FAQ / Common Comments

I get a lot of comments and questions on my videos, and I’ve definitely noticed that there’s a bunch that frequently get asked or commented. So I’ve provided answers and replies to all of them here.

Why Did You Go Vegan?

Going vegan took me quite a while. I’ve made a few videos detailing different moments throughout my life that led me here. But ultimately, I went vegan because I wanted to do the best that I could to avoid the exploitation and commodification of animals. It’s as simple as that!

How Do I Go Vegan?

This is gonna be different for everyone depending on their situation. My biggest piece of advice would be to transition at a sustainable pace. Some folks can do it overnight, others need time to figure it out. Both are valid!

But there’s a ton of resources out there for all kinds of budgets, allergies, etc. My second biggest piece of advice is to simply search for your favorite recipes but vegan! That’s basically what my entire page is for myself.

Just like anything, it’ll take some time and practice. But eventually you’ll get to a place where you don’t even think about it. I also recommend going vegan with a firm grasp of WHY you are going vegan. A lot of folks start out eating plant based for their health or the environment. But then they’ll do research into animal agriculture, and that will seal the deal in most cases.

So my last piece of advice would be to educate yourself on animal agriculture, and the ethical concerns vegans have towards animals. Watch films like Earthlings, Dominion or Dairy is Scary.

Is Veganism Just a Diet?

Even though my page is all about food, it’s important to remember that veganism is not a diet. Going vegan means avoiding animal exploitation in all its forms. Whether that’s things like beauty / bath products, furniture, clothing, or entertainment etc. However, it’s also important to note that just like with food, this is to the best of your ability. If you need to take medication that was unfortunately tested on animals, and there’s no alternative, then it’s still vegan to do so. Again, it’s just about doing your best!

Why Do Vegans Eat Fake Meat?

This is probably one of the most common questions we vegans get. I’ve made a VIDEO explaining it, but most vegans don’t go vegan because they dislike the taste of meat and dairy, but because they don’t like the exploitation and commodification of animals inherent in those industries.

In fact, vegan burgers, cheese etc helped me transition to going vegan and I ate them long before I seriously considered going vegan. I ate and loved burgers for 40 years and as a vegan I can still enjoy all my favorite foods that I grew up with.

And vegans aren’t a monolith. Plenty of us eat mostly whole food plant based and skip eating any kind of meat analogues. Personally I like a mixture of both!

Don’t Call it Chicken / Meat / Cheese!

This is another of the most common comments I get. “Just call it a tofu sandwich instead of a vegan chicken sandwich!”

I even made a VIDEO responding to it, that’s how often people complain about this.

We call it by these names because they are simply a vegan version of whatever it is that we are making. It’s also to help people who are going vegan or cutting down on animal products to find foods that they are familiar with. This way people can enjoy similar flavors and textures to the kinds of foods they grew up with eating. It’s really not more complicated than that.

Additionally, the problem with “Tofu Sandwich” is that it’s not very descriptive. I have a few different kinds of sandwiches made with tofu, like my Filet-No-Fish, and a Vegan Fried Chick’n Sandwich. So calling them both a “Tofu Sandwich” doesn’t make sense. The reason I use those names is to differentiate the preparation and flavors.

On top of that, it makes it easier for folks who are looking for a vegan version of their favorite foods but vegan. So for example, if you liked eating Chicken Pot Pie but don’t want to eat chicken anymore, and are curious if a vegan version exists, you might search for a “Vegan Chicken Pot Pie” and you’ll find many options.

If you still don’t get it, I apologize, I’ve explained it as plainly and thoroughly as I possibly can. I suppose you’ll just have to get used to the fact that we will be using these names! Sorry Charlie!

Vegan Food is Gross

If you think vegan food is gross, I hope you don’t eat fruits, vegetables, legumes, rice, pasta, etc. Or eat french fries!

I’m assuming most people who say this are talking about vegan meat and cheese and what not. But truth be told, the vast majority of these products aren’t even eaten by vegans. Which makes sense when you consider that vegans are barely 3% of the global population. So clearly, non-vegans like vegan versions of meat and dairy too.

And like I’ve mentioned, I ate a lot of vegan meat products way before I actually considered going vegan.

But even if you don’t like vegan meats and cheeses, there’s such a wide variety of vegan food out there made from whole foods. It might take some time to learn, but cooking delicious food with just plants is totally possible.

How Can You Say the Vegan Version is Better?

When we judge food, we typically rate it based on taste and texture, which are obviously very important. But our emotional connection to the dish is significant as well. This is a big reason why we all have nostalgic, comfort food from our childhood.

And growing up and as an adult, I loved eating all kinds of meat and animal products. However, once I started to consider how animals were treated and killed for my food, I noticed that I enjoyed it less and less.

As I began to make Beyond and Impossible burgers, I remember thinking, “while this might not taste just like an animal based burger, I actually enjoy it more since I know that no cows were harmed for it.”

Additionally, we like what we are used to. I will be the first to admit that it might take some time to acquire a taste for certain vegan meats, cheese and what not. But once you do, you might find you like them just as much, if not more.

