Monday Notes: Vegan and Plant-Based: A Criticism*

Have you noticed there’s a push toward vegan and plant-based living, or is it just me?

Let’s start with the obvious: food. My friend, Jermaine has been trying to convince me that vegan is the way to go for a decade. He’s encouraged me to swap ground turkey or beef with Morning Star Farm’s Crumbles. The ingredients include food like soy, water, and carrot juice concentrate. To be fair, I’ve never tried it, because I’m not into the fake meat. But if I did, this seems like the way to go. What I don’t understand is sometimes plant-based patties like these include chemicals I can’t even pronounce, like tertiary butylhydroquinone and ferric orthophosphate. Not to mention, they’re still processed foods. I’m no dietician, but it doesn’t sound healthy to me. And even though many plant-based burgers include pea protein, this protein substitute isn’t considered a vegetable, which is consistent with what I’ve noticed—plants nor vegetables seem to be a main ingredient in plant-based or vegan foods, but rather the juice or extract from plants and other sources. Although research has shown there are health benefits to consuming meat-replacements, it just sounds weird to me to swap out one processed food with another.

Over the past two years or so, I’ve also noticed vegan and plant-based living has filtered to things like cleaning products, such as Mrs. Meyers. The purpose of using plant-based cleaning products is plentiful, ranging from being biodegradable to being cruelty-free. However, sometimes these products include harmful synthetic chemicals for fragrance, leading to seemingly toxic effects. Like a plant-based burger, some of these ingredients include words I cannot pronounce, like phthalates or octoxynols. Huh? I’m not sure about you, but I’m all for saving animals from being experimented on, but I’m not down with sacrificing something like my reproductive health to do so. I’m no martyr and it sounds like a win-lose situation.

I’m all for saving animals from being experimented on, but I’m not down with sacrificing something like my reproductive health to do so.

Finally, let’s talk vegan/plant-based clothing. Clothes like TOMS have existed for over a decade. But I’ve noticed more companies cropping up or jumping on the vegan clothing bandwagon, mainly in the form of vegan leather. According to Harper’s Bazaar, vegan leather is a material that mimics leather, but is created from artificial or plant products instead of animal skins. From what I’ve read, plant-based clothing can be made from chemicals, like polyurethane, or plants, like pineapple leaves. Some companies use fish skin, and they can’t be labeled “vegan,” but rather an animal alternative … which ends up being another animal.

All of this has my head swimming, and here’s why:

I tend to always think about the unintended consequences. For example, we all enjoy our cellphones, but somehow, we’ve created a negative situation for honey bees and disrupted the ecosystem. Similarly, I wonder what we’re doing to our bodies and the world with our vegan and plant-based alternatives. Are we ruining our bodies by eating processed “vegan” food because we don’t know what the real effects are?


I’m not a medical doctor, but I read a lot for my own edification. Here are some suggestions that seem to make more sense:

  1. Read labels. Just because it says “vegan” or “plant-based” doesn’t mean it’s automatically good for you.
  2. Know definitions. There’s a difference between a vegan, vegetarian, or plant-based meal, especially when it comes to burgers. For example, a Beyond burger, black bean burger, and a veggie burger are completely different.
  3. Eat vegetables. There are thousands of healthy vegetable-based recipes that require real food. They fall more into the vegetarian category.
  4. Consume less. Don’t buy more food than what you and your household can eat.

Point number four probably requires its own blog post. While I think of how to expand the
“consume less idea,” let me know if you’re vegan, vegetarian, or a staunch meat eater. What do you eat? How do you maintain your health in such confusing times?


*Information presented is a combination of blog, magazine, scholarly articles, and my opinion.

122 thoughts on “Monday Notes: Vegan and Plant-Based: A Criticism*

  1. Wow…Thank you my thoughts exactly even bath/shower products are now being branded as “vegan”… it’s just become a marketing bandwagon…I believe in a healthy diet with little or no processed foods which includes all these processed plant-based things…Cooking from scratch is my mantra and you don’t have to sweat for hours over the kitchen stove…so many ways you can make it yourself and instead of counting calories count the chemicals in what you are eating they are doing more harm than a few extra pounds which you can walk off…:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great article! I hope you don’t mind me sharing on my blog also.

    It’s so true that just because something is labelled a vegan product doesn’t mean it is healthy for you or the environment. Vegan just seems to be a buzzword for a lot of the big cooperates out there. Strongly believe a vegan diet should be plant-based and the consumption of plants should be in their natural form not lab made into a strange imitation of a beef burger

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was busy yesterday, but here’s my answer…I agree, of course. I think companies are banking on the fact that we’re all too busy to cook actual food to notice that they just swapped out one processed form of food for another. Anywho, thanks for reading/commenting/sharing! I appreciate it.

