Everything you need to know.

While growing up, I always thought of people who cut out animal products from their diets as extreme.  I grew up on the standard American diet, as did almost everyone I know. Hearing about others who chose not to eat meat was like hearing about someone from the other side of world. I’ll never forget thinking to myself after the first time I heard the word … What is a vegan?

So, What is a vegan? It’s almost 2018 and the term can be heard often and everywhere. It’s all over food labels. Restaurants are now offering all kinds of vegan breakfast, vegan lunch and vegan dinner options. I’m always finding more and more vegan desserts offered at restaurants wherever I go. Everywhere I look, someone has a new recipe for their scrumptious vegan pancakes, divine vegan sushi, or that not so secret homemade vegan chili.  How many times have you heard someone ask, are Oreos vegan? I even see the term vegan all over clothing, household items and cosmetics and it seems like there’s a new celebrity “going vegan” every time I turn around. So, in that case, what is a vegan?

What is a Vegan?

In General, a vegan is someone who does not use or consume animal products or limits the use of them to the extent of their ability.

Wikipedia explains the answer to the question; What is a vegan, as both the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.

A vegan usually makes his or her decision taking into consideration the feelings emotions and lives of the animals used in making or the production of the product. Someone can also be a vegan because of the value they place on the health benefits he or she receives when consuming only plants. This group can also be known as Whole Food Plant Based Vegans. While, the first group can be known as ethical vegan’s. Of course anyone can be in both categories like myself. Some may be a little of each or both.

Similarly if you hear of a product or object being referred to as vegan, it means that the product is not made out of animals  and animals were not used in a part of the production of the product either. Today, you can find things like vegan leather jackets, hats, gloves, vegan leather boots and bracelets, just like you can find vegan lasagna, vegan enchiladas, and vegan banana bread.

The Vegan Society

“We are aware that many forms of farming involve indirect harm to animals but it is unfortunately not possible or practicable to avoid the destruction of other animals in most farming at this time.

“However, just because it is not possible to avoid cruelty, suffering and exploitation to animals completely, that we should not bother at all.

“Vegans make a huge contribution to the reduction in suffering and death caused to animals and we would welcome any changes made to farming practices that support this.”

vegan vs. vegetarian