What does vegan mean?
In short, a vegan is someone who does not eat or use animal products. The difference with vegetarians is that vegans do not only not eat meat but neither do they eat any animal products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, etc.
The Vegan Society defines veganism as “a way of life that aims to refrain, as far as possible and practicable, from all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals for food, clothing or other purposes, and that in a broader sense promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, people and the environment”. In terms of diet, it refers to the practice of abstaining from all products derived in whole or in part from animals. There are many ways to adopt a vegan lifestyle. But one thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet that avoids all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy products, eggs and honey – as well as avoiding animal-derived materials, products tested on animals and places where animals are used for entertainment purposes”.
Veganism is already very old, some tribes have always lived without animal products. People then started to define themselves as ‘vegan’ in the 1940s. And it’s not as complicated as it may seem at first: many dishes are already vegan or can be easily adapted by replacing a few ingredients.
And if you are wondering what vegans eat at all, here are some examples: all kinds of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and products made from these foods. This means that there is no shortage of pizza, pasta, cakes, sweets, etc. The important thing is that veganism is not a renunciation for most people who follow this path, but clearly a gain!
Why actually vegan?
There are an incredible number of reasons why we think the vegan lifestyle is important and right.
Every living being has the right to a life free from harm, pain, suffering and murder. We continuously breed about 10 times as many “farm animals” as there are humans on this planet. Only to kill and eat them thereafter, although there are actually super alternatives. Any certification of animal welfare labels etc. is a farce and a marketing trick. 98% of the meat consumed comes from factory farming! And even what the butcher around the corner sells usually comes exactly from there!
We are in a big mess and climate change is becoming more and more noticeable. We need to change things as quickly as possible if our earth is to remain habitable for humans. The simplest and one of the most effective ways to do this is to go vegan. Meat and animal products require an incredible amount of resources.
Most of the plastic waste in the ocean also comes from fishing! And 60% of global biodiversity is lost due to meat-based diets….
The environmental catastrophe is a crisis of social justice. People in the global south, for example, suffer much more from climate change, which is caused to a considerable extent by the consumption of animal products. In addition, we could provide 10 billion people with food if we did not allow the detour of grain via animals – thus no human being on this earth would have to starve any more. An incredible amount of drinking water could also be saved.
And most people have become aware of the working conditions in the industry in the past few months. We exploit people for animal products!
Numerous studies prove how unhealthy meat consumption and the consumption of animal products is. Of course, vegan does not automatically mean healthy, because you can also eat only chips and crisps. A balanced vegan diet, on the other hand, seems to be one of the healthiest diets for humans. And the danger of pandemics through zoonoses is also minimised.