What's the beef with vegan meat? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-04-2014, 11:13 PM
 
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What's the beef with vegan meat?

This post is based off something I experienced myself on these boards but also something I see happening to a lot of other people in the vegan community. I don't know when it happened but it did, vegan meat became enemy number 1! It seems like whenever its brought up it's met with "ewww!" or "why would you put that in your body?" or "It's horrible" or all three. It seems like if you're not making your own stuff and buying prepared or frozen meat your not as vegan as all the other people who don't buy these things. I feel like it's one more thing for those who think of veganism as a clique to be cliquey about. For me, it's not something I have all the time but if I'm craving burgers, ribs, chicken I'd rather have that then real meat. I feel like condemning these products sends a message that meat is somehow better or more natural (even though meat is pumped with toxins and God knows what else) and vegan meat is some kind of poison that a billion times worse, to me that attitude is damaging to people first coming to vegan or vegetarianism it's like saying, "I judge you for eating animal meat but also judge you for eating vegan meat.Either way you're judged, welcome to veganism *****!" What are your thoughts about this? Have you ever been judged by other vegans for eating meat alternatives?

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#2 Old 09-04-2014, 11:53 PM
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I've never been judged for it, but only about 5 people know I eat meat alternatives (4 omnivores, and 1 vegetarian). I did mention to an omnivore friend that they exist (after she asked a few questions about vegetarianism), and she said it was illogical to eat them, but I didn't bother to keep debating it.

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#3 Old 09-05-2014, 01:58 AM
 
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Personally I don't see a problem with meat substitutes, it's just that.. a substitute. No animal has been harmed or treated inhumanely, it's not an animal product so it's perfectly fine to eat. I will have the odd vegan sausage as I miss sausage and mash but I don't much like the taste of the other substitutes.

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#4 Old 09-05-2014, 02:07 AM
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I agree Panthertracks.

For me also, it's two simple questions, "Does fake meat contain animal? and/or Do animals suffer if I eat it?" Answers "No and no".


Problem solved.


If other people, whether they be omnis or veg*ns, have a problem with this, then it's their problem, not mine and soddem, sez I.


Of course fake-meat is not the most nutritious of foods but why do the veg*n food police pick on this rather than, say, fries? No idea so soddem again.


lv
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#5 Old 09-05-2014, 02:36 AM
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Yes, I have seen this not just with vegan meat but with Daiya or other vegan cheese, plant milks, vegan yogurts, cliff bars, vegan cold cereals, and other convenience types of products. I have also seen it with soy in general, nutritional yeast, cooked food, high fat food like nuts, gluten and wheat, protein powders, and the list goes on. It happens with both vegans and nonvegans constantly criticizing these foods as "horribly" unhealthy, gross, "bad" "toxins" etc. I think the vegan meat is probably the worst of it though. Sure it isn't the healthiest and can be expensive but it has it's own value and to me it is a far cry better than the exploitation and slaughter of animals that are also pumped full of hormones and antibiotics and fed the very substances people are so against (namely soy and grains).

I think I am very sensitive to this issue because I have a long history of an eating disorder and was very very strict with food for a long time. Part of my recovery is learning to relax around food and enjoy more variety and not see food as evil and bad or good. I used to be one of the ones who would preach about how bad fake meat is. But when I really looked at my own eating habits I think I was being a bit hypocritical. I have tried some vegan meats as of late just because I can. I tried Beyond Meat strips, Tofurkey, Field Roast. And gasp...I enjoyed them! It isn't something I would personally eat regularly but so what if someone else does?

On the other hand, I have seen a lot of omnis criticize vegan food as expensive and often I think they are looking at the meat alternatives and processed foods in comparison to their own and I think this is where a lot of vegans get frustrated with them. Because there are so many cheap vegan foods too, like dried beans, bulk grains, some produce etc. There seems to be a perception that vegans only eat meat and dairy "alternatives". I think this is more where I was coming from when I would criticize the vegan meats. Though I would mention the high sodium and high list of ingredients etc. I try to be far less critical of what other vegans eat now.

You know, once when I was at my omni inlaws they talked about some of the "questionable" ingredients in vegan food, such as carageenan. So I grabbed a jar of Miracle Whip they had, and a loaf of their commercial bread and their box of saltines and read some of the list of ingredients on there. lol. They shut up after that.

