The vegan diet, or veganism, involves staying away from any and all animal products.
Both a lifestyle philosophy and a diet, vegans typically stay away from things like meat, eggs, and dairy products, though they may also reject the use of any other animal products such as leather.
An Ancient Diet
The practice of veganism is believed to go all the way back to the Indus Valley civilization, which existed in the Indian Subcontinent between northern and western ancient India in 3300-1300 BCE.
However, the term “vegan” didn’t really come into use until the mid-1900s, when members of the Vegetarian Society asked that a section of the Vegetarian newsletter be changed to focus on vegetarianism that involved non-dairy practices.
When the request was denied, Donald Watson, a secretary of a branch of the society, started a newsletter called “The Vegan News”.
From the 1940s on, vegans started to gain a stronghold in vegetarian communities. Today, it’s estimated that the fast-growing movement has upwards of 950 million followers worldwide.
Living A Vegan Life
To follow the vegan diet, one must cut out all animal products from their eating regimens. In addition to meat and animal fats, this includes things like cheese and eggs.
As with vegetarianism, it’s often recommended that followers of the vegan diet start small when transitioning to a meat-based diet to this plant-based eating plan. This means that meat and animal products can be removed slowly, rather than all at once, which may make some individuals sick or produce nutrient deficiencies.
The diet is highly variable and easily modifiable. There are a number of animal product substitutes that vegans can eat if they’d like, while some prefer to stay with more traditional foods like fruits, beans, nuts, starches, and vegetables to fill them up.
A Myriad Of Options
Today, veganism is so popular that places are starting to offer a variety of vegan options in addition to vegetarian and meat-based options. In fact, places like Disney have just announced that there will be more plant-based meals than ever, proving that more and more people are looking for vegan options wherever they go!
The Potential For Deficiencies
One thing to note about the vegan diet is that it’s necessary to do the correct research about the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs – and where those nutrients come from – before cutting things out of your diet.
Many vegans who don’t properly do this research end up facing difficulties with having enough energy or getting enough iron, as they remove sources of protein and iron from their diets.
While there are vegan-friendly foods that can supplement these needs, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional before majorly taking things out of your diet.
A Variety Of Vegan Celebrities
Veganism is easily one of the most well-known diets of the celebrity world. In fact, there are tons of celebs who have shared their veganism journeys with the media and with their fans, stating that the lifestyle change really did positively impact their weight and their overall health!
Some of these celebrities include:
- Joaquin Phoenix
- Woody Harrelson
- Alicia Silverstone
- Ellen DeGeneres
- Liam Hemsworth
- Portia de Rossi
An Incredibly Popular Diet
The vegan diet is one that has been steadily growing in popularity for the last several decades and is finally considered something that is more accessible today. When done correctly, it’s believed that vegan lifestyles can be quite beneficial for the body!