Vegan and veganism

Vegan and veganism – just words or a way of life?


At the article will take a detailed look at the diet known as veganism, possible ways to switch to it, frequently asked questions and its ethical component.

Veganism: the origin of the term

It is believed that in 1944 Donald Watson (Donald Watson, 1910-2005) organized the first “Society of Vegans” in England, and then all that the new term meant was the following: a vegetarian is one who does not eat dairy. Later, as you know, the term included other concepts, and at the moment it means eating foods that are only of plant origin.

Both words “vegetarianism” and “veganism/veganism” come from the English vegetable, which means ‘vegetable’, and for the correct pronunciation of the word “vegan” the stress falls on the 2nd syllable. It will be interesting to know that until the middle of the 19th century, the word vegetable was understood differently: it was any type of plant, including fruits, nuts and seeds.

Vegan and vegetarian are brothers, but not twins

If vegetarianism as a system involves the rejection of the consumption of meat products – poultry and seafood, then it does not at all deny the inclusion in the diet of eggs, dairy and other products obtained as a result of the processing of animal organisms. Many people understand veganism as a more strict form of vegetarianism that excludes all animal products from the diet, and this is generally true.

There are several types of both veganism and vegetarianism.

Vegetarianism is of the following types:

  • Ovolacto -vegetarianism – allows the use of both eggs (ovo) and dairy products (lacto)
  • Ovo -vegetarian – no milk but still eggs (ovo)
  • Lacto -vegetarianism > – included dairy products (lacto), but no consumption of eggs.

Veganism is divided into 2 main types:

Only vegetable food, excluding all products that have at least some relations to animals.

Why don’t vegans eat honey?

Because honey is a product of the exploitation of small bee workers, this also includes other bee products.

Another type is a raw food diet, or strict veganism, when a person eats only fresh, uncooked food. The maximum allowance some strict vegans can go to is eating dried foods like dried fruit. At the same time, lovers of kitchen utensils can use a dehydrator, but the temperature should not exceed 48 ° C, since it is believed that bioactive elements and food enzymes are destroyed above this mark.

These are the main categories of these two large and popular trends in modern nutrition.

Diets and their impact on us. The benefits of a vegan diet

Many people think about diets when they start to look after their figure, so even the word “diet” is associated with appearance – replace the set of products and their quantity from which the menu is composed, and the skin of the face will be cleansed, the tummy will tighten, fat deposits will be removed, and so on. Further.

To some extent, they also look at veganism. Indisputable facts are known that testify in his favor, among which is the fact that vegans really have clear skin, nothing can be done about it – what is true is true. At the same time, they do not put much effort and do not carry out special procedures to make their skin look like this. The effect is achieved only through nutrition.

Vegans have good digestion, as their diet contains a large amount of fiber: fruits, vegetables, and certain types of cereals are saturated with it, so the digestion process does not stretch over time, as in people on a regular diet. Just remember that the same chicken can remain in the stomach alone for about 12 hours, and there you still have to go through meters of the small and large intestines, it is not at all surprising that digestion takes a really long time and puts a heavy burden on all internal organs and the excretory system.

Vegans have a stronger nervous system and, as a result, are more stress resistant. It can be generally noted that these people are more balanced and therefore pleasant in communication, provided that the person does not conduct “missionary work”, trying to convert everyone they meet to their new “faith” – veganism.

Balance and calmness are directly related to the fact that a well-balanced vegan menu includes a huge amount of trace elements and vitamins, purified from the heavy energies of animal food, and therefore has a beneficial effect on all body systems, including the nervous system. For the most part, these people are cheerful and less irritated, in general, the little things in life fade into the background, they cease to play such a big role as before. Here we come to the topic of changing consciousness. Of course, changing the diet in a radical way, this cannot but affect the way a person thinks, his consciousness, even the picture of the world will gradually change.

How to become a vegan: a few tips

Often the transition to a vegan diet is accompanied by a paradigm shift in thinking. Since you’ve been wondering ” how to become a vegan?” ”, you began to increasingly overestimate your previous experience, questioning conventional wisdom and coming to new conclusions.

Once you have figured out what you need and decide to become a vegan for ethical reasons or to improve your health, there are 2 ways to transition: one is a blitz, which means ‘instant’, the other is gradual.

The advantage of an instant transition is that you immediately break with past experiences and eating habits and, as if forgetting about them, plunge headlong into the topic of veganism: study the products, choose the right and most delicious and healthy for you, and then stick to the course, slightly adjusting it based on your well-being and preferences.

Another option for a gradual transition is suitable for those who have recently learned about this topic and who find it difficult to start leading a vegan lifestyle without preparation. Here we can advise you to start with the transition to a vegetarian diet, thus preserving dairy products, eggs and everything that contains them in the diet, while vegans completely reject any tiny inclusions of animal products in food.

This is not a vegan joke. To illustrate the above, imagine a situation where a vegan decides to eat chocolate. Milk is usually added to the composition of this product. So, if it is listed on the ingredient list on a chocolate bar in the store, a vegan will not hesitate to leave it and find one that does not contain milk and animal fats. This rule also applies to the choice of cosmetic products, medicines and clothing, circus shows and much more, where there is at least some hint of animal exploitation. They should be left alone, given a chance to live.

Continuing the theme of a smooth transition, once you’ve gotten used to eating vegetarian food and still have the goal of going vegan, you can also gradually cut out dairy and other leftover animal products just as you’ve eliminated meat, poultry, and fish from your diet. For example, if you are a jelly lover, then it will not have to be made on the basis of natural gelatin. You already understand why.

It will also be necessary to monitor all bakery products, pastries, since, following vegan laws, there should be no milk, no butter, no cream, and even less eggs. But for these baking components, there are substitutes that are quite easy to find in specialized departments of stores.

