Navigating the holidays as a new vegetarian or vegan can be challenging at first. That’s why we’ve put together some ideas to help answer the top 5 questions you could hear over the holidays.
1. Why did you suddenly go veg?
This is a personal question, and the answer is different for everyone. Whether your motivation is to save animals, help the environment, or to improve your health, your answer should help the listener understand your point of view and learn the facts. Try a positive approach – offer a bite of your meal, take them to your favourite veg restaurant, or invite them to watch a documentary to learn more.
2. Is being veg even healthy?
Yes! The American Dietetic Association, the United States’ largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, states that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”
3. But wait… where do you get your protein?
This question is so common it’s almost comical, and yet it’s bound to come up in conversation.
Protein is found in all plant foods! Some foods high in protein include beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, nuts and seeds.
Not convinced? Top athletes like Venus and Serena Williams, ultramarathoner Scott Jurek, and 8 time super heavyweight boxing champion Cam Awesome all follow vegan diets!
4. Okay, but don’t you miss meat?
There’s no right or wrong answer (sometimes we do miss it – and that’s okay!) but there are many delicious veg versions to enjoy! We’ve all heard of the Beyond Burger, but there are many food innovations that are widely available such as vegan cheeses, as well as meat substitutes like seitan, tofu and tempeh.
Vegan fast food chains are also popping up around Ontario – you can easily grab a burger, pizza or fried chicken at places like The Hogtown Vegan, Apiecalypse Now!, Boon Burger, and Globally Local.
5. Okay fine, then hypothetically speaking – if you were trapped on a desert island and there were only animals to eat… would you eat them?
This question often comes late in the conversation, and is usually meant to push your buttons and get you to concede that you would eat meat. We all know that this is an unfair and silly question to ask.
It’s important to establish the difference between eating animals for survival and for convenience or taste. Since surviving isn’t a factor in your everyday food choices, this scenario doesn’t apply to you!
Side note: What are the animals on the island eating if there aren’t any veggies available?
Have you been asked any of these questions over the holidays? Let us know in the comments!