When I first started my vegan journey four years ago, I understood veganism as nothing more than a diet. Since I was familiar and comfortable with the idea of being vegetarian, understanding veganism wasn’t very difficult for me. Unlike a vegetarian diet, a vegan diet means abstaining from all foods sourced from animals. That includes dairy, eggs, fish, and yes, even honey!
Not just a Diet
However, over time, I realized that being vegan is not just about following a diet but is also about nurturing a lifestyle that is sustainable, cruelty-free, and one that aligns with the core principle of living ethically on this beautiful planet that we call home. It also means consciously using everyday products such as cosmetics, toiletries, household cleaning supplies, laundry detergents, clothing, shoes, and accessories that are neither tested on animals or contain animal-derived ingredients.
Is this Doable?
Allthough this may seem like a tough choice and a difficult transition at first, the idea is not to get overwhelmed and understand this is a journey for the rest of your life. There is a lot of learning, trials and errors, highs, and lows in discovering an ethical lifestyle that would be suitable for you.
According to the Vegan Society, there are more than 30,000 products that have are vegan, cruelty-free, sustainably sourced, and registered with the Vegan Trademark. Long story short, living a cruelty-free lifestyle has never been easier and will only keep getting better from here.
So what do Vegans Eat?
One of the common questions a vegan answers to is, “What do vegans eat?”
Well, for starters, vegans eat everything that is not meat or animal-based, which means rice, bread, lentils, fruits, vegetables, tofu, plant-based milk, cheese, butter, dry fruits, condiments, and the list is endless.
In other words, it is also an opportunity to be grateful to mother nature for the abundant natural resources it provides for our sustainability. 🙂
Is this a Trend?
Many of us do think that being vegan is a trend.
There are also common beliefs that it all stemmed from either animal rights activists, a modified vegetarian diet, or many even a consider it as a “new-generation” hype. While this is not entirely untrue, the fact is that veganism gained momentum around 2000 years ago. As early as 500 BCE, Greek mathematician, Pythagoras, expressed his viewpoint on the aspect of kindness towards all species. It was also around the same time that Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, emphasized the need to adopt a conscious and compassionate lifestyle.
Fast-forward to the modern-day world, in late 1944, Donald Watson, an English animal rights advocate, formed the Vegan Society along with six other pioneer members. He also coined the word “Vegan” to differentiate it from the vegetarian diet that included dairy and eggs.
Being a little curious myself, I also wanted to find out about the earliest vegan known to us and I was amazed to know that he was the Arab poet al-Maʿarri (c. 973 – c. 1057). Isn’t that incredible that the concept of veganism is so historic and well-rooted?
If you’d like to dig a little more about Veganism, please check out the list of resources below, which I found incredibly helpful when I decided to become a vegan.
- The Vegan Society
- Colleen Patrick Goudreau
- Philip Wollen : Animals Should Be Off The Menu debate
- Live Kindly
- Vegan Outreach
- People For Ethical Treatment of Animals
- Jane Goodall on Diet and the Environment
Photo by Daniel Öberg on Unsplash
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