Vegucated: Thoughts & Ramblings

I’ve still been battling a pretty nasty cold, so much of the weekend was spent at home, on the couch. In an attempt to be somewhat productive, Alex and I watched Vegucated, a documentary about veganism which had been in my Netflix queue for awhile. Knowing that Shannon had recently watched it found it interesting, I figured it was worth a shot.

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Overall, the documentary was mostly what you would expect. Similar to Forks Over Knives and Food Inc., it talked a lot about the health benefits of veganism, as well as animal rights. They took 3 meat-eating New Yorkers and put them on a vegan diet for 6 weeks, while educating them on the health benefits, and showing them footage of slaughterhouses.

The documentary was interesting. I’ve done a lot of research on veganism, since my 6 month vegan experiment, and I totally agree that a mostly plant based diet is generally better for your health, and better for the environment. I think my only problem with it was the focus on “veganism” as if it’s an all or nothing kind of approach.

Do I think everyone should be a vegan? No. Not necessarily. I’ve already said that I don’t think vegetarian is for everyone. I think food is a personal choice. (Read my thoughts on vegetarianism here.) However, I do think that everyone could benefit from more plants and less meat & dairy. Often I think people get intimidated by the ‘vegan’ label, and think “that would never work for me” rather than learning about the benefits of a plant based diet. I love Sarah’s vegan-with-benefits approach. I found that I liked most aspects of a vegan diet, but sometimes it really was too limiting for me. I found I was able to eat healthier if I incorporated some eggs and dairy back into my diet.

I was going to post a new recipe for some gluten free protein donuts today, but in the spirit of veganism, maybe you should just check out these vegan donuts instead. (Don’t worry, if you don’t have a donut maker, you can use a mini muffin pan!)

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Click the photo for a vegan cinnamon sugar doughnut recipe!

Have you seen Vegucated? What do you think about vegan diets?

Comments

  1. “Vegan with benefits” such an amazing way to describe it!
    Erica { EricaDHouse.com } recently posted…26 Hours in New OrleansMy Profile

  2. This is such an interesting topic. I haven’t seen the documentary. I don’t think it is available it the UK.
    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes recently posted…Introducing Simply Sleek & a GIVEAWAY!My Profile

  3. Although I am BY NO MEANS vegan, I have noticed how much better my body feels when I eat more fresh produce, and less dairy. I may have to check out this documentary!
    Katie H. recently posted…Eat More Calories to Lose Weight?My Profile

  4. Love this post Liz! I actually just watched Forks Over Knives and Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead last night and this one is next on my list. I definitely agree that everyone has to find what works and like you I know I would have issues getting all of my nutrition if I cut out the egg and dairy that I still eat.

    I always like to look at it as an approach to add things rather than take things away. Start eating more plant based foods and whole grains and you will naturally start eating less meat and processed foods. It’s definitely about balance but I think the one thing that rings true from all of these documentaries is that everyone just needs to love their veggies a bit more like we do!
    Anna recently posted…Two Is Better Than OneMy Profile

  5. Yes I agree! Not everyone needs to be vegan but the benefits of a more plant-based diet seem worth it :)
    Picky Nicky recently posted…Do You Also Workout Intuitively?My Profile

  6. I haven’t seen vegucated, but I’ve seen Food, Inc. and Forks Over Knives. Food, Inc. is what made me stop eating meat for 2 years, until I was able to incorporate the occasional properly raised meats again. That film wasn’t so much promoting veganism as it was exposing the many, many problems with America’s current food production ans sales system.

    Forks Over Knives I took great issue with (blog post to come soon) and Vegucated likely has many similar issues, where the people followed in the film are making MANY changes to their diet at once, not only restricting animal products. Eating fewer processed foods and hydrogenated oils will also have amazing health benefits, with or without animal products.

    I agree that, either way, an all-or nothing approach is not the best way for everyone. Thanks for sharing!
    Meredith recently posted…Hang Loose for Heart HealthMy Profile

  7. I agree that diets are personal preferences. I guess that’s why it annoys me when people make assumptions and comment on why someone eats a certain way. Mind your own business people! Anyway, thanks for the review! I’ve seen both Food, Inc. and Forks Over Knives and loved them. Will have to check this one out.
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  8. This post could not have been more timely- my bf and I JUST watched “Vegucated” a couple nights ago. I do agree with you that it is mostly the same old same old stuff that I’ve seen before in other documentaries. It seemed a tad simplified, parts of which bugged me, but overall the message was good and clear. I have been a pseudo-vegetarian for awhile now, mostly for the nutritional benefits. I say “pseudo” because I do eat eggs, dairy, and fish, mostly for the protein and vitamin B-12 which I am low in a lot. I would much rather eat these things than take a supplement, but that’s just my personal opinion.
    Nevertheless, this documentary did still tug at my heartstrings and made me want to consider veganism. But I just don’t think it’s for me in the long run. I am comfortable with my diet right now and I eat a crap ton of veggies :)
    Thanks for another great post :)

