Do you think being vegan is expensive? Think again.
Let’s talk about fruits and veggies...
Regardless of what you have read or heard about veganism before, a vegan diet is indeed more affordable than anything else.
However, since you are reading this article, chances are you aren’t so sure about it. Well, instead of trying to convince you, let’s talk about vegan food. And I mean real, vegan food.
But before we do that, let’s talk about vegetarianism for a moment.
Yes, you read it right. Vegetarianism. Not veganism.
Because the vast majority of people understand that a vegetarian diet is nothing else but a meat-free diet and whether they practice it or not, they generally agree that being vegetarian is cheaper than being non-vegetarian. Even without a deep understanding of just how animal agriculture really works, it is easy to see that meat production is more costly than growing crops, vegetables, and fruits. Hence, we know that the easiest way to save money on our grocery bill is by eating less meat and seafood. Or, even better, excluding them from our diet altogether. You might have also been in a situation when you had a tight budget, and so you choose to eat fried rice or pasta with tomato sauce instead of fried chicken or hamburger.
For the obvious reason.
It is also the same reason why millions of people in developing countries, including big parts of India and Southeast Asia, follow a vegetarian diet.
Because undoubtedly, it is way more affordable than consuming animal products. I mean, surely, millions of people can’t be wrong.
The real irony is that while most people have no problem understanding why being vegetarian is so inexpensive, they fail to recognize the same when it comes to veganism.
However, a vegan diet is nothing else but a simplified vegetarian diet.
So, when you think about it, it really doesn't make much sense that something that is already cheap, becoming more expensive by simplifying it further, does it?
No, of course not.
The main reason people believe (or, in many cases, wanting to believe) that being vegan is expensive is because of their lack of understanding. Also, veganism often can be seen as a mere trend or a fleeting phase, and so, consciously or unconsciously, it becomes associated with being costly. Seeing all those fancy looking vegan recipes on social media also makes us believe that eating cruelty-free must come with a high price.
But it doesn’t have to.
And let me remind you that baked beans on toast, jam on toast (and even peanut butter AND jam) are all vegan options. To mention a very few.
They are just not photo-worthy to be shared around on social media.
Now joking aside, most vegan foods are very affordable and fuss-free.
So, how does vegan food differs from vegetarian food? To sum it up in one sentence, we could say:
Vegan food is equal to vegetarian food, minus the milk, eggs, and honey.
It means that in addition to avoiding all animal flesh, vegan people don’t consume dairy milk, dairy cheese, eggs, or any other food derived from an animal. Instead, we choose to eat plenty of legumes like lentils, beans, and soy products, also grains like brown and white rice, oats, and couscous. Other vegan staples include nuts, seeds, bread, pasta, vegan meat substitutes, cereal, dairy-free milk, such as almond, soy, coconut, and oat.
Naturally, this list could go much further, but the bottom line is that foods that aren’t derived from animals (aka vegan foods) are cheaper than the ones that are.
Nevertheless, like with any other dietary choices, veganism can also become expensive. For example, if we only buy ready meals and vegan junk foods or dairy-free cheese and ice cream every week, we have to expect to spend a lot. The same is true if we choose to eat out several times a week.
However, if we choose to stick mainly with the above-mentioned food staples and only buy big brand products occasionally, we can easily keep our vegan budget low.
So far, I have spent just over three decades being a meat-eater, five years being a pescetarian, one year as a vegetarian, and two years as a vegan. So, I can honestly say this is the most affordable way of eating.
However, I prefer not to call it just a diet because veganism is way more than that but more about that in another post.