What is "Veganism?"
The Vegan Society defines veganism as:
"a 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."
What does this mean? This means that vegans do not consume meat, dairy, eggs, or other products that come from animals; they do not wear fur, leather, wool, or other animal-derived textiles; and they do not use products that are tested on animals.
Why Go Vegan?
There are many reasons why 2.5 million people have adopted a vegan lifestyle. The three major reasons are: For the animals, for the environment, and for personal health. Read more below to learn some quick facts about how veganism helps these three areas.
VEGAN FOR THE ANIMALS
- 99% of the meat consumed in America comes from CAFOs, or factory farms. In these factory farms, there is intense confinement, abuse, and untimely deaths, as well as disease and filth.
- Every day you live a vegan lifestyle, you save one animal's life.
VEGAN FOR THE EARTH
- There is enough food in the world to feed every starving person, however, millions of pounds of grain and millions of gallons of water go to producing livestock for a small amount of food.
VEGAN FOR HEALTH
- A plant-based diet has been proven healthy, and lowers/eliminates the risk of many common illnesses including heart disease and high cholesterol.
- Products like cow's milk have been marketed as essential to the human diet. However, it has been proven that milk does not contribute to the production of healthy bones, and rather causes high cholesterol and reproductive cancers.
How to go vegan
It's easy to find a way to replace your animal-based products with plant-based ones
Check out our recipes here!
Dairy and Eggs
- Vegan cheese has come a long way! Check out the many different brands, with many of your favorite dairy based cheeses recreated using plant products. Mozzarella, cheddar, provolone, pepper jack, and many more are widely available for your sandwiches and pizza! You can also create creamy cheesy sauces using cashew milk in your home for delicious alfredos and mac and cheese.
- Switch your cow's or goat's milk to any of the healthier, ethical plant-based milks readily available! There are so many to choose from including: soy, rice, almond, cashew, coconut, hemp, and many more!
- There are also alternatives to your other dairy products including butter, coffee creamers, ice creams, and even festive items like egg nog!
- Eggs can be replaced with a number of alternatives! Depending on what recipe you are recreating, you can use flax seeds (a very healthy bonus!), bananas, and apple sauce for baking; tofu for dishes like breakfast scrambles and quiches; aquafaba is used as an alternative to egg whites; and even products like Follow Your Heart's Vegan Egg which is a very realistic replacement for scrambled eggs or an egg binder!
- You may be afraid of tofu - maybe after a bad experience with a it or maybe you're just freaked out by it - but fear not! There are many different ways to prepare tofu so there's no way you won't find one you love! Tofu is a wonderful meat replacer in many dishes and some meals, especially ones with Asian influence, are meant to be made with tofu. Try pan frying or baking cubes of extra firm tofu with a seasoning of your choice for a tasty addition to meals that usually use meat!
- Tempeh is another great meat replacer, especially delicious oven fried or barbecued. Just slice and cook!
- Seitan is a soy-free alternative and is very versatile. From sandwich meats to briskets to stews, its meaty texture makes it a great staple, and its very high in protein.
- Check out products that are specifically made as replacements for your favorite dishes. Many meat-alternative brands have items that mimic ground beef or chicken strips, and some already come in meal form like sweet and sour pork or chicken fingers! Gardein's Crispy Tenders are a classic!
- Make sure your products don't have goat's milk, beeswax, or honey in them. These are common in some beauty products because they are seen as natural and therefore healthy, but what can be healthier than using plants!
- Take a quick look at beauty items in the store, including shampoos, cleansers, makeups, and more, for these symbols:
- Avoid purchasing leather and suede products. Another culprit is softer textiles like wool or cashmere. Check out our "learn" pages on goats and sheep for more information on the farming of these lesser thought-about products.