Answer: No. Vegans do not eat beef broth because it’s made from the bones or meat of cattle.
Beef broth is not part of the vegan diet simply because of the reason given above. It’s one of the primary examples of food derived from animals. It usually comes as boiled bones. Not to paint a gory picture, but it can include meat, skin, ligaments, cartilage, etc. And each of these ingredients comes from cattle killed for consumption.
Cows, like any other animals, yearn for the same natural freedom that all living creatures enjoy. They are not meant to live in windowless sheds and barbed cages, waiting for slaughter. You may find attractive marketing phrases that try to normalize it. Even if they say it’s ‘grass-fed’ or ‘free-range,’ you know they’re all waiting for the same fate. And it cannot change the fact that breeding and slaughtering cattle for commercial purposes take away the animal’s intrinsic value as a living being.
You may end up paying up exorbitant prices for a beef broth that comes in fancy packages. But no amount of cash we pay equals the price that the animal pays with its life.
Meat-eaters will claim that beef broth will restore collagen in your body much more than plants. This is obviously not true. You can help your body regenerate collagen with healthy alternative diets. Collagen is, essentially, one of the important and dominant proteins in our bodies. They account for over 30 % of the protein in us. You’ll find it in the bones, skin, hair, nails, etc. of the human body.
There are other minerals that come from the beef broth. Studies show that nutrition can change depending on cooking time or body parts. So, you know that it’s not the same level of nutrition in every broth meal. And the best sources of minerals for us still come from a balanced vegan diet.
The main dietary takeaway here is that it’s not the only way of getting nutrition from nature. And the benefits they give are also present in other dietary alternatives. In fact, there are studies which reveal that some of these ‘benefits’ may even be slightly misinformed or altogether wrong. Spending too much time on these claims do not shed any more light or clarify the matter. What is important, however, is to know about the alternatives that present themselves today.
“Getting” collagen from animal bones is not the only way to get protein. There are vegan supplements that can provide the required dietary input. There are scientific ways of using microorganisms to produce the collagen that our bodies need. And they are more cost-effective substitutes. Even gelatin, which is a derivative of collagen, can enter your diet without consuming animal ingredients. These vegan alternatives come with several benefits over real beef broth:
· They have the potential to be cheaper because the science is scalable.
· It has a lower risk of allergies thanks to careful work in the lab.
· They give potential benefits to skincare and other aging issues.
· Since the source is clearly known, the products also come with a better safety profile.
As far as the minerals from bones go, you have much healthier alternatives in your existing vegan diet. Nuts and seeds are among the richest sources of minerals that the body needs. You can also increase your intake of cruciferous veggies – broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Beans and legumes will also give you enough potassium and other minerals, in addition to their rich protein.
You can use the vegetable scraps at home to make your own vegetable broth. Keep your mushroom stems, parsley stems, potato skins, and carrot shavings. They’ll give you selenium, iron, vitamin K, potassium, and vitamin A respectively. Keep the veggies in a sealable bag or jar and place it in the fridge.
Once you have about 500-700 g, place them in a slow cooker. Add 2-3 cups of water along with ½ tablespoon of salt and cook. Heat till the mixture boils and let the dish cool down. Stir and strain the liquid for storage (refrigerate) and discard the other bits. Congratulations, your veggie broth is ready for sipping or use in cooking!