Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal product—particularly in diet—and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.[c] An individual who follows the diet or philosophy is known as a vegan. Distinctions may be made between several categories of veganism. Dietary vegans, also known as "strict vegetarians", refrain from consuming meat, eggs, dairy products, and any other animal-derived substances.[d] An ethical vegan is someone who not only follows a plant-based diet but extends the philosophy into other areas of their lives, opposes the use of animals for any purpose,[e] and tries to avoid any cruelty and exploitation of all animals including humans. Another term is "environmental veganism", which refers to the avoidance of animal products on the premise that the industrial farming of animals is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.
The term "vegetarian" has been in use since around 1839 to refer to what was previously described as a vegetable regimen or diet. Its origin is an irregular compound of vegetable and the suffix -arian (in the sense of "supporter, believer" as in humanitarian). The earliest known written use is attributed to actress, writer and abolitionistFanny Kemble, in her Journal of a Residence on a Georgian plantation in 1838–1839.[i]
In 1843, members of Alcott House created the British and Foreign Society for the Promotion of Humanity and Abstinence from Animal Food, led by Sophia Chichester, a wealthy benefactor of Alcott House. Alcott House also helped to establish the UK Vegetarian Society, which held its first meeting in 1847 in Ramsgate, Kent.The Medical Times and Gazette in London reported in 1884:
There are two kinds of Vegetarians—one an extreme form, the members of which eat no animal food products what-so-ever; and a less extreme sect, who do not object to eggs, milk, or fish. The Vegetarian Society ... belongs to the latter more moderate division.
An article in the Society's magazine, the Vegetarian Messenger, in 1851 discussed alternatives to shoe leather, which suggests the presence of vegans within the membership who rejected animal use entirely, not only in diet. By the 1886 publication of Henry S. Salt's A Plea for Vegetarianism and Other Essays, he asserts that, "It is quite true that most—not all—Food Reformers admit into their diet such animal food as milk, butter, cheese, and eggs..."Russell Thacher Trall's The Hygeian Home Cook-Book published in 1874 is the first known vegan cookbook in America. The book contains recipes "without the employment of milk, sugar, salt, yeast, acids, alkalies, grease, or condiments of any kind." An early vegan cookbook, Rupert H. Wheldon's No Animal Food: Two Essays and 100 Recipes, was published by C. W. Daniel in 1910. The consumption of milk and eggs became a battleground over the following decades. There were regular discussions about it in the Vegetarian Messenger; it appears from the correspondence pages that many opponents of veganism came from vegetarians.
During a visit to London in 1931, Mahatma Gandhi—who had joined the Vegetarian Society's executive committee when he lived in London from 1888 to 1891—gave a speech to the Society arguing that it ought to promote a meat-free diet as a matter of morality, not health. Lacto-vegetarians acknowledged the ethical consistency of the vegan position but regarded a vegan diet as impracticable and were concerned that it might be an impediment to spreading vegetarianism if vegans found themselves unable to participate in social circles where no non-animal food was available. This became the predominant view of the Vegetarian Society, which in 1935 