What is a vegan or vegetarian?
Basically, a vegan or vegetarian is a person who has removed certain animal products from their diets. The degree to which they have removed them is what determines whether they are a vegan or vegetarian.
A vegetarian is someone who removes many animal products from their diet and there are a few types of vegetarians that can be classified. A lacto-ovo vegetarian is someone who does not eat any animal flesh such as in meats, but will eat dairy and egg products. Whereas some vegetarians may only eat eggs, or only eat dairy products while others may still eat fish but no other types of meats.
A vegan is a person who has removed any and all animal-based products from their diet – no milk, meat, eggs, or honey. A fully vegan lifestyle also includes avoiding items made from animal products such as wool, leather and silk.
Being a vegan or vegetarian is very healthy.
Eating a balanced ‘plant-based diet’ meets many current healthy eating recommendations such as eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables while consuming less cholesterol and saturated fat which can decrease the chances of suffering from diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, strokes and cancers. There are also many vegan and vegetarian weight loss plans and vegetarian weight loss programs that make losing weight the healthy way easy, fast and fun. These diets are suitable for all age groups and lifestyles. Every day more and more research is proving the many health benefits of having a plant-based-diet and because of the wide variety of delicious foods available, it is also a very delicious way to live.
It is kind and compassionate.
If you happen to love animals and care about their well-being, then a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is extremely rewarding as it is based very much in the best interest of our animal friends. The treatment of factory-farmed animals is truly treacherous and once we realize the torture they go through, it is natural to want to help them in whatever way possible which the first step is to stop buying and consuming animal products.
It is great for the environment
If you want to be as green as possible, the fastest way to do it is by changing your diet. A University of Chicago study found that the ‘typical’ US diet generates the equivalent of nearly 1.5 tonnes more carbon dioxide per person per year than a vegan diet. The livestock industry is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transport sector (which produces 13.5%), including aviation.
Plant-based diets only require around one third of the land and water needed to produce a typical Western diet. Farmed animals consume much more protein, water and calories than they produce, so far greater quantities of crops and water are needed to produce animal ‘products’ to feed humans than are needed to feed people direct on a plant-based diet. With water and land becoming scarcer globally, world hunger increasing and the planet’s population rising, it is much more sustainable to eat plant foods direct than use up precious resources feeding farmed animals.
Farming animals and growing their feed also contributes to other environmental problems such as deforestation, water pollution and land degradation.
So why not give it a shot?
As you see, there are so many reasons to try a plant-based diet that maybe today is a great day to start! You can start slowly by adding one or two meat-free meals a week, or you can dive right in. But be sure to check out our library of great resources to help you get started by learning great recipes, vegetarian weight loss plan, vegetarian weight loss program and more.