What is a Vegan?

Vegans, much like vegetarians, do not eat the flesh of animals. However, Vegans go beyond merely avoiding eating animals by also steering clear of their byproducts such as dairy milk, eggs, and dairy-cheeses. Vegans also don't consume honey, whey, lard, or gelatin or use things like goose down, leather, or wool. Also considered off-limits are cosmetics and other products in the marketplace that are tested on animals.

The word Vegan dates back to 1944 when Donald Watson, founder of the Vegan Society, coined the word Vegan in the first issue of The Vegan News by taking the first and last letters of the word vegetarian to create his orthodox version of vegetarianism.

Anticipating the possibility of reluctance in his newfound vegan lifestyle, Watson made this statement:

    “A common criticism is that the time is not yet ripe for our reform. Can time ever be ripe for any reform unless it is ripened by human determination? Did Wilberforce wait for the ‘ripening’ of time before he commenced his fight against slavery? Did Edwin Chadwick, Lord Shaftesbury, and Charles Kingsley wait for such a non-existent moment before trying to convince the great dead weight of public opinion that clean water and bathrooms would be an improvement?”

There are several reasons for choosing a vegan lifestyle:

  • Vegans don't contribute to the mistreatment and slaughter of animals.
  • Vegans generally enjoy better health through a cleaner, plant-based, whole foods diet.
  • As a vegan your environmental footprint is greatly reduced.

To learn the many benefits of living a vegan lifestyle, check out any of the books below as well as our page; Why Go Vegan?