What is a Vegan?

I am back on this blog.  Let me start out by reviewing what veganism is.  Some strict vegans feel that the only people that should call themselves vegan are those that in it to protect the animals and of course not eating them.  Then there are the health vegans who may or may not be concerned with animal welfare.  They are vegan only for health reasons.  Finally, there are the environmental vegans who are concerned with the damage to the environment from people raising animals for food.  There are methane gases, use of antibiotics on them, waste products from the animals going into the rivers and the water table, more water and grains are used to raise a farm animal then to go directly into food for humans, and more.   So which is the proper use of the word vegan?

To answer this question let me put it this way.  I became a vegetarian in 1967 (49 years ago) for ethical reasons.  I did not do it for health reasons since I listened to the science of the time and actually believed that I would shorten my life span.   After 29 years, I realized that animals still suffer from dairy and egg production, so I became an ethical vegan.  Even though I was willing to trade a few years of life to help the animals, I soon found out that the science of the past was wrong.  New studies have shown that vegetarians, on average, live around five years longer than someone on a SAD diet (Standard American Diet).  A vegan lives, or average, ten years longer than someone on a SAD diet.  That is good news and I can accept it. Newer studies are now showing that a plant based diet is even better and has an even longer life span.  In a future write-up I will cover the difference between a vegan diet and a plant based diet.

Now I am a vegan for ethical, health, and environmental reasons.  We should not be tearing down fellow vegans if they are not just like us.  For example, if someone is eating a vegan diet for only health reasons, they are also saving animals.  So who cares if they are using the word vegan for one of the other two reasons to be vegan. Let us respect them for what they are doing.  They are helping to bring about a predominately vegan world by 2050.  So let us stop being elitists and instead embrace our fellow vegans.

Insert date: 2016.11.22 Last update: 2016.11.22

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