      Like

      1. Message from ShiraDest: yes, and, as when I ate only lentils and rice during the long summer I first arrived one CA, my roommates were astonished. But it was so warm that I was fine with it, except for the criticism from my roommates.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes…I understand that. It’s just I have a HUGE appetite, so I cannot imagine. But I do know beans and rice are a staple for meals that fill you up and stretch for long periods of time 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Totally agree, you put into words my exact thoughts! Many people are jumping on the plant-based wagon without any proper knowledge or willingness to dive deeper into the real meaning of it. I guess it has become more a trend than a genuine lifestyle change.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So, I am a plant-based gal, but I’m a whole-foods-plant-based gal, meaning, I don’t eat the fake stuff that’s still processed. I focus only on whole foods aka not processed or as minimally processed as possible: all fruits and veggies, legumes, nuts, beans, whole grains, etc. just saying, there IS a difference. One major difference between us and vegans is that we don’t use oils when cooking. We opt for water or veggie broth sauté method. And like I mentioned above, we also don’t eat the fake meat. I’d much rather make a black bean burger any day over that stuff! Chemicals are bad so I’m glad you pointed that out!

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  5. I’ve been vegetarian for hmmm…most of my life. The “meat substitutes” are okay as transition foods or even for say a “meatless Monday.” They’re not for everyday consumption. Whole foods is the way to go. Make your own burger patties. It’s a bit more time consuming than pulling a burger out of the freezer, but even as a meat-eater, you’ll love them. And you can make enough to freeze. 😀

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    1. This makes a lot of sense. To eat those subs would be equivalent to eating a frozen burrito every day or something like that. Thanks for adding these Chandra! My husband makes a really good black bean burger and I’ve been doing well with using real veggies to substitute in recipes (i.e., veggie taco or whatever). So far, this is working.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know why this makes me laugh. Maybe it’s because I remember every single thing you’ve mentioned here lol I think this is also why I find myself rolling my eyes about it sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Almost all vegan dishes/foods (plant-based or plant-full) have things in them I can’t eat, so I’m not interested at all. I used to eat flexitarian (there are cookbooks!), but with my food restrictions, that’s also out the door. If I didn’t eat meat, I wouldn’t have anything to eat at all, basically.

    So yeah. I just mind my business about other people’s foods.

    Also, vegan leather just makes me laugh every time I see it. They have gentrified pleather 😂😂😂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Someone else said something similar (about dietary restrictions), and I just learned the phrase flexitarian! I really, really, really like it.

      Dude. That is absolutely what has happened with pleather.

      Like

  7. Thank you for taking on this topic! The vegan-shaming drives me nuts too. I have so many thoughts on this.

    1) I think it’s true that excessive amounts of highly or ultra processed foods is unhealthy. But one thing that bothers me about the processed food conversations is that pretty much any food you buy in a supermarket is processed to some degree. Yes, hot dogs, vegan meat substitutes, and Snickers bars are processed, but frozen broccoli, milk, and decaf coffee are also processed. “Processed food” is another one of those unclear definitions.

    2) The main benefit of the vegan meat substitutes isn’t health. I also question if they are any healthier. For me, I appreciate them because they give me an opportunity to eat dishes I wouldn’t normally eat because I don’t eat meat and dairy together due to kosher dietary laws. So an Impossible burger with cheese is fun because it’s the closest I get to a cheeseburger. But I don’t think this is healthier.

    3) Re: clothing, it gets really interesting when you get into lifecycle analyses of vegan vs. non-vegan materials. Vegan leather could be made from plastics and generate more micro-plastic pollution, so while it’s better for animal welfare, it’s not necessarily better overall for the environment. But on other hand, in cleaning products or skincare products, ingredients produced synthetically in a lab could be more sustainable than a naturally sourced ingredient, depending on the source. It would be nice if all the goals of natural, cruelty-free, eco-friendly, and sustainable all lined up nicely, but that’s not always the case.

    4) I think the self-righteous shaming attitude is what is really unsustainable. Yes, a vegan diet is better for the environment. Yes, a diet with less processed foods is healthier. But shaming people for their choices really doesn’t lead to long-term sustainable change. It just makes people more stubborn and resistant.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m here for you (and the community at-large) lol Seriously, though…it’s getting out of hand, I think. Whenever a business recognizes they better jump on the “vegan” or “plant-based” bandwagon by offering a burger, then we know we’re in trouble.

      #1: I totally agree, and I’ll add that because businesses know that we’ll opt for the easy option because of lifestyle, then it’s easy to just slip in another, vegan or otherwise. That’s why I’m thinking, it would be good for all of us to stop and read a label every now and then.

      #2: Aha! I’ve head other people mention this, too. This makes sense to me.

