What is Vegan The word vegan represents where vegetarianism begins and ends. Vegetarian do not eat the flesh of any animal. Vegans do not eat or use anything that has ever come from any animal, in any way. Vegetarians and vegans agree that the definition of animal is: anything with a heart beat. (Just to clarify this includes insects and sea life) That means vegans do not eat or use eggs, milk, honey, silk, animal proteins, products refined through bone, products tested on animals and so forth. The list, unfortunately, is almost endless. Since most people don't know what vegan is (and often what vegetarian is) vegans are often accidentally excluded, ignored, and stereotyped. Vegans have just as much right to eat as anyone else does and there is no excuse to not provide them with ease of access. That's why we need to know what a vegan is, and why they're vegan, to include them. Why People are Vegan Religion – Some religions teach at their core that eating animals is wrong, and this is usually because all animals have intrinsic value and are not valued only for their use to humans – Followers of other religions interpret their religion in a unique way. Instead of applying basic rights to all humans, they think their religion wants them to apply basic rights to all living things Ethical – Many vegans believe that factory farming is wrong because it involves confining animals to conditions that are worse than any horror film or torture facility – By eating animal by-products like eggs and milk humans are paying money to keep alive animals in factory farms that will be killed for their meat once they're useless – Animals are ethically equal to humans and since murder is illegal and immoral killing cows, and other animals is also immoral and should be illegal (as it is in parts of India) This is also the origin of the common phrase meat is murder Environmental – Vegans acknowledge that 51% of greenhouse gases (the cause of climate change) come from the meat industry, and that animal by products also fuel the meat industry – Eating animals or using their by products causes water pollution, destroys land, and sucks up fossil fuels Health – Vegan diets are low in fat, free of cholesterol. Omnivores have a 9 times higher obesity rate than vegans – Vegan diets are mostly free of endocrine disrupters (which cause cancer among other diseases), 71% of those ingested in food come from milk Variations of Vegans Vegan may be the end of vegetarianism, but it isn't the end of how people concerned about their health and the environment eat. Many different groups take a basic vegan diet and exclude other foods. They are less common than vegans, but just like vegans they need to be included. Anyone can eat what a vegan or a variation of vegan can eat, but a vegan can't eat what everyone else eats. Making these foods available serves the greatest number of students. Organic Vegan - some vegans will only eat organic food for health or environmental reasons - food must come from a certified organic farmer - the certification must be from a third party whose organic criteria has been looked into Soy Free Vegan - soy is bad for the environment so they don't eat it - can't eat tofu or soy milk - some will eat soy if it is organic Raw Vegan - will not eat anything cooked above 48 degrees Celsius or 118 degrees Fahrenheit - there are health, environmental, and religious reasons for being raw vegan - eat typical vegan foods with a twist, such as they often use dates as a binder Gluten Free Vegan - do not eat wheat because of environmental impacts - eat products that would typically have wheat (like wraps and pizza) but have alternatives like rice or tapioca Fruitarian - vegans that believe that they should not kill anything to eat it, including plants. - strict fruitarians will only eat food that will fall naturally → this includes fruits and other foods that are not typically considered fruits such as eggplants, tomatoes, and cucumbers. → strict fruitarians will not eat seeds. - different variations of fruitarians will eat seeds, nuts, and grains but will still not eat anything that has to be removed from the plant in a way that will kill it - many fruitarians are also raw and organic vegans. Foods Vegans Cannot Eat (in Alphabetical Order) The following are ingredients vegans can not have. Vegans are very careful about their diet (and for good reason) and care should be taken into checking that food labeled vegan really is vegan. There are many other things vegans cannot eat, but this list contains some of the most common ones. Ingredient Explanation Alternatives acetate, Can come from fish liver oil, egg yolks or The product can be made from acetylated, butter. This ingredient is not always taken plants such as lemongrass, aliphatic, from animal sources, but the manufacturer carrots, and wheat germ oil. vitamin A, must be contacted and specifically asked retinol, about how the product is made before it can palmitate be labeled as vegan. It is usually easier to just avoid it. albumen or Protein that comes from egg whites, milk or In food it is usually a albumin animal blood. See eggs, milk or meat for preservative so it can be further explanation. replaced with other preservatives. amino acid or Comes from a variety of animal sources. This Amino acids that are derived theronine ingredient is not always taken from animal from plant sources. sources, but the manufacturer must be contacted and specifically asked about how the product is made before it can be labeled as vegan. It is usually easier to just avoid it. amylase An enzyme that comes from the pancreas of Vegetable based enzymes. hogs. calcium A powder that can come from bones, teeth, or Calcium carbonate from carbonate shells. This ingredient is not always taken limestone, marble, chalk or from animal sources, but the manufacturer plant ash. must be contacted and specifically asked about how the product is made before it can be labeled as vegan. It is usually easier to just avoid it. carmine, A red dye that is made from the crushed up Dyes from plants. carminic acid, female cochineal insect. 