I'm vegan, and why you should be too. AMA (Ask Me Anything)

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Hate to be the realist here, but if any meat eater tells you they cannot tell the difference between a real meat product and a fake meat product, I'd simply tell them at best, they must have no taste buds.

I've tried most of the fake meat products out there because my wife HATES meat. Fake chicken nuggets and other chicken pieces, fake hamburgers, fake breakfast crumbles. The list is almost endless actually. I've substituted TVP and seitan in chili's I've made and in tacos and anything with a pretend meat crumbles. Double fried tofu and jackfruit.

Absolutely NONE OF IT tastes, looks, or feels like real meat. The people in the Burger King commercials said their Impossible Burger tasted like a real Whopper because the fake meat was cooked on the same grill as the real meat.

The more honest thing is just to go with "this is not meat, this is a meat substitute."

Or, just eat meat. :)

HA! Reminds me of the Big Kahuna Burger scene in Pulp Fiction. wacbzz's wife hates meat so he pretty much can't get a good burger. Brother, you need a Big Kahuna Burger from that Hawaiian burger joint. LOL! 😄
 

GoVegan

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So do you guys ever indulge in a good old fashioned glass of ice cold RC cola?
Not some conveluted, super nutrient rich smoothy or diet cola, just a glass of soda all fizzing up your nose when it hits the ice cubes?

Speaking of that: Do you guys have special ice cubes too?

No taco flavor Doritos? Or heck for that matter a crunchy taco from taco bell? Ever?
As far as I'm aware, most (if not all) cola doesn't contain any animal ingredients, so is therefore vegan, however I wouldn't recommend it. I stopped drinking Cola years ago, really bad for you, even the zero-calorie ones. You'll find that once you stop eating/drinking all the sweet nasty stuff, you no longer crave for it any longer.

Some Dorito flavors are vegan, however I try to avoid most of these types of snacks, as they are high in sodium (salt), have GMO ingredients, and cooked in lots of oil (always bad for you). If I do buy these types of chips, then I go for oven-baked (non-fried), and don't eat very often.

Many Taco Bell options can be veganized, I've eaten there before, I love Mexican food. I actually sometimes buy the Old El Paso Taco Kits from local supermarkets, then use a vegan meat substitute such as one made from wheat. Makes a great lunch.

With the exception of alcohol induced vomiting.... woopsie....All of the above statements are true for me as well for about 10 years now. I started eating less junk food and started eating more meat and fish. A good portion of the meat and fish that I consume comes from hunting and fishing. And I grow atleast 50% of my own fruits and veggies which also make up a huge part of my diet. I'm not sure if the above statements are only applicable to vegans. Oreos and freeze pops are vegan. You can't live off of that. The difference is eating healthy, which can be achieved both by vegans and meat eaters. What I would suggest, however, is that meat eaters consider treating animals more ethically which would mean hunting as a source of food or raising one's own livestock as opposed to contributing to industrial meat raising.

As for saving the planet, I'm not convinced it can be done by eating only vegetables. The population growth is not sustainable either way if we have a society that outsources its food production to industrialized farming, be it meat or veggie. And destroying wildlife habitat for veggie fields isn't much more ethical in my view than killing animals for food. Certainly not more ethical than hunting and preserving said species. I admit that less wildlife habitat will need to be destroyed if the world goes vegan. But with unsustainable population growth, that too will catch up. IT just takes longer.

Really, for the save the planet crowd, the only sustainable way of living would have been hunting and gathering and not the move toward industrial farming where communities outsource their food source. So, I'm not convinced that veganism is going to save any of us from anything in the long run. It might just give us a few more years. I'd rather eat healthy without having to take supplements and enjoy the taste of my food if thats all it will buy us.

Correct, Oreos and freeze pops are vegan, but not healthy, there is certainly a fair share of junk food that is still vegan. That's why I say a low fat plant based vegan diet, this consists of mainly whole foods, preferably avoiding as much processed foods as possible.

A meat based diet, puts you at risk of heart disease due to the high cholesterol (fish too is also very high in cholesterol), a vegan diet contains zero cholesterol. Just about every cancer risk increased dramatically when eating meat too, more meat intake = higher risk, and the older you get even more so. So while eating hunted meat can be much healthier than the SAD (Standard American Diet), it isn't exactly healthy, nor is it sustainable for a large population.

BTW Although I have always been a big eater and always loved eating, but it wasn't until I became vegan did I REALLY enjoy eating. I taste real natural flavor now, and eat an amazingly wide variety of vegetables, fruits, grains and beans, unlike I used to. Hard to imagine this difference.

