What is a Vegan?

Vegans, much like vegetarians, do not eat the flesh of animals. However, Vegans go beyond by also steering clear of animal byproducts such as dairy milk, eggs, and dairy cheeses. Vegans also don't consume honey, whey, lard, or gelatin or use things like goose down, leather, or wool. Also considered off-limits are cosmetics and other products in the marketplace that are tested on animals.

Put another way, "veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms, it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."

The actual word 'Vegan' dates back to 1944 when Donald Watson, founder of the Vegan Society, coined the phrase Vegan in the first issue of The Vegan News by taking the first and last letters of the word vegetarian to create his orthodox version of vegetarianism.

Anticipating the possibility of reluctance in his newfound vegan lifestyle, Watson made this statement:

    "A common criticism is that the time is not yet ripe for our reform. Can time ever be ripe for any reform unless it is ripened by human determination? Did Wilberforce wait for the 'ripening' of time before he commenced his fight against slavery? Did Edwin Chadwick, Lord Shaftesbury, and Charles Kingsley wait for such a non-existent moment before trying to convince the great dead weight of public opinion that clean water and bathrooms would be an improvement?"

There are several reasons for choosing a vegan lifestyle:

  • Vegans don't contribute to the mistreatment and slaughter of animals.
  • Vegans generally enjoy better health through a cleaner, plant-based, whole foods diet.
  • As a vegan your environmental footprint is greatly reduced.

Learn the benefits of a vegan lifestyle by checking out the books below as well as; Why Go Vegan?