      #3: Everything you’ve mentioned is the conundrum, right? I hate to be like well, we’re never gonna win this battle, but at the same time, sometimes, I think “we’re never gonna win this battle.” Someone or some animal or some concept is going to lose out because of something we’re not thinking through.

      #4: YES!!! And that’s what I’m saying. How can we co-exist without making everyone who’s not doing what you or I do feel sh*tty?

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  8. Any processed food contains additives that mostly isn’t good for you. This goes for your meat burger and some vegetarian bueger ( and vegan ). The answer is to cook more yourself and believe me, there are delicious dishes that are vegetarian or vegan. I am sure you can find some starter ones.

    I would send you pictures of dishes containing no aditives but are totally delicious. I am vegetarian but
    have a bunch of heavy meat eaters who turned vegan. First I giggled but when I tasted their dishes I shut up.
    Good luck with your dilemma

    Miriam

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Miriam! I totally agree and make quite a few myself. I don’t have a dilemma, necessarily, lol I think others do, though, as they seem to think eating processed, frozen vegan food (and milk replacement) is okay 😉

      Like

  9. I’ve heard some vegan burgers are actually higher in fat than meat-based ones, but I don’t know if that’s true or not. I do agree that anything can call itself healthy, but it is up to us to make sure it truly is. I do eat meat but not a lot of it. And I also can’t help but wonder: if we all go vegan, will there be any cows or chickens left? Who’s going to keep them when they can’t pay for their keep, much less turn a profit? Is it better for a species to become extinct, or to be slaughtered for meat? I honestly don’t know, but the question does interest me.

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  10. I agree, lots of emphasis on eating this way; I eat some of everything. And those labels that say vegan but ingredients are $10 words for sure are tricky.😏 And vegan clothing is taking it too far, IMHO.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thanks for bringing up this issue, K.E. Although I admire healthy vegans who have a good knowledge of nutrition, I would not know how to maintain myself that way because I do not digest legume proteins well. In general I am an omnivore, and gluten and dairy free. Meat is important for me in order to consume healthy fats and b12 vitamins. Organic, local, free range, non-processed foods are important to me. We also raise crops in our vegetable garden.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rebecca, I can fully understand why you’d continue to eat meat, because I’m not sure how many nutrients you’d be able to glean from veggies only. Raising crops in your own garden sounds very interesting, and I’m sure it’s best so that you know exactly how your food was grown!

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  12. I try to eat whole and local. I really don’t like the idea of processed foods at all. I did try the BK veggie burger and it wasn’t good at all. As far as 4 is concerned, I do like to have enough food frozen or stored, in the event of supply chain issues. Hopefully, it won’t be a concern in the years ahead.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for adding this Rob. I think whole and local is very commensical (not sure if this is a word). I’m also glad you mentioned the BK burger…I think they’re the ones who are serving plant-based. What didn’t you like about it?

      After the pandemic, I can see why storing a bunch of food sounds like a good idea, though. It’s kind of like me buying Lysol every time I see it now, even though we already have full cans 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I am a vegetarian but I would never advocate processed food as vegan/ vegetarian options. I am happy with my healthy vegetables, but one thing I would always speak up about is wasting food. Being healthy is good and that can be done as vegan, vegetarian, non vegetarian but always say no to processed food.

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    1. I totally agree about processed foods. I can’t imagine why processed foods are seen as a healthy vegan option at all! But at the same time, I know people are busy and can’t seem to figure out how to eat without packaged foods. And in no way am I pointing fingers lol sometimes, opening a frozen something is just easier than not.

      And YES! Not being wasteful is something we can all do 😉

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  14. The documentary that made me go vegan was Earthlings. I don’t know how anyone can watch that and say consuming animals and using their coats for things like our clothing, bedding etc is more ethical than someone who chooses a vegan lifestyle. After I watched that I was determined and did my own intense research in how to not only go vegan, but be a healthy vegan. I don’t so much believe the whole ‘non vegan or vegan diet is healthier’ rather than both diets can be beneficial if you know what you are doing. The only downside of a non vegan diet, is animals do suffer and are sacrificed for you to eat a meal or to sleep in warm bed that has down feathers in a duvet. etc. If anything and people do choose to eat animals, it is very possible to hunt for your own meat or fish, it teaches you the value of a life and what it means to take a life. You appreciate it a lot more and you know exactly what happened to that food before it reached your plate. You can own your own chicken coop and have laying hens. I was not vegan when I chose to live like that. At the very least, those animals have more freedoms than the ones in slaughterhouses who are not only brutally slaughtered, live in inhumane and horrendous conditions their whole life. There are plenty of options, but humans choose the lazy way. Once I own a house(next year is our plan) I will gladly grow a vegetable garden and know it is healthier than the vegetables I buy at my local supermarket that are sprayed with all kinds of chemicals etc.

