Veganism: Where Did The Word Come From, And Why Does It Matter?

Veganism rejects all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty

The word vegan was coined 100 years ago in 1944 by the founder of the Vegan Society, Donald Watson. It was a way to distinguish the difference between a traditional vegetarian and a new kind of vegetarian who didn’t eat, wear, or consume any animal products whatsoever. 

This is due to the fact that animals used for products like dairy and leather are mistreated throughout the process. For example, animals used for dairy are all slaughtered or abandoned in the end when their bodies can no longer produce enough milk or eggs to meet demand. Veganism rejects all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty. This is the biggest difference between veganism and vegetarianism, because vegans won’t even consume products obtained from animals. 

The term plant-based exclusively refers to diet, while veganism goes beyond food and extends into cosmetics, clothing, and even entertainment. Plant-based can be vegan, but vegan isn’t plant-based. 

Veganism is often linked to being gluten-free, raw, refined sugar-free, organic, non-GMO, oil-free, and so on. While a vegan diet can be any of these, but veganism isn’t defined by any one of these labels. A person who follows a vegan lifestyle is free to eat whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t come from an animal!

And the difference matters. If you’re a vegetarian wondering if it makes a difference to go vegan, read about why it does here. 

With so many traditional Indian foods vegan by default, India is one of the best places for vegans. Check out how to order vegan foods in various Indian languages to help make your transition a bit easier!

Why would anyone go vegan?

A very, very small number of vegans are actually born vegan, which is why reasons for going vegan can often be personal. Most people reach a certain point or age where something causes them to think about what they eat and use and decide to make a change. Like the pandemic made a lot of people think about their health about co-existence etc. Well the most common reasons for the shift.

Ethically speaking, animals deserve the right to live freely- just as humans do. Killing animals for food, clothing, and entertainment is not right given there are alternatives for people to live a healthy, happy life without harming animals. 

Some people go vegan for their health. Eliminating animal foods and products has many benefits including: Lower cholesterol, Weight loss, decreased risk of heart disease, decreased risk of various cancers, Lower risk of type 2 diabetes     

Now that you know the difference between a vegan and vegetarian, we also want you to know that at the end of the day it's a matter of choice. Whether you reduce animal products or eliminate them entirely is up to you. 

Making the transition to veganism gradually is the most sustainable strategy. For starters, vegetarians can try dairy alternatives including plant-based milk, peanut butter, tofu, and dairy-free desserts to become accustomed to the shifts in flavour. Before turning vegetarian and finally going vegan, non-vegetarians might become pescatarians or ovo-vegetarians.

A sudden and complete switch in diet might directly lead to discontinuation. You may increase the amount of vitamins, minerals, and fibre in your diet and lower the amount of unhealthy processed meats and fats by substituting them with plant-based whole grains, pulses, healthy oils, and nuts.

Veganism doesn’t mean all or nothing. You'll feel better about making the adjustment if you make your own road map and are realistic about your goals. It's crucial to let your family know that you're planning to turn vegan because it will be challenging to find the essential dietary substitutions without their assistance. If you live alone, find both online and offline sources for vegan food and other products. 

Most people remain confused or are unaware of the various substitutes available in the market simply due to ignorance or lack of time. Dairy substitutes for vegans are generally accessible today. These include cheese made from cashews or coconut, as well as almond, soy, oat, and pea milk. 

The good news is that vegan foods have never been more accessible, or delicious! Check out our full range of dairy products, meat products, nutrition supplements and protein powders for a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.

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