The term “vegan” has a lot of people confused. Read this article and learn what exactly a vegan is.
Vegetarian vs Vegan
“Vegetarian” is a diverse term and it applies to what people can eat. Some vegetarians can eat eggs. Some vegetarians can eat fish. Some vegetarians are only temporary vegetarians, for example, Catholics are not allowed to eat meat during Lent (source). Some vegetarians are so because they need to lower their cholesterol or need to lose weight.
“Veganism” is a strict term and affects what people can eat, but it is actually a belief about life. Vegans believe that animals should not be exploited for benefit, therefore, vegans do not eat, use, or wear any products or materials that were harvested from an animal. In a lot of ways, a vegan’s views are similar to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) views.
What Vegans Can’t Do
Vegans can’t eat meat. Meat is from an animal. Vegans can’t eat eggs, fish, shellfish, dairy products, honey (it’s a product of a bee colony), and anything that comes from an animal. Vegans can’t eat Jello or gummy bears, as animal bones are usually used to produce the gelatin.
Vegans can’t wear animal products. They can’t wear wool, leather, fur, or silk.
Being vegan is tough because there are a lot of guidelines. To help you with your vegan lifestyle, I recommend several websites:
- Vegan.org, a guide to being vegan
- Happycow.net, a directory of local vegan-friendly restaurants
- Oprah’s Vegan Starter Kit (because we all trust Oprah, right?)
- Vegan Kit, a nice-looking website with ideas on what to eat as a vegan
- Allrecipes Vegan Section, a great place to find user-submitted vegan recipes
- Protein Powder for Vegans, excellent resource on protein powder for vegans