A vegan is the ultimate, hard-core vegetarian. Someone who follows a vegan diet avoids eating, drinking, wearing, using, or otherwise consuming anything that contains animal ingredients or that was tested on animals. This means a vegan eats pretty much everything except dairy from cows, sheep, or goats, cheese, milk, butter, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, or honey.
If you want to feel vibrant, full of energy and healthy you have to eat fresh, vibrant food. And for that to happen it’s imperative to be aware of the realities of how the food we eat is produced, and what kind of effect it has on our health.
The rationality that inspires people to adopt veganism falls under the areas of health and environment concerns, treatment of animals, and spiritual beliefs. What do they have in common? — A deep, empathetic caring for others.
- Be Vegan if you wish to lower the risk of certain diseases (heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure) as well as prevent breakout of a certain pandemic (Covid-19).
Studies have shown that vegans and vegetarians are 15 to 20 percent less likely to die from heart disease than meat eaters. Plant foods are lower in fat and sodium and higher in potassium (a mineral that helps to lower blood pressure) than meat- and dairy-based foods. And also since vegan foods are naturally free of cholesterol, your arteries are less likely to get clogged up.
- Be Vegan if you don’t want to hurt animals.
The harsh reality of how agricultural animals are treated is simply too heavy for many people to endure, so they just choose not to think about it. Others believe that animals don’t feel pain or psychological trauma the way that humans do, which excuses any harsh treatment.
P.S.: Please don’t call yourself ‘animal’ lover if you only love cats and dogs and every other night hog on chicken, beef, duck, lamb and fish.
- Be vegan if you want to protect the environment.
When large numbers of animals are kept in a contained area, something has to be done with their waste. Many factory farms use huge man-made pools or lagoons to store the animal-made waste. These cesspools, as big as 7 acres and containing 20 to 45 million gallons of wastewater, break or overflow all the time, allowing dangerous pollution, fecal microbes, hormones, drug-resistant bacteria, and antibiotics into the local water supply. Enormous dead zones are created when these lagoons burst into local waterways.
Factory-farm manure not only causes water pollution, but it also causes water scarcity. Fish farms have been hailed as the answer to over fishing the oceans. Smell something funny? It’s probably the animal farm down the road. Disease is spread through animal waste.
Bacteria in and on our foods are a health concern, but so are the man-made chemicals that are used to produce those foods. Hundred different chemicals are found in and around manure from confined animal feeding operations. Growth hormones used to increase milk production in dairy cows, antibiotics, cleaning solvents to sanitize the barns, blood, oils and chemicals used to clean and maintain equipment, and copper sulfate are just a few of the possible contaminants found in animal manure.
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Legumes such as peas, beans, lentils
- Nuts and seeds
- Bread, rice, pasta
- Dairy alternatives such as soymilk, coconut milk, almond milk
- Vegetable oils
- beef, pork, lamb and any other meat
- chicken, duck and other poultry
- fish, crabs, clams, mussels
- cheese, butter, ghee, paneer
- milk, cream, ice cream or any other dairy
Buddhism: Buddhists believe that every person should try to minimize the harm that they inflict on all beings. This belief has led several Buddhist sects to live life vegan style. Cultivating a “pure heart” by making the extra effort to be as compassionate as possible easily translates into avoiding eating meat and other animal products.
Jainism: Jainism has conscious nonviolence at the centre of its dinner plates. Even though most of the Jain are vegetarians and do eat dairy or eggs, growing numbers are becoming vegan. Spiritual followers of this dharma religion believe that to be truly non-violent, they must avoid enslaving or mistreating animals in order to take their milk or eggs.
For the rest of us: The spiritual side of a plant-based diet encompasses many traditions. Every meal or bite brings with it an awareness of the pain and suffering that we’re preventing for other creatures. Vegans know they’re making a difference every day in the lives of others, and they take much pleasure and happiness in that. By constantly cultivating compassion, vegans protect the lives of other humans, animals, and the wide world around us.
Virat Kohli – The Indian cricket team captain, who has won a billion hearts with his magnificent shots on field, has adopted veganism. Navigating towards strict plant-based products he underwent a major fitness transformation. He even admitted that the change in his food habits has improved his game.
Jacqueline Fernandez – The beautiful and glamorous Bollywood actor has been quite vocal about animal cruelty and is a vegan since a long time. She even opened up a restaurant in Mumbai that serves vegan food.
Mahatma Gandhi – Bapu was vegan, even before the term existed as it was coined in the year 1944. In his autobiography – My Experiments with Truth, he has written about how he was conscious about what he fed his body. Besides being a vegetarian, he also firmly believed that fruits and nuts are enough to provide nourishment to the body and therefore he abstained from drinking milk.
If you are a vegan in India you are attacked with the following statements every single time you talk food with an animal eater.
“Plants are also living beings. Why do you eat that?”
“Tum mere khane ka khana khate ho!”
“You are missing so much in life!”
“Vegetarian hoke paneer nai khate, toh bacha kya?”
It’s okay, not everybody sees the big picture. People get passionately weird about your eating choices for strange emotional reasons that are not your concern. The world if full of vegan options if only you know how and where to look for them. You should remember your own life choices of living a cruelty-free diet for ethical, environmental as well as health reasons.
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