Is cooking meat okay for non-vegans?

Eat and drink vegan

More and more people are choosing to live vegan. Basically, this change in life is healthy for the body and the risk of developing chronic diseases is reduced. Refrain from animal products however, it often means having a one-sided diet and suffering from a lack of vitamins and iron. This can be prevented with a few tricks and the necessary background knowledge.

10 tricks for the vegan kitchen

There are a few tricks that vegan dishes can use to make them really tasty - although eggs, dairy products and meat are avoided.

  • Practical kitchen utensils like a Hand blender or kitchen grater make vegan cooking easier. So you can make your own dips and soups without much effort.
  • Vegan dishes are especially tasty when they are flavorful are. A diverse spice rack is therefore a MUST. Coriander, caraway or even African spices go well with vegan dishes and taste varied.
  • Honey is a taboo in vegan kitchens! But there are plenty of alternatives. Try it with Agave syrup, apple syrup or maple syrup.
  • The body needs protein because the amino acids it contains cannot be produced by the body itself. Since dairy products are one of the most important sources of protein, vegans need a substitute: Soy products!
  • In order to prevent deficiency symptoms from developing in the first place, as a vegan you should use very special vitamin bombs, iron and calcium suppliers. Calcium is found in soy, nuts, and green vegetables. Vitamin B12 is in sauerkraut, while whole grains and legumes provide zinc. Very important for a balanced diet as a vegan: Iron suppliers. Iron from plant-based products (contained in spinach, nuts, legumes) is only absorbed very poorly by the body and must therefore be combined with vegetables or fruit containing vitamin C. Then the body can absorb the iron better. Vitamin C can be found in kiwis, mangoes, peppers, cauliflower ...
  • It is also good to know about alternative products to foods that non-vegans are reluctant to do without. Instead of whipped cream or milk there are soy products, tofu or yeast flakes can be used as cheese substitutes. Gelatine substitute is offered by “agar-agar” and as an alternative to meat there are numerous soy products such as soy slices.
  • There are numerous websites on the Internet that list vegan foods from certain manufacturers. Well-known chocolate brands, chip manufacturers and bakeries often do not use animal foods in their products. You just have to know!
  • Smoothies are good sources of energy and contain important nutrients that you, as a vegan, need. There is a lot of experimentation around and you can combine fruits and vegetables to suit your taste.
  • You can also make thick, creamy sauces without whipped cream. For this you need a nut base made from tahini or peanut butter. A low-fat alternative is pureed broccoli or cauliflower. There is also soy whipped cream!
  • A sensible investment is a subscription to a farmer in the region or to a national provider. You will have fresh fruit and vegetables delivered to your home as needed, so that you always have everything ready.

Vegan substitutes

Dairy products: soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk, oat milk, cereal milk
Cheese products: silken tofu, seitan, soy cheese, nutritional yeast, yeast melt
Eggs (in solid form): tofu, avocado
Eggs to tie: soy flour, applesauce
Honey: agave syrup, maple syrup, rice malt, sugar beet syrup, peanut butter
Gelatine: agar agar, fruit pectin, locust bean gum, guar gum
Meat substitutes: mushrooms, tofu, seitan, soy schnitzel, avocado

What does "vegan" mean?

Vegan means that you do without animal products. In addition to food such as meat, fish and dairy products, clothing, cosmetics and furniture, for example, are also avoided. So it does not just mean a change in diet, but a change in all areas of life. There are many reasons for a vegan lifestyle. Mostly want to Vegans live in harmony with the environment and respect the animals' right to life. They want to prevent animals from being tortured and dying. Vegans are often vegetarians for a long time before they decide to go one step further and completely forego all animal products.

The history of veganism

Two and a half millennia ago people began to consciously refrain from eating animals. However, the move away from eating corpses was still very religiously motivated at the time. In the Middle Ages there was a famous church representative, Hyronimus, who is now known to be vegan.
Only in the time of Da Vinci did ethical reasons come to the fore. The painter himself advocated a meat-free diet.
In the 19th century there was a push towards vegetarianism and veganism: The founding of the first vegetarian association in London. Soon afterwards the “Vegetarian Society” was brought into being. In 1908 the association "International Vegetarian Union" was founded, at the same time the German Vegetarian Association was dissolved. Shortly afterwards the National Socialists were brought into line. The “Vegetarian Union of Germany” was not founded until after the Second World War. In 1944 the “Vegan Society” was founded. "Vegan" - from the word VEGetariAN. From the 1970s onwards there was the "animal rights movement". Numerous books on veganism followed.

Living healthier as a vegan

Some studies show that vegans are less likely to suffer from obesity, high blood pressure, gout or cardiovascular diseases than non-vegans. A vegan lifestyle can also be beneficial for allergy sufferers. There are health-promoting secondary plant substances in fruits and vegetables, which also reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Vegans eat a particularly high amount of fiber, vitamins and unsaturated fatty acids - but much less of the unhealthy saturated fats. The intake of vital folic acid and vitamin C is very high.

Vitamin deficiency in two thirds of vegans

Nevertheless, there may be a lack of vitamin B12, calcium and iodine because important suppliers such as meat, fish and dairy products are not used. Vitamin supplements and nutritional advice can help. According to a study, the B12 deficiency can be found in almost two thirds of vegans. This deficiency can damage the central nervous system. Vitamin B12 is also involved in the breakdown of the amino acid homocysteine. High levels of this amino acid increase the risk of a heart attack. Iron deficiency is also common in 40 percent of female vegans. Because the vegetable iron cannot be absorbed as well as the animal iron. Experts strongly advise pregnant women, breastfeeding women and small children against a vegan lifestyle. In early childhood development, there is a high risk that the nervous system will be damaged.

For healthy people, however, nothing stands in the way of a vegan diet. If you want to get professional advice on changing your diet, we recommend a consultation with a doctor or trained nutritionist you trust.