With our Vegan Cuisine Week off to a great start, we wanted to delve into the controversial subject that is what it means to be a vegan in today’s world. It’s one of those things that people either love, hate, or love to hate, but you can’t deny that it has made a global impact on the lifestyle and diet choices of many people globally. And that’s exactly what makes the idea of veganism such a fascinating one, and why we wanted to delve into it a little further.
The term ‘vegan’ refers to anything that is free from animal-related products, and is the practice of minimizing harm to all animals, or any creature that has had a mother. That means no wool, leather, milk, eggs, meat, etc. Examples of everyday products that could be vegan? Your carseats (provided they aren’t made of leather!), shampoo, and even your sandwich. Essentially, so long as an animal has not in any way been involved with the produce of food you are eating or wearing, then you can embrace a vegan lifestyle.
Compassion is undoubtedly the driving force behind the vegan movement, as well as the idea that all creatures have the right to life and freedom. Not only this, but opposing the fact of ending a conscious being’s life simply to consume its flesh, drink its milk or wear its skin, especially when alternative options are available.
There are a number of advantages to this lifestyle. Firstly, veganism means that you can avoid the mistreatment of animals and needless slaughter. Secondly, you are eliminating potential health risks that meat products can carry. And lastly, it means you can also reduce your environmental footprint by being that bit kinder to Mother Nature. It is a peaceful and caring commitment to a lifestyle that is focused on finding alternative ways of living and eating without putting animals in harm’s way.
The question many people wonder is if they can become a vegan in diet choice alone. While this can lead into murky territory where some vegans believe that having a vegan lifestyle means that one needs to reject any and all animal-made products, this is not necessarily the case. If you choose to embrace a vegan lifestyle, it is far more about trying to find ways to remove animal-made products from your lifestyle as much as possible, but it is quite over the top if you are expected to throw out a pair of snow boots or possum gloves that you’ve owned for years on end. Choosing to take on a vegan lifestyle is something that is up to you as an individual, and this also extends to how far you want to take that.
As far or little as you want! It is entirely a personal choice, and the decision is up to you. The great thing to remember is that being vegan does not mean that your diet becomes limited. You’ll be surprised to see what kinds of wonderful flavours and foods you can create using using fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, beans, and so on. For a full list of vegan recipes, follow the link here to discover our delicious recipe selection.
But it’s not just about the diet! As we discussed earlier, the whole point of veganism is to try and reduce your intake and use of any products or foods that have been in contact (or made from) an animal. Ever been worried about cosmetics and medications that say they’ve been tested on animals? That’s a territory that veganism also extends into. In the UK at present, all medicine must be tested on animals first before it is safe for human use (and we most certainly do not recommend you don’t take medicine prescribed for you by your doctor if this is the case!) but if it is possible, try to avoid medication that does not contain animal products such as gelatin and lactose.
For some vegans, choosing not to visit zoos, aquariums, circuses, dog or horse races is another way they choose to express themselves. This can even extend over into clothing choices, such as choosing to buy cotton or acrylic sweaters instead of woolen ones, or a cotton blouse over a silk blouse, and canvas or fake leather sneakers over real leather sneakers. The bottom line is, however you show your opposition to the misuse of animals and animal products, you are doing it for a good cause!
What do you think of veganism? We’d love to hear your thoughts on our Facebook page, and also if you’ve tried out any of our vegan recipes!