Vegetarian, lacto vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan. With all these terms describing alternative diet options, it can get a bit confusing. ‘Spot the Vegan’ is here to help, focussing in on veganism, what it is, and delving deeper into the vegan lifestyle and the reasons behind it.
If you’re considering a vegan lifestyle, or have already adopted one, you could simply be looking for alternatives to animal based products, or perhaps you’re on a mission to adopt a healthier diet? With research suggesting that a vegan diet can have a positive role in reducing or preventing certain conditions, this could also be a key factor in adopting a vegan lifestyle. Dietary issues are covered in further detail through the rest of this site, so read on if you’re searching for details on a low saturated fat/high in vitamins and protein diet.
As you’ll find out on this site, other reasons for veganism go deeper, from standing against animal testing and animal welfare issues, to ecological or spiritual reasons. Although from the outside, a non-vegan may wonder what difference adopting this lifestyle may make, others will see it as a small contribution to producing lower eco-footprints, or the campaign against intense animal farming or commercial fishing.
One of the most common misconceptions connected with veganism, is that it’s dull, something which most vegans will hotly deny. While a vegan diet in its purest form does exclude all food, drink, and other products that are made from or include animals or animal by-products, there are plenty of alternatives on the market, which are far from boring. Technology and manufacturing advances have helped with this, along with the wide variety of plant-based products, and with fruit and vegetables on the market.
With all this in mind, it should come as no surprise that vegan friendly shopping may be tricky at first, but if you research all the products to avoid, and the viable alternatives, it will make the transition a lot easier. Our pages on vegan food and other products will help you identify some of the less obvious animal by-products, while the Vegan Society, local vegan groups, doctors and dieticians, can be other sources of information and advice. To help with the transition, you could also write out a vegan checklist to follow, which could include making a meal list, with vegan alternatives, researching online and high street based retailers that will stock vegan products, and if you like eating out, looking up suitable restaurants.
If all the talk of food is making you hungry, you may want to invest in a vegan cookery book as well. The best books on the market, will offer advice on diet and nutrition, and the kinds of ingredients you can include in your diet, along with a host of recipes for everything from pea and basil soup, to double chocolate chip muffins. I think it’s safe to say, if you want to dispel any myths about veganism, and the vegan lifestyle, then a vegan cook book is a good place to start.