Veganism means embracing a new lifestyle in support and respect of all other sentient life on the planet. It is much more than a diet and is instead a lifestyle that embraces other lifeforms by focusing on a plant-based diet.
Similar diets like vegetarianism, the Paleo diet, and cruelty-free eating habits may not be solely plant-based, but they respect animal lifeforms.
A global drive to relieve livestock and other living creatures’ pain and suffering is growing in strength and popularity.
You can choose a life of awareness by simply altering your consumption behaviors and beliefs and become a vegan or follow one of the other diets that support sustainable living.
What Does It Mean To Be Vegan?
Being a vegan refers to avoiding anything that contains animal products. Veganism is a holistic philosophy that incorporates a lifestyle where people avoid everything that exploits animals in any manner.
Vegans eliminate animals and their products. They exclude clothing made from animals and abhor any entertainment that involves the exploitation of animals.
Likewise, vegans will not use makeup or skin products that include any ingredients derived from animals.
The vegan philosophy is more than just a diet. It seeks to promote the environment’s health by protecting animals’ lives.
Vegans avoid all cruelty to animals to the extent that they will not deprive animals, insects, birds, or sea creatures of their existence on earth or use their byproducts for gain.
Due to this philosophy, those who embrace the vegan lifestyle do not eat honey because it deprives bees of their labor rewards. Similarly, vegans will not eat eggs or cheese or drink milk as these are byproducts of animals.
Veganism goes further in pursuit of protecting animals from human use by supporting a stop to animal cruelty.
Animal cruelty occurs in many ways, including laboratory testing of animals for food, medicine, makeup, clothing, and mass farming, where people frequently subject animals to brutality.
Likewise, animals’ processing for food and other purposes is absent from the vegan way of life because of similar cruelty inflicted on animals.
Building on a solid policy of protecting all sentient non-human life forms, vegans advocate for the use of alternatives to animal products throughout society.
Options for animal products and byproducts encompass food, clothing, and other products for human needs that derive from plant-based materials.
One of the driving principles underscoring veganism is protecting the planet. An end to hunting and other use and abuse of animals is foreseen as the solution to achieve this goal.
These have been the objectives of the Vegan Society since its inception in 1944. Despite minor changes, the Vegan Society has endured for close to 80 years, which means it continues to make a positive contribution to life on earth.
If you wish to be part of an overriding goal to improve your health, save animals and protect the planet–then veganism may be your answer.
If you want to improve the world around you, consider making a positive change, and embrace a healthy, compassionate lifestyle.
Making the change to being a vegan requires leaving outdated beliefs and practices in the past, but the rewards justify the efforts you invest in yourself and the greater good.
You become healthier; animals get to live their own lives in peace without fear of being hunted and brutally treated.
You help reduce inhumane practices while limiting pollution and become authentic caretakers of the earth for future generations, reflecting the innate goodness of people, which is our natural state of being.
Veganism And Food
The simplest way to understand the vegan diet and philosophy is to understand the difference between a plant-based lifestyle and animal products.
Vegans eat and live a plant-based life that addresses:
- Eating vegetables, grains, and fruits.
- Nuts, seeds, edamame, tofu, soybean, tempeh, and byproducts.
- Raw vegans will eat only fresh or natural foods with minimal cooking or heating.
- Whole-food vegans focus on consuming whole foods rather than those that have been separated, believing that the whole food source is more nutritionally valuable than its parts. A critical element of this stance is to avoid heavily processed foods such as white sugar, for example.
- Some people switch to veganism for health reasons, while others make a complete lifestyle change to promote a healthy environment and protect sentient animal life. This lifestyle change includes not harming fish, insects, or birds to live in line with their belief systems.
- Ethical vegans are also concerned about what materials go into making their clothes, together with the origins of the skincare and household product ingredients they purchase. They avoid fashion and beauty products made from animal or insect products or byproducts to safeguard the earth and its sustainability for other life forms.
