What Is A Vegan And What Does The Vegan Diet Consists Of
If you’ve ever stepped foot into a restaurant, on a university campus, or if your friend group is very diverse, it’s very likely that you’ve at least heard the term “vegan”. So what is a vegan? Veganism is a lifestyle that includes not eating, using, or consuming in any way, animal products.
What Is A Vegan?
Just like many other things in life, veganism is a spectrum. Some vegans may choose to not eat animal products, but may still use products that have animal components, for example. For most people, understanding veganism begins with food.
What Does Vegan Eating Mean?
Vegan eating means no animal products whatsoever. Vegans do not eat meat of any sort, seafood, insects, eggs, milk from animals, or by-products that contain animal components, such as gelatine. At first glance, it may seem as though vegans simply avoid meat, eggs, and dairy. But consider just how many products contain dairy or eggs. Vegans do not eat traditional pieces of bread or other baked goods, sandwich spreads, marshmallows. And even certain types of sauce like Worcestershire sauce, which contains anchovies.
Of course, there are a variety of vegan versions of all of these things. This makes it easy for vegans to eat foods that look, taste, and feel just like the food that non-vegans eat every day. In certain cases, vegans on the extreme end of the spectrum may also avoid white sugar. Which in rare cases is processed with bone char, certain juices and colas which contain insect-derived dyes. And may even avoid things like getting tattoos, because some tattoo ink is made with bone char.
Why Go On A Vegan Diet?
There are many reasons to go vegan as there are people who are vegan. That is to say, everyone has their own personal reasoning for it. Some common reasons include:
- Health Reasons: Many people find that without meat, dairy, processed sugar, and other animal-derived products in their diets, they are healthier.
- Environmental Reasons: Eating vegan has proven to have a much lower carbon footprint than eating meat and animal-based products. The environmental cost of raising animals for food products, as well as transportation, storage, and more, can be hefty.
- Ethical Reasons: For many people, eating products that come from animals, or eating animals themselves, is seen as no more ethical than eating a person. As a way of practicing their own form of compassion, these people choose not to ingest animal products.
- Cultural Reasons: In many cultures, veganism is the norm, and to eat meat would be considered either a luxury or perhaps a taboo for certain religious beliefs. Often in these cultures, generations of vegans have led to genetic GI systems that can’t eat much animal product without becoming ill.
What Is A Vegan Nutritional Intake
In order to stay healthy as human beings, we need a lot of protein in our diet. Fortunately for vegans, protein can be found in a lot of other places. Vegetables, tofu, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains all have tons of protein that can replace what is lost from not eating meat. The biggest key for vegans, just like any other diet, is to eat a variety of foods, colors, and textures to get all the recommended nutrients every day.
The average vegan day might look something like oatmeal at breakfast, made with soy milk and berries. Lunch would be whole wheat toast with vegan baked beans, while dinner might be a stir fry of firm tofu and mixed vegetables with rice. Snacks might include crackers and peanut butter, almonds, fruits, or vegan baked goods. This day would lead to more than 15 extra grams of protein than an adult male needs every day; so as you can see, it’s quite easy for vegans to get the nutrients they need.