Being vegan is nothing new; it’s been officially recognized since 1944. Yet the benefits of a vegan diet are only recently being touted by celebrities and cardiologists (heart-health physicians). Benefits of a vegan diet include protecting bone and heart health while decreasing the risk of cancer.
Veganism is a diet and lifestyle that is beneficial for humans. It is also cruelty-free since it doesn’t harm animals or the environment. Veganism differs from vegetarianism in that vegetarians consume animal byproducts, such as dairy, eggs, gelatin, and honey. Vegans eschew all products produced by animals, including all forms of dairy, eggs, and honey since animals may be harmed as a consequence of consumption.
In the early years and until very recently, it was very difficult for vegans to find food to eat. Now that veganism has joined the mainstream, it is easier than ever to go vegan. When you go vegan, choose the path that works best for you. Some people are able to go cold turkey – no pun intended – and start nibbling on veggies overnight. Others take a slower approach, gradually phasing out meat and animal byproducts until they are comfortable enough to consume only plant-based foods. Both approaches are approved by The Vegan Society.
One way to begin going vegan is to replace meat with veggie counterparts. Many of the nutrients found in meat can also be found in mushrooms, tempeh, tofu, and seitan. If you begin eating vegan, you need supplements for some of the essential nutrients that are found in meat, including vitamin B-12. Once you are more comfortable, you can then begin eliminating dairy products, eggs, and honey.
If you search “vegan recipes,” you will find thousands of great resources like the 35+ best vegan recipes found in Good Housekeeping. Once you cook one meal that is entirely plant-based, you might find yourself hooked. Vegans enjoy a variety of plants, including legumes and grains, so it is possible to completely avoid animal proteins and still be satisfied. If you’re not much of cook, you can find vegan restaurants or dine out and customize your meal to be vegan. Be sure to inquire about the ingredients in dishes because many restaurants use chicken or beef broth as a base for soups, and dairy is often found in the delicious breads and rolls that are served before a meal.
Vegans also do not use animal products for personal care and hygiene or clothing and shoes, along with other goods. But if you are following a vegan diet for health rather than ethics, then your choice of sofa or shoe material is up to you.