In general, it would not be worthwhile to abuse all these pastries and pasta, because sometimes it turns out that a person, having made a decision to eat right, switches to vegetarianism or veganism, and his diet narrows down so much that he actually switches to cereals in all their types, including pasta and other inventions of Italian cuisine, forgetting about the main thing – his new diet comes from a vegetable, plant root vegetable, so there is no need to take the path of a bun eater or pasta expert.

Balanced Vegan Diet

We have now come directly to the all-important topic of a balanced vegan diet.

Eating wisely, including a variety of foods in your daily diet, thereby providing the body with everything you need – macro- and microelements + vitamins, you can really significantly increase your vitality and improve your well-being, and even heal from a number of diseases, especially those that associated with the digestive organs, the gastrointestinal tract.

This is purely due to diet, because your body is no longer forced to work at full speed, trying to digest and utilize heavy food. The load on the gastrointestinal tract naturally decreases, the intake of significant amounts of plant foods helps in the cleansing processes, and as a result you have a long-awaited result in the form of normalization of weight and blood pressure, the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases decreases, the level of dangerous cholesterol in the blood drops, the vessels are cleansed, in a word, diseases leave the body. Everything is simple, and at the same time, without resorting to the help of doctors.

The other side of the coin is that if you don’t include enough nutrients in your diet in the form of a variety of foods, then the opposite effect occurs, which is what some beginner vegans come across, they simply did not think over their new diet from all sides before how to start, did not figure out what vegans eat. We need a plan here.

There are, of course, people who, despite the years of eating meat products, still have not lost the innate instinct that is present in all people, to distinguish which food is necessary and useful for the body, and which is not. For those who have already forgotten about it a little and do not dare to rely on an inner voice, it is better to make a list of products that can and should be used, and act according to this list.

What do vegans eat

The list of products will help you navigate this and choose from a huge variety what suits you:

  • all kinds of fruits and vegetables;
  • a group of nuts (walnut, pine, chestnut, cashew, almond, hazelnut, Brazilian, macadamia, pistachio and, of course, coconut) and seeds;
  • the whole variety of cereals;
  • legumes (peas, beans, beans, lentils of almost 10 varieties and colors: red, yellow, green – chickpeas, mung beans, dal, soybeans).

You need to be careful with soybeans, although it is considered nutritious and so popular in the east, but according to some reports, most of the crop is genetically modified.

ethical choice. Veganism vs plant based diet or veganism = plant based die

Veganism is not so much a diet choice as it is a way of life. A vegan professes the principles of ahimsa – non-harm to all living things. From this it becomes clear why clothes made of genuine leather and furs will not attract a real vegan. This is not in line with this principle. Animals should not die and be exploited for the same dubious achievements of science or simple human whim.

Many will be interested to know that plant based diet , a term introduced by Colin Campbell, a well-known scientist in the field of nutrition, is identical to the concept of veganism with the only difference that Colin emphasizes his detachment from any ethical component that motivates a person to refuse animal products. 

Veganism is a kind of ethical category, where the moral aspect occupies the main place, and a person can even give up his tastes if they go against the vegan attitudes he has adopted.

For the sake of clarity, let’s take an example. If a vegan loves ice cream, then with all his awareness and unquestioning principles, he will refuse the sweet treat and replace it with something else that does not contain animal products. This is the psychology of an ethical vegan in a nutshell.

The plant-based diet, which is based on food of plant origin, is essentially no different from veganism. It’s just that the motivation to act is not based on moral ideals, but is completely dictated by common sense considerations, where health is at the heart of the value system. Doubts When Switching to a Vegan Diet and Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Micro and Macro Nutrients


One often hears the question of how balanced the vegan diet is in terms of protein and whether it is enough. 

Protein, or proteins in Russian, does not contain plant foods, since it is a large molecule that is part of living organisms, in turn, consisting of amino acids, but there are plenty of them in plants, especially green ones. 8 essential amino acids are specially isolated, especially important for humans. All of them are present in plant foods.


Another element that constantly raises questions. Is there enough calcium in vegan food, because it is involved in many metabolic processes, not to mention that it is the basis of bones and teeth? 

Of course, there is enough, otherwise there would not be so many vegans in the world, and by no means all of them include artificial food additives in their diet. 

Easily digestible calcium is found in a storehouse of vitamins and minerals – spinach, as well as in broccoli, bok choy and other types of cabbage.


Legumes, green vegetables and herbs contain a lot of iron. In order for iron to be better absorbed, it is recommended to take it along with vitamin C. But nothing can be easier if you are a vegan and eat a lot of fresh plant foods, since there is more than enough vitamin C almost everywhere.

Vitamin B-12 (cyanocobalamin)

The subject of dispute for many years now is whether to use special supplements or not, since this vitamin is not contained in plant foods as such. But we remember that in a healthy human body this element is synthesized in the gastrointestinal tract, and if you have good flora there, then you don’t have to worry: everything is synthesized by itself.

In general, this whole topic of vitamins and minerals and their digestibility on a vegan or vegetarian diet is slightly inflated. Yes, problems associated with a lack of important elements that enter the human body with food can exist if the diet is not built quite correctly, but don’t they encounter this problem with regular nutrition, and even more often, otherwise where would there be so many unhealthy people in the world, or has everyone switched to veganism for a long time, and we didn’t notice?

Every year, scientists discover more and more new elements, vitamins, hitherto unknown, each of them performs its function and is important for the normal functioning of the human body. It is difficult to imagine how Mendeleev’s vitamin table will change in ten years and what new irreplaceable elements will replenish it in the future.

Instead of worrying about this, it is better to learn to listen to your body, over time you will learn how to do this, and he certainly knows what he needs and in what quantities. It is sometimes better to trust yourself, because no one knows you better than yourself.


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