If you find yourself thinking "what does vegan mean?" and wondering about the implications for your diet and lifestyle, here's the best vegan definition: Vegans are people who abstain from consuming animal products for health or ethical reasons.
The choice to go vegan effect your diet, health, finances, and even your consumer habits. The benefits can touch all aspects of your life. These plant eaters get to choose from the best quick energy food.
Should someone who eats the diet, but purchases some animal products, like leather, be considered vegan vs vegetarian? Someone who just cares deeply about their health may not be willing to give up all animal products.
How to define vegan dieting is sometimes a gray issue, but making the change for ethical vs. dietary reasons is neither better nor worse. Everyone's journey through life is unique.
The idea was established in the western world in 1944 by a founder of the British Vegan Society. In the '60s, the American Vegan Society linked the idea with the Indian philosophy of "ahimsa," which means "to do no harm."
It was the ethical controversies, not the health benefits, that were the main position of the cause at the time.
If everyone would strive to do no harm, surely the world would be a better place, even if we are not always successful.
What is a vegan diet? Vegans give up all animal products. They avoid:
When you think about it, the list includes only a few items. Ideally, these would not be difficult to avoid.
The real difficulty is that these items are used in many products in modern cooking.
The high fat content of animal products makes them tastier. Our bodies crave higher fat, protecting us when food isn't available for long periods of time.
However, cheap food is always within reach with the modern availability of grocery stores every few miles.
People are more likely to be overfed than underfed. This is one of the main reasons why plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular. Even so, there is more than one difference between vegan and vegetarian diets.
Companies selling food products want to maximize their profits, and don't care much about the health of consumers. They want to make products that taste good for as cheaply as possible. Even "healthy" products from brand name producers cut costs by adding inferior ingredients, like fillers and artificial flavors.
It is easier to get healthy, quick energy foods at specialty grocery stores from smaller, more trustworthy producers.
Wondering what do vegans eat? Food items which can be included by vegan definition are:
This list encompasses over 75% of the USDA approved food pyramid.
Also, the variety in each of the categories is significantly more than the food that isn't allowed.
There are hundreds of varieties of fruits and vegetables, and tens of varieties of beans and grains. The amount of food that is allowed is many times more than not.
With all the variety available, there is no reason to feel deprived.
Someone following the lifestyle purchases products which don't rely on animals. The lifestyle is in line with the Indian philosophy "ahimsa," or non-violence. Taking the step towards buying all vegan products will have an effect on the following purchasing decisions:
Unfortunately, it is impossible to live a lifestyle that doesn't rely on animal products to some degree. The further your research takes you, the more you will appreciate our species' reliance on animals. Pet food, plastics, antifreeze, wallpaper, photo film, and even car tires contain some traces of animals.
Many believe the western world has developed past the need to rely on animals.
With modern technology, the resources available can sustain us without relying on animals. Vegans are the main group of supporters of this idea. They believe the earth's resources are wasted by raising animals for consumption, and it would be better for the environment.
Luckily, there are many products available which make a cruelty-free lifestyle possible.
Changing your lifestyle can take just as much effort as changing your diet. To purchase consumer products that fit the definition of vegan, like shoes and bags, it is necessary to do research online.
Now you can define vegan, and can see that making the commitment to a cruelty-free diet and lifestyle is honorable. Not only does your health improve, but you no longer rely on the suffering of other living beings.
Those people who become vegan by diet and lifestyle are truly doing good for the planet and themselves. Take note of the difference between vegetarian vs vegan ethics. Those who follow the vegan definition lead by example, and are an inspiration for others.