What is a Vegan?

As veganism begins to gain more and more popularity, a growing number of people are wondering what this diet consists of, and what vegans can actually eat. Most of us have a general idea of what a vegan is.

This is because many famous and influential people have begun promoting this type of diet and lifestyle. Still, you might not know the specifics of this lifestyle and what it entails. So, we will go over exactly what veganism is and what vegans can eat here.

How Are Vegans Defined and What Are Their Origins?

Vegans were originally vegetarians. However, in the mid-1900s, a subset of vegetarians left a prominent vegetarian society in England. This small group of individuals would go on to form a vegan society of their own. They would become the basis for modern veganism.

Originally, vegans defined their diet as staying away from dairy, eggs, and other types of animal products. Any type of animal meat was banned from their diet as well. Over time though, the ideas and norms of veganism have changed and grown into a movement, especially in the past few decades. 

Vegans get their name from the word vegetarian, but vegans live a lifestyle that is often at odds with vegetarianism. Unlike vegetarians, in modern times, vegans can be described as people who will not eat or use any type of animal product.

Especially if it causes harm to animals, vegans will not buy or consume a product. In other words, being vegan is about more than your diet. It involves an all-encompassing lifestyle change.

What Foods Can Vegans Eat?

Vegans cannot eat meat, this includes both fish and poultry. In addition, vegans will not consume dairy or other types of animal products. This even excludes things like honey and foods that have some animal origins like jello.

In short, Vegans will eat foods that are entirely plant-based. Things like tofu, beans, nuts, seeds, lentils, seitan, and other plant products.

This can seem like a limited list of food. But, many popular food items like honey, eggs, and even milk can be replaced with plant-based substitutes. Even meats have alternative plant-based options that taste good and boost your health.

In addition, many of these foods are fortified and filled with vitamins and nutrients this way vegans can meet their daily nutritional needs.

Why Do People Become Vegans?

There is a range of reasons why people choose to go vegan. Of course, for some individuals, this will have to do with their health. Eating less meat and dairy products can lead to a better quality of life and health. And, cutting back on animal products entirely might be necessary for some people with major health issues like diabetes and heart conditions.

Still, becoming a vegan is not limited to health reasons. In fact, many people choose to become vegan for ethical reasons. People realize just how cruel the dairy and meat industry is towards animals.

Cosmetic companies and other fashion brands also practice animal cruelty. So, for this reason, many people decide to become vegans. This way they can fight against animal abuse and cruelty. 

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