70,000 beetles can red number 4 or be killed to produce one pound of carmine. cochineal E20 casein or Casein is a milk protein. See milk for further Casein adds texture and is not caseinogen explanation. essential in cheeses. In protein powders it can be substituted with soy or rice protein. chocolate Chocolate is an umbrella term that hides Dark chocolate made without sugar and milk content. See sugar and milk milk and with acceptable sugar for further explanation. types. choleciferol, or A vitamin that is derived from lanolin (the D2 which is obtained from D3 wool of sheep) or from fish oil. fungus. diglyceride or A glyceride from animal fats found in Synthetic alternatives or plant monoglycerides margarine, cake mixed and so forth. This based diglycerides or ingredient is not always taken from animal monoglycerides. sources, but the manufacturer must be contacted and specifically asked about how the product is made before it can be labeled as vegan. It is usually easier to just avoid it. egg In factory farms chickens live in crowded As a binder can easily be wire cages and often have their beaks cut off replaced by silken tofu, baking without anesthetics. Lighting is used to soda and baking powder mix, simulate spring several times a year so that commercial vegan egg they produce more. When chickens decline in replacers, apple sauce or egg production (after a year usually, even bananas. though they have a lifespan of six plus years) they are killed. When breeding chickens to get females to lay eggs male chicks are ground up or gassed alive because they are not necessary. fatty acid, An acid that can come from a variety of Acids made from vegetables stearic, caprylic, animals. See meat for further explanation. such as soy lecithin, safflower myristic, oleic, oil, or sunflower oil. palmitic, stearic or behenic gelatin or A texture or thickening additive that is made Corn syrup adds some texture, gelatine by boiling the skin and bones of animals, but most of the time texture usually cows and pigs. can be sacrificed. glycerin or A liquid that may be made from animal fat. Glycerin from plant sources. glycerol This ingredient is not always taken from animal sources, but the manufacturer must be contacted and specifically asked about how the product is made before it can be labeled as vegan. It is usually easier to just avoid it. Honey, propolis Bees are often gassed, accidentally crushed Sweeteners such as maple or beeswax alive, or killed on purpose when humans syrup or agave. harvest their byproducts. They are often transported around the country to pollinate crops and undergo high stress and pesticide poisoning. isinglass Often found in the refining process of Bentonite and irish moss are alcohol, a type of gelatin taken from the air effective refining agents. bladder of fish. When serving alcohol the manufacturer must be contacted to determine how the alcohol was refined (beer is often done through isinglass or gelatin and wine through egg whites). Lactose or Lactose is a natural occurring sugar in milk. Products can simply come lactic acid See milk for further details. Lactic acid without lactose. Lactic acid usually comes from fermenting lactose. This can be made from non animals ingredient is not always taken from animal sources. sources, but the manufacturer must be contacted and specifically asked about how the product is made before it can be labeled as vegan. It is usually easier to just avoid it. Lard , suet, Fat from a variety of animals. See meat for Alternative taste agents such tallow or further details. as synthetics. dripping meat (cow, Each animal is farmed differently but some All forms of meat have non chicken, duck, common links between many are they can meat alternatives. Soy or seitan fish, goat, legally be transported to the slaughter house (wheat protein) chicken wings, mollusc, sheep, for 52 hours without food or water, mothers hot dogs, meatballs, burgers shellfish, rabbit are removed from their children in 24-48 and so forth can be found in and so forth) hours after birth, they are confined in cages the freezer section of most that are not large enough for them to turn grocery stores now. around, they often have pneumonia or cancer at time of slaughter, and they are forced to double in weight in short periods of time. milk, milk Cows must be pregnant to give milk. Male Soy, almond or rice milk are solids or milk babies typically become veal calves, which is all common alternatives. protein considered the worst form of treatment any animal endures. Veal cows are forced to be anemic and not allowed to move so that they do not develop muscle. Milk cows usually live short lives and are killed as soon as they can no longer produce milk. natural flavor Natural flavor could be anything that