What is veganism?
The term ‘vegan’ (pronounced “vee-gan”) was coined by Donald Watson in 1944, taking the first three and last two letters from the word ‘vegetarian’ as he believed that veganism starts with vegetarianism and carries it through to its logical conclusion.
Often veganism is used to refer to individuals who do not eat any animal-derived products. Not only is meat avoided, but also other animal products such as dairy and eggs. While diet is a very important part of being vegan, the term also refers to the broader philosophy and lifestyle that considers animals in all of the choices that we make, not just when we sit down to eat.
Beyond eating a diet free from animal products, other actions that we see as consistent with veganism include:
- Avoiding buying clothing made from animal-based products such as leather, fur and wool.
- Avoiding buying household products that are tested on animals or contain animal-derived ingredients.
- Not supporting entertainment involving animals, such as circuses, rodeos or zoos.
- Adopting companion animals, rather than supporting breeders or pet shops.