat, dairy and eggs. So if we really ARE keen in pointing the finger
at who is destroying the rainforest, it’s definitely the non-vegans. 1) ‘Cows Have To Be Milked Anyway’ Erm, no, they really don’t. This is one
cited by non-vegans literally all the time as a reason to drink milk and use dairy products,
but it’s oh so wrong. Cows make milk for the same reason that human
women make milk – in preparation for feeding their newborn. If cows are not impregnated,
they don’t produce milk. It stands to reason. Naturally, cows would give birth infrequently
meaning they wouldn’t always be producing milk. On dairy farms, however, they are impregnated
EVERY year so they produce a constant supply of milk for us. Sadly, the cows’ babies are taken away shortly
after birth. Female calves may be slaughtered or raised to be milk producers themselves
while male calves may be slaughtered outright or sold for veal. Of course, being constantly pregnant or constantly
producing milk means most dairy cows are spent by the time they are SIX. It’s at this time
that they’re sent off to the slaughterhouse where they are turned into low-grade meat
products. But without the distress resulting from constant
impregnation, giving birth and being separated from their young, cows could in fact live
to TWENTY years or more.