There are quite a few definitions floating around of what a Vegan is.
Basically, there are two definitions or philosophies of what a Vegan should be:
- Ethical Vegan
- Nutritional Vegan
We’ll go indepth to study these two main philosophies of veganism, and how they impact ourselves, our environment and our planet.
But first, let’s cover The Vegan Society’s definition of Veganism.
The Vegan Society Definition
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.—The Vegan Society
The main distinction of this philosophy of veganism is one of abstaining from all animal meats and animal-derived products (make-up, clothing, furniture, etc).
The core of this philosophy is non-violence, that the act of slaughtering an animal is itself an act of violence, murder, and the ultimate abuse of that animal. Thus, to the ethical vegan, the killing of animals and their abuse is wrong, and becoming vegan is to practice a universal law of compassion towards all sentient beings.
This ethical veganism is mainly concerned with animal rights, of protecting animals by not killing them, using them for various products, and not using them for testing.
The nutritional aspects of Ethical Veganism aren’t necessarily followed, and take a backseat to the moral concerns for the protection of animals. And this comprises the practice of total compassion for animals.
This ethical veganism also has a secondary concern for our environment and the preservation of our planet. Since the Meat & Dairy Industries have been under fire in recent decades for its unsustainable practices of animal agriculture and causes of greenhouse gas emissions.
This form of veganism centers around the fact that animal foods have been at the root cause of many of the chronic diseases of our first world society.
Many people who have suffered from chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, gout and cancer have been looking for dietary answers on how to deal with their health problems. And many people are turning to veganism as a means to prevent these diseases that plague our society.
There has been much medical evidence that heart disease, for instance, has been linked to the overconsumption of animal products such as red meat, dairy, and any animal products that are laden with dangerous saturated fats and cholesterol, proven to cause hardening and closing of various arteries in the body.
The overconsumption of Red Meat has been linked to colo-rectal cancer.
Many people are going vegan to total eliminate the chances of getting heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases.
In addition, nutritional veganism has connected with optimal performance and an overall feeling of wellness. Many elite athletes have gone vegan or at least have greatly reduced their eating of animal products in favor of boosting their plant-based eating of quality carbs. Ultra-distance athletes like Scott Jurek, Rich Roll and Michael Arnstein have proven that an athlete can greatly boost athletic performance by going totally vegan.
Combining Both Ethics & Nutrition
And there is no reason why a vegan shouldn’t practice both ethical and nutritional veganism to enhance health, help protect the enivronment, protect the rights of animals, and save the planet, all at the same time.