Looking for a clear vegan definition and want to learn basic things about veganism? Then you've come to the right place! "What is vegan?" - especially when eating together with the family, at birthday parties or during conversations with friends, this question comes up more often. Is it a form of nutrition, a trend, a movement or an attitude to life? Only a few of us have a clear and unambiguous definition. But most of us know that veganism is about the welfare of animals and that plant-based foods play a special role in the lives of vegans.
In this article, I would now like to explain to you briefly and concisely how and why people live vegan and how veganism is defined. Let's go!
In advance, a brief overview for you:
Simply explained: What is veganism?
"Yes, what is that anyway, this VEGAN?" - I hear my grandma ask somewhat irritated during our last visit home. The history of veganism actually began in her youth, although the movement was still very small at that time and probably no one in our village knew about it. As early as 1944, the Briton Donald Watson founded in Birmingham the Vegan Society. A non-profit organization that significantly coined the term vegan and campaigned against animal suffering in the world.
Personally, I answered my grandmother succinctly that veganism is a Life attitude against Cruelty to animals and any animal exploitation acts. Then, when another interested query came, I briefly mentioned that this takes place mainly for food, clothing, entertainment and also in scientific experiments.
However, there is also an official vegan definition that has been slightly modified over time. It comes from the just mentioned Vegan Society and can be translated as follows:
"Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."Vegan definition of the Vegan Society (1979)
The vegan basic idea pursues above all the pragmatic approach, Minimize suffering. With this definition, you now have a detailed but clear answer ready for all situations. Just shorten it to the essentials if it seems a bit too long for everyday conversations 😉 .
Important: Even though vegans eat purely plant-based foods, veganism is not a diet, but a way of life and a worldwide movement for animal rights. Plant-based meals are, just as the renunciation of zoo visits or the purchase of leather shoes, only one of many means against the exploitation of animals. The Difference between plant-based diet and veganism but I will explain this to you again in a separate article.
Why do people live vegan?
It's not about perfection and becoming Live 100 percent vegan or to prevent 100 percent animal suffering. This is almost impossible, since anyone could accidentally step on an ant. Rather, the vegan definition makes it clear that the systematic exploitation and the suffering caused by this as good as practically possible are to be prevented. Ethical motives drive most vegans. However, many people also (additionally or) choose a vegan lifestyle because they care about the planet and its natural resources, as well as to protect their own health.
Those who live vegan for ethical reasons want first and foremost to Prevent violence and no longer be responsible for the systematic exploitation as well as the suffering of animals.
Also the Respect for other people/future generations is to be mentioned when it comes to the moral motives. For example, the vegan lifestyle contributes significantly to the more effective use of available and agriculturally produced resources and food, so that the World hunger stopped can be.
Tip: Why you can also vegan for people and not only vegan for animals is, I explain you in the linked article again in detail.
The production of animal foods, such as meat, milk, eggs, butter and cheese, are Extremely resource intensive and for this very reason have a noticeably negative impact on their own, ecological footprint down. Why? For example, because the animals have to be fed for years. Large areas of land are needed to keep the animals (pastures) and to produce the animal feed (especially soy pellets) - a fact that is essential for the Deforestation of the rainforests is responsible for this. In addition, animal husbandry for the production of food (e.g. animal feed cultivation and transport, methane emissions from ruminants) is a major contributory factor. Climate change contributes.
Ecologically motivated vegans therefore consider it more sensible to bypass the environmentally destructive detour of consuming animals bred only for our consumption, and to use the grown Plants easy to eat directly.
Veganism is by definition not an end in itself, but a means to help other living beings. However, many vegans are motivated (additionally) by their own health aspects. plant-based diet. Sich balanced vegan diet is in fact very healthy. The purely plant-based diet counteracts, for example, the development of common diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity or type 2 diabetes, as well as the risk of heart attacks.
Notice: One is truly solidly vegan when ethical motives against the injustice of animal exploitation are the driving force, as this is, simply put, the definition of veganism. Who stops being vegan, was never actually vegan, but rather ate a purely plant-based diet for health or environmental reasons.
What do vegans (not) consume?
Now you know the motives, but what does it look like in practice? What do vegans eat and buy and what things do they do without? In principle, all non-animal consumer products may be eaten or consumed.
In general, all things are renounced that are of animal origin or have animal ingredients. It is therefore easier to simply list the products that are not compatible with the vegan lifestyle, apart from the vegan definition.
To be dispensed with or replaced:
- Meat (also from fish and other seafood)
- Milk and dairy products (e.g. yogurt and butter based on cow's milk)
- All food and consumer products with animal ingredients and additives
- Clothing with genuine leather, fur or other material of animal origin
- Consumer goods for which Animal testing have been made (e.g. some cosmetics)
- Circus visits with animals (Recommendation: Is a circus with animals contemporary?)
- Zoo visits (Recommendation: Are zoos still up to date?)
- Riding horses...
As I said: basically vegans do without all things of animal origin or otherwise involved in the exploitation of animals by humans. Personally, however, I would not call it a renunciation, since one simply replaces the respective things from the list with animal suffering-free alternatives. For example, by vegan leather from cacti, oat milk, vegan honey from dandelion or vegetable meat based on peas.
What is veganism? The movement against the exploitation of all animals
So being vegan, simply explained, means the Avoid the use of animals or animal products in all aspects of life. The bottom line is that as a vegan you simply stop taking things that actually belong to other living beings.
It is not a short-lived trend or one of dozens of different diets. Veganism is a worldwide movement for the rights and protection of animals. Fortunately, the implementation is also (now) extremely uncomplicated and has very little to do with renunciation, but rather with the change of their own and animal suffering habits and behaviors.
What will you answer the next time someone asks you what veganism is? I really hope that this article and the vegan definition will help you with your answer. And if you can't think of anything off the top of your head, just send your counterpart this article 😉.
Do you have any questions, tips or suggestions about the definition of the vegan lifestyle? Then I look forward to your comment.
Stay pet friendly,
PS.: There are really incredibly many Prejudices against vegans. Be sure to look at how they are invalidated. Finally, a clear vegan definition helps to discard them and find your own approach to the motives of the movement. After all, most of us would probably say that animals, the environment and our own health are important to him.