What is veganism?
As defined by The Vegan Society,"Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment."
Living vegan means actively doing your best to not contribute to the use of animals for food, clothing, entertainment, or testing. As a vegan, you should avoid:
Animal-based foods (e.g., meat, dairy, and eggs)
Products made from animal skins and feathers (e.g., fur, leather, and down)
Supporting the use animals for entertainment purposes (e.g., zoos, horse racing)
Buying products that were tested on animals (e.g., cosmetics, household cleaners)
Veganism is about respecting animals and the fact that they are here with us, not for us. As the definition states, it's also about doing what's possible and practical. It's impossible to live 100% vegan. Many of the products we use daily, such as cellphones, or may need to stay health, such as medication, are not vegan. Keep in mind, it's also ok to make mistakes. No one is perfect. By doing your best to reject the commodification and killing of animals, you are helping to create a better, kinder world.
What is the impact of living vegan?
By living vegan, you're making the choice to no longer contribute to animal abuse, and you're rejecting the idea that animals are commodities. When you no longer purchase exploitive products (e.g., dairy cheese, tickets to the zoo), you're effectively decreasing demand for them. When enough people refuse to purchase these types of products, suppliers will be forced to pivot to more ethical alternatives or shut down.
Since part of living vegan means consuming a diet that is free of animal-derived ingredients, you also can have a positive impact on the planet and your own health. Raising animals for food is not sustainable as it's extremely resource intensive, destructive, and pollutive. In terms of your own health, evidence suggests that a well planned plant-based diet can help prevent, treat, and reverse disease as well as improve general health.
Learn more about the benefits of veganism to animals, the environment, and your own health below.
Animals are sentient beings, and they are exploited for profit across a large number of industries. They are used by humans for a number of things, including:
"There is veganism and there is animal exploitation. There is no third choice." – Gary L. Francione
Animals are not a sustainable food source. In fact, raising animals for food is a leading cause of many serious environmental problems, including:
"Dietary change can deliver environmental benefits on a scale not achievable by producers. Moving from current diets to a diet that excludes animal products has transformative potential." – Science, June 2018
It is not only possible to survive eating a completely plant-based diet, but you can also thrive. A well planned plant-based diet has been shown to prevent, treat, and reverse leading causes of death as well as support overall health.
Improve Energy and Sleep
Boost Mental Health
"The most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest.” – Dr. Michael Greger