What Is a Vegan?
What is a Vegan? Well, not just a strict vegetarian. The foods they eat may be the same, but reasons for their choices are not. Vegans follow a philosophy of respect for all creatures.
Many times, people new to the experience of a plant based diet become confused. There seems to be so much conflicting information. Which vegetarian diet is the right one to follow?
The diet you choose to eat is all about your values. Vegetarians stop eating meat of any type for any or all of several reasons. The environment. Animal rights. Health issues. Ethical use of land.
The point is - vegetarians are classified by what they eat for whatever reason.
Vegans live a philosophy that really isn't about food as much as respect for all living creatures. Those who eat a vegan diet are expressing their values through their choices - not just of food, but clothing, shoes, and use of other animal products.
For example, vegans believe cattle are not here to be bred, born, fed, and slaughtered to provide humans with meat, leather, and with other products. Rather cattle are living creatures deserving of a natural life and life span.
The same is true for pigs. They are not considered ham on the hoof, but creatures with intelligence, personality, and a right to life. Chickens may not be as smart as pigs, but they certainly have personality and are fun to watch. (Studies have been done that report observing chickens in their natural environment lowers blood pressure in a significant number of people in the study.)
The animals omnivores eat survive on a plant=based diet. They grow strong and healthy in their natural environment.
Most people are able to live strong and healthy eating a plant-based diet also. Values are a factor. Those who honor and respect their own values live more congruent lives.
In the absence of internal conflict, vegans experience the strength to withstand the habits of our omnivorous/carnivorous culture as well as the comments of those who don't understand their choices.
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