Vegan, a word that has been around a long time, but hasn’t been main stream until recently. Lately you’ve been hearing the word vegan a lot, especially from the younger generations. What exactly is vegan, why is it so popular and is it even healthy?

The word vegan came about from the vegan society in 1944. It was pretty unusual then and is just now starting to gain more respect and popularity. Vegan people do not eat meat or dairy. They do not use products that have animal in them or products that are tested on animals. They also do not eat honey as they consider that a product from animals as well, and they also do not even eat sea food. Last but not least they do not wear or use anything with animal products such as leather, etc.

People who are vegan state that by changing their lifestyle its showing compassion for animals by not having to slaughter them.  This mainly comes from the mass production of cow and chicken. Though there are humane ways of keeping these animals, mass production does not allow this causing disease in the animals and contaminating our ground water with fecal matter. Have you ever driven past a Texas cow farm and slaughterhouse? Two examples of why vegans do what they do is, 1. it stinks. 2. the cows don’t have any fresh grass to graze on.

So what do vegans eat? Vegans eat a wide variety of plant foods such as nuts, beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, etc. Most people believe that vegans do not get enough nutrition from just your plant based foods, but this accusation is incorrect. You can get all of the protein that you need and the nutrients that you need for your body in plant based foods. They can make dishes where they bake foods, Thai food, Indian food, stir fries, etc. Vegans have a wide variety in their diet because they have to and it keeps things interesting.

Due to the ever increasing popularity and medical reasons for doing so more and more companies are coming out with vegan friendly products. People who are lactose-intolerant can now enjoy almond/coconut/oat/hemp milk. They can also enjoy ice cream and cheese made out of the same products.

Vegans also avoid clothing that is made out of animal based fibers. These fibers include leather, wool and silk. So what clothing do they wear? Most vegans will wear eco-frindly clothing if they can afford it like organic cotton, if not then they wear regular cotton. They can also wear man-made products such as polyester and nylon. Thanks to the nylon shortage in WWII they can also wear a synthetic fiber that was created during this time period called rayon. This was created to imitate silk and is used with natural fibers such as wood or cotton pulp. Due to the fact that it is blended together it is still considered a “synthetic” fabric.

Benefits of veganism can be different form person to person. There have been studies, and of course people to also contradict this, that ingesting animal fats can raise the risk of developing cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other ailments.  Needless to say by eating healthier plant based foods you are decreasing your medical risks. By being vegan you can lose the excess fat stores in your body from eating meat and there have even been a study that has shown that a rigorous life style change may even stop or reverse prostate cancer in its early stages! Some vegans will even attest to the fact that a US study recently released that people who eat red and processed meat died prematurely more often than people who are veterinarians or vegans!  By eating vegan you are also letting your kidneys function properly, and your cholesterol will be lower!

So if you have been considering vegan for a while or just stumbled across this page you can do it! It takes time to transition for some people while others it is no big issue. If you are someone who is struggling with the transition you could start it slowly by doing all vegetarian meals except for 1 or 2 dinners a week. After you have vegetarian down, you can slowly start getting rid of all other products, eggs/dairy, from your diet!