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#6 Old 09-05-2014, 03:06 AM
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On the other hand, I have seen a lot of omnis criticize vegan food as expensive and often I think they are looking at the meat alternatives and processed foods in comparison to their own and I think this is where a lot of vegans get frustrated with them.
Well for a lot of omni foods, the animals have paid towards the cost with their lives and/or with their suffering but this doesn't seem to bother the omnis very much...
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#7 Old 09-05-2014, 11:17 AM
 
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I've heard a lot of negativity regarding fake meats and substitutes as well but my mind set is, just because your vegetarian/vegan doesn't mean you suddenly have to become the epitome of health overnight, and as long as you are not only consuming one type of food all day every day eg. quorn, and have variety then what does it matter? I think that eating too much of a certain type of food isn't that great for you, but who else's business is it but yours?

I eat a lot of different foods; substitutes like soy, nut milks, mycoprotein, fake "lunch meat" (which I find to taste EXACTLY the same as the meat alternatives [because the meat ones are just ground up, added water and stuck back together with glue anyway]), all different veg etc. pulses and legumes. I love asian inspired food, middle eastern, good old english or italian. I just mix it up! So if one day I have a dinner of homemade curry with quorn or "chicken" pieces, the next day I'll have an all veggie stir fry, and the next I'll have something like ratatouille or a homemade burger with roasted sweet potato wedges.

If someone only eats chicken nuggets and chips every day, or only eats red meat every day, they aren't going to be the healthiest, and I think some people might not understand that people transitioning from omni to veggie or vegan find it difficult to be creative with foods. I love cooking and have all my life so I have no problem whipping up a dinner without a recipe and knowing it will taste delicious (friends ask me why I haven't become a chef) but some people aren't confident with cooking or have never had to cook for themselves, so they can't create recipes in their heads. Ergo they think "i like chicken tikka masala so I will just substitute the meat for quorn", but do it every day rather than mixing it up and having one thing one day, one thing another etc.

Who cares what anyone else eats as long as they are happy, healthy, and no animals have had to suffer for it?

Jen
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#8 Old 09-05-2014, 11:59 AM
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Who cares what anyone else eats as long as they are happy, healthy, and no animals have had to suffer for it?

Jen
Sorry Ilithyia but the Vegan Police care. For them, you cannot eat anything that remotely looks, tastes or smells like real meat/fish/chicken etc even though it's vegan.

Also everything you eat must be as healthy as possible otherwise the Vegan Police will visit you on your deathbed to tell you that the plate of chips/fries you ate in 1994 has reduced your life by 30 mins. Of course your dying 93 year old self has had unrelated dementia for the last 15 years but you'll soon be out of it anyway...

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#9 Old 09-05-2014, 12:19 PM
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There's also this: the more these products are bought, the more they will appear in grocery stores and restaurants, thereby being more visible to omnivores, letting them know there are alternatives they can try.
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#10 Old 09-05-2014, 12:50 PM
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There's also this: the more these products are bought, the more they will appear in grocery stores and restaurants, thereby being more visible to omnivores, letting them know there are alternatives they can try.
Wot? And have everybody join our exclusive club? Sorry I meant to say, the more the merrier of course.
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#11 Old 09-05-2014, 12:58 PM
 
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I personally became a vegan for health reasons (though I've come to agree with the ethical and environmental reasons, too), nutrition is my passion, and I'm going to school to become a naturopathic doctor, so....

I mostly avoid processed junk, including meat substitutes, and advise others to do the same. When someone asks for advice on how to go vegan or vegetarian, I let them know how to do it in a way that promotes optimal health, especially when it comes to children.

That doesn't mean I judge anyone that doesn't eat the same way I do. In fact, I don't personally know anyone that does eat the same way I do, and only know three vegetarians, two of them not remotely interested in health.

I think people have a right to choose what they eat without being judged. But, if someone asks for advice, or doesn't understand nutrition and thinks something is healthy just because it's all natural or vegan, I will give my opinion. That being said, all natural and vegan options are better than the alternative.
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#12 Old 09-05-2014, 06:29 PM
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Also everything you eat must be as healthy as possible otherwise the Vegan Police will visit you on your deathbed to tell you that the plate of chips/fries you ate in 1994 has reduced your life by 30 mins. Of course your dying 93 year old self has had unrelated dementia for the last 15 years but you'll soon be out of it anyway...
Leedsveg
I actually laughed until I had tears in my eyes from this! It feels really true sometimes though when you read through things and people gasp and cringe because you eat meat subs, or salt, or cook with oil, or whatever the crime of the day is.