    Vegan is not a trend and it is not just a diet. It’s a fight against injustice, a fight for animal liberation. We now live in a world where you can live just as healthy on a vegan diet, you just may need to be more careful about your diet. I see my doctor and other nutritionists more now to make sure I am leading a healthy lifestyle. When I first went vegan, it was just a test. If I couldn’t lead a healthy lifestyle, I would go back to other options. I never once needed to. So because some people believe in these things so strongly and it is possible to go vegan, we chose to. Not to be a hipster or more trendy. I am unsure how wanting a better life for all living things is talked about in some joking, light manner or referred to as a trend. It takes away from the importance. All I ask is not to be humiliated for my choices. I am not harming anyone, but I can promise you non vegans harm many things all the time simply by their choices.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for adding this opinion. I’ll have to check out the documentary. It sounds interesting.

      I definitely do understand about inhumane conditions for many animals, and as a result of that information, I’ve made specific changes, myself. I still eat meat; however, I’m careful to only eat free-range, etc.

      I do hope that you haven’t felt humiliated by what I’ve written here. But I do have a question/comment. I’m not sure that we can 100% never harm any animals. Even the example of cell phones and bees that I mentioned is harmful to those insects, and as a result, our biosphere. Using a computer is harmful to our system as well.

      Again, I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment. But at the current time, everything being labeled “plant-based” when sometimes it’s not, seems more like aa business move meant to get the population’s dollars and less about not harming animals…this is particular opinion is nothing personal against YOUR choices at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The documentary is an eye opener and makes many people question our dependency on animals. Even pets, and other topics. It has a segment on slaughterhouses and other industries, but other information as well. Even things I had to stop and think about because I didn’t realize just how much we depend on animals and how that effects them. (affect? I constantly get the two meanings confused. lol) It is not for light viewing, and you may cry and feel guilty at times. I did, but it’s okay. Sometimes just having the information even if it doesn’t change a person’s lifestyle or diet etc, at least we can know the impact we have. I don’t think I have cried that hard in my life then when I was watching that documentary. I watched more after that, because like any documentary, they can be biased and certain ones do sell a certain angle or point. However, the fact these things even if they happen rarely or all the time, is heartbreaking just the same.

        No we may not ever be able to 100% not completely harm animals, but we can at least try to make it less harmful. I am not a huge cell phone user for many reasons, the effects on the environment is one. I do however spend a bit too much time on my computer, blogging, playing games etc. We all need a pass time though. It is what makes us human though. We all have little contradictions about ourselves. For example even though I lead the extreme vegan lifestyle in my choices, things I own/buy and what I eat. I have two cats who are carnivores. I feed them high quality cat food that contains meats and other nutrients my cats need to live long and healthy. Again we all are not perfect, I have been called a fake vegan by my vegan peers because I choose to not feed my cats a vegan diet. It’s okay though because it is like you said. Every little contribution we can to not support main meat industries, dairy industries etc….and get the mass consumption down, will at the very least maybe one day make it so these animals do not have to live in such harsh conditions. I am not so much against a non vegan diet or what humans do in rarity. It is how we as humans are so extreme about everything. I am not against cell phones, but I don’t agree someone should be glued to one at all times and can never disconnect from it. Technology has a lot of benefits, but because of our abuse of it, it has not only dangered the environment, but society and how we are now. Some teens cannot even write a proper sentence anymore because of too much short hand texting. The damage social media has done for the youth and I believe it makes them even more insecure than insecurities every teen dealt with in my time. I thought my teens were brutal, I cannot imagine growing up with how social media is now. As much as I am trying to be an ethical vegan, I will probably have those small contradictions about myself because we all do. It is what makes us human. We are not perfect. All we can do is try to do better everyday.

        I am not one to push extreme veganism, I think your choice to only eat free range and a variety of foods etc…is a lot better choice than those who just pick up whatever at their local supermarket because it is a matter of convenience. We can all take small steps in the right direction. I constantly share with my vegan peers, pushing this extreme agenda is not going to turn people vegan, if anything it will turn them off. We need to accept that. We can educate yes, but stop at the preaching. If one wants to just a little bit adapt vegan choices into their lifestyle, but not completely, we still need to embrace and welcome that with open arms, because every bit helps. And then maybe one day we could see the world not depend on animals in such extreme ways.

        I was not humiliated by what you written I just think I misunderstood it and I hope you weren’t humilated by my comments. I completely agree that all these plant based labels and other names are a business move. It’s saddening that they even want to make money off vegans, because being vegan is not a trend. That’s anything though, even with food. Businesses and industries see something that will make a ton of money, they run with it even if it means lying about a product or whatever it is they are selling. That’s everything though in our society. Even as a vegan myself I laugh to myself constantly reading labels in grocery stores.