  9. I definitely want to watch this! And those doughnuts- yum!

  10. Mmmmm donuts! and I am going to have to look for Vegucated! Hope you’re feeling better!
    Nikki recently posted…Running Divas GiveawayMy Profile

  11. I did watch Veducated . . . and thought it was alright. There are other documentaries that I prefer over this one though. But I feel like there haven’t been any good releases on the foodie documentary front lately! My queue has run dry!
    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted…Friday’s FiveMy Profile

  12. I have not seen Vegucated yet, but I really want to. I really enjoyed Forks Over Knives and am always interested in documentaries regarding food, vegetarianisnm, and veganism.

    In regards to the idea of going fully vegan or not, I agree that the all or nothing approach can get a bit tricky. This may make some people feel too limited and could result in someone completely discarding the entire idea of veganism. Any attempts to limit animal products in our diets should be celebrated, as opposed to being “not good enough,” or “not vegan enough.” I have found that a vegetarian diet, with 3-4 days of a vegan diet incorporated in, has worked very well for me. I do not feel bad about not being “vegan enough,” but I can certainly see how this might be a problem for some people.
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted…Roasted Sesame Chickpeas with Seasoned Brown RiceMy Profile

  13. I’ve been meaning to watch that documentary, I think I might just need to make a date with Netflix tonight :) I love hearing your thoughts on the whole vegan/vegetarian debate. I’m giving up meat for Lent just because I want to see what a completely vegetarian lifestyle feels like.
    P.S. I have been going through your blog just to get meal ideas because I think you do an awesome job as being a balanced vegetarian!
    theresa @ aspoonfulofsunshine recently posted…Apple Goat Cheese Avocado Salad + Chicken + Honey Mustard VinaigretteMy Profile

  14. I totally hear you on being able to eat healthier if you give yourself some wiggle room with dairy and eggs. I find this is especially true for people who would otherwise use super processed replacements (like fake cheese) or when dining out. I don’t live in a big city so I *might* be able to find one vegan option at any given restaurant. If you widen that to vegetarian, there’s still only two options but at least I can choose the healthier of the two and it’s a little easier to customize my food without it being spit in if I have just a couple fewer questions to ask ;-)
    Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies recently posted…Butternut Squash Mac and CheeseMy Profile

  15. Here is my take-away from Vegucated…a majority of the animals that we use for food source whether it be for meat or diary or eggs live in a stressful environment. I want to reduce my stress as well as my consumption of stress. Will I be vegan forever? Probably not. Will I never eat a cupcake again as long as I live? Highly unlikely. Will I try to reduce the amount of stressful products that I put in and on my body? Yes!
    Veganism is not for everyone, and might not be for me for forever, but at this moment it has struck a cord and I am feeling much better physically and emotionally since I have been more conscious of what goes in.
    Shannon recently posted…the americano – new yorkMy Profile

  16. I checked out that donut recipe— sounds awesome. I dont know where I would get vegan bisquick- maybe whole foods? Id have to make a trip :) I need to go there or TJ’s soon anyway!
    sara @ fitcupcaker recently posted…Weekly Meal & Fitness Plan: Meal Prepping: Quinoa Raisin Granola BarsMy Profile

  17. I think there are some great vegan recipes that everyone can enjoy! I like that meat free pushes me out of my cooking comfort zone but in our house we eat meat too. I love the Forks over Knives cookbook and I need to add that movie to my que.
    luv what you do recently posted…Blueberry Muffin Bake {Take One}My Profile

  18. I tried to watch Vegucated this weekend, actually, but for some reason couldn’t get into it. And I couldn’t agree with you more about *general* society needing more veggies and fruits and less meat and dairy!
    Olivia @ Liv Lives Life recently posted…Crunchy Spicy Chocolate GranolaMy Profile

  19. i need to add this to the queue – sounds informative! and i def like to base my meals around veggies, although you know i eat meat/dairy/etc too, veggies have always been a super important part of my meals thanks to Sharon teaching me some great habits early on! :)
    Stephanie @cookinfanatic recently posted…When the Weekends…My Profile

  20. I was literally JUST thinking about this movie today. I watched it a while ago, and while I disagreed with some of it, I thought it made some valid points. Yes, I believe everyone could benefit from less meat and dairy, and I’ve also noticed that since I’ve been rarely buying meat, I’ve actually been saving a lot of money on groceries, and I’ve been eating healthier. My boyfriend is a hunter, so we always have venison in the fridge (I can’t honestly tell you the last time I bought beef), and I actually like venison a lot more than beef, plus I know EXACTLY where the meat comes from). Also, I think a point that was overlooked was the fact that just because it’s “vegan” doesn’t mean it’s healthy. For instance: oreos are vegan, but should we really have them as an everyday part of our diet? Is a highly processed vegan product better than a non-vegan dish made with whole, real ingredients? I don’t really know, but I feel that just in general, the documentary forgave processed foods if they were vegan.

