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Here in British Columbia, and particularly Vancouver, we have more vegetarians than anywhere else in Canada. Nevertheless, the majority of people still consume meat and other animal products.

As plant-based diets become more mainstream, some newcomers may have questions about the lifestyle change that could help them save the planet.

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions with answers you can feel confident about!

  • What kind of events will you have?
  • How do I become a member/ join the society?
  • Is this connected to religion, ideology, or a certain ethnic group?
  • Who is part of this society?
  • Is this a charity?
  • What is vegetarianism?
  • Can I get enough protein on a vegan diet?
  • Is it healthy to be vegetarian?
  • Can kids be vegetarian?
  • Will I become deficient in any vitamins or minerals if I become vegetarian?
  • Won’t I be hungry if I don’t eat meat?
  • Where can I find out more information?
What kind of events will you have?

VVS hosts and co-hosts exciting events themed around our values of food, arts, and culture to strengthen the local vegetarian community.

In addition to these events, we also feature recommended events related to vegetarianism and a healthy, sustainable lifestyle around the Lower Mainland.

How do I become a member/ join the society?

We are not currently accepting members, but anyone who wishes to be involved with VVS can follow us on Facebook and Instagram. There is no cost to be part of the society.

Any future updates on membership or volunteer opportunities will be posted on social media!

Is this connected to religion, ideology, or a certain ethnic group?

Absolutely not. While some aspects of vegetarianism have religious roots, the Vancouver Vegetarian Society is not affiliated with any religion, ideology, or ethnicity.

We celebrate the diversity of our beautiful city, and accept people from all backgrounds and belief systems. The mission is to connect sustainable and healthy vegetarians from every walk of life and inspire the broader community.

Who is part of this society?

The Vancouver Vegetarian Society is composed of individuals and families who are either vegetarian or interested in the lifestyle. People from all cultures and backgrounds are welcome at VVS.

Is this a charity?

VVS is not a charity, but it is a non-for-profit. This means that the founders are funding the organization for the foreseeable future, and the events will be free or ticketed at cost unless supporting a charity.

Disregarding the semantics, we do believe in charitable values like building community, helping the planet through mindful and sustainable decisions, and encouraging positive change around us.

What is vegetarianism?

Vegetarianism is a lifestyle that excludes the eating of animals; including meat, game, poultry, game, fish and shellfish.

There are three main types of vegetarianism, but there are as many interpretations as there are religious sects.

  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat dairy and eggs. This is the most common vegetarian practice.
  • Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy but avoid eggs.
  • Vegans do not eat dairy, eggs, or any other animal byproducts, such as honey, whey or gelatin.
Can I get enough protein on a vegan diet?

Absolutely! The animals that are generally thought to contain so much protein source these amino acids from plants. By consuming protein-rich plant foods like beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, vegetarians can be sure to meet their nutritional requirements.

For help with meal planning to ensure balanced nutrient intake, check out this nutrient calculator:

Is it healthy to be vegetarian?

While vegetarians and vegans have their fair share of plant-based junk foods, it is typically the healthier choice to be vegetarian. Many people make the dietary and lifestyle switch for the health benefits.

A vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and less obesity. Additionally, vegetarians are generally found to have lower BMIs on average, more energy and less stress. A diet rich in whole plant foods tends to be higher in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants, which can help fight off free-radicals and ward off cancer.

Can kids be vegetarian?

Definitely! In fact, the Standard American Diet that is full of processed meat and dairy products is associated with childhood obesity and early onset diabetes.

Parents who wish to switch their children to a vegetarian diet may wish to consult with a nutritionist or pediatrician to plan for success, but adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to a child’s diet is a great start!

A great to prepare vegetarian foods for kids is to take advantage of meat and dairy replacements that mimic familiar meals. Macaroni and Cheese can be made with cashew cheese and nut milk, and chicken nuggets could be replaced with vegetable nuggets.

Will I become deficient in any vitamins or minerals if I become vegetarian?

Any diet requires a well-planned balance of whole foods to fulfill our nutritional needs. Those that have eaten meat for their entire lives may find it confusing or counterintuitive at first, but all the nutritional components of meat and animal products are originally sourced from plants! Even compounds like collagen and vitamin A are synthesized by our bodies from a balanced diet of whole plant foods.

Some new vegetarians may wish to supplement B12 or Vitamin D (in the winter, as we receive ample Vitamin D in the summer from sunshine) in pills or drops, particularly if recommended by a doctor.

Won’t I be hungry if I don’t eat meat?

Depending on the types of foods people eat on an omnivorous diet, the switch to vegetarianism can mean a lower daily caloric intake. Fruits and vegetables especially are much less calorically dense than meat or dairy products. Vegetarians ought not be afraid of piling their veggies high on the plate, as larger portion sizes of nutritious plants help keep us full and healthy.

To satisfy all our nutritional requirements, it is recommended to eat a diverse array of whole plant foods. Nuts, seeds, beans and legumes are great sources of healthy fats, protein, and omega-3s that are higher in calories and ideal for staving off hunger for longer.

Where can I find out more information?

The Internet is full of great resources for those looking to learn about vegetarianism. There are several documentaries available on Netflix that inform viewers about the importance of choosing plants, namely “Cowspiracy”, “Forks Over Knives” and “What the Health”.

Helpful web sources include: