Okay, so let’s get down to basics. . .
WHAT IS VEGANISM OR VEGETARIANISM?
Simply put, Vegetarians and Vegans do not eat any meat (this means no red meat, pork, chicken, fish, shellfish, etc). None of it! This also includes no soup stocks or gravies that are meat based, nothing cooked in animal fat or oils, nor do vegans or vegetarians usually choose to eat things cooked in the same dish as meats (please don’t ask them to “pick out the meat”- it’ll equal one sad dinner guest!). That’s why reading your ingredients is super important since so many products have animals ingredients which you’d never assume!
The difference between Vegetarians and Vegans is that Vegans also do not consume or use any animal products (no honey, eggs, cheese, milk, wearing of wool or leather, and so on) whereas many vegetarians will eat cheese and so on.
Hard to get straight? It’s like this:
VEGETARIANS– No meat, but they may eat eggs, milk, or cheese.
VEGANS– No meat, No Dairy (no ice-cream, no eggs, no milk, no cheese, no honey… you get it!)
WHY CHOOSE VEGANISM/VEGETARIANISM?
Everyone has their own reasons for being a vegan or vegetarian. Some people do it for health reasons, others have environmental or ethical standpoints that this lifestyle supports, such as wanting to lower their carbon footprint, not wanting to support factory farming and so on. It’s safe to say that most vegans and vegetarians are motivated by compassion for animals, and do not want to eat them when there are other options for a healthy, balanced lifestyle through plant-based diets.
Vegan, Vegetarian or not, things aren’t always black and white so if you want to learn more of why someone chose their lifestyle or if you want advice on how to do so yourself, it’s always safe to just ask! If we respect one another and have an open mind and heart, people will appreciate your consideration and thoughtfulness!