It’s no secret that we’re passionate about vegan living here at Vitally Vegan. We’re often asked, ‘what is being a vegan all about’? We thought we’d answer this in a blog post, along with some other helpful information about veganism.
At its heart, being vegan is about care and respect for the other living things on our planet. Vegans show this by removing meat and dairy products from their diet and lifestyle. This means both in their diet and in the things they use in their day-to-day life, like clothes and household products. Typically this means vegans do not eat or use:
Being a vegetarian does not also make you a vegan, but being a vegan always makes you a vegetarian.
Vegans still eat canned, processed and frozen foods, as long as they do not contain animal products.
Vegans also have a deep-felt believe that all creatures have a right to life and freedom and so choose products that were made without harming or abusing animals in any way.
Some vegans also feel a responsibility to reduce their impact on the planet in other ways, such as eliminating their use of plastics and other harmful substances. Vegans may also choose to try to use naturally derived energy sources such as solar and wind.
There are also those who are still finding their way into a vegan lifestyle and it’s important to recognise that any attempt to reduce your reliance on animal products and animal cruelty, and ethical living in general, is a plus.
Positive changes you can make to your lifestyle in this way should be applauded. A happier and healthier world, for all animals, starts with us all as individuals making changes to the way we live.
A vegan diet
Many people know veganism as a diet. While diet is a big part of being a vegan, it’s not the only thing we care about (as you’ll see later on).
By choosing not to eat animal products, vegans have to choose what they eat with some care to make sure we get all the nutrients that we need.
Despite what some people think it’s actually very easy to have a filling, satisfying, and healthy diet when choosing a vegan lifestyle. You only have to take a look at a few of the vegan recipe ideas to see that we’re spoilt for choice!
Vegan food isn’t boring!
All of the fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals we need can be found from plant-based sources. The only exception to this is vitamin B12, which vegans normally have added as a supplement to their foods, such as our range of protein powders (which contain the recommended daily intake, 2.5μg, of vitamin B12).
Sports people are increasingly finding that a vegan diet and plant-based protein actually boosts their performance. With the likes of Venus Williams, Lewis Hamilton, David Haye and Scott Jurek all going vegan, it’s easy to see that a plant-based diet can help people reach their physical best.
An ethically led lifestyle
It’s impossible not to have seen how important the discussions around climate change and man-made damage to the planet are becoming. As world leaders dither about how best to reduce human impact on the planet, taking individual responsibility for your own footprint has never been more important.
From the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle it is possible to try to combat the environmental issues facing us today.
Simply use less. Use less plastic (or none, if you can), use less carbon-based energy, try to lower food waste. By simply keeping your purchase and usage of the earth’s resources to a minimum, you can help enormously.
Try to find another way of using things before throwing them away. Reuse paper bags, glass jars, and fabric items like clothes before considering recycling them. It’s why we supply the glass jars for our powders, so you can reuse them again and again (and again and again!).
Our glass jars allow a nearly infinite number of uses.
If you really had to buy it, and you can’t reuse it, then recycle. While UK recycling rates are moving in the right direction, we’re the 16th best recyclers in the world, so there is still room for improvement.
It’s also important to try to choose materials, in whatever you use, with the least impact on the planet.
Where did the material come from? Did it travel a long way or in an ecologically unfriendly manner?
Is the product made from highly sustainable materials in an ethical way that respects people, animals, and the environment?
It’s a lot to think about and can make choosing things in the supermarket more time consuming but you really are living a more ethical life by being mindful in this way. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t always reduce harm to the planet completely, but try to do the best you can.
Choosing products with mindfulness
By using some of the many second-hand shops on the UK high street you can both reduce your own impact and keep your bank balance looking healthier.
The UK is lucky to have such a blooming selection of second-hand shops with many backed by a charity, which can further enhance the social good of your choice to shop there.
Try looking for carbon neutral, or better, zero-carbon businesses that show they are committed to reducing the damage done to the environment.
Many brands are now aligning themselves with a cruelty-free scheme which can help you make an ethically led choice when out shopping. There are also handy lists available to let you identify brands who won’t stand for animal cruelty.
Supporting you with your goals
Vitally Vegan is here to support our customers in whatever way we can. We know how much effort it can take to make a change and we want to support our customers on their own individual journeys. We’re always happy to talk about your dietary and health goals and support you with our range of vegan products.