Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. Vegans, in addition to being vegetarian, do not use other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products.
People choose to be vegan for health, environmental, and/or ethical reasons. For example, some vegans feel that one promotes the meat industry by consuming eggs and dairy products. That is, once dairy cows or egg-laying chickens are too old to be productive, they are often sold as meat; and since male calves do not produce milk, they usually are raised for veal or other products. Some people avoid these items because of conditions associated with their production.
Many vegans choose this lifestyle to promote a more humane and caring world. They know they are not perfect, but believe they have a responsibility to try to do their best, while not being judgmental of others.
The key to a nutritionally sound vegan diet is variety. A healthy and varied vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
You should be able to get most of the nutrients you need from eating a varied and balanced vegan diet.
A healthy vegan diet contains:
- plenty of fruit and vegetables
- plenty of starchy foods
- some non-dairy sources of protein such as beans and pulses
- some dairy alternatives such as fortified soya drink
- just a small amount of fatty and sugary foods
- John Salley on vegan life, Vegan Vine and converstaions with an 800lb gorilla (pix11.com)
- vegan life choices (veganjames1.wordpress.com)