Oof. No wonder your health improved when you quit eating meat. You had horrible eating habits even compared to most meat eaters. Just switching to grilled chicken and baked fish would have done wonders. Lol
No, this was when I was much younger, actually at this time I didn't get sick all that often. As I was super fit, constantly running and gunning, and doing hard training in martial arts all the time. I was actually sick all the time years AFTER I stopped eating meat, until I went vegan. There is a huge difference between just quitting meat and going vegan.

Grilled chicken and fish, again are super high in cholesterol. If I would have done that, honestly I believe I would have died from heart disease long before now. Instead I'm now super healthy, and almost completely mitigated the risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and most cancers. All while enjoying food more than ever and while saving the planet at the same time. :)

I should also add, that I never went vegan for health reasons. I went vegan for the ethical reasons. It just so happened that the biggest benefit I didn't really consider was my health. Honestly, for many years I thought I had become Superman (only with a V on my shirt). lol
 
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knucklegary

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Hate to be the realist here, but if any meat eater tells you they cannot tell the difference between a real meat product and a fake meat product, I'd simply tell them at best, they must have no taste buds.

I've tried most of the fake meat products out there because my wife HATES meat. Fake chicken nuggets and other chicken pieces, fake hamburgers, fake breakfast crumbles. The list is almost endless actually. I've substituted TVP and seitan in chili's I've made and in tacos and anything with a pretend meat crumbles. Double fried tofu and jackfruit.

Absolutely NONE OF IT tastes, looks, or feels like real meat. The people in the Burger King commercials said their Impossible Burger tasted like a real Whopper because the fake meat was cooked on the same grill as the real meat.

The more honest thing is just to go with "this is not meat, this is a meat substitute."

Or, just eat meat. :)
Humans are the only mammals on earth that continue to drink milk after being weaned

Broccoli is loaded with calcium.. ummm!
 

GoVegan

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Humans are the only mammals on earth that continue to drink milk after being weaned

Broccoli is loaded with calcium.. ummm!
Correct, broccoli is just one of many plant based foods that is high/higher in calcium than cows milk, and better absorbed too.

It also happens to be one of the many 'disgusting' foods (or so I thought) that I never enjoyed prior to being vegan. Now I love it and eat it often, either steamed in salads, or with wholewheat pasta or in gratin, or in a stir-fry.

Just one example of how my taste buds can now appreciate real food, and every vegan I've every spoken too has said exactly the same thing "I now really appreciate the taste of food".
 
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jtr1962

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So do you guys ever indulge in a good old fashioned glass of ice cold RC cola?
Not some conveluted, super nutrient rich smoothy or diet cola, just a glass of soda all fizzing up your nose when it hits the ice cubes?

Speaking of that: Do you guys have special ice cubes too?

No taco flavor Doritos? Or heck for that matter a crunchy taco from taco bell? Ever?
Eating healthier doesn't mean never enjoying eating. I've always had a low-meat diet. Just a product of growing up in an Italian-American household with my mother being the first generation born here. She learned how to cook traditional style from her mother and relatives. But I like to drink soda occasionally (mostly Sierra Mist, Sprite, root beer, and orange). No diet junk, either. Hate the way it tastes. I like beer occasionally. And wine. I love Doritos but my waistline doesn't. I love my sweets. Taco Bell is delicious but none are within walking distance. I love Chinese food. Sometimes I even eat (gasp) hot dogs or bacon. Just everything in moderation.

I'd like to go a little healthier at this point simply because lately it seems I'm lacking the energy I used to have. Could be a product of the horrible times we're in, being stuck home taking care of my mother since 2014, or my beloved cat dying on February 23. Probably all of those. But a healthier diet won't hurt. If I can find meat substitutes I enjoy, even if they're not exactly like meat, that's a step in the right direction.
 

jtr1962

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Really, for the save the planet crowd, the only sustainable way of living would have been hunting and gathering and not the move toward industrial farming where communities outsource their food source. So, I'm not convinced that veganism is going to save any of us from anything in the long run. It might just give us a few more years. I'd rather eat healthy without having to take supplements and enjoy the taste of my food if thats all it will buy us.
Vertical farming in cities, cultured meat instead of livestock, power supplied by renewables. That's the only way forward I can think of given our present numbers. We've destroyed too much of the planet for agriculture and raising livestock.
 

GoVegan

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Vertical farming in cities, cultured meat instead of livestock, power supplied by renewables. That's the only way forward I can think of given our present numbers.
Boom, what you just wrote is the future for sure. Although I will stay well clear of cultured meat as, 1) it still requires the use of animals (much less of course), 2) still high in cholesterol and therefore not healthy.

Plus that's assuming we as humans aren't extinct in a matter of years, as there are many experts who think that there is a real high possibility that 'runaway' global warming will occur, which will mean all species on the planet die. I'm not talking far distance future either, I'm talking about within this decade, with the last traces of humans surviving perhaps another "half a dozen years".

This is why I tell people that there is absolutely nothing more important than climate change, and each and every one of us should be doing everything possible to reduce our carbon emissions.

I recommend anyone with any interest, actually everyone, watch some of Guy McPherson's videos (scientist and professor emeritus of natural resources and ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona).

This one I found very interesting, but there are many other good ones, by other scientists too:
 
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jtr1962

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I personally think he underestimates the tenacity of life, and overestimates the short term effects of climate change. To be sure, if we continue on this path, things aren't pretty. But his defeatist attitude is pretty depressing. He's basically saying it's too late to do anything, just live like a terminally ill person. I hope seeing what's been going on globally this summer finally wakes people up. And let's look at geoengineering. No reason we can't put satellites in orbit which block some of the incoming solar radiation to buy us time while we get the CO2 out of the atmosphere.
 

GoVegan

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So if anyone is interested in going vegan, this video is THE place to start, as it's all about education. Gary is probably responsible for turning more people vegan than any other single person ever.

You'll need an a spare 1 hour, but it very informative, a real eye opener.
I watched it years ago, and I still 100% agree that the title is fitting and correct.

Gary Yourofsky - The Most Important Speech You Will Ever Hear
 

Lumen83

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Vertical farming in cities, cultured meat instead of livestock, power supplied by renewables. That's the only way forward I can think of given our present numbers. We've destroyed too much of the planet for agriculture and raising livestock

Vertical farming, homesteading, nuclear powered infrastructure, incorporating solar where possible, all things that can help slow the inevitable. But I still think we are on our way out for good.
 

Lumen83

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A meat based diet, puts you at risk of heart disease due to the high cholesterol (fish too is also very high in cholesterol), a vegan diet contains zero cholesterol. Just about every cancer risk increased dramatically when eating meat too, more meat intake = higher risk, and the older you get even more so. So while eating hunted meat can be much healthier than the SAD (Standard American Diet), it isn't exactly healthy, nor is it sustainable for a large population.

I should also add, that I never went vegan for health reasons. I went vegan for the ethical reasons. It just so happened that the biggest benefit I didn't really consider was my health. Honestly, for many years I thought I had become Superman (only with a V on my shirt). lol

You're ignoring that the immune system absolutely needs and benefits from healthy doses of healthy cholesterol. And the fact is your cell membranes are made up of lipids that should be a staple of your diet. These are made up of the nutrients that come readily from meat and fish that you need supplements for if you are a vegan. Recent studies are back tracking on the fear of cholesterol in the diets of people who are not genetically predisposed to cardiac disease related to plaque build up. Egg yolks, for example, are not universally rejected by nutritionists the way that it was popular to do so in the past few decades. These are extremely rich in nutrients and the issues related to the cholesterol were severely over-stated.

You are aware that the Dietary Guidelines for American's no longer restricts the daily intake of cholesterol, right? "The 2015-2020 DGA states that dietary cholesterol is no longer a nutrient for concern"

Cholesterol is beneficial, and is no longer an argument against eating meat.

If anything, this pandemic has demonstrated the need for fatty foods in one's diet for the omega acids, the vitamin d, the vitamin a, etc. People in norway with a healthy diet of fish are becoming hospitalized and dying at rates 7-12% less than their american counterparts who do not incorporate as much fish fat into their diets. I understand that you can take supplements with a vegan diet to make up for these, but I don't accept that a vegan diet is healther, when those who eat meat and fish have access to these nutrients naturally. My argument is that people who incorporate meat and fish from hunting and fishing have a healthier diet than the vegan diet. Those people have access to all of the healthy foods that health-minded vegans do. Additionally, they have the health benefits of fish and non-processed, non-antibiotic injected meat.

I agree that hunting is not sustainable for the population. Wildlife would be gone in a week if everyone took to hunting.
 
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Lumen83

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Hate to be the realist here, but if any meat eater tells you they cannot tell the difference between a real meat product and a fake meat product, I'd simply tell them at best, they must have no taste buds.

I've tried most of the fake meat products out there because my wife HATES meat. Fake chicken nuggets and other chicken pieces, fake hamburgers, fake breakfast crumbles. The list is almost endless actually. I've substituted TVP and seitan in chili's I've made and in tacos and anything with a pretend meat crumbles. Double fried tofu and jackfruit.

Absolutely NONE OF IT tastes, looks, or feels like real meat. The people in the Burger King commercials said their Impossible Burger tasted like a real Whopper because the fake meat was cooked on the same grill as the real meat.

