FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS...
WHY IS IT MORE EXPENSIVE TO BUY HEALTHY VEGGIES THAN ANIMAL PRODUCTS?
There are two very important answers to this question.
1. It isn't more expensive to eat a healthy, well-balanced whole-food, plant-based diet centered around whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, fruits and veggies.
A family of 4 can save as much as $5k a year this way. However, if your grocery spend is mainly comprised of the prepared mock/alternative vegan meats, vegan dairy (cheese, egg relacements, etc., your savings will be minimal to non-existent because they are typically just as expensive as meat/dairy). And while they don't contain cholesterol they are often loaded with additives and saturated fat that aren't health promoting.
2. $38 billion dollars in federal government subsidies is provided to meat and dairy farmers to help keep the DIRECT cost of products low enough to appeal to customers, while making farmers whole financially. So, vegan or not, we all pay into the pot for the total cost of animal agriculture. To put into perspective PETA says that a $5.00 Big Mac would cost about $13 without the government subsidies that you already pay. your that we all pay for in taxes drive.
So, no matter how you cut it, it's not more expensive to be a health-wealth focused vegan.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VEGAN DIET/LIFESTYLES?
Absolutely. Just like there are differing nutrition plans with non-vegan diets and lifestyles, the vegan journey has many paths-Here are 3:
1, WHOLE-FOOD, PLANT-BASED (WFPB) Hands down the most health-promoting of all the vegan options, the WFPB lifestyle focuses on a diet composed primarily of 100% minimally processed whole grains, legumes, nuts, beans, fruit and dairy. This lifestyle also at least 6 hours a day of sleep, 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise, minimal to no moderate to highly processed foods, minimal to no oil and lots of water. WFPB folks may or may not practice a "vegan" lifestyle beyond the food (for example they may buy leather or purchase products that have brought harm to animals).
2. JUNK FOOD VEGAN
Typically attracted by the important call to protect animals, the environment or both, junk food vegans tend to avoid at all costs, eating anything that includes animals, dairy, seafood, eggs or has brought them harm. Usually either not well-versed in or not focused on nutrition, the junk food vegan tends to spend a good bit of time and money on eating high calorie, fat-filled, convenience/junk vegan alternative foods such as: doughnuts, cakes, candy, chips, ice cream, meat alternatives, fried vegan foods and other highly processed foods (white breads, white pastas, etc).
While in the short term, this may not seem like a bad idea but the fact is any diet that regularly includes highly processed, fat-filled or junk/convenience food is a very bad idea for anyone's health. This unhealthy approach to the vegan lifestyle also sends confusing messages to those who are vegan-curious but are thinking about an approach to personal health.
3. HEALTH-WEALTHY VEGAN
A health-wealthy vegan intentionally practices the exclusion of bringing harm to animals and the environment while also being keenly focused on the balanced vegan nutrition and health.. Their diet tends to be similar to that of the WFPB lifestyle (nutrient-rich, low calorie diet) and while they support animal and environmental advocacy, their primary focus tends to be around nutrition and wellness.
WHAT'S THE BEST APPROACH, COLD TURKEY OR TRANSITION TO THIS LIFESTYLE?
If you are in-disease, which means you are experiencing one or more chronic diseases, you should 1) Find a health coach or plant-based clinician 2) Go cold turkey ASAP! I can't emphasize enough the kind of russian roulette that you are playing with your health in general and how much more severe the game is when you are actively in-disease.
If you're aren't in-disease, exploring a 21 to 30 day transition plan with a plant-based professional or taking an immersion course on the lifestyle is a good option.
The last thing that one should do is just decide one day to go vegan with no idea what that entails because that path often leads to weight gain, disappointment, fatigue and ultimately failure.
Put simply, with every bite you take, you're either promoting/increasing the risk factors for or fighting/reducing them; choose wisely.