is Natural flavors that label natural, including products from animals. where they come from such as This ingredient is not always taken from spices. animal sources, but the manufacturer must be contacted and specifically asked about how the product is made before it can be labeled as vegan. It is usually easier to just avoid it. rennet or rennin A hardening substance (used mostly in Vegan cheese does not contain cheese) that is extracted from the stomach rennet, it is not required. lining of a baby cow or goat. By law it is not required to be labeled as an ingredient so the company must be contacted. If it is in normal cheese the cheese is usually not considered vegetarian. shellac or E904 Shellac is a secretion from insects usually Shellac only has aesthetic found in candy. value and is not necessary. sugar, glucose, 25% of all sugar is refined through cow bones Raw, organic, or evaporated fructose, brown so it is unacceptable to eat sugar that does not cane sugar are all not refined sugar, icing label how it was refined. It takes the 7,800 and thus okay for vegans. sugar etc. cows to make one sugar filter that will last for Companies like Redpath and 5-10 years. Lantic refine their sugar through plant or mineral (non animal) filters and are also acceptable. tofu and soy Soy (and one of its most common byproducts Organic tofu is the easiest tofu) is well known for its heavy option but soy can easily be contamination of pesticides and frequent replaced with rice, almond or addition of GMOs. wheat in nearly all cases. whey A by product of the milk separation process Can be replaced by soy, rice, that isolates casein and fat. See milk for or wheat. further explanation. Foods that should be available The following are foods that should always be available on campus for vegans to be healthy and feel at home. Food Name Explanation Agave Agave is a natural plant based sweetener, derived from cacti, that many vegans use as a sugar, honey, and maple sugar alternative. Almond, rice, Almond and rice milk are high in calcium, have no cholesterol and are an or organic soy essential staple because some people will not drink soy. If soy milk is available milk it must be organic because of the high GMO and pesticide rate in soy. Beans Beans like lentils, chick peas and kidney beans are high in fiber, iron and protein. They can be served in cold salads, as sprouts, in soups, and in wraps. Comfort Food There are so many comfort food options for omnivores and vegetarians that vegans often feel left out and lonely. Organic coffee and tea are a must because they can be produced in countries that use pesticides like DDT. Baked goods are important and egg can easily be replaced with silken tofu, banana, apple sauce, or a baking soda and baking powder mix depending on the recipe. Grains Whole grains like wheat and millet are good in breads. Quinoa is excellent in cold salads as it has even more protein than meat. Fake Meat Fake meats made from soy, beans and seitan (a wheat protein) are an important part of a vegan diet because of their high iron and protein. Examples are veggie burgers, tofu dogs, soy chicken strips and tofurkey. With fake meat products the ingredients must be double checked, as often they are vegetarian and not vegan. Hummus Hummus is a chickpea dip that is high in fiber, vitamin C, and iron. It can be served with pitas or vegetables. Hummus is also good because it is high in fat and provides the calories most vegan foods do not. Jam Jam makes bagels and sandwiches healthier because of extra fruit content. Jams with high vitamin C content are the best. Make sure jams do not contain sugar or glucose. Margarine Most margarines contain whey or casein and are not vegan – so be careful when finding a vegan margarine. Margarine is simply a food additive that should be supplied because omnivores are readily supplied with the alternative butter. Organic Fruit Vegans need to have 5-7 servings of fruit a day and foods free of pesticides are best. Some fruits that are essential to always have available on campus are apples, bananas, berries, oranges, tomatoes. Dried fruits are good as well. Organic Root vegetables must be organic because the root is where pesticides Potatoes concentrate. Sweet potatoes and variations like squash and yams are very healthy. Organic It is preferred that vegetables be organic to reduce their pesticide content. Vegetables Essential vegetables include carrots, spinach, broccoli, celery and kale. Peanut Butter Peanut butter is a great source of protein and can be added to many things. Most brands of peanut butter have sugar so there needs to be some without. Rice Brown or wild rice is a good source of protein and fiber. Since many people will not eat wheat rice alternatives should be available like rice pitas, wraps, and pizza crusts. Salad Salads with a variety of vegetables (lettuce, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers) are extremely healthy. The dressing must not have sugar and other non-vegan products. It is very easy to make vegan versions of common dressings such as Caesar salad that has no fish or eggs. Soy Yogurt Soy based yogurt is a great snack that is high in calcium and often vitamin D. Soup Vegetable soups such as carrot, sweet potato or mixed vegetable are simply another easy way to have access to healthy food. They are also very easy to make in large quantities.
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