Veggie Challenge FAQ

Entering the Challenge

What if I am already vegetarian?

How about trying a vegan challenge or a mostly vegan challenge?

What if I am already vegan?

How about getting a friend, partner, brother, sister, etc. to do it. Inspire them to try it, help them along a bit. Another possibility might be to do a week eating entirely organic. Tell us how it went. What foods did you discover, which ones couldn’t you find? Another possibility could be a week of eating as much locally-grown food as possible.

What if I want to go longer than one week?

There is an option to continue called Phase 2 that goes for three more weeks. We send out an email per week with menu plans and recipes along with tips and encouragement!

May I enter a second time?

Yes, but please only do so if it is going to be a real challenge for you. For example, please re-enter if the first time you did the Challenge things didn’t work out for you, or if you are going further with your second attempt – moving more towards a vegan diet perhaps.

What do you do with my email address and other contact information?

We are a registered charity and do not engage in trading or selling your information. E-mail communications will always include an identification of the sender and an “Unsubscribe” option. We will only contact you about information that you have signed up for. See our privacy policy for full details.

Are there prizes?

In the past everyone who completed the Veggie Challenge was entered in a contest to win prizes. There was also a prize for the best sharing of a story or photo. We are currently in the process of re-vamping and improving our prize program, and so for the time being we won’t be giving out any prizes. We’re aiming to start this process again within the next few months, and we will keep you updated on our website and social media accounts when that happens!

How do you know we really went veg or not?

We don’t… but we trust you!

Going vegetarian

What about fish? Do I have to give up seafood as well as meat for the week?

Yes. Our definition of vegetarian also means not eating seafood. There are many excellent reasons to forgo foods that involve killing fish. The oceans are being overfished, coral reefs are being destroyed and sensitive sea floors are getting raked with drag nets. Many species are threatened, including dolphins, seabirds and turtles that get snagged in the nets. Also fish feel pain, they just lack vocal chords to express it. You can still enjoy seaweeds (such as nori and dulse), and flax oil is an excellent source of omega-3.

What about leather?

Don’t worry. For the purposes of the Veggie Challenge, we aren’t requiring that you change your wardrobe. People become vegetarian for different reasons and some draw the line at food. Some go a step further and stop wearing leather, down or wool. Others continue to wear such clothing until it wears out, then they replace it with animal-free alternatives. See our our Leather & Alternatives page for more information.

What about honey?

Honey is vegetarian but not officially vegan. For the purposes of the Veggie Challenge, we aren’t too concerned if your trial vegan diet included honey or not. The focus should be on avoiding eggs and dairy as the modern production of these foods is extremely inhumane and environmentally damaging. If you would like to avoid honey, it can be substituted with maple syrup, rice syrup or agave nectar.

I am not fond of vegetables and beans

Margaret wrote us: “I am keen to try a new way of eating, especially since I’m not happy with the way we treat our feed animals.  However… I am not fond of vegetables per se and don’t like the texture of whole beans very much.”
Vegetarian cuisine can be very diverse. Lentils, tofu, mock meats and tempeh make a nice protein-rich substitute for beans. Whole grains, nuts, seeds (sesame, hemp, pumpkin, etc), soy milk, eggs and dairy products are also high in protein. See our blog articles on nutrition for more ideas, or our nutrition section. We also have plenty of resources for recipes and cooking tips!

I am concerned about eating so much soy

Being vegetarian does not mean you have to eat tons of tofu and other soy products – there are lots of protein-rich plant foods – from lentils and beans to whole grains and nuts. But soy does enjoys a reputation as very healthy food. Many soy foods have earned the right to be labeled “heart-healthy.” They may also make your bones stronger, and they contain cancer-fighting compounds. But some internet articles are saying that eating too much soy can endanger health. Claims against soy include allegations that it raises cancer risk, and causes nutrient deficiencies, osteoporosis, thyroid problems, reproductive difficulties, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Bottom line: Based on the bulk of the evidence soy appears to be perfectly safe for nearly all healthy individuals when it is consumed in reasonable amounts (two to three servings per day). See for more info.

How do I get enough iron, protein, calcium, etc.?

Plant-based foods are loaded with nutrients including ample protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D, iodine, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc. Vegans require a reliable source of vitamin B12, but your body stores a one to five year supply, so you will be fine for a week. The key to health is simple. Include a wide variety of different foods in your diet – no one food source is nutritionally complete by itself. See our Nutrition page for more information.

It is the position of Dietitians of Canada and the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.

More FAQs

For more questions about vegetarian and vegan diets see our main FAQ’s page. The questions include:
• Isn’t seafood healthy?
• Animals kill other animals for food, so why shouldn’t we?
• What will we do with all the chickens, cows, and pigs if everyone becomes a vegetarian?
• If everyone became vegetarian, many animals would never even be born. Isn’t that worse for them?
And many more.

Where to find support and discuss vegetarian topics

Forums are made up of hundreds of members, many of them experienced vegetarians and vegans that are happy to help you by answering questions and concerns. Jose who took the Veggie Challenge in March 2008 writes: I joined a few vegan / vegetarian support groups and quickly found a few friends to advice and support me in this transition period from regular food to vegan.”

You can contact us with any questions by emailing

Last Updated ( Monday, 22 July 2019 )