In the past few years, the term ‘veganism’ has become very popular, and we often get confused between the excessive terms and words used to describe special diets. Is veganism the same as vegetarianism? Why do people choose to go vegan? The concept might seem confusing, but it’s simpler than you’d think.
Before we get down to all the details of veganism, it’s worth mentioning that unlike a gluten-free diet, veganism does have a religious basis, as some Christians (mainly Orthodox Christians) eat an exclusively vegan diet during their fasting days.
A vegan diet is completely independent of animals, where one doesn’t any eat or use any animal products in their daily life. For example, a vegan refrains from eating beef, chicken, or dairy, and they do not use products that have been tested on animals or contain animal-based substances.
Veganism is not just about being healthy; it is also about being merciful to animals and considering them our equals. The confusion between veganism and vegetarianism is common; while vegans live a completely animal-free lifestyle, vegetarians still consume dairy and other animal products.
Veganism first emerged from vegetarianism; the term ‘vegan’ became popular in 1944 when vegetarians decided to take their lifestyle choice one step further by refraining from consuming animal products in any form. Some vegetarians at the time saw this as very extreme and began debating whether or not veganism should exist.
Most vegans mainly survive on vegetables, seeds, nuts, and soy, and they use alternatives to dairy such as coconut, soy, or almond milk. There’s still a misconception that vegans don’t get enough protein, however they do have multiple sources of protein like vegetables, soy milk, or lentils that grant them the average amount of protein a human body needs daily. Vegan athletes like Rich Roll and Jimi Sitko are living proof of that.
In rare cases, some vegans take it too far by feeding their pets vegan food, but this move is highly condemned and regarded as animal abuse as carnivores such as cats and dogs require meat in their diets in order to lead a healthy life.