Meat subs are actually a pretty big part of my life. Veggie crumbles especially. They let me cook foods like tacos and chili and spaghetti bolognese and stuffed bell peppers that are really comforting and that my omni boyfriend and parents love. I got my parents to give up red meat because of meat subs (they use the subs instead of meat, they aren't just replacing other types of meat for the red). And my boyfriend, who lives with me, eats entirely vegan at home and likes it, because he doesn't really have to give up some of his favorite foods. Yes, I could use lentils or whatnot instead. And yes, that would be healthier. But my family doesn't like that stuff. So meat subs it is.

Sometimes I feel like I have to be careful about what I post though, or the vegan police will come get me!
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#13 Old 09-05-2014, 09:38 PM
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#14 Old 09-06-2014, 12:46 AM
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I actually laughed until I had tears in my eyes from this! It feels really true sometimes though when you read through things and people gasp and cringe because you eat meat subs, or salt, or cook with oil, or whatever the crime of the day is.

Meat subs are actually a pretty big part of my life. Veggie crumbles especially. They let me cook foods like tacos and chili and spaghetti bolognese and stuffed bell peppers that are really comforting and that my omni boyfriend and parents love. I got my parents to give up red meat because of meat subs (they use the subs instead of meat, they aren't just replacing other types of meat for the red). And my boyfriend, who lives with me, eats entirely vegan at home and likes it, because he doesn't really have to give up some of his favorite foods. Yes, I could use lentils or whatnot instead. And yes, that would be healthier. But my family doesn't like that stuff. So meat subs it is.

Sometimes I feel like I have to be careful about what I post though, or the vegan police will come get me!
When you say 'veggie crumbles' are they like Quorn's mince stuff? (But I'm assuming the vegan version)

I use TVP sometimes instead of mince, it's nice!

It's a pity your family won't eat stuff other than the faux meats. Not because I think faux meats are bad, just there's so many different things to try along with faux meats. Maybe they'll eat stuff like lentils ect. in the future though.

(Though, I haven't found anything that 'really' takes the places of fish except for faux meats. I do love the occasional 'not-shrimp' green curry).
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#15 Old 09-06-2014, 03:49 AM
 
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Haha leedsveg!! :-D
It's so silly. I once had a friend who had a go at my twin sister for what she ate. My sister had had severe eating disorders for about 8 years prior to this and used to survive souly on raw vegetables and any ready meal under 200kcals and I was so scared for her; she was wasting away. She has done tremendously in the last few years and is back to a healthy weight and I am beyond proud of her. She's learnt to love food and has turned into a wonderful chef, having been on courses and lessons with Michelin star chefs etc.
My "friend" proceeded to tell her that she was damaging her body and was going to be a frail weak lady with breaking bones and disorders etc, purely because this girl was a healthy eater herself and she thought having a go would change my sister, who she had never met before then, completely missing the fact that we had been trying for years, making slow but sure improvements. You can't just yell your opinion at someone and expect them to agree with you. I took my sister home after this and she cried all night and it probably set her back months.

It was so sad and needless to say she is no longer my friend. Some people think their word is gospel and don't care who they hurt to force others to agree with them.

:-( Jen
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#16 Old 09-06-2014, 04:20 AM
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I eat them because I like the flavours and textures, especially of my own seitan and Linda M sausages. It's a quick, easy protein fix. I haven't come across the vegan police yet, just the omni ones at bbq's who want to know why I would eat a soya sausage - my answer is its a tasty alternative that cooks well on the grill and doesn't fall apart, absorbs flavours and fits perfectly on the bread rolls I made, all with nothing having to die. Then I take a big bite and walk away

That awkward moment when your partner walks into the kitchen to find you huddled in the corner with an open container of nooch and a spoon and your mouth encrusted with little flakes...  
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#17 Old 09-06-2014, 10:57 AM
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When you say 'veggie crumbles' are they like Quorn's mince stuff? (But I'm assuming the vegan version)
Yeah, basically that's what they are! Pretty much pre-prepared frozen tvp. I usually buy Boca, because it's the cheapest vegan one available in my area. I've never really cooked with tvp other than the stuff from the freezer section, but that's just because I'm lazy and the frozen stuff is ready to use.
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#18 Old 09-06-2014, 01:54 PM
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Though, I haven't found anything that 'really' takes the places of fish except for faux meats. I do love the occasional 'not-shrimp' green curry.
In the UK you can buy "Fish Steaks" by V-Bites, Heather Mills' company. Just seems like cod to me but then I've not eaten cod for over 25 years...

