Aaahhhhhh vegan pumpkin spice latte!
To make the latte mix:
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 tea spoons pumpkin spice
- 2 tea spoons cinnamon
- 2 tea spoons vanilla extract
- 3 table spoons brown sugar
Combine all ingredients, and either add to coffee as a creamer, or heat on stove and mix with extra strong coffee to make a latte.
I drizzled some good quality coconut milk on top to add to the richness, because I was too impatient to wait for it to firm up in the refridgerator and become coconut whipped cream. (It’s ok, I made extra pumpkin mix.)
[made rebloggable on request]
Our collective knowledge of B-12 and its possible symptoms of deficiency are rough notes at best. This is because our only observations of B-12 deficiency were thought to take place in form of long-term issues, the likes of which are said to arise primarily in the elderly. It is harder to study symptoms which take anywhere from 20-60 years to fully develop or have been only studied within our society’s oldest citizens.
Anecdotal evidence-wise, I once met someone who claimed that they had not eaten animal products for 20 years, neither had they taken b-12 supplements, and they said they were “just fine”. Since I didn’t know them quite personally, I can’t vouch in any way for this. I questioned them if they meant that they had just not consumed supplements in the form of pills, yet they stated that most, if not all supplemented forms of synthetic b-12 had never been in their diet. It was curious, I did notify them of what is said about the long-term health effects, but they were not so convinced. I’m dying to find that individual again, to satisfy my curiosity of their rejection of the “anti-vegan B-12 scare”.
In terms of nutritional history: B-12 was largely abundant before normative agricultural practices. Soil was apparently rich with B-12, so that our ancestors would have been able to consume adequate amounts of the vitamin from plant-based materials alone. This is why the existence of B-12 deficiency today does not prove that humans are necessarily meant to / need to be omnivorous. Natural, plant-based sources of B-12 have lessened through our own methods of agricultural advancement. There are still trace amounts within soil, and slightly larger (though debated in use) sources of it in sea vegetables.
B-12 is thus not only found in animal products. Additionally, animal products have B-12 in the first place BECAUSE those animals were consuming sources of B-12. Other animals need the vitamin just as humans do, and you don’t see cows taking their daily multivitamin, do you? But other animals also consume vegetation that is more likely to be coated in bacteria, something that we, for our own health, try to minimize as much as possible. It puts us at a troublesome realization: animal products have high amounts of B-12 because animals consume food with higher bacteria content. It is safer for us to clean and prepare our vegetation for consumption, but with that preparation we lose what little B-12 has still been preserved within our agricultural methods.
I’m a strong believer that our agricultural consumerism is not perfected as of yet, and that we need - for the sake of our planet and our survival - to develop sustainable agriculture that acknowledges the importance of renewable soil nutrition. But that simply isn’t possible with our need to overproduce vegetation in order to support the animal agriculture industry. It is known that a majority of our vegetation goes to supporting stock animals. It is also known that with higher demand usually comes lower quality or attention to production. A suggestion of solution is that, with reduced animal consumption and exploitation, we will be able to reduce the output of plant-based agriculture yet increase its necessity for a largely plant-based human population. With increased necessity comes increased attention to more sustainable methods.
In short, do supplement B-12 as a safety precaution for your long term health (since most soy milk, cereal, and various snacks are fortified with B-12, it isn’t hard, and you do not necessarily have to consume a vitamin pill), but do not take its seeming lack in plant-based agriculture as a sign that veganism is “unnatural” or “unhealthy”.
Very Important Side Note: Check that last link. The latter half of the article describes how those who consumed fortified milk beverages and cereal were less likely to have low amounts of B12, whereas they found no noticeable correlation between B12 levels and animal product consumption.
The study suggests that supplemented B12 is in fact more important than the B12 derived from animal products because it is better absorbed.
I’m re-posting this since the question of B12 is still, for many new vegans and curious individuals, something that remains a scary mystery. B12 is necessary for human health and well-being. Then again, so are many vitamins and nutrients that you never even thought about before attempting to go vegan or attempting to criticize a vegan, and you’re still alive, aren’t you?
Vegan nutrition is not so much different from average nutrition, and even with that said, I think the average person should have a more complete knowledge of what sustains us. If you can’t any name any of these “vital nutrients” that you believe vegans might be lacking, it might just be you lacking in both health and knowledge.
I hope all of my followers take care of themselves so they can be the wonderful, influential, dedicated and strong individuals that I know they can be. I also hope that they have the prescience and willpower to never let health and nutritional woes overcome their lives. Health matters, but there’s so much more to your well-being than food and exercise, low-fat dressing and worrying about flat tummies. Your well-being depends also on what goes into making you a reasonable, responsible, and well-rounded person.
Anyway, I didn’t mean for this to be a pep talk.
In short, take care and go vegan.