What is veganism?

Vegans eat food derived from plants. Veganism excludes all food made from or by animals. This usually means excluding all living things as a source of food, such as mammals, fish, and insects. Both vegetarians and vegans do not eat once living animals. Unlike vegetarians, vegans do not eat products made from animals. Eggs, milk, cheese are the types of foods vegans do not eat.

What do vegans eat?

  • Legumes – all types of beans, peas, and lentils
  • Fats – nuts, seeds, nut + seed butters, oils, avocado, coconut
  • Vegetables – all types
  • Fruits – all types
  • Grains (Amaranth, barley, corn, farro, kumut, millet, oats, rice, sorghum, spelt, teff, wheat, wild rice)
  • Quinoa and buckwheat (seeds used as grains)
  • Herbs (basil, oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary, dill, cilantro, parsley, mint, bay leaf, marjoram, etc.)
  • Seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, vanilla, onion, cayenne, cumin, paprika, chives, turmeric, licorice, etc.)

What are popular vegan foods

There are almost infinite types of vegans foods available to buy or make yourself. Here are several examples of vegan foods eaten.

  • Entrees (lasagna, pizza, loafs, burgers, pasta, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, bowls, raviolis, stuffed peppers, fajitas, hot dogs, wraps, shepherd’s pie, chili pie, )
  • Sides (French fries, potato salad, scalloped potatoes, mac n cheese,
  • Appetizers & snacks (nachos, cauliflower wings, stuffed potato skins, sliders, jalapeno poppers, taquitos, quesadillas, chips, crackers, pretzels, onion rings,
  • Soups & Salads
  • Dips & sauces (guacamole, salsa, chile con queso, tahini, hummus, bean dip, nacho cheese, spinach artichoke dip, gravies, cheddar sauce, alfredo sauce, pesto)
  • Breads, tortillas, pastas, flat bread, muffins, cereals, crackers, bread sticks)
  • Desserts + sweets (cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, ice cream, peanut butter cups, gummy bears,
  • Vegetable oils (all plant based oils – olive, sunflower, safflower, avocado)
  • Condiments (mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, mustard, vinegars, barbecue sauce, )
  • Extras (Seaweed, Nutritional Yeast, soy sauce, coconut or Braggs aminos)
  • Sprouted + fermented plant foods
  • Vegan dairy alternatives (soy milk, rice milk, oat milk, almond milk, hemp milk, nut cheese, seed cheese, soy cheese, almond cheese)
  • Drinks (all plant based) – Juices, coffees, teas

Do all vegans eat the same?

There are many types of vegans in the world, and a variety of reasons why people choose to become vegan. Regardless, of the type of veganism you choose, vegan diets have benefits to you and the world around you. Although some vegans can be very passionate about their reasons, not all vegans eat the same diet or have the same reasons to be a vegan.

There are a variety of ways to experience being a vegan. 

  • Complete vegan diet plus (all plant based diet – no animals or animal made products, plus no products from any living thing, such as insects)
  • Vegan diet (plant based diet – no animal products but uses products from bees, like honey, etc.)
  • Vegan diet part-time (for health detox or one to two times per week)
  • Whole food vegans (vegan diet through whole foods and home cooking)
  • Junk food vegans (Vegan diet through packaged and processed foods)
  • Combo Whole/Junk food vegans
  • Raw food vegans (Eating all raw foods that are plant based)
  • No or Low fat vegan diet
  • Gluten free or allergy free (eliminating an allergy food) vegan diet
  • Paleo Vegan or Pegan diet (no grains, low starch)

Reasons to become a vegan:

  • Ethics
  • Health
  • Religious / Spiritual
  • Environment
  • Lose weight
  • Compassion

The reason for being a vegan will be directly influenced by the type of vegan diet chosen. For instance, if someone were to become a vegan for compassion for all living things and ethical reasons, then the diet chosen would likely lean toward a complete vegan diet plus. It may include a vegan junk food diet, if there are no health reasons for the diet. If someone were choosing a vegan diet for health reasons, then the diet may be a complete vegan diet or a part time vegan diet with more whole foods or special requirements. When someone uses a vegan diet for detoxing or losing weight, then a raw food vegan diet, whole food vegan diet or a diet with special requirements is usually used.

Sometimes the reason for starting a vegan diet expands into other reasons. A person that starts a vegan diet for ethical, or religious reasons may quickly notice the health benefits, and increase their study of health. Sometimes someone beginning a vegan diet for health reasons becomes interested in learning the environment and ethical reasons for veganism. Often the reasons for choosing veganism will overlap, over time.

Veganism is an opportunity for compassion

Vegan Focus encourages all vegans to be understanding and respectful of other vegans, and their personal reasons for becoming a vegan, and the vegan diet they have chosen. Vegan Focus believes that veganism is a food diet and lifestyle of compassion – to animals, to self, and to others.

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