The more honest thing is just to go with "this is not meat, this is a meat substitute."

Or, just eat meat. :)
Meat substitutes taste terrible to me. Not only that, but many of them (not all and maybe not even most) are terrible for you. Take a look at how much sodium and other chemical additives there are in the impossible meats or the beyond meats. Its alarming how much less-healthy these alternatives are. Now, there are plenty of vegans who would not touch these. So, this isn't a knock on veganism or vegans who have a healthy diet. Its just to say that these meat-alternatives are unhealthy in alternative ways, if you will.

The afformentioned meat alternatives solve the issue of ethical treatment of animals. But they absolutely do not solve any health issues that are being raised by vegans with regard to eating meat. They are unhealthy and should be avoided by both meat eaters and vegans alike. There are plenty of healthy alternatives that have some meat flavoring on the market. But the impossible meat in particular is not one of them.
 

jtr1962

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The afformentioned meat alternatives solve the issue of ethical treatment of animals. But they absolutely do not solve any health issues that are being raised by vegans with regard to eating meat. They are unhealthy and should be avoided by both meat eaters and vegans alike. There are plenty of healthy alternatives that have some meat flavoring on the market. But the impossible meat in particular is not one of them.
Exactly my thoughts. In order to make them taste more like meat, you're adding a whole bunch of chemicals.

I think long-term cultured meat will be a better solution. Maybe we can culture it in such a manner as to keep the taste but get rid of the ingredients which cause harm.
 

GoVegan

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Exactly my thoughts. In order to make them taste more like meat, you're adding a whole bunch of chemicals.

I have no idea about Impossible Foods meat substitutes, as I've never tried any as they are NOT vegan.

However I can guarantee you, all the meat substitutes I eat, contain zero chemical additives (or anything of the sort) and are low in sodium. I know as I care very much about both of these things, besides you should realize that every vegan checks the ingredient list very carefully.

So go ahead, make all the excuses you want and keep telling yourselves about how bad and how unhealthy these meat alternatives are, but the truth is there are many healthy meat alternative options available and they certainly are not hard to find either. If you want my help with any actual recommendation on any products, then PM me directly as I'll not continue this with this specific discussion here.
 

Jean-Luc Descarte

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Hate to be the realist here, but if any meat eater tells you they cannot tell the difference between a real meat product and a fake meat product, I'd simply tell them at best, they must have no taste buds.

I've tried most of the fake meat products out there because my wife HATES meat. Fake chicken nuggets and other chicken pieces, fake hamburgers, fake breakfast crumbles. The list is almost endless actually. I've substituted TVP and seitan in chili's I've made and in tacos and anything with a pretend meat crumbles. Double fried tofu and jackfruit.

Absolutely NONE OF IT tastes, looks, or feels like real meat. The people in the Burger King commercials said their Impossible Burger tasted like a real Whopper because the fake meat was cooked on the same grill as the real meat.

The more honest thing is just to go with "this is not meat, this is a meat substitute."

Or, just eat meat. :)
In the rare occasions I can afford them, I treat vegan products as their own beast. Heck, the one time I ate a soy burger patty, it may have been the best-seasoned patty I've EVER eaten, and it didn't taste like meat at all.
 

Lumen83

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So go ahead, make all the excuses you want and keep telling yourselves about how bad and how unhealthy these meat alternatives are, but the truth is there are many healthy meat alternative options available and they certainly are not hard to find either. If you want my help with any actual recommendation on any products, then PM me directly as I'll not continue this with this specific discussion here.
I've been pretty fair with my comments about speciffic (impossible and beyond) meat alternatives that are in my opinion worse health-wise than meat, but also to mention that most meat alternatives can be looked at as healthier in many ways, with the exception of lacking nutrients that are more readily available in meat (if they have not been supplemented to contain those nutrients).

In fact, I think that many meat alternatives are a great way to reduce meat consumption. I believe that most of us probably over-consume meat. And that while depending on the source, meat is a healthy and necessary staple of what I estimate as the best all around diet, I don't believe that meat should constitute nearly as much of it as most of us typically consume.

So, I think most of us meat-eaters could and should add more meat-alternatives (the healthy kinds) to reduce the amount of most of the types of meats in our diets. And I think there is a lot that most of us can learn from our vegan friends with regard to diet. And since you mentioned that you are done with this topic, I will respect that and cease to comment further as well. Thank you for the information that you have provided us here.
 

GaryF

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My experience with meat substitutes is that the ones that try to imitate meat have been a disappointment, where some of the ones that make no pretense are pretty good. Disappointing example: Boca Burger. Good example: Morningstar Spicy Black Bean Burger. That said, I have not tried some of the newer ones.
 

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