        Thank you for your time as well and this post. You are not wrong in your criticism. I think is where I just got misunderstood was I read it as if plant based foods are our only options for a vegan diet. I now understand you did not mean that.

        Have a great day, and if you want to check out that documentary…again be warned. I almost turned it off in the first 5 minutes. I am more for people with all different diets and lifestyle choices coming together and coming up with constructing solutions, short term or long term to help animals anyway we can so one day they can live free from ownership, harm and suffering. That is my hope, and I think you understood that. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  15. To me it seems like you are defending a non vegan diet without much research.

    I am personally vegan, but not as extreme to make the world go vegan. My choices are my choices. Unless you get your food from specialty markets or local, which are extremely expensive, most food bought in a supermarket is unhealthy for you. I have always been for knowing what exactly has happened to my food before it reaches my plate. I am actually more healthy now as a vegan than I was when I was eating meat, dairy products and so on. That is more because of the intense research I do now though when choosing what to eat, where before I really just ate anything that was served to me, or what I picked up at the nearest Meijer, wal mart, Kroger etc. Both diets can be healthy and unhealthy. It depends on what you are eating and where you choose to get your food from. I don’t eat a lot of plant based meat nor processed food and am an extremely healthy vegan. Perhaps you need to do more research for our food options.

    Vegans are not really so much vegan for just health benefits, they are extremely passionate about rights for animals. With every fiber in my being I truly believe animals should live free of torture and suffering. The only way to stop this is our mass consumption and need for them. You probably won’t like this opinion, but human’s health is not the most concerning to me, because we are the most destructive species on this planet to this day. We not only kill each other, the animals and so on we even kill our own environment that we need to live. Yes there are few good human beings out there like you and me, but it is not enough to justify me to have hope in our species. I will sacrifice my health any day for an animal or innocent child to live free of abuse, pain and suffering. That is just my opinion though.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you (again) for this comment. I’m unclear about how you interpreted what I’ve written as “defending a non-vegan diet. I actually eat a variety of foods in order to maintain my own health. I wouldn’t defend the way I eat no more than I would denigrate the way someone else eats.

      Overall, what I’ve written here (after reading quite a bit) is more of a criticism of processed vegan foods. Someone above/below mentioned it will always be healthier to eat processed vegan food as opposed to any meat. I’m not sure about that, but I’m also okay saying, I’m not sure.

      I think you’ve misinterpreted what I’ve implied here, so I’ll try to be clearer. I agree with everything you’ve said in the first full paragraph. In fact, when my daughter chose to remove meat from her diet, I began researching what should and shouldn’t be eaten, so that she would have food in our home. At that point, and since then, I’ve researched options. I understand that we can be healthy/unhealthy no matter what our choices are.

      Consequently, as the years wore on, I also noticed a huge BUSINESS push of everything vegan and plant-based. That’s when I started delving into what the plant-based movement was, and it’s not all plant based, as I’ve said above.

      Finally, I don’t like/dislike any opinions lol We’re all entitled to have one, and most of us do. If you’d like to place an animal’s life above yours, then that’s cool for you.

      Again, I do want to reiterate that I appreciate your opinion, and I apologize if, for some reason, you felt personally attacked.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My apologies then. 🙂

        I agree that unprocessed food of any kind if very unhealthy for us. I am unsure why someone would say unprocessed vegan food is healthier than other diets or foods. I guess it depends on what they are referring too, but unprocessed food of any kind even vegan, is not healthier than whole foods, even if that healthier food includes animal products.

        I prefer whole foods and though I will eat plant based and unprocessed vegan foods sometimes, it is very rare. I am sure the same someone who eats a non vegan diet, once in awhile we like to spoil ourselves and eat junkier foods. As long as it is not in abundance, it won’t harm us.

        Meat was actually the easiest thing to give up for myself (besides once in awhile I do crave a good steak or cheeseburger) so fake meats or meat replacements are not my thing. I have tried vegan burgers and other meat replacements and it wasn’t my thing. I was also not the biggest egg lover, I had them once in awhile for breakfast, but get sick of eggs really easily. Dairy products was actually the most challenging to cut out of my diet. I am surprised I haven’t cheated a bit of cheese or something else dairy related here and there.

        Maybe this person below in the comments got a bit defensive and jumped on the fence or their defense because of their beliefs. I kinda did the same and for that again I truly apologize.

        It is great that you eat a variety of foods and spend the time to research foods and different meal ideas. I am the same way. Especially now being vegan.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. As I’m reading this, I’m eating vegetarian tacos. They aren’t vegan because they have cheese and sour cream, but the “meat” is plant based. I’m not terribly picky when it comes to food, just as long as it tastes good!

