As vegans, there are some things we need to pay close attention to. The world hasn’t yet caught up to understanding us. So it’s up to us to make sure we are on top of everything we need to know. Here are three things to keep in mind:
Firstly, and I would say most importantly, are you thinking about what vitamins and minerals you might be missing out on? If you’re not taking a multivitamin supplement, you need to be. You’ll understand why shortly.
Next, are you relying on this symbol Ⓥ to tell you that your product is vegan? Oh no! You are looking at the wrong thing, read on.
Finally, we live in a world where people are uneducated. How do we cope with it? See my advice below.
Vegan Vitamins and Minerals
A vegan diet is amazing, and every day, animals thank us. Unfortunately, though, some vitamins and minerals can’t be found in plant-based food. Or, if there are some, they appear in such small, insufficient, quantities.
Because of this, vegan vitamins are a necessary part of your diet. Here are two vitamins and two minerals you need to make sure you are getting enough of:
Vitamin B12 is vital for your immune system. It is essential that you supplement this vitamin in your diet. A lack of it could see you developing anemia or nervous system damage, and nobody wants that. You need around ten micrograms every day.
If you aren’t getting much sunlight, then you are missing out on vitamin D. This one isn’t found in many foods, plant-based or animal. Ten micrograms a day is the best amount.
However, be careful, as vitamin D3 may come from animal products such as sheep wool. Choose vitamin D2 supplement instead.
Ladies, as you know, we need more iron than men do, so stock up on plenty of lentils, chickpeas, and seeds. Combine these with an increase in vitamin C, and your body will absorb iron much easier, too.
Your body also needs iodine. The only plant food known to contain it is seaweed. But sadly, seaweed has a high risk of contamination, so it’s not an ideal option.
This is why a vegan multivitamin is a perfect choice. It can provide you with the daily requirements of these four vitamins and minerals and it is readily available from many companies which work to make our lives easier.
Is there a Vegan Symbol?
Usage of the correct vegan symbol has caused some confusion. Using the little v in the circle “Ⓥ”, isn’t the right one. This symbol is copyrighted by a Kosher organization for their products, not vegan or vegetarian ones.
This symbol, from Vegan.org, is recognized worldwide and is currently featured on products from over 1000 different companies. This symbol guarantees that the product does not contain any animal products or by-products. Equally as important, it means the product has not been tested on animals.
Make sure you look for the right symbol every time and keep our animal friends safe and protected.
What About People Who Just Don’t Get It
And finally, for a little bit of fun, let’s talk about eating out.
How often has a waiter or waitress asked you if you’d like an egg on your veggie burger? And you reply with, “thanks, but eggs come from animals.” Only to be countered with, or how about cheese, cheese comes from a factory”. You sigh, “Yeah, most cheese is made from milk, which also comes from an animal.”
Wouldn’t it be great if all waitstaff had a class at school that taught them about the differences between vegan and vegetarian, and what gluten and lactose intolerance mean?
In the meantime, we need to nod and smile, while silently gritting our teeth, that is until the world becomes more educated. That day is coming soon.