Veganism is an increasingly popular lifestyle choice, but what does being a vegan actually mean?
MORE THAN 500,000 people in the UK have a plant-based diet, according to the Vegan Society.
An increasing number of celebrities are promoting the vegan lifestyle, so we explain the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian…
What is a vegan?
Veganism is currently defined as “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose”.
The movement was born in 1944 when a small group broke away from the Leicester Vegetarian Society to form the Vegan Society.
The term ‘vegan’ comes from the first and last letters of the word vegetarian.
What is the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan?
Vegetarians do not eat any animal flesh – this includes cow, pig, chicken and fish.
Vegans go further by not eating anything derived from an animal, including eggs, milk and butter. Honey, meanwhile, is rather divisive in the vegan community.
Aside from food, vegans do not wear or use clothes, shoes or furnishings made with the skins, hair or feathers of animals, such as fur, leather, wool, feathers and silk.
What do vegans eat?
A vegan’s diet consists solely of beans, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables.
However, there are many substitutes which can be used in place of animal-based ingredients.
For example, cow’s milk can be replaced with soy milk, and vegan margarine is a great alternative to butter.
Earlier this year, we revealed that mushroom leather and jellyfish dashboards could be the vegan future of cars and the story of the vegetarian shopper who bought Jambalaya paste at Sainsbury’s labelled ‘suitable for vegetarians’ – made from boiled chicken.
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