The Ultimate Guide To Vegan!
Who Is This Guide For?
Veganism is commonly viewed by many people as about as exciting as a wet weekend in Bognor! (Editor’s Note: Bognor really is a lovely place!)
Well, that’s all going to change with the Cruelty Free Lifestyle.org Ultimate Guide To Vegan!
Veganism is now a realistic lifestyle choice and a lot more fun than wearing a horse hair vest (which is definitely not vegan!).
We wrote this guide for anyone who wants to cut through the mis-information & extreme agendas, to find out the true facts about veganism – from a beginners perspective.
Most of all, we want you to walk away from this guide feeling confident about Veganism and your journey to help the animals.
So suspend judgement for a while and let’s do this…
How Much of this Guide Should You Read?
This guide is designed for you to read from start to finish, although you don’t need to do it in one hit!
Each new chapter builds upon the previous one.
A core idea that we want to reinforce is that veganism should be viewed holistically.
Reading this guide from start to finish will help you connect the many different parts of your lifestyle to your big-picture goal, which is to stop animal cruelty
as far as we can.
So what happens after you’ve read the Ultimate Guide To Vegan?
Fear not! You are on the same journey that is being joined by thousands of people every single day. Stick around theOrg website because we are the fastest growing vegan website in the United Kingdom. We are constantly adding resources to help you and perhaps most importantly, we won’t judge you!
Here’s A Sneak Preview Of What’s In Store!
Chapter 1. Vegan
Chapter 2. Why Be A Vegan
Chapter 6. Can I Be A Vegan?
Chapter 7. Is Vegan Food Boring?
Chapter 8. Social Considerations Of Being A Vegan
Chapter 9. Watch Out For The Vegan Police!
Chapter 10. Can I Be A Vegan Some Days And Not Other Days?
Chapter 11. Do I Have To Be A Vegan? Can I Be A Part Vegan?
Chapter 12. I’m Not Ready To Be A Vegan Yet, What Can I Do?
Chapter 13. Where Can I Get Help And Advice?
Chapter14. Other Reasons To Be Vegan.
Chapter 15. Its Not Just Food!
Chapter 16. Healthcare Drugs And Research.
Chapter 17. Famous Vegans!
Remember, you can only do your best,
so be kind to yourself!
Chapter 1. Vegan
If you’re thinking about starting living cruelty-free, you may be a bit lost in the amount of information out there!
For instance, instead of long fancy articles on superfoods, it would be amazing if someone cared to properly explain what it means to be vegan.
Good news – this is just what we’re about to cover! Consider this material your Veganism 101 guide, which will cover all the basics and set you up for a great start in the new exciting chapter of your life. Keep reading – and we promise, you won’t be disappointed.
Definition of veganism
Ok, every great guide starts with a definition – and being a great guide, this one won’t be an exception.
According to the updated 1979 definition by the Memorandum and Articles of Association, veganism is “A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”
So, contrary to popular belief, veganism is so much more than a strict plant-based nutrition plan – it’s basically a lifestyle.
If you commit to this lifestyle, you will likely have to tweak every single area of your life – not to say it’s overly difficult, but you still need to be mentally prepared for such changes.
Even though we’ve established that veganism is not just about a certain way of eating, this is usually the first question to arise regardless. If you think about it, it’s perfectly logical, considering the cultural significance of food and eating .
When you tell other people you’re intending to go vegan, they may start scaring you into believing that vegan diet is dull and boring, and you will soon end up crying on the floor eating the 100th carrot of the day! Let us reassure you – this could not be further from truth!
But once you get a good hang of it, it vegan eating will become a habit – and a great one.
In fact, a vegan diet is very vibrant and diverse and consists of a wonderful variety of all kinds of fruit, vegetables, nuts grains, seeds, beans and pulses. All these products make a perfect base for an endless variety of delicious recipes which you will soon discover.
We’re not going to lie – just like every major adjustment, transitioning to vegan diet is going to take some time and effort, largely because you’ll need to re-build your shopping routine from scratch. But once you get a good hang of it, it vegan eating will become a habit – and a great one.
What about the things I can’t eat?
Quite obviously, vegans don’t eat any meat, or poultry. That’s also similar to vegetarian diet – but unlike vegetarians, vegans do not consume of use any products derived from animals.
Eggs come from chicken? They’re out.
Cows give milk? No dairy for vegans, sorry.
No honey either – no, bees don’t actually make it to please your taste buds.
It goes beyond nutrition, of course. If you decide to go vegan, you will also need to exclude things like leather, fur, silk and wool.
You will also have to be careful when shopping for cosmetics, soaps and household items, as many of those contain ingredients sourced from animals.
That sounds restrictive – can I just go vegetarian?
Yes, of course! But in time, you will soon realise that veganism makes the most sense. Even if you can’t quite get there, every little helps.
It’s not even just for health reasons, although vegan diets are likely far superior to Western-type nutrition, high in empty calories and disease-causing processed foods . Veganism also appeals to people for a wide variety of environmental and ethical reasons.
Let us give you a simple example. You may think, for example, that eating chicken is cruel, whereas consuming eggs is just fine as chickens lay them anyway. However, there are several problems accompanying this approach.
Firstly, in order to maximise profits, egg laying hens are often kept in horrible conditions, cramped into tiny cages of barns – the standards regulating this are pretty slack, unfortunately.
Secondly, while hens at least survive (although they are routinely killed prematurely when they can’t lay eggs anymore, meaning they are no use for the industry anymore), male chicks don’t even get this luxury.
Being a very common practice, chicken culling involves killing newly hatched male chicks right after birth, as they do not lay eggs. You’d think they could at least be used for food after growing up, but here’s the thing: as a consequence of modern selective breeding, laying hen strains are different from meat production strains, meaning there is no room for them in the poultry section of your nearest supermarket.
This and many other examples clearly demonstrate that if we really want to change unnecessary cruel practices, we have to go vegan – not vegetarian.
“This sounds so overwhelming, I’m afraid I can’t do this…”
There are wonderful, affordable vegan alternatives to just about anything these days, and as the prevalence of vegan lifestyle grows , these are easily found in stock in most shops, not just in specialised ones anymore.
In fact, living a vegan lifestyle has never been easier, so it’s a very good time to jump on board.
Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it’s perfectly fine to take your time to make a full transition. Every little step you make towards veganism saves lives and gives hope for a better world.
1. Murcott, A. (1982) “The cultural significance of food and eating”. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. UK.
2. Dinu, M., et al (2016). “Vegetarian, vegan diets and multiple health outcomes: a systematic review with meta-analysis of observational studies.” Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016 Feb 6:0.