Frequently asked questions about being Vegan are answered here. Learn more about vegetarian and vegan related topics.
Vegan or the concept of Veganism is an attitude and way of life that eliminates the consumption of meat and animal derived foods. Essentially, veganism rejects the exploitation of and harm to animals. Vegans, individuals who practicing veganism, avoid the consuming of foods and products that come from animals.
Someone who is a vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat, poultry, and fish. Vegetarians eat mainly fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts. Many practicing vegetarians eat eggs and/or dairy products but no meat. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) classifies vegetarians more specifically in the following ways:
- Vegans or total vegetarians exclude all animal products (e.g. meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, and other dairy products). Many vegans also do not eat honey.
- Lactovegetarians exclude meat, poultry, fish, and eggs but include dairy products.
- Lacto-ovovegetarians exclude meat, poultry, and fish but include dairy products and eggs.
The One Day Vegan Challenge was created by Michael and Sami Fleischner to create global awareness for the positive impact of a plant based diet on health, well-being, and the environment. Individuals can sign up to show their support at Veganforoneday.com/challenge
Following a vegan lifestyle goes beyond consuming a vegan diet – omitting all animal based foods such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, and even honey, while loading up on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and soy. A vegan lifestyle is one where individuals do not purchase products made from animals such as leather shoes and other clothing.
Vegan foods do not contain meat or animal by-products (beef, pork, sheep, and poultry, milk, eggs, etc.). As a result, vegan foods are mostly plant-based including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes.
The biggest question we get from those taking the One Day Challenge is, “What do I eat?” Keep in mind that the goal is to build an awareness of the impact of plant-based eating. As such we encourage you to watch a documentary, join our Facebook Group, or follow us on Twitter to learn more about Veganism.
Those who are looking to make health changes of have a positive impact on the environment are encouraged to eliminate meat and other animal derived products like milk and cheese from their diet for just one day – oatmeal for breakfast, large salads for lunch, and whole grains like quinoa or brown rice with mixed vegetables make for great options. You can also view our videos that highlight what popular vegans eat in a day.
For most people of average build and physical activity, protein requirements fall in the daily range of between 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Of course, the range is broad and affected by your weight and amount of physical activity exerted on a daily basis.
No, vegans to not drink milk or consume dairy products. This is the main difference between vegans and vegetarians. Vegans do not consume milk, cheese, eggs, or dairy by products.
People not familiar with veganism often assume that it’s impossible to get enough protein on a vegan diet. This is largely do to the misconception that plant-based foods do not contain protein. The truth is that it’s easy to get enough protein on a vegan diet if you eat multiple servings of high-lysine foods such as legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains (example: quinoa) on a daily basis.
Most vegan foods are plant based such as fruits and vegetables and can be purchased in your local grocery store. Better food options which include organically grown plant-based products can be more difficult to find. Specialty chains like WholeFoods and Trader Joe’s have a greater variety of vegetarian and vegan options.
Vegan diets are usually higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, some vitamins, iron, and phytochemicals. Additionally, vegan diets are generally lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol. In general, vegetarians and vegans enjoy a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. According to the World Health Organization, cancer risk reduction has been associated with a high intake of fruits and vegetables.
There are claims of vitamin deficiency for those who are vegan or eating a vegetarian diet. However, these claims are not conclusive. Many recommendations mention that both Vegans and non-vegans alike should take Vitamin B12. It used to be that people who ate animal food were getting the B12 they needed, but with food becoming compromised, B12 is prolific.
Many individuals think about eating a plant based diet but have difficulty making the transition. It’s recommended that you begin by taking the Vegan For One Day challenge and/or begin by consuming fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Through the introduction of plant-based foods, your tastes and cravings will begin to change.
There are a number of documentaries that we recommend for people who want to learn more about veganism or vegetarianism:
- Forks Over Knives
- Food, Inc.
- Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead
All of these documentaries are available on Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon.