What is Vegan?

What is Vegan?

Vegan- Because I am the change I want to see in the world!

-Article by Irene Margolis October 2019

What is Vegan?

It is a lifestyle choice that eliminates all animal products from your diet, wardrobe and all other aspects of your life as far as possible and practical.

In dietary terms this means no meat, no fish, no chicken, no dairy & egg products – NOTHING that comes from or harms animals.

In lifestyle terms it means no leather shoes, clothing, couches etc., no silk, NOTHING that comes from or harms animals.

Being vegan is the acknowledgement that all sentient beings (animals and insects) have the right to life the same way humans have.

It is recognizing the desperate state of our Mother Earth and the HUGE contribution animal agriculture adds to her destruction: –

  • Large carbon emissions
  • Massive water usage and pollution
  • Deforestation for growing animals and feed for animals

-And then eliminating one’s contribution to this mass destruction.

It is an epiphany- sometimes sudden, sometimes slow – realizing that as an individual one can make an enormous difference towards leaving our children a livable and healthy planet.

Why do people choose to be vegan?

Choosing a vegan lifestyle can be triggered by many different things;

For some it is a health choice

  • To lower cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • To fight cardiovascular disease and cancer
  • To eliminate dairy intolerances and allergies
  • To lose weight
  • Enhance sports performance
  • Better/faster injury recovery in sport

For others it is an ethical choice

  • For the love of animals
  • To eliminate animal cruelty
  • To reduce or eliminate species extinction and habitat loss and destruction

Some do it for the planet

  • More than ½ of all the grains grown on the planet are for animal feed (livestock) – just imagine how man people that could feed….
  • Reduce deforestation
  • A vegan lifestyle uses less water to grow food
  • Less harmful greenhouse gasses
  • Less land erosion due to animal agriculture

The reason for staying vegan is often different to the reason for going vegan – e.g. you may start for health reasons; after a while you may discover that you stay vegan for the animals or health of the earth…

It is a very powerful lifestyle. It forces you to be honest about your impact on the planet, on animals etc. and then take appropriate action, be a truly responsible human being.

After a while of being vegan you undergo enormous changes in body mind and soul – your skin and eyes become clearer, your digestion lighter and easier.  You find your thinking to be more sensitive and aware of all life. Your spirit becomes lighter, in this respect I always think of religious fasts that are meant to create a quiet mind or spiritual experience – they always exclude animal products.

Being vegan is fun and easy. It opens a whole new world of culinary excitement, a true discovery of nature’s bounty.

As with any lifestyle or diet choice, being vegan can be healthy or unhealthy. Being vegan is not some kind of exclusive hippie lifestyle. Vegans enjoy all the same things everyone enjoys; they just make conscious choices to exclude anything that harms animals.

Some interesting points:

  • In the animal kingdom the oldest – tortoise, the biggest – elephant, and one of the strongest – gorilla, ARE ALL VEGAN!
  • According to research by oxford university UK being vegan is the single biggest way an individual can reduce their impact on Mother earth – far bigger than cutting down on flights or buying an electric car.


Vegan – some may think is extreme. For me, if you look at all the facts, not being vegan is extreme……

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