Cut red cabbage into fine strips. Then bring to a boil in a small saucepan with a little water and salt. Cook until the red cabbage is soft and the water has...
What is veganism?
Simply put, veganism is abstinence from the use of animal products in both diet and lifestyle.
A good explanation of ethical veganism comes from the International Vegetarian Union: veganism can be defined as a way of life that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals for food, clothing, or other purposes. In terms of diet, it refers to the practice of abstaining from all animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, animal milk, honey and their derivatives.
Why people adopt a vegan lifestyle
There are several reasons why someone might choose to adopt a vegan lifestyle. Ethical reasons people choose a vegan lifestyle include:
Animal welfare issues and the objection to using animals as commodities.
Environmental issues directly related to animal agriculture (such as air pollution and contaminated runoff from factory farming into water supplies) and helping to reduce our overconsumption of resources such as land, water, and fossil fuels
Embrace veganism as part of the solution to world hunger through more efficient use of our planet's food resources
A vegan may also choose a plant-based diet for health reasons and does not obsessively avoid animal products.
What do vegans eat?
There are so many amazing vegan foods that you may be surprised at how many options there are! Here are just a few examples of some of the foods vegans eat:
- any kind of fruit: apples, oranges, berries, mangoes, pineapples, grapes, papaya
- Any type of vegetable: asparagus, kale, broccoli, carrots, celery, zucchini, spinach
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, almond butter
- Carbohydrates: potatoes, pasta, bread, bagels, pitas, wraps, rice, quinoa
- beans and legumes: tofu, edamame, hummus, black beans, chickpeas, lentils
- Non-dairy milk: coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk, oat milk
- Chocolate: many types of dark chocolate as well as non-dairy milk chocolates made from coconut, soy or rice milk
- Junk food: chips, onion rings, potato chips, cookies, cakes, sweets (check the ingredients, many of these products just happen to be vegan)
- Dairy alternatives: coconut ice cream, almond and coconut yogurt, coffee creamer, vegan cheese and cream cheese, vegan butter
- Meat alternatives: tempeh bacon, veggie burgers, deli sandwich slices, vegan sausages, holiday roasts
As interest in the vegan movement continues to grow, being vegan is becoming easier every day. Some of North America's wealthiest investors are backing vegan startups and companies, and for good reason! As the demand for meat steadily decreases [source], the number of Americans who identify as vegan has more than doubled in the last 4 years. The food industry is offering more and more delicious and compassionate vegan alternatives as recipe developers, chefs, and food bloggers create new ways to veganize popular foods. Search for veganized versions of your favorite dishes and you'll be amazed at what you'll find!
What is excluded from a vegan lifestyle?
All animal products are excluded from a vegan diet, these include: Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, honey and their by-products.
A vegan lifestyle includes avoiding animal products in daily life as well as diet. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Products tested on animals
- Fabrics of animal origin such as silk or wool
- Leather, suede, down and fur
- Personal care products containing animal ingredients (beeswax, keratin, lanolin, etc.)
- Animals used for entertainment (circuses, rodeos, etc.)
It is important to emphasize that it is virtually impossible to avoid all animal products. Going back to the International Vegetarian Union's explanation of veganism: veganism can be defined as a way of life that seeks to eliminate, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals for food, clothing, or other purposes.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure that the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.