What is a Vegan?
A vegan is someone who has taken an ethical choice to live a life that in no way exploits other living beings for food, clothing, cosmetics, or similar purposes. To do so a vegan not only excludes all animal products from his or her diet, including all meat (fish and chicken included!), dairy, eggs and honey but also avoids using any form of leather, suede, wool and silk. Vegans also do not use products that have been tested on or in any way contain ingredients from animals. A vegan also refuses to contribute or participate in activities where animals are used to entertain humans such as circuses, zoos, horse racing, etc.
The term veganism was first mentioned by Donald Watson, Secretary of the Leicester Vegetarian Society and the founder of the Vegan Soceity, in 1944 as a way to better describe the life of strict vegetarians. It then took another 30+ years (until 1979) before the term got an official definition by the Memorandum and Articles of Association describing veganism as:
“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 purposes; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefits of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes that the practise of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."
Did you know:
"Over 56 billion farmed animals are killed every year by humans. These shocking figures do not even include fish and other sea creatures whose deaths are so great they are only measured in tonnes."
The U.N is convinced that a worldwide shift towards a plantbased diet is a vital to combat world hunger, fuel shortages and climate change.
“It is the position of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases." And that, "these diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes."