At this point in time you’ve probably heard of veganism or you know someone who is vegan. If you are unclear or want to find out more about what is a vegan? or what do vegans eat? Why do some choose to eat a plant-based or vegan diet, You are in reading the correct post.
What is a vegan?
Simply put a vegan is someone who doesn’t exploit animals for food, shelter, clothing, etc..
Veganism involves more than what a vegan eat.
Veganism is a 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.
To clarify, vegans don’t consume meat, diary, seafood, honey, or anything of animal origins. No, putting it on the side, or tell them to just remove the offense their plate. It would be just rude and inconsiderate.
Additionally, an individual might decide to embrace veganism for different reasons. For example, some do it for health, others the animals, the planet, and others just by principles.
Nonetheless, the essence is no harm is done to the animals.
What is an ethical vegan?
I used to believe that the term “ethical vegan” was an oxymoron. Until I realize that an ethical vegan is not only against ingesting animals they are additionally against exploiting animals in any other areas of their lives. In sum, veganism is a lifestyle!
Generally, their grooming, beauty, home decoration, diet, and clothing choices are also animal-free. Meaning, they don’t use fur, mink, leather, dawn, any type of feathers or animal skin, wool (“humane” or not), honey, beeswax ( organic or not). Ethical vegans don’t believe we should exploit different species because they are intellectually weaker or inferior. The respect of animals and humans rights are alike.
Furthermore, an ethical vegan do not support animal cruelty by means of entertainment. In other words, they do support or visit aquarium, zoo, horse racing, dog fighting, dog racing, and sometimes animal breeding for commercial use.
In fact, some of them are deeply involved in finding shelter, safe homes for abused animals.
Regardless of this, someone isn’t involved in activism is not less vegan than someone who lives and breathes it.
Vegan for Health reasons
Some people decide to go vegan for health reasons. Studies have shown that eating a whole food , long term plant-based diet can significantly reduce body mass index (BMI), LDL-cholesterol, and glucose levels compared to omnivores. Additionally, some decide to go vegan to reduce their exposure to hormones found in meat or to limit the side effect of antibiotics used in animal farming industry.
Vegan for the planet
Subsequently, some decide to eat a vegan diet for the planet because of the environmental impacts of animal farming.
For example, animal agriculture is responsible for 65 percent of the total of nitrous oxide emissions.
Nitrous oxide is one of the green house gas involved in air pollution. Additionally, animal agriculture requires a lot of water. As a matter of fact, it is estimated 1,700 and 19,550 liters of water are needed to produce one pound of beef in United States.
The side effects or consequences of animal farming are dire. Deforestation, global warming, drought, elimination of natural habitats for numerous species, extinction of different species are just a few. That’s why some decide being vegan for the planet is a great way to reduce their environmental footprint.
What do vegans eat?
The straight answer to that would be: everything with some exceptions! The vegan diet is categorized in types, they are based on specific individuals, health goals, philosophy, and principals.
The most common types of vegan diet are:
Raw vegan: Plant-based eaters who consume fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sometimes cooked foods below 118 degree Fahrenheit.
Whole-food vegan: this vegan eat a whole food, plant-based diet with minimal processed foods.
Junk-food vegan: a vegan who eats highly processed food, cakes, cookies, sugar, oils, etc… For instance, this type of vegan is down for french fries, Oreo, ice-cream and other type of junk food marketed toward vegans or accidentally vegan.
Where do vegans food shop?
Well, everywhere backyard included! ( dandelion, anyone?)
I want to point out that veganism is in no way synonym to healthy. There is no lack of plant-based junk food out there. Some of them are really irresistible and so tasty! They are also getting more available at mainstream shop as more business owners understand veganism is not a fad, a diet plan, or a trend. It is a lifestyle that will hopefully outlast many!
I also want to emphasis that you don’t have to be skilled in the kitchen to eat a plant-based diet neither do you need any more time than normal to cook or a large budget.
When you remove all animals products from your diet, really the sky becomes your limit.
You could live on potatoes and kimchi for all I care! lol!
Resources for new vegans
If you still feel lost, there is a panoply of resources everywhere to support this lifestyle. This blog for example!
I also find forks over knives, nutritionfacts.org, your local library, Netflix, quite useful.
You can even revisit your mother’s old cookbooks for recipes! Many of them have plenty of vegetarian options just switch the dairy products with plant-based options.
As for eating out, well, people are getting more aware and educated on veganism. What do vegans eat in restaurants?
In case you don’t know, or the waiting staff is not too helpful, just go with the sides. Make sure they don’t have any dairy, animal broth, ham, and bacon. Most importantly, make sure you are comfortable eating at this particular place. People are weird and cruel, don’t be naive. Some take sick pleasure sneaking animal products in your food when you specifically ask for none! It happened to me, I swear I am still livid about it!
You can also research restaurants before going out. As for potlucks, it’s a safe bet to bring your own food if you are not sure if plant-based options with available unless you are sure that you will be amongst people who respect your lifestyle.
So, the next time a well-meaning soul ask you what do vegans eat, now you can say: “everything” and not be sassy about it. It’s up to you if you’d want to elaborate or not. It will definitely be a coaching moment!