    I feel like veganism is a fad and I don’t think it’s a sustainable diet long-term. It’s HARD to be a vegan. I tried it and only lasted 3 weeks, but I was also on a raw food diet. Kudos to those who can do veganism long-term. However, being a vegan doesn’t necessarily mean that they is healthier. There’s a lot of vegan junk food out there too!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. As you raise an interesting point that most people won’t even discuss, let me share this. On my own vegan journey it’s about more than what you’re consuming. Granted processed foods are not good for anyone in excess, but it’s better than consuming parts of a once living animal. I have evolved, and continue growing daily. If it not in my vocabulary, I will look it up to understand where the ingredient came from, and as far as health goes. No where near the issues I once had. As a matter of fact I have the blood pressure of someone in their 20s,, and ally vital nutrients are spot on where they should. It’s deeper than a diet for me, it’s a lifestyle choice, that has broadened my enlightens, and expanded my scope of understanding. More fruits, vegetables, grains, and water. Yes. More importantly for me though, is being at peace with my my choices, and knowing I’m not not contributing to harming any living beings, or causing more harm to this planet.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Thanks for this DS! I just can’t imagine eating processed foods of any kind being better than eating a part of an animal.

        I do agree (and the research shows) that eating less or no meat is definitely the way to go in terms of health, so thank you for adding your own experience. I appreciate it.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. This post caused such a whirlwind of comments, I wasn’t sure if this was for me or not. Pescatarian sounds do-able to me, even vegetarian does, too. That’s how my daughter did it, actually. One food at a time 😉

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    2. Hillary, I thought I’d replied to this. I think just in my head I did lol

      Anywho, what you’ve described is partially how I eat. My veggie tacos include things like zucchini, black beans, and carrots, and real cheese/sour cream. Maybe we have to come up with a name like semi-vegetarian or something like that.

      I think that it would be difficult to maintain as well, without a major lifestyle overhaul, but there are one or two people in these comments who’ve figured out how 😉

      The VEGAN JUNK FOOD…that’s all I’m saying lol

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      1. Yes! There is a name for it… I call it flexitarian! 😂 I try to eat plant based foods mostly but also eat meat too. Any time I have tried to change my lifestyle, I wasn’t able to sustain it long term. I try my best to avoid processed food but still crave it, even if it is vegan. My mind seems to think that vegan processed food is “healthier” when it usually isn’t. Candy is still candy. Donuts are still donuts. Cookies are still cookies. Chips are still chips. I try to look past the packaging and see it for what it is 🙂

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      2. I ❤ it! FLEXITARIAN it is lol

        and you're right about that…I have some plant-based cookies I eat because I feel better, somehow, but it's just willful ignorance lol

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Hillary, I thought I’d replied to this already, but it doesn’t look like it. I agree. I more like an eat whole foods type of person, and sometimes that may be vegetarian, like your tacos, and other times, it may be grass-fed, organic meat.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Like 10 years ago I stopped eating red meat due to some digestion issues, I do still eat poultry and fish though. And yes some meat replacement stuff is better than others . Taste wise and nutrition wise , same with milk substitutes . The thing that always bothered me was how organic food shaming became a thing . Like I would hear people say you’re really buying that regular apple, fruit or vegetable rather than the organic. And it was usually to my poorer friends 😢 It just seemed shameful because it makes people think that the only way to eat healthy is to have the pricier organic foods rather than just buying fresh foods in general .
    Also don’t get me started on some of the eco-clothes ( which are kind of ugly sometimes ) and the terrible habit of people going to thrift stores and buying up the nicer used clothes and flipping them for high $$ on depop or etsy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Don’t get me started on the milk substitutes.

      Organic food shaming was a thing? That actually sounds awful. I think things have just gotten so confusing. So, even in these comments, someone has suggested that, unless you go to a higher-priced grocery store, then you are more thank likely consuming a bunch of pesticides. I tend to agree, but the other part of my brain agrees with you…eating fresh food, in general, sounds like it would be better than not.