- Vegans avoid any products involving animal testing, including medicines, leather, or fur products and those containing byproducts such as honey.
- Home furnishings that consist of any animal products are also unacceptable, as are household cleaning and personal hygiene products.
- Vegans avoid any entertainment forms involving animals.
- Many vegans support a change in diet and lifestyle to slow the negative aspects of climate change.
Like many other eating philosophies and diets, Vegans vary in how far they are prepared to go to live their beliefs.
As noted above, some vegans will only eat whole foods while others will avoid exploiting all animals as far as possible, including clothing and more.
Because of the vegan belief system, they avoid all animals and byproducts such as:
- Dairy products
- Animal food stock as additives
- Products containing gelatin and fat
- All products that use or abuse sentient life to manufacture products that most people don’t consider, such as moisturizers, soap, makeup, clothing, furniture, cleaning products, shoes, and more.
Obviously, with massive deforestation to make way for crops, companies destroy many sentient creatures’ natural habitat. Likewise, the pollution of oceans and other waterways affects conscious life.
Vegans can only do so much to protect the environment, so they may eat seaweed from the ocean or crops that replace forests, for example, despite the harm inflicted on the living space of sentient creatures.
However, the most devout vegans will also research to check that their consumption practices don’t contribute to unsustainable practices.
While vegans follow a comprehensive lifestyle philosophy, they also follow practical guidelines in the modern world. It is nearly impossible to live a life that is entirely free of animal products.
Still, they are determined to do everything in their ability to meet this standard for humane, health, and ethical reasons.
Vegans have peace of mind knowing that their makeup is devoid of all animal products. Purchasing from companies that avoid animal ingredients in their products means less laboratory testing on animals.
Fewer laboratory tests equate to fewer animals being the subject of abject cruelty.
Vegans and everyone else can use the following makeup brands, knowing that they don’t contain animal products or byproducts.
These brands use plant-based ingredients that are just as beneficial for your skin as any other brand, and they don’t harm animals to bring these products to market.
Compassion should be a key component of beauty, demonstrated by the labels on these cruelty-free brands.
- Too Faced
- Urban Decay
- wet n wild
- Kat Von D Beauty
- Milk Makeup
- E.L.F. Cosmetics
- Hourglass Cosmetics (in the process of becoming completely vegan, but not there yet).
- Lime Crime
- Bite Beauty
- Herbivore Botanicals
There are many more cruelty-free brands for vegans to purchase, including skin and hair care products.
If you are considering veganism or aren’t yet at the point of changing your diet, you can still support cruelty-free makeup and beauty products while considering your options.
No one will suffer if they choose cosmetics without animal products. No consumers will age better if they use makeup and other beauty products containing plant ingredients.
Support companies that share your values and beliefs and enjoy the benefits of a world where cruelty to animals is decreasing because of your ethical choices.
As demand for ethical, sustainable products increases, the fashion industry is also tightening its regulations.
Glues used to manufacture clothing and accessories must be transparent about whether they contain animal products as must dyes used in clothing.
It doesn’t help that a clothing brand advocates their development as vegan if the small underlying details include any animal or insect products.
Likewise, no one can truly claim to be vegan if their clothes don’t come from a sustainable source. It doesn’t help animals if they lose their forest homes to plant cotton crops.
So, vegans must examine products and labels closely to determine how ethical some brands are.
Issues that vegans can look at when it comes to fashion include:
- Whether glues in products like shoes, purses, and other accessories contain animal byproducts.
- If dyes derive from plants or insects.
- If the product has a Fairtrade accreditation and sweatshops aren’t part of making the apparel. Note that a Fairtrade label does not translate into the product being vegan either but is an additional ethical consideration. Vegans may need to make a practical trade-off as the fashion industry catches up with consumer demand.
- The PETA-Approved Vegan label helps vegans and other consumers identify a range of fashion and other products quickly to check if these are free of animal products and byproducts.
Vegans and non-vegans can explore their fashion options from any of the following brands:
- Veganized World
- The Dharma Store
- Moo Shoes
- Plant Faced Clothing
- Compassion Over Killing Market
- The Herbivore Clothing Company
- Compassion Co.
- The Hippie Cow
- Grape Cat Vegan Clothing and Accessories
- Vegano Power
Continue exploring vegan fashion options online to support your ethical philosophy of a better world that is absent of animal exploitation.
Choose to be humane by refusing to be a part of the population that purchases products from companies that engage in inhumane agricultural pursuits and depriving animals of the opportunity to live in peace.
Veganism And Environmentalism
Farm animals take up massive resources that contribute to global warming. Farming methods also subject animals to cruelty during raising and transporting them for human consumption.
Animal farming also uses vast tracts of land, prompting companies to clear massive forests and landmasses to sustain these animals.
Entire ecosystems and natural wildlife habitats are destroyed in the process. Similarly, extensive pollution of land and the oceans occurs while depleting the natural resources that these areas contain.
Farmers and commercial enterprises dedicate a shocking 80% of U.S. agricultural land to raising farm animals, including crops, to feed them.
These animals consume gallons of water and emit extensive carbon dioxide into the air during their lifetimes.
Nitrous oxide and methane also contribute to global warming, which impacts water supplies and food worldwide, partly because of consumption and partly due to pollution.
To provide a greater perspective, the cost of producing 2 lbs. of beef creates extensive air pollution.
Bringing 2 lbs. of beef to your plate takes more energy and emits more pollution than a vehicle or powering house lights for three hours.
The best way to scale down on greenhouse gases is to change to a plant-based diet.
Veganism involves far less pollution of the air, earth than the constant production of animal proteins on land or oceans. Protecting the environment goes far beyond avoiding animal products and cruelty for vegans.
Veganism is a holistic philosophy that seeks to protect the environment for future generations, which means switching to plant-based products.
Animal farming is destroying the planet, which PETA does not support, and neither does the United Nations and many scientific studies.
You can decide to be a part of the global drive to protect animals and the planet by changing your eating habits.
Veganism Compared To Other Lifestyles.
Veganism is compared to three other dietary options, including vegetarianism, the Paleo diet, and a cruelty-free diet.
While not all these strictly exclude animals and animal products, they are considered more beneficial than eating primarily animal products.
#1 The vegetarian diet
Vegetarian diets tend to consist of more flexibility than a purely vegan diet. People who follow this type of diet categorize their eating habits under:
Lacto Ovo vegetarianism means that people eat eggs and dairy products but avoid all meat, fish, and poultry. Lacto vegetarians consume animal byproducts like milk and cheese but don’t eat eggs or animal proteins.
In contrast, ovo vegetarians will consume eggs but avoid dairy products.
Veganism is also a form of vegetarianism that excludes all animal-based products.
Vegan and vegetarian diet derivatives include the pescatarian diet, which consists of all plant-based food but includes fish, eggs, and dairy.
Similarly, the flexitarian diet focuses primarily on plant-based foods, but people who follow this diet will intermittently have animal proteins such as meats, fish, dairy, and eggs.
Just as vegans are typically healthier than their meat-eating counterparts, so are vegetarians. Taking fat-concentrated meats and dairy products out of the diet and selecting fiber-rich diets is one of the best ways to support health.
As soon as you eliminate processed foods and those with high-sugar contents, preservatives, and chemicals, you give your body the chance to heal.
Following healthy, wholesome eating practices reduces or eliminates inflammation.
Eating ‘live’ plants provides you with a rich source of nutrients. Store-bought supplements cannot fully replace the nutritional value of fresh foods, no matter how good they may be.
Adding fiber to your diet is also highly beneficial because it eases digestion and frees up significant energy that you can better use elsewhere to live a quality life.
Fiber cleans the colon and intestines. A clean, optimally operating digestive system prevents unwanted toxins and free radicals from entering the bloodstream for distribution throughout the body, where they cause havoc.
#2 The Paleo diet
The Paleo diet is a practice that includes eating the same or similar foods as those eaten by people in the Paleolithic era from 10,000 to 2.5 million years ago.
Any available foods then are consumed on this diet and include lean meat, fish, and plants. In other words, whatever food that people could hunt and kill or gather in the past forms part of the Paleo diet today.
Similarly, once people learned to farm approximately 10,000 years ago and starting growing crops of nuts, grains, legumes, and farming with animals to produce dairy and eggs is included in Paleo meals.
The Paleo diet is as clean as possible as followers avoid preservatives, chemical additives, and sugar to eat as much organic food as is practically possible.
Sticking to healthier eating habits reduces the body’s stress from harmful processed foods and those subjected to chemical sprays.
People who practice the Paleo diet’s eating habits also avoid GMO or genetically modified organisms as these as nutritionally defective for human consumption.
The Paleo diet’s logic is that modern farming and processed foods are harmful to people. These foods are nutritionally deficient and cause undesirable reactions in the human body over the long or short-term, resulting in disease.
Disease results from consuming unhealthy foods because the human body cannot manage foreign substances. Therefore, sticking to a natural diet supports health, which is what the Paleo diet advocates.
Anyone who believes in the Paleo diet will therefore source natural foods such as fresh fish, venison, grass-fed livestock instead of grain-fed cattle, pigs, sheep, chicken, and turkey.
Similarly, nuts, vegetables, and fruits form part of the Paleo diet and oils obtained from nuts.
People on this diet will go out of their way to avoid refined, processed sugar and byproducts, salt, grains, legumes, potatoes, and dairy products.
None or a few of these food sources match a prehistoric diet and cause disease in people.
#3 The cruelty-free diet
A cruelty-free diet means not eating any animals that have been subjected to oppression during their lifetimes.
Questionable farm methods such as force-feeding animals, ripping babies away from their mothers, forcing breeding, and living in confined spaces are avoided altogether.
People who support a cruelty-free diet do not eat oppressed animals or murdered animals because they are of the wrong gender, size or don’t fit some other commercially profitable standards.
Part of the cruelty-free diet also includes a philosophy of protecting animals against exploitation in any manner. Like the vegan philosophy, this one also does not support using animals for work or entertainment.
The cruelty-free philosophy also encompasses many principles like those of vegans and supports clothing, makeup, and environmental care that don’t include animals’ harming.
You can choose not to support animal and sea life theme parks, zoos, rodeos, and similar entertainment venues.
You can also avoid purchasing personal hygiene and beauty products that include animal ingredients. Likewise, you can stop wearing clothing that comes from animals.
Consumer demands can be robust, and if you avoid eating mass-produced animals, you take a stand against cruelty.
If enough people follow this philosophy, eventually, you will force a stop to brutal commercial farming methods and livestock’s inhumane transportation.
The cruelty-free movement’s objective is to eliminate all human consumption of animals that have been inhumanely treated.
Consumers have a lot of power to create a better world for all sentient lives by making different choices that improve their lives.
If none of these diets appeal to you, at least live your life without causing harm. If this means eating animals, ensure that their farming methods are sustainable with minimum destruction to the environment.
You can still enjoy many health benefits by altering your diet to minimize animal proteins and increase dietary fiber if going completely animal-free is not a viable solution.
Becoming a vegan is a choice. When you decide to change your consumer behavior, you choose health and energy over modern processed foods.
You also elect to end the suffering of animals, fish, and birds in many ways.
Additionally, you make a conscious choice to extend the planet’s healthy life by reducing wanton pollution of the land through deforestation and grain crops to feed livestock.
You take a stand to reduce water usage and pollution and directly and indirectly contribute to the overall reduction of ocean pollution. Take a stand for yourself, our planet, for all sentient life and future generations.