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#19 Old 09-06-2014, 02:54 PM
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I have seen some judgement, but personally haven't experienced much of that. Veggie burgers are extremely popular around here. I love "Beyond Meat" chicken and was thrilled to find it in a restaurant here in a wrap.

Some of us actually liked the taste of meat and bad taste or texture wasn't a consideration in going vegan.

I will say it's a processed food...full of sodium, fat and other things that aren't natural, so I don't make it a staple or eat it often, but I do eat them.

I've been bullied and judged my whole life for being queer, so I don't sweat the small stuff in how the vegan police treat me. LOL No one should.
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#20 Old 09-07-2014, 04:30 AM
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I haven't been vegan for long, but I think there are two different types of Vegan Police - those who examine every aspect of your life and decide whether you are good enough to be a vegan and Health Nut Police who happen to be vegan. There are a lot of Health Nut Police who are omni too and they would criticise omnis for eating lots of processed food, certain 'poisonous' foods (sugar!) etc.

The Lifestyle Vegan Police probably don't like vegan meat because it resembles the real thing too closely and 'real' vegans should disgusted by the very thought of meat. As Tweety said, some vegans (myself included) liked the taste & texture of meat, cheese etc - I just decided that I didn't want animals to suffer and die because I like the taste. If I can eat something that resembles that taste & texture without an animal dying, then great.

The Health Nut Vegan Police probably don't like vegan meat because they tend to be heavily processed, have high levels of salt etc. Fair enough and it probably isn't something I should be relying on as the main protein component of my diet. But, just like omni processed foods, they can be convenient & tasty and probably won't kill me in moderation.

The Omni Vegan Police who criticise a vegan for eating a veggie burger while eating their own highly processed meat burger are just stupid and best not engaged with.
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#21 Old 09-07-2014, 04:36 AM
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There are no vegan police. There are a few rude people who happen to be vegan, mostly online in my vegan experience over the past decade. Most people who are intrusive, bossy, or critical about my veganism are omnis all the way.
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#22 Old 09-07-2014, 05:55 AM
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There are no vegan police. There are a few rude people who happen to be vegan, mostly online in my vegan experience over the past decade. Most people who are intrusive, bossy, or critical about my veganism are omnis all the way.
I didn't mean to suggest that there were only vegan 'police' - I think there are people who like to criticise and pass judgement in all walks of life and who believe their way is the only right way, I guess I would apply the 'police' label to them too. You know, the sort of people who criticise & judge because I haven't married my long term boyfriend, or because I haven't had children, or because I'm not religious, or because my skirt is the wrong length for this season's fashion etc etc etc. and I therefore don't fit their idea of the right way to live.

I have seen the same sort of judgement on vegan boards about different aspects of veganism. You're absolutely right that they are just rude people who happen to be vegan, in the same way that all the others are just rude people who happen to be X, Y or Z. And maybe they are only online, I don't know any other vegans IRL!
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#23 Old 09-09-2014, 02:04 PM
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Yeah, I think some people are just judgemental and that isn't only a vegan issue it's a human issue. I just ignore those people and continue eating my delicious vegan burgers.

"If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others... why wouldn't we?" - Edgars Mission
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#24 Old 09-13-2014, 12:18 PM
 
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I will be honest in a small way I am just like the original posted stated about. but, in other ways I am not.
It is true I can not understand putting chemically laden products that are so processed and bad for you into yourself when there are pure organic choices that taste so much better.
That being said as much as I am a person who for work and for home promotes non processed food life style I am also always always impressed with everyone when trying to make a better eating life style, even if it is not one that I personally support.
I do not eat any fake cheese or fake meats due to the high processing. I simply learned to make my own stuff and not try to replace anything. However if this is not the life style you want then don't let anyone who doesn't agree with you bother you at all.
It is your body and the fact that you are making these eating life style changes makes you awesome in my book so if you like those products and you are ok with them then I say that is fantastic and to enjoy it fully :-)
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