      People are flipping designer clothes on etsy??? Krystle, you’ve raised two things I had no idea was going on.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah . About the pesticides , some organic food also has pesticides or more accurately copper sulfate which also pollutes the earth . And is also pretty dangerous , more so than Glyphosate. A good idea is pretty much to wash all fruit and veggies when you get them home .
        In Mexico it’s common to soak or buy a solution to wash the pesticides ( whatever they may be ) off too .
        As for organic vs nonorganic . I’ve literally heard someone tell a friend of mine that her organic cookies were better for you than eating the nonorganic apple ? I was like o_0

        Also I hear about vertical farming , which is supposed to be indoor farming that prevents pesticides from being used and possibly leeching into the soil . It’s already being used but should replace all farming , as it’s better for the environment and our health .
        Oh and I forgot to mention the whole grown meat thing as well , which I’m slightly excited for as it would help replace some of our meat concerns . Basically scientists would grow only parts of the chicken , pork or beef and not have to worry about feeding or slaughtering a live animal . This would also take away pollution and land concerns as well as help make our meat supply a bit healthier . A lot of the current animals we’re eating are very unhealthy and disease prone due to imbreeding . I guess a major concern about the meat supply atm is how vulnerable the animals are to being wiped out by a super bug or disease. Even certain wild game animals like deer are prone to a disease called Prions ,or they chronic wasting disease which is basically mad cow disease. A big concern is for that strain of prions to jump to livestock and basically infect people too .

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Vertical Farming: My daughter told me about this. I’ll have to look it up, but I’m wondering if it’s similar to hydroponic food, which actually doesn’t have many nutrients.

        And GMO meat? No thank you lol

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Vegan doesn’t necessarily mean buying processed foods. It’s entirely possible to be vegan and diet on wholefoods rather than seeking out meat and dairy alternatives, just as it’s possible to be a meat eater an not consume processed foods. I’m considering a switch to vegan but not about to preach to others. I’m currently pescatarian but largely vegetarian most days and am amused at how defensive people get when I tell them. My point of view is: you do you, I’ll do me. Being informed of the consequences of our choices is ideal but really up to the individual to seek out. Even as a mostly vegetarian, I don’t get into the ‘vegetarian’ sausages, burger patties etc …

    Liked by 3 people

    1. …so that’s my point. You shouldn’t be going vegan on processed foods. I mean, in general, I think we should all strive to eat whole foods.

      If you start preaching to me…lol

      People get defensive of their food choices? Like if you say you don’t eat meat, then they start telling you all the reasons they do? Like that kind of defensive? I’m particularly amazed that this topic is so triggering for some.

      Did you just quote my quote back to me lol

      Okay. I agree with everything you’ve said here. But I do wish we’d read a few more labels.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Any kind of processed food is garbage and unhealthy. If you want to go vegan go as natural as possible. I never understood why they make “meat” substitutes for people that adamantly don’t want to eat meat. Better off just eating a portabello mushroom sandwich.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. 😂😂😂 “these ingredients include words I cannot pronounce.” I’m with you on this – is vegan or plant-based real or real?!

    Sometimes I feel it’s the bandwagon effect that makes people (and businesses) incorporate certain things into their lives. Vegan and plant-based seem to be the buzzwords now; replacing organic and vegetarian. In the business world, it makes sense to include the items in order to improve sales.

    I eat everything and I’ve always loved my meat (all parts of the cow, goat, or lamb), no pig/raw pork though I love bacon and sausages in moderation, and seafoods. I’ve been on a more seafood diet (pescatarian) lately and loving it.

    How do I maintain my health …: I make the adjustments only as it suits my body and health and not merely because it’s become a buzzword.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You always get me sista! That second point is all I’m saying. Once businesses start using those catchphrases, then we have a problem.

      Like you, I eat a little bit of everything, and now that I’ve been reading about decolonizing our food, I eat pork in moderation. That last part is all I’m saying…if I was on my phone, I’d high five you 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  21. My philosophy is *whole* foods. You can eat a vegan or vegetarian diet by eating plants and leaving the ‘based’ part (which to me means processed) out. But if you really want a beefy burger, maybe choosing vegan isn’t right for you… I don’t know. Michael Pollan said “eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. I like that. 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    1. You know…when you said leave “the based part out,” that is wise. It’s like when a movie is “based” on a true story…we all know what that means/doesn’t mean, and eating plant-“based” seems to be similar :-/

      I completely agree about the other part, too. I’ve found that I do best when I just eat the best version of what I want. I don’t eat a black bean burger if I want something else, and of course, I don’t eat one every day either.

      Thanks for that Pollan quote. That pretty much sums it up.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. I tend to think that foods labeled as “organic” probably are healthier than their non-organic counterparts, since the former presumably weren’t treated with pesticides. I buy more organic foods than I used to, because of that. I also buy more than I used to of dairy products that come from animals that weren’t treated with hormones and antibiotics.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. As a Boomer, I grew up with siblings who couldn’t eat certain foods because of allergies and health issues. (My older brother couldn’t digest meat.) So “vegan” and “vegetarian” meals have been a part of my life for over fifty years, long before they entered mainstream diets. Grinding nuts and mashing beans for burgers and roasts were normal parts of everyday meals. The looks on our friends’ faces when they saw fried chicken, cottage cheese patties, and pecan meal meatballs on the same table was priceless! 😀

    When special diet products became available in markets, we became label readers. When you substitute wheat, beef/chicken fat, and egg/dairy, you have to replace it with “something,” and it’s almost always something man-made… and unhealthy. No thank you.

