Vegan Lifestyle - A Detailed Guide on Veganism

A Well Detailed Guide on Veganism

Veganism is on the rise. This group of people is often regarded as unconventional eaters with an unnatural passion for animal rights. It is true that vegans have an unfathomable relationship with animals but there is more to veganism than that. Vegans follow a healthy and balanced diet that enables them to experience a host of health benefits. In this post, we take a look at the history and health benefits of veganism.

The History of Veganism

Every first of November marks World Vegan Day. We use this day to celebrate the hordes of people who don’t eat animal products such as meat, eggs or honey. They also don’t use anything that comes from animals or is associated with animal cruelty. Vegans also don’t use clothing or accessories made from animals. This means they don’t use leather shoes or woollen sweaters. The world first celebrated Vegan day in the year 1994 which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Vegan Society.

For those who don’t know, veganism can be best described as the superlative form of vegetarianism. The term was first introduced in the year 1944 to describe people who avoided all forms of meat. The term can be traced back to ancient Indian and eastern Mediterranean dialect. Before veganism caught on, people used vegetarianism which was first coined by Greek philosopher Pythagoras of Samos in 500 BCE. The philosopher was famous for his math theorem about right triangles. He was an active advocate for all species to coexist including both animals and humans. Apart from him, supporters and followers of Buddhism and Hinduism also advocated vegetarianism. These two sects follow a set of beliefs that guide them to coexist with animals without inflicting pain on animals.

Although veganism was popular in the Asian countries, the lifestyle never picked up in the west. Americans would every once in a while try out veganism in order to avoid health scares or during religious revivals. In the early 1730’s, a religious sect known as the Ephrata Cloister advocated for veganism in Pennsylvania. The sect also advocated for celibacy. Not long after, philosopher Jeremy Bentham advocated for animal rights on the basis that animal suffering was just as serious as human suffering. He likened his ideology to human superiority to racism.

Fast forward to 1847 and the first vegetarian society was established in England. This prompted Rev. Sylvester Graham to co-found the American Vegetarian Society. The American was a Presbyterian minister who instructed his followers (Grahamites), to live a virtuous life through veganism, celibacy and regular bathing. In late 1944, Donald Watson was not pleased with the fact that vegetarians ate dairy products and eggs. He coined the term “vegan,” which was used to describe people who completely avoided animal products. He used the Tuberculosis outbreak that was caused by dairy cows in Britain as a launching point for his new philosophy. He encouraged his followers to stick to the vegan lifestyle which would protect them from contaminated and disease-tainted food. He went on further to explain to people how they should pronounce the word vegan. Watson died in 2005 at the age of 95.

Vegans who stay true to the vegan ways completely avoid using animal products as food or even clothing. This has prompted a few individuals to stray from their belief. Healthwise, vegans who avoid animal products lack vitamin B12. This vitamin can only be found in animal products but the rise of vegan supplements such as those offered by Body by nature. These vegans may also opt to eat fortified food to get this vitamin. In America, those who identify as vegetarians, don’t suffer from the stigma by which the lifestyle choice came to be. It is accepted as a healthy choice. It is easy to come across restaurants that offer vegetarian options. This, however, doesn't apply to vegans. Veganism is still associated with animal-rights movements which haven't been fully accepted by the confines of social standards.