Is vegan meat/dairy/eggs healthier than real?

nobody

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Just to put the real animal products in the best possible light healthwise, let's say they come from a small farm with pastured chickens and cows. So "is a Beyond Burger healthier than a grass finished beef burger?" or any other comparison like that...healthier even though it is processed, due to all the garbage in even grass fed meat: heme iron, dietary cholesterol, saturated fat, animal protein, etc.
 

TofuRobot

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Not taking the time to look it up, I believe it is. It's not "good for you" in the sense that it's still processed and high in salt and fat, but if I'm not mistaken, vegan mock foods are healthier than their animal-based counterparts.
 

Emma JC

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To be clear ... vegan is not about being healthy and they don't purport it to be.

Vegan is about the animals, full stop.

There are many vegans who also eat a whole food plant based diet some with minimal added salt, oils and sugars.

So arguing whether or not a mock meat is healthier than an animal product is spurious in a vegan context.

Emma JC
 

Lou

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you asked a fairly general question and to answer it you would have to say in general the vegan version is better.
But then you went out made a specific request (darn you), and that is about burgers.

Fortunately, this magazine article made a side by side comparison. Unfortunately, they didn't put the data side by side.
I was going to copy and paste it into a side by side format but the way presented the data makes it too difficult.

But to quickly summarize the data.
In most ways, the beef burger is worse. The one thing you can't compare nutrition wise is that according to WHO, red meat is a carcinogen. So unless you don't mind cancer than that one fact tips the scales to non-meat.

The fake burgers have more sodium. But that is if you don't season your real burger. Nonmeat burgers have 0 cholesterol. no meat burger can claim that. The impossible burger has less sat fat. The Beyond burger has more iron.

Its close but don't forget that in fake meat products no real animals were harmed. That has to count, too.
 

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The Beyond Burger has no cholesterol and slightly lower fat than beef. It also has more iron. A lot more iron.

Although plant-based meats are processed, they are definitely healthier than processed animal flesh. As for "fresh" or "grass fed" cow or chicken versus these products, it's entirely debatable on what you mean by healthier. As far as I can tell a Beyond Burger is "healthier" because of the increased iron, no cholesterol and slightly lower fat, while having similar calories and protein.

I also think Vegenaise is healthier than traditional mayo because of all of the Omega 3s and lack of cholesterol.

Frankly I think the most questionable vegan product is vegan cheese. Vegan cheese is a favorite of mine but I think in a lot of cases local dairy cheese might actually be more nutritious. Many vegan cheeses are basically flavored oil with a bit of protein. Some are better than others, though, I think cashew cheese is healthier than dairy cheese, especially a homemade kind with potatoes and carrots and nutritional yeast. But honestly - vegan pizza shreds? I don't know.

I didn't go vegan because I thought it was healthier though. While I did find the stuff in Forks Over Knives frankly grotesque and it was nice to lose 10-15 pounds without making any real effort, it was never my motivation. I was never one of those people who could go on a diet and stay on a diet for health or looks. I enjoy eating too much, ha ha.

That's also why I'm not a "personal purity" vegan either. I don't gag if I find out there were trace amounts of milk or egg in something, so minimal that I can't even taste it, because honestly that doesn't matter. It doesn't kill any more animals or destroy the environment any further because you had a sandwich with a bit of butter in the bread. There's no ethical reason - and really not even a health reason - why trace amounts of egg and dairy are a problem, unless a vegan intentionally keeps buying a product over and over that they know has even trace amounts of animal products.
 
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Lou

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Frankly I think the most questionable vegan product is vegan cheese. Vegan cheese is a favorite of mine but I think in a lot of cases local dairy cheese might actually be more nutritious. Many vegan cheeses are basically flavored oil with a bit of protein. Some are better than others, though, I think cashew cheese is healthier than dairy cheese, especially a homemade kind with potatoes and carrots and nutritional yeast. But honestly - vegan pizza shreds? I don't know.
I agree with Everything FN said. but the cheese part.
Oh, I agree that most vegan cheeses are the opposite of nutritious. You have to compare it to the healthiness of Real Cheese.
Typical cheese is 70% fat. and most of that is sat fat. Well, maybe fake cheese isn't any better - but it can't be worse. At least it doesn't have cholesterol.
 

