“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 humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.” – The Vegan Society
What is veganism?
When you ask someone what veganism is, you will probably get different explanations depending on who´s answering. Some say they don´t eat animals, eggs and cheese, but others might also say no to honey, even refined sugar! Some follow a vegan diet only, and others dont wear wool or leather. Even in the vegan community there is still no clear line on what makes you vegan or not.
For the majority of vegans, being vegan is not directly about food. It´s a way of life that seeks to exclude harm and suffering as much as possible, either to their self and/or their surroundings. This excludes meat, eggs, cheese, fish, wool, feather, leather, animal testing, zoos, marine parks, hunting and so on.
Why go vegan?
The vast majority of species that are going extinct is due to overfishing, hunting, pollution, animal agriculture, global warming and other “festive” reasons. Most of the Amazon forest is gone and it’s getting smaller my the minute! The dead-zones in the oceans, the amount of desertifications and deforestation is also rapidly increasing. All of these things are mainly happening due to animal agriculture.
Many also don’t know the extent of the cruelty that non-human animals have to go through on a daily basis. The image of a happy cow, bouncing around in the grass field towards the sunset, is seared into most of our brains. The reality is unfortunately much grimmer. Since humans are a very compassionate specie, many find it very difficult to support this level of cruelty.
Excluding all forms of exploitation and cruelty doesn’t just apply to non-human animals. Most of the food we produce goes to feeding cows and pigs. This food could instead feed starving people around the world, which means we could potentially feed the the whole planet on a plant-based diet. Knowing also that most of our western diseases like cancer, heart diseases and diabetes can be avoided by a dietary change, makes a lot of people motivated to change their lives.
Whether you go vegan for the food, the health, the animals, the environment or because you are a humanitarian, ultimately it’s to live according to your values. To a outsider it may seem restrictive, but to a vegan it’s a extension of their compassion and ethics.
If you want to learn more about veganism, I encourage you to watch the life-changing documentaries Earthlings (graphic content) and Cowspiracy. Earthlings is free too watch and is the movie that seems to change most people. I also recommend the presentation from James Wildman or Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. These speakers are not only informative, but also very funny!
How to go vegan
With all the reasons to go vegan, what people seem to struggle the most with is “how” vegan. The Vegan Society have good tips on how to go vegan. Colleen´s book The 30-Day Vegan Challenge covers concerns you might have about protein, calcium, omega 3-fatty acids, B12-vitamin, while at the same time providing you with delicious recipes. Also Mary from the YouTube-channel Mary’s Test Kitchen | Vegan Cooking has awesome recipes. Hopefully I too will be able to provide you with delicious and healthy recipes in the future!
Also if you have any questions about veganism, remember that you can send me a message from my contact page.