So in a nutshell, I say I enjoy the vegan version of things not only because I know that I didn’t harm any chickens, cows, pigs etc. but because I’ve been eating them for so long that I do actually prefer them.

Why Don’t Vegans Eat Eggs or Dairy Products?

Before going vegan, I thought that chickens and cows just wandered open meadows and we would just simply collect their unwanted eggs and milk. The truth is, these animals are just as exploited as animals reared for meat, if not more.

Unfortunately, the egg industry does kill quite a lot of birds. Not only do they kill the male chicks on the day they’re born, but the hens are killed once their production wanes. Not to mention the horrible conditions they are held in (the vast majority of eggs in the US are factory farmed). 

Even for rescued hens, I’d prefer to let them eat their own eggs as this can provide them with some extra nutrients. Plus the more I think about how that egg came out of the same hole as their poop, the less appetizing it is to me too! But that’s just me. 

For more info on this, just google “Why don’t Vegans Eat Eggs?” and there’s even some answers regarding “Backyard Eggs” as well!

Same with cows. Male calves are sold for veal. Dairy cows are killed once their production wanes after about 4-5 years when they can naturally live to 20. On top of that cows need to be pregnant in order to produce milk, so we have to continuously impregnate them against their will. We also have to separate them from their calves so they don’t drink the milk.

If you want to see the video that convinced me to go vegan check out Dairy is Scary.

Why Don’t Vegans Eat Honey?

Honestly, I didn’t eat a lot of honey before going vegan, so this wasn’t a big deal. But just like the meat and dairy industry, the honey industry is exploitative. Sure, there’s more nuance, there’s local beekeepers, and what not. But for me personally, it’s quite easy to avoid it. In fact, I prefer making some Vegan Honey anyway!

Vegans Kill More Animals

Apparently, this talking point stems from something Ted Nugent said a few years back on the Joe Rogan show. I suppose you could make this argument if everyone who ate meat strapped on a bow and killed a single animal that they lived on for the rest of the year, and never ate at a restaurant, and didn’t eat any other farmed foods the rest of the year.

But nobody lives like that. And it’s also not sustainable at the current rate of consumption. That’s why the vast majority of slaughtered animals comes from Factory Farms.

But the claim that a vegan diet kills more animals is simply NOT TRUE.

It’s basic math. An omnivore diet kills billions of farmed animals, plus the crop deaths for the feed for the farmed animals, plus the crop deaths from plants. Whereas a vegan diet is just crop deaths from the plants we eat.

On top of that, we can work towards solutions to minimize crop deaths. You can also check out THIS VIDEO if you don’t like reading and looking at charts.

Veganism Isn’t Sustainable

I mean, our current level of consumption of animals isn’t sustainable. That said, a plant based diet uses way less resources and that’s not even a controversial thing to say. I even see a lot of non-vegans bring this up as well whenever the debate arises.

And a common rebuttal to this is to just eat locally slaughtered animals, but even that is still not as sustainable as a plant-based diet.

Veganism Isn’t Healthy

Again, I’m not going to tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat in order to meet your nutrition goals. That’s up to you and your dietician (if you have one) to decide. What I will say is that the ADA has a pretty straight-forward statement on the matter…

“It is the position of the American Dietetic Association 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. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

On top of that, we have the Blue Zones, which eat a primarily plant-based diet with little to no meat and dairy, and they have some of the highest life expectancies in the world.

Of course, my page is not geared towards nutrient dense foods most the time, but rather indulgent foods that should be enjoyed in moderation. I think that just like a non-vegan diet, eating vegan can be either healthy or unhealthy, it all depends on what you eat.

Vegan Food is Processed Garbage!

Somewhat related to the health comment, vegan food is not all processed (there’s a huge variety of plant-based whole foods) and for the stuff that is processed, I’d say who cares? Something being processed doesn’t mean it’s devoid of nutrients. And even for the highly-processed stuff that might not be the best for nutrients, I say who cares?

As long as you eat things in moderation having a donut, or a burger every now and again is fine. Every meal doesn’t have to be about how healthy it is, sometimes you just want some pizza, or some ice cream and that’s fine! Just like being non-vegan, it depends on what you eat.

Going Vegan is Expensive

Obviously I can’t tell you what is or isn’t expensive for your situation. However, if you live in the US, UK, Western Europe or Australia, they’ve found that plant-based eating is cheaper.

Things like Beyond or Impossible Meat are more expensive (although I did a deep dive into the how much these things cost in a video and was surprised by the results).

But in a lot of instances, food like dried beans, rice, legumes, frozen fruits and veggies etc are some of the most affordable items you can buy.

I realize that many folks are food insecure and don’t have access to grocery stores, and that’s a whole other injustice. This is not aimed at them by any stretch, and in fact my goal is to show people who live in cities with plenty of access that they can enjoy eating a vegan diet.

Vegans Don’t Care About Exploited Farm Workers

Of course we do! This is really a critique on capitalism and not veganism however. Last I checked, most non-vegans eat fruits and vegetables. As vegans, we are simply doing our best that we can within our broken food system.

That said, there are a bunch of organizations that are fighting to fix it. If you can help or donate, I’d suggest doing so with some of these groups. The UFW does excellent work for Farm Workers. The Food Empowerment Project is working towards a similar goal, and the Agriculture Fairness Alliance is also doing amazing work against the subsidies that meat and dairy get.

On top of that, I try to source things like cashews, chocolate and coffee from people like Equal Exchange as well. It’s just about doing your best!

The Animals are Already Dead / Vegans Don’t Make a Difference

This is truly baffling that I need to explain this, but the animals are only dead because people pay for them to be killed. In theory, if the people who could go vegan did, it would have a huge effect on these industries and they wouldn’t kill 80 billion land animals a year.

Of course with subsidies in the US, simple supply and demand is skewed, and our boycott isn’t as effective as it should be. However, that hardly justifies supporting industries we are morally against.

After all, wars will happen whether I support them or not. Should I just blindly support wars then? Should I donate my money to those who are causing the war? If you agree that doing so would be ridiculous, then you understand why vegans don’t support the animal agriculture industries (as well as all forms of animal exploitation.)

Just Enjoy Vegetables as They Are

This is another one I get a lot, sometimes from vegans! This one is funny to me. I can enjoy all the food that is inherently plant based like a lot of Indian and Thai dishes for example, and I can also enjoy a vegan cheeseburger. The whole point of this account is to show people that they don’t have to miss out on either!

Soy is Unhealthy

Another very common comment that is rarely backed up with any evidence (because there isn’t any). Soy has been eaten for millennia and unless you have an allergy there’s no reason to avoid it.

The folks at VeganHealth.Org have a ton of great evidence based info on soy, and address pretty much every bit of misinformation on it, so CHECK IT OUT!

Soy is Bad for the Environment

Soy can only be considered bad for the environment when we realize that the vast majority of soy is fed to farmed animals. So if you really are concerned with the environmental impact of soy, you should stop eating animals!

Soy is Full of Estrogen

Soy doesn’t have estrogen, but it does have phytoestrogens which are different from mammalian estrogen. On the flipside, meat and dairy do have mammalian estrogen. Again, for more evidence based info on soy, check out THIS PAGE by Vegan Health.

Just Eat Happy Animals

So before I went vegan, I would pay a premium for free range, organic, etc. But I soon found out that those terms are largely meaningless a lot of the time. On top of that, I realized that if I cared about how the animals were treated, maybe the best thing to do was not support an industry that kills them unnecessarily.

On top of that, the VAST MAJORITY of animals are slaughtered in factory farms so it’s pretty impossible to avoid. And eating out would be a chore making sure that I was eating “happy” animals. It would probably be something like this Portlandia sketch!

After all, no matter how nice we treat them, at the end of the day we are still taking their life away when we don’t need to. I remember thinking that if I bought a chicken and treated them really well, only to turn around and cut off their head and eat them, how awful I would feel about it.

And then I thought about how I don’t even think I could kill an animal, much less one I’ve developed a bond with. So I felt a bit like a hypocrite for paying somebody else to do it on my behalf. Obviously it made me uncomfortable for a reason! It went against my own set of morals.

tell a Lion to Go Vegan / Animals Eat Other Animals

Lions are obligate carnivores that need to eat meat to survive. They also don’t have moral agency. Lions also engage in infanticide. So morally justifying something based off what lions do doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Lions and other wild animals also don’t have access to grocery stores with plant-based options even if they were omnivores. So yeah, they are quite different from humans on multiple levels.

Eating Meat is Natural

Whether or not something is natural doesn’t morally justify it. Like I said about lions above, lots of stuff we’ve deemed immoral occurs in nature (murder, rape, cannibalism etc). So something being “natural” doesn’t make it moral.

On the flipside, there’s nothing wrong with things that are unnatural. If you’re reading this, it’s on an unnatural device. Most of our modern world is unnatural. Bottom line, an appeal to nature fallacy is not a good way to justify ones actions.

What about the Food Chain / Circle of Life

These are really just the “Eating Meat is Natural” argument but with the added bonus of the food chain being a manmade construct. Again, just because we have the ability to kill other animals doesn’t mean it’s morally justifiable when it’s unnecessary for survival.

Plants Feel Pain

Nope, plants DON’T FEEL PAIN. Plants can react to stimuli, but they don’t have a central nervous system or brain, so they don’t experience pain like animals do. And even if they did, fewer plants are killed on an vegan diet.

Why Do Vegans Always Talk About Being Vegan?

This is a stereotype that is honestly not true in the real world. Yes, just like in any movement there’s those that are more vocal than others. But by and large, most vegans are just minding their own business trying to do the best they can in a very non-vegan world.

Outside of my blog / YouTube account I rarely talk about veganism unless somebody else brings it up. A lot of us are hyperaware of the stereotype so we try not to reinforce it. That being said, if you ask me why I don’t eat animals, I will tell you in detail.

And if you’re in my comment section wondering why I’m mentioning veganism on my vegan food page, we’ll you have bigger problems to sort out! In fact, I would ask you why do non-vegans always post on vegan pages about how they aren’t vegan? EH???