  21. I watched Vegucated and it definitely has a ton of good information. I recently started looking into soy and the Paleo diet because of another movie called “In Search of The Perfect Human Diet. It has a LOT of interesting points as well. But I prefer a more plant based diet myself!
    Sabrina @ Nutritiously Sweet recently posted…25 Before 25 Change: A Paleo Week?My Profile

  22. I actually haven’t watched vegucated yet, but will definitely be adding it to my list.

    p.s. you look beautiful & Iove the dress your wearing in your doughnut post.
    jessie recently posted…Truthful Tuesday :: Fears and WorriesMy Profile

  23. I have actually! And enjoyed it. Except for the parts about animal slaughter; yes it’s necessary to educated people, but I’ve seen enough of it, so I just closed my eyes during those parts.

    I don,t believe in *only vegan* or *only vegetarian*. I agree with you that’s it,s a choice. I mean, frig, some places in the world have no food. And I could offer them meat, I would. I would never deny food to a hungry person.

    I do have a problem with industrialized meat production and the suffering imposed on innocent creatures. Taking the right to life away. That, breaks my heart.
    Stephanie recently posted…This weekend I…My Profile

  24. I think vegan is a little too restrictive for me. I continue to consider it but…I feel good, I feel healthy and I’m able to control my weight doing what I’m doing. I’m pretty happy with it. I think more people should consider it for health reasons.
    Fran@BCDC recently posted…SporadicMy Profile

  25. i havent seen that documentary but enjoy any thing that has nutrition info about it- will be netflixing it soon. I really enjoyed your opinion on vegetarian/veganism and I think its very important to be respectful of people dietary choices :) I have noticed that just doing meatless monday, I have started to incorporate more veggies and healthier eating approach in general.
    dixya @ food, pleasure, and health recently posted…Kale, Spinach, Mushroom Lasagna Roll Ups {Meatless Monday}My Profile

  26. Liz, I’ve been wanting to see this for a while! I’m with you, though; not everyone is made to be a vegan. But we all can definitely afford to eat more fruits and vegetables, and there is so much misinformation about diet swirling around in society. Def worth a look at the documentary!

  27. Sorry you’re batteling a cold. I’m right there with you and have been for over a week now! So annoying! That documentary sounds very interesting. I think everyone’s body reacts differently to different ways of eating. Some things work for some people and not for others :-)
    Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome recently posted…Toddler Tuesday – Potty trainingMy Profile

  28. I haven’t seen ‘Vegucated’ yet but it is in my Netflix queue. I really enjoyed Forks Over Knives so I’m sure this will be interesting too. I’m not sure if I could eat a strict vegan diet but I definitely don’t eat much meat. Protein – yes. Meat – not so much. Thanks for reviewing the movie for us. I always enjoy hearing other peoples perspectives on books and movies :) Especially ones that could be somewhat controversial.
    Diane @ Life of Di. recently posted…Weekend Getaway: The Steel City.My Profile

  29. I watched Forks Over Knives this past weekend, and I kind of feel the same way you do. Food is a personal choice and while a plant whole foods based diet is really good, I think a little meat, eggs and dairy isn’t horrible either. Moderation right?!
    Besides, how could you give up feta?!
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Weight For ItMy Profile

  30. I love that you are open minded and say that eating is personal. I tried veganism for a month last summer just for the heck of it. I more so did it to challenge myself to try some new foods and cook something new instead of my staple go tos. I really enjoyed it to be honest!
    Megan recently posted…Photo DumpMy Profile

  31. I watched this about a month or two ago. Thought it was pretty good!
    Jennifer recently posted…Vegan Pakistani Kima, Music, and SiblingsMy Profile

  32. I started watching Vegucated but stopped because I felt like I’d seen it all before, to be honest. In general, I agree with you in that we all need to focus on plants, but there are many ways to be healthy, and for some/many, that includes meat. As you know, I regularly eat Greek yogurt now, and I am going to start adding eggs back in for health reasons, so it really just goes to show that labels don’t work, because we all have individual bodies with their own ‘needs.’
    Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen recently posted…Eggplant + Tempeh CurryMy Profile

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