What is the meaning of vegan?

It is not a fad nor is it only about eating plant-based food. The meaning of being vegan is to follow a philosophy of life that excludes all forms of animal exploitation, whether for food, clothing or any other purpose.

This also means that veganism promotes the development of animal-free alternatives that not only benefit the animals themselves, but also humans and the environment.

So, we can say that one of the meanings of being vegan It is being a protector of nature. While at the same time, you get a long list of health benefits.

The vegan philosophy, what does it mean to be vegan?

The Vegan Society, an organization founded by Donald Watson in 1944, established the foundations of veganism from a nutritional and philosophical point of view.

Thus, this movement ended up becoming a way of life whose purpose is to free animals from human exploitation. This means not using them for food, commerce, work, hunting, experiments and a long etcetera.

Another meaning of vegan is being a person with great compassion for all living beings. Those of us who adopt this lifestyle completely dispense with accessories, makeup and even hygiene items that are tested on animals.

Ultimately, what the vegan philosophy proposes is the recognition of all animals as sentient and important beings, who deserve all our love and respect.

Veganism and food

Beyond what you may think, the vegan diet is very varied, delicious and capable of providing all the nutrients that the body needs for a healthy and full life.

Stopping consuming meat and other animal derivatives (eggs, milk, honey...) opens up a range of vegetable options that leads you to discover and explore all types of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, cereals, beans and legumes.

Vegans have enough tools to prepare any type of sweet or savory recipes, without the need to sacrifice and exploit animals in the process.

What is the meaning of being vegan to you? Without a doubt this will depend on you and your preferences, however, I think it encompasses many aspects in addition to good nutrition.

Proteins

The main concern that arises for anyone considering adopting a vegan diet is how to obtain protein.

The truth is that it is quite easy to meet protein requirements with a vegan diet. 

Some of the main sources of vegan protein are: lentils, chickpeas, tofu, peas, peanut butter, soy milk, almonds, spinach, rice, whole wheat bread, potatoes, broccoli, kale, etc.

Other aspects of vegan life

Although food is a very important part of veganism, there are other aspects of vegan life that need to be explored and understood:

Pharmaceutical products

Most medications produced in the world are tested on animals. Likewise, vaccines are made from animal cells and some tablets contain lactose from cow's milk.

However, my recommendation to the entire vegan community is not to avoid the medications prescribed by their doctors.

Let's not take the meaning of being vegan as perfection, no one is perfect. A vegan must take care of his health as best he can and each of us is important in the mission of spreading this philosophy of life, so health must be among our priorities.

What we can do is, to the extent possible, ask our doctors not to prescribe medications that contain animal products, such as gelatin or lactose.

Entertainment

In order not to support animal exploitation in any of its forms, vegans choose not to visit zoos, aquariums or participate in dog or horse races.

There are sanctuaries where animals are given protection and a loving home, very different from what happens in other places where they live in captivity and away from their natural activities.

Why be vegan?

Some people choose a vegan lifestyle for health, environmental or ethical reasons.

There are those who need a drastic change in their diet and find in veganism a way to lose weight and consume better quality nutrients.

Others do not want to be part of the meat industry, which in addition to sacrificing millions of animals, causes damage and alterations to the environment with discriminated breeding.

But there are also those who are capable of recognizing animals as beings with feelings equal to ours.

They are also capable of feeling fear, pain, sadness and joy. When we understand this, it is difficult not to get along with these noble beings and with everything they have to endure for human beings to have a plate of steak or any other type of product of animal origin.

But the reason that leads you to become vegan is not that important.

The vegan meaning goes further. All of us who practice this lifestyle are taking an important step to build a more empathetic and fair society; a world where we all fit.

Conclusion

Being a vegan person means being a protector of animals, the environment and nature.

What usually makes the most noise about this philosophy of life is the way its practitioners eat, but it also refers to having a more respectful treatment of all the species that inhabit our planet.

It is a movement that is gaining more and more strength and whose benefits are becoming more noticeable every day. Our actions today will become the foundation for a more hopeful tomorrow.

If you are interested in learning more about this philosophy, I invite you to visit planetvegan, here you will find articles related to health, recipes and learn more about veganism.

By Leonel Sanantonio