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Being vegan means having a plant-based diet. It excludes all types of animal products. More so, it is like an extension of a vegetarian diet. As vegetarians do not eat meat. Veganism is one step further, excluding all products that come from animals.  

For example, a vegan diet excludes milk, eggs and honey. Above all, veganism is a diet. Yet, the term can also refer to a whole lifestyle, by excluding any product from animals, not only food products. Also, it is common to exclude things like leather and wool clothing. Furthermore, avoiding events that involve captive animals. Like a circus, a rodeo or a zoo. 

Being vegan  

Veganism can be a diet, a philosophy and a lifestyle. As mentioned, the diet refers to not eating any products from animals. As a philosophy, it is more connected to animal rights. Namely, believing that animals have a moral worth independent of their usefulness to humans. In other words, animals have rights and should not suffer. Therefore, humans should not make them suffer by killing them. Furthermore, vegans tend to see it as unethical to take milk or other products from animals. Overall, the key is to avoid the exploitation of animals.

Being a vegan can also be connected to a lifestyle, which often goes hand in hand with caring for the environment. It is common to become vegan because of climate change. For example, meat- and dairy farms release high emissions of greenhouse gases. The industry releases much more than the production of vegetables. Therefore, many environmental activists chose this lifestyle.  

Photo of 100 % vegan sign.

A vegan diet  

Eating a vegan diet is perfectly possible with “traditional” dishes. Today, there are more and more substitutes for meat. Such as products made of beans or soya that mimic traditional meat products, like burgers. More so, some food traditions are already vegan. As veganism has been part of many traditions in the past.  

Climate-smart  

As mentioned briefly above, being vegan is considered climate-smart. A vegan diet can reduce one’s environmental impact. The impact of a meat diet is much higher because of the emissions from meat production. Animal production accounts for as much as 15 % of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Where or how the food is produced does generally not make a big difference. This is because most of the impact comes from the production of animal feed. In detail, these large and unsustainable practices harm the land. This is why lactose products, such as milk and cheese, also have a significant impact on the environment.  

In addition to CO2 emissions, greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide and methane are also emitted through animal farming. These gases are produced in smaller volumes. However, they are more powerful than CO2. Meaning that they absorb more heat and contribute further to global warming.  

 


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