I tried to include the vegan diet last week under vegetarianism, but there was just too much information. Begin a vegan is more of a lifestyle choice and a philosophy than a diet.
The general interpretation is that a vegan will not consume any foods of animal origin, not even honey, while a vegetarian might consume eggs, or dairy. Another general interpretation is that Veganism is a subdivision of Vegetarianism. However, some people believe that the only true vegetarian is a vegan.
Virtually all vegan societies also add that a vegan does not use products that come from animals, such as leather, wool, down, cosmetics, or products which have been tested on animals.
The three main reasons people adopt veganism:
- Animal Rights – Vegans do not consume or use dairy products or eggs even though doing so would not kill the animal. Part of the reason is a belief in the absolute right of animals to exist freely without human interference. Also, many commercially-raised egg-laying chickens and dairy cows are slaughtered when their productivity declines with age.
- Environment – Livestock farming can have a devastating effect on the planet. Producing food through animal farming is inefficient, because animal feed production takes up a lot of land, fertilizer, water, and other resources – resources that could be used for feeding humans. More people could be fed on existing land if we all became vegans.
- Health – Eating animal fats and proteins has been shown in studies to raise a person’s risk of developing cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, and a number of other illnesses. The fat and protein content of cow’s milk is very different from human milk, leading some experts to suggest that we are not designed for consuming cow’s milk.