Today marks World Vegan Day, and it could be one that’s more popular than ever before. That’s because this phrase is being heard more and more often in the UK.
In the last ten years veganism in Britain has grew by a magnificent 360%. For those aged 15 and over, the figures have gone through the roof. In 2006, 150,000 people adopted a plant-based diet but now there’s over half a million that commit to this lifestyle.
Pictured:Vegan bodybuilder Torre Washington. Photo Credit: Kelvin Johnson
What Does Being Vegan Mean?
Despite its forever-increasing popularity and coverage in recent time, many people still can’t distinguish what the word ‘vegan’ actually means. It often gets confused with gluten-free, vegetarian, pescatarian and lactose-free.
What is Veganism?
Veganism is typically considered a lifestyle, rather than a diet. Although many label themselves vegan as an easy way to explain their eating pattern, this should in fact be plant-based. But a vegan, is somebody who will not contribute to the suffering of animals. This means they will not wear leather, silk or any other animal based fashion. Vegans will not eat any animal products either, and this is where a lot of people get stuck. That’s because they’re not entirely sure what is and isn’t a food deriving from animals, which is probably a sad scenario. Knowing that we will eat whatever is given to us without knowing where it has came from and what its contents are.
Examples of Non-Vegan Foods
· Meat and fish is not vegan, they’re obviously animals and therefore cannot be consumed by vegans.
· Dairy- comes from cows and cannot be included in the diet, this means no cheese, milk or any products that contain those.
· No eggs are allowed on a vegan diet.
· Most won’t allow themselves to eat honey although this is sometimes a grey-area. But this is down to how its produced and the keeping of bees.
· There have been many debates sparked by meat-eaters, involving whether vegans should eat clams over mushrooms and what qualifies as sentient.
For those wondering what the other labels are:
It is very similar to a vegan diet although it does not eliminate dairy, eggs or honey.
Often confused with a vegetarian diet, it’s the same but with the inclusion of fish.
Usually applied by those who are lactose intolerant and don’t react well with dairy products.
Usually carried out by those with celiac disease but has grew in popularity to help skin conditions and more. This has also brewed up controversy with some claiming that there’s no such thing as gluten intolerance.
Do Vegans Have Diet Deficiencies?
The word vegan in a mainstream sphere is often followed by the word ‘deficiency’. So are there as many nutrient downfalls as many make out? In short, no. Here you’ll see many myths debunked. With that said, everybody should be conscious of something they may be lacking, due to modern farming, how far our food travels, our eating patterns and the environment. Vegans aren’t exposed to as much DHA, which comes from a good omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, but this can easily be purchased in supplement form or even it’s truest form using Holland and Barrett promo codes. You can get hold of capsules or get hold of Udo’s Oil.
An obsession for many that aren’t vegans, but have you been sold a lie? The majority of research is funded by the meat and dairy industry. Although there’s no doubt that protein is indispensible to the body and meat has an abundance of it, the misconception is that a plant-based diet doesn’t offer enough. Torre Washington, pictured above has been an example of this.
Are There Benefits to Veganism?
Groundbreaking research has concluded that carcinogens in meat have become very harmful and could contribute to cancer. Since then, bacon has been listed almost as dangerous as smoking. But this hasn’t appeared without argument; a lot of vegan’s argument is based on T.Colin Campbell’s PhD, China Study. A very interesting read, one that could most certainly be described as thought provoking. An argument against this book is that it was an epidemiological study that followed patterns and had weak areas to many of the case studies and research, you can find the against side- here. Decide for yourself by purchasing the book online with Amazon promo codes or WH Smith discount codes. Despite this, there have been solid cases in the past of people fighting illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and MS with a plant-based diet being part of it. This video on YouTube (or below) shows people how, after taking a number of diabetics in and showing them the power of food. You can also look up Dr. Max Gerson and also the Swank Diet Foundation.
Not only this but it’s often though to promote energy and help digestion. This could be down to the abundance of fruit and vegetables and the copious amounts of fibre. Find out what vegans eat with inspiration from Torre Washington, Nate Diaz and Brendan Brazier.