Nekodaiden

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If Vegan = “Vegan for the animals”

I’m quite happy to call myself a strict vegetarian. A lot of youtubers and social media vegans push this line, and honestly I find it very polarizing and disruptive. It alienates a whole lot of people by insinuating that someone who chooses to abstain from animal products for either health or environmental reasons is somehow “not a real vegan” or “not vegan enough”. It also insinuates that they don’t care at all about animal welfare, when that may not be true at all – it just happens that it wasn’t their primary motive.

Mic the Vegan openly states he went Vegan initially for health, and that animal welfare was an added benefit. Is he not a “real Vegan”? What rubbish. I also don’t make any assumptions about his overall ethics – because ethics includes a lot more than just our relation to the animals.

As whether mock meat products are healthier than what they imitate? Well, certainly, they are in what they don’t contain, like cholesterol, heme-iron, neu5gc etc. But the absence of these doesn’t make them healthy. A death cap mushroom will kill you in a few days, and in the most agonizing way possible, and it’s a plant. Being a plant doesn’t make it healthy, or even “healthier” than a meat product. Being a mushroom doesn’t make it a death cap, and being a mock meat doesn’t make that mock meat healthy. It all depends.
 
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Emma JC

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I eat a whole food plant based diet for health reasons first also and because I started that way I learned more about the animals and the environment although I did know some about both in the past.

I am not trying to be divisive I am just stating a fact about the true meaning of veganism.

"Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."

Being vegan for the environment or for health is wonderful and amazing but @nobody was trying to discuss the health of a product with animal products in it vs a vegan product. The health part of it is irrelevant if it is a beef burger, it is not vegan or healthy.

Emma JC
 

Nekodaiden

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I eat a whole food plant based diet for health reasons first also and because I started that way I learned more about the animals and the environment although I did know some about both in the past.

I am not trying to be divisive I am just stating a fact about the true meaning of veganism.

"Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."

Being vegan for the environment or for health is wonderful and amazing but @nobody was trying to discuss the health of a product with animal products in it vs a vegan product. The health part of it is irrelevant if it is a beef burger, it is not vegan or healthy.

Emma JC

What would you say to someone who completely abstains form eating all animal products, but who, for a living, works as a chef or food preparation person, lives in an area where there are none, or very limited vegan options, and this is all they know/can find work doing?

Would they be welcome in the Vegan fold? Or not? Would it be good if this attitude prevails and somehow they always felt “less than” other Vegans? After all, their ability to pay the rent/mortgage, food, gasoline, tuition, utility bills etc are all tied to their ability to work – a work that just so happens to include animal exploitation by proxy.

There are a lot of people in that situation. I was, just a few years ago before I found my present work. Veganism isn’t going to grow by alienating these people.


Also, true meaning:

https://veganforum.org/threads/youre-not-a-real-vegan-youre-not-vegan-enough.2785/

Video 2.
 

Emma JC

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I wouldn't say anything to them because it is none of my business how they live or what they call themselves. I don't alienate anyone. In the context of the first post in this thread I was just pointing out that his attempt to discuss a beef burger vs a vegan burger and the health of each is not appropriate on a vegan forum as 'veganism' is not defined by health but by whether animals are harmed.

Emma JC
 

veganDreama

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Most people eat way too much meat and it's promoted as being 'healthy' but fake meat is probably better then that although eating lots of fruit, veg and legaments is better still.
 

Jamie in Chile

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I was just pointing out that his attempt to discuss a beef burger vs a vegan burger and the health of each is not appropriate on a vegan forum as 'veganism' is not defined by health but by whether animals are harmed.

Emma JC
I don't agree that this is inappropriate in general for vegan forums. (In the specific case of this forum, it depends a little on the beliefs on the moderators and the consensus of the majority of posters where known.)

If it has been stated in a way that suggested that whichever was the healthier is the one we should eat, I would agree with you, but it's possibly just a curiosity or someone trying to find out what nutrition or health changes that may occur as a result of giving up meat, or trying to decide whether to eat a vegan burger vs whole plant foods.