    The whole healthy living goal goes out the window when you get a triple hit of preservatives and food dyes… and enough sodium to cure a side of beef. No thank you.

    Those products are also hella expensive and cost more than REAL meat and dairy. No thank you.

    I have one vegetarian sister who’s close by and I prepare 2-3 dishes a week with her in mind, but from scratch so I know what we’re eating. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I can only imagine how your friends looked years ago before it was trendy to be vegan or vegetarian lol

      That part about reading labels is so key. Someone else in these comments mentioned being bloated after eating some of these foods, and what you’ve mentioned is probably the reason…sodium!

      I think we’re in a similar camp. One of my daughters is…vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, something, point is, I started making different meals to ensure she ate, and that’s also when I started looking at meat substitutes, like ummmm huh? Most of those things HAVE to remain frozen, and that’s when I started investigating. Anything with a warning label about not letting it thaw out is a bit weird to me lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is a fine line to walk if good health is the purpose.

        Ever try jackfruit? Fresh or canned, it’s pretty easy to use and low in sodium, Tabitha Brown has some pretty good jackfruit recipes, including an awesome one for “pulled pork” sliders. Her chickpea tuna is good too! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  24. My family and I try some of these, meatless options . Some are good some are not worth the mention. However, I completely agree with you. My experience has been some meatless foods have bloated me and left me feeling like whatever I ate was not plant based -at -all, no matter the label. Great post!❤

    Liked by 3 people

  25. I don’t like the idea of eating processed foods with chemicals. Period. I eat veggies and I eat organic farm raised beef chicken and pork. What I see is what I get. I don’t get the “plant based”. Just eat plants. Beans. Real food. Ok. Rant over

    Liked by 6 people

  26. I completely agree with your suggestions especially that everything labelled vegan may not be good. It is always better to eat what one likes in the right quantity.
    Stay blessed.
    🌹🌹🙏

    Liked by 4 people

  27. This is a great analysis! I was vegan for about three years for ethical reasons and, even without eating any of the processed “healthy vegan junk food,” I experienced severe health consequences. I now eat paleo (local organic produce, pasture-raised chicken, and wild-caught salmon) and I feel good. My boyfriend, on the other hand, has been ovo-lacto vegetarian for 23 years and has great health. I think the “ideal diet” varies from person-to-person, but we can’t go wrong with avoiding processed foods and eating lots of vegetables.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks for adding this. I have a friend who only juiced for a while and her hair started falling out!

      I used to eat paleo, too, about ten years ago. That, coupled with the right exercise, is the best I’d felt in life. I COMPLETELy agree with you. All of our bodies are different, and we have to be better about feeling and trusting that we know what’s best for our body type.

      Thanks again for this ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  28. I agree that plant-based doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. I’ve always told people, “poison ivy is all-natural and plant-based, that doesn’t mean I want it in my food.” I don’t eat meat, but it has never been about being healthy for me. I actually don’t like eating meat, never have. It grosses me out.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. LOL that’s a good analogy! I think the plant-based industry found a really good niche with these words; it sounds like it should be the healthiest thing on earth, but in a lot of ways, it can be the opposite.

      I have the direct opposite opinion of meat lol

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Thank you for this advice! I have heard and seen so many people, namely vegans pushing plant based foods down people throats. And saying we’re killing animals by consuming them. Not one time, have I heard one of them mentioned exactly how safe are the supposed vegan foods for us.
    Awesome post.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You’re welcome Pam! Don’t get me started on pushing stuff down people’s throats. I once asked a vegetarian if they thought they were also killing plants. I mean a lot of folks say plants are living things with feelings. He never responded :-/ I just think we should all be a little more careful about jumping on bandwagons and such 😉

      Thanks for this comment ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  30. I agree with you about the unnaturalness of veganism. And it’s not as if it doesn’t hurt animals. I respect the choices of individuals and don’t argue over it. But to me, veganism is kind of the way of being “The Most Picky.” It seems it would require a lot of time and a fair amount of extra money and therefore is also not practical for most people – or so it seems to me.
    In answer to your question at the end of the post: I live on meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, with occasional snack of cheese and seed-crackers. My weight is where I like it and my health and “health numbers” are excellent.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Of all of the lifestyle choices, vegan is, indeed, one of the most picky. You’re right about how much time and money it takes to maintain a true vegan lifestyle. I just think we sometimes make living a lot harder than it really is. You know?

      Your diet sounds similar to mine, minus the seed-crackers 😉

      Like

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