Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The V Word

Hi everyone!  It's time for a lesson.  This lesson is not for the vegans.  This is for the people who think they are vegan even though they aren't.  I am sure I am not the only person who has written a blog post about what a vegan is.  And I am sure I won't be the last.  But here it is: my talk about what it is to be a vegan.

Here's the reason for the lesson on what a vegan is: over the past few years, there have been an increasing number of people who say they are vegan, but then say that they eat eggs or wear leather, etc.  I have even heard of people saying they are vegan part time, but then eat meat on the weekends.  But here's the thing - if you are engaging in any of those activities, you are not a vegan.  In the last case, you aren't even a vegetarian.

Let's break down some things:

Vegetarian: A vegetarian is one who doesn't eat meat.  Yes, that includes chicken, fish, turkey and shellfish.  If it was at one point an animal, vegetarians don't eat it.  If you eat eggs, milk or dairy you are still a vegetarian.

Strict vegetarian (also called plant-based diet): A strict vegetarian, or person who follows a plant based diet, does not eat any meat, eggs, dairy, or other animal ingredients in any way shape or form.  Their diet revolves around fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and other plant based foods.  However, they will still use animal products in their clothes, makeup, hair care products and other aspects of daily life.

Vegan: Simply put, a vegan is one who does not eat any animal products and doesn't wear fur or leather or any other item made out of animals.  They use makeup, hair care products and other items that are free from animal products and that are not tested on animals.  Vegans are ethically opposed to the use of animals in the forms of circuses, zoos and other areas where animals are seen as property instead of sentient beings.  Vegans believe that all non-human animals deserve to be treated with love, respect and dignity.

So, if you are reading this post and wondering what a vegan is, hopefully that clears it up.  If not, talk to me.  Ask me questions.  I want to help people learn everything they can about being vegan, and hopefully educate people enough that they wish to transition to veganism.  Because, really, the more vegans there are in the world, the better.

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