A benefit to this type of discussion for vegans is that it can help us in discussions with meat eaters. Such discussions after all are ultimately attempts to reduce harm to vegans by changing behavior.

Perhaps nobody, the original poster, can clarify that they are not going to eat meat regardless of the results of the discussion.
 

Jamie in Chile

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My thoughts on the post are that the vegan burgers are probably better than meat for health but just a guess, hard to say for sure and probably no definitive evidence.
 

Forest Nymph

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What would you say to someone who completely abstains form eating all animal products, but who, for a living, works as a chef or food preparation person, lives in an area where there are none, or very limited vegan options, and this is all they know/can find work doing?

Would they be welcome in the Vegan fold? Or not? Would it be good if this attitude prevails and somehow they always felt “less than” other Vegans? After all, their ability to pay the rent/mortgage, food, gasoline, tuition, utility bills etc are all tied to their ability to work – a work that just so happens to include animal exploitation by proxy.

There are a lot of people in that situation. I was, just a few years ago before I found my present work. Veganism isn’t going to grow by alienating these people.


Also, true meaning:

https://veganforum.org/threads/youre-not-a-real-vegan-youre-not-vegan-enough.2785/

Video 2.
You seem to be unaware that there's a gigantic problem with people on YouTube and other places around the internet styling themselves as some sort of Vegan Leader and Public Figure, then taking it all back months or even years later. Most of those people went "vegan" to look hot, admittedly, as most of them are in their 20s and 30s and many seem to have some sort of eating disorder. But it's actually quite reasonable for people to insist now more than ever that the latest "Why I'm Not Vegan Anymore" actually means "I Decided I Didn't Like My Restrictive Plant Based Diet Anymore" and that those people are not really representative of the core vegan message.
 

Nekodaiden

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I wouldn't say anything to them because it is none of my business how they live or what they call themselves. I don't alienate anyone. In the context of the first post in this thread I was just pointing out that his attempt to discuss a beef burger vs a vegan burger and the health of each is not appropriate on a vegan forum as 'veganism' is not defined by health but by whether animals are harmed.

Emma JC
@Emma JC . It may have sounded like I was accusing you but I just get tired of the mantra by too many people on youtube and otherwise who parrot what I consider elitist vegan stuff. They say you "were never vegan" even if a person was vegan for 5-10 years, simply because they didn't do it for THEIR reasons or didn't think exactly like them. This is rubbish. What I also think is rubbish is people saying that it's for lack of empathy (didn't do it for the animals specifically and only) that people "try and fail". As most of these people say they crave animal products, I tend to think it has a lot more to do with them eating so called "vegan" garbage foods and otherwise nutrient deficient foods, not occasionally, but regularly, and also being lax about even abstaining from all animal foods. I don't think YOU were alienating anyone, but I think that the attitudes of some already described most certainly do.

So that being said, what follows is my response to your quoted statement that I put in bold:

"...as 'veganism' is not defined by health but by whether animals are harmed."



I regularly kill poisonous spiders if I find them in my home. I let one live once, a poisonous but non deadly one, thinking everything would be fine. It wasn’t bothering me, just sitting on the wall. So I let it live.

It found it’s way into my bed at night and got spooked while I was sleeping and bit me.

An animal wasn’t harmed, but I was. I had a scar and lump for around a year. Now I kill those particular kind and any other deadly kind that happen to find their way in.

Am I not a vegan? By the definition you stated, I’m not. Nor would I be by that definition if I killed invading rats that could bite me and give me disease, a rabid dog I may encounter completely minding my own business, any snakes I come across ( Australia has the deadliest snakes and spiders).

The founder of Veganism defined it as a diet (for the person wearing the label, not their mother, distant aunt, not their dog and not their cat) with encouragement not to use other animal products where you can. To me that’s pretty simple. I eat a diet free of animal products. I live in an industrialized country and area where I can use motorized transport. So no need of a horse. But I’d ride the horse if I needed to. I live in an area where I can get animal free clothing so I do so. But if that wasn’t available I’d buy what I needed to keep myself covered and warm in the winter months.

Too many people seem confused about this. The UK Vegan society didn’t invent the word and they certainly don’t own it. Donald Watson came up with the term and to him it was primarily a diet. The first and only requirement to this diet was an exclusion of all animal products. There are no other requirements, only encouragements to avoid other non food animal products where you can.

Not harming animals full stop belongs in a world where animals don’t attack and bite humans, don’t decimate crops, invade factories and so forth. So in other words, a world different from this one.
 

Nekodaiden

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You seem to be unaware that there's a gigantic problem with people on YouTube and other places around the internet styling themselves as some sort of Vegan Leader and Public Figure, then taking it all back months or even years later. Most of those people went "vegan" to look hot, admittedly, as most of them are in their 20s and 30s and many seem to have some sort of eating disorder. But it's actually quite reasonable for people to insist now more than ever that the latest "Why I'm Not Vegan Anymore" actually means "I Decided I Didn't Like My Restrictive Plant Based Diet Anymore" and that those people are not really representative of the core vegan message.

Hmm. Yes, well I certainly can’t read the minds, motives or know all the circumstances of and certainly can’t generalize why a person or group of people might decide to go vegan, and then decide not to and make a video about it. What I do know is that most people are sheep, and their shepherd is perceived public or mass opinion. So there will always be some who try something only or solely because they think it puts them in the limelight. That's true for any movement.

The “core message”...what is that? Health? Environment? Animal welfare? Just that it can be done? For all those things I prefer A) people who have been doing it for a long time and B) people with the science to back up what they claim. I sort of lean towards the idea that shallow people looking for attention and fame for their own ends tend to attract the same, and for those reasons.
 
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Forest Nymph

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Hmm. Yes, well I certainly can’t read the minds, motives or know all the circumstances of and certainly can’t generalize why a person or group of people might decide to go vegan, and then decide not to and make a video about it. What I do know is that most people are sheep, and their shepherd is perceived public or mass opinion. So there will always be some who try something only or solely because they think it puts them in the limelight. That's true for any movement.

The “core message”...what is that? Health? Environment? Animal welfare? Just that it can be done? For all those things I prefer A) people who have been doing it for a long time and B) people with the science to back up what they claim. I sort of lean towards the idea that shallow people looking for attention and fame for their own ends tend to attract the same, and for those reasons.
Yeah I basically agree with what you are saying. I am pointing out though that the core message is ethical and people who are ethical most likely never go back because it's an entire perspective shift. Like embracing your gay son, finally, or seeing people of other races as equal, or any other ethical epiphany you don't just casually stop one day.

It's so prominent for me personally that I find flesh repulsive like I just couldn't eat it again. Some vegans feel that way about dairy. Like Morrissey said, it's akin to taking a bite out of your grandma.

Anyone who originally went vegan for health who came to understand ethics is the same as someone who is originally vegan for ethics. For example Mic the Vegan. But people who have never had that insight aren't vegan. They are on a plant based diet. That helps in its own way I guess but not usually in the long term.
 

Jamie in Chile

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Killing a poisonous spider is probably consistent with veganism. Definitions refer to use, consumption, cruelty or exploitation of animals. Some vegans kill insects, others do, I suspect within veganism that's up to the individual.

Don't leave a poisonous spider though. If you are not going to kill it, you can probably trap and release it while wearing gloves. In cases like this, it isn't necessary to kill it, it's just a lot easier. However, if the spider bite could even be lethal, even with gloves might be too risky.
 
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Jamie in Chile

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This is partly in reply to post 14 from Forest Nymph, but also just general comment:

People who go vegan for health and environment are vegans as far as I'm concerned as long as they do it properly and avoid all animals products then they meet the definition of vegan whatever their reasons.

But, if you have gone vegan for health/environment and are checking all ingredients, even in toiletries, then that isn't really logical. And if you are not doing all that, you are not really vegan anyway according to the majority of vegans.

I think some people do go vegan for ethical reasons and then quit. Some of these don't have firm enough ethical convictions, others haven't tried enough, others have had genuine health difficulties. Most of them return to meat eating for health or taste or convenience reasons, but (if you look at ex vegan blogs) still feel the need to come up with some story to convince themselves ethics wise.