One of the most asked questions about veganism is unsurprisingly, “What is vegan.” The vegan movement is on a steep upward trend, and it is gaining curiosity throughout all parts of the world. What do vegans eat? What is the lifestyle like? What does it actually mean to be vegan?
Simply put, a vegan causes no unnecessary harm.
The vegan spectrum above (borrowed from Animal Allies) is a handy tool for taking steps towards veganism. Start small. It is about doing the least amount of harm possible, and doing too much, too soon can easily make you feel defeated. Cannonballing over from meat eater to vegan is not for everyone. It is normal for the process to take weeks, months, or even years. Every individual has different cravings, lifestyle demands, and values.
So what does the vegan lifestyle look like in a nutshell
1. Vegans do not EAT any animal products
Meat, dairy, eggs, seafood.
An easy rule of thumb to remember is if an animal was used in any way to produce it, don’t eat it.
The good news: vegans still eat a lot of good food! Trust me. I am a very well-rounded vegan (literally). Imagine any food you love now, and you can eat a vegan alternative. Hamburgers, meatloaf, mac & cheese, pizza, corndogs, breakfast casseroles, tacos, burritos, and anything else you can dream up. It’s easy to get the stigma in your head that all vegans only eat salads, but here are the top 5 vegan food myths that will help to put those claims to rest.
Your food is no longer produced in the happy red barn, chickens pecking in the grass, happy cows in the pasture image that we are raised with. Instead, it looks much more like this:
2. Vegans do not USE any animal products
Leather, wool, feathers, fur.
Again, keep in your mind, “Did this come from an animal?” If the answer is yes, it’s not vegan. Not to sound like a broken record, but there are alternatives.
3. Vegans do not SUPPORT any act that exploits animals
The Circus, zoos, animal racing, carriage riding, pet breeding.
Animals want to be free. They do not exist for our entertainment, and no matter how well it appears that they are being cared for, they are being exploited. The vegan lifestyle supports allowing animals to live in their natural environments.
How much of a difference can you make? Find out here!