Being a vegan is definitely more of a lifestyle choice and a philosophy than a diet. A vegan does not eat anything that is of animal origin and have a compassionate way of living that seeks to avoid exploiting animals for any purpose. In dietary terms this means they don’t eat meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products (such as milk or cheese), honey, or any foods derived from these. Also, a true vegan doesn’t wear leather, wool, silk or other animal derived products, or use products that have been tested on animals. Many people choose a vegan diet because of their love of animals, and believe that animals weren’t put on the earth to eat!
There has always been some confusion between the terms used to express different types of vegetarianism. The general interpretation is that a vegan will not consume any foods of animal origin, not even honey, while a vegetarian might consume eggs (ovo-vegetarian), or dairy (lacto-vegetarian). Another general interpretation is that Veganism is a subdivision of Vegetarianism.
However, some vegans say that the only true vegetarian is a vegan. According to the medical dictionary Medilexicon , a vegan is:
“A strict vegetarian; one who consumes no animal or dairy products of any type”
In my opinion, a vegan diet is much easier to do than a raw diet – and also in my opinion a raw diet can be much healthier than a vegan diet – at least for inexperienced vegans. There are lots of alternatives to animal products to make up a well balanced diet – with a little know how, imagintion and research fantastic meals can be made.
An important factor to take into consideration with vegan diets (and raw food diets for that matter) is to ensure that you are getting adequate protein – and in the right proportions for your body weight.
A vegan diet should be healthy and you should lose weight if that it your intention (I know it’s a sad fact, but some people go vegan in a last hope attempt to lose weight). However, a vegan diet can be really unhealthy.
Much of a vegan diet is made up with tofu – which is made from soybeans, water and a coagulant, or curdling agent. It is high in protein and calcium and well known for its ability to absorb new flavors through spices and marinades. Due to its chameleon-like qualities and nutritional value, tofu, a staple of Asian cuisines for hundreds of years, has recently become popular in Western vegetarian cooking.
The one thing vegans must be careful of, specially inexperienced vegans, is sweets and confectionery.
Many of these products contain gelatin, which is made from animal bones! (not nice!)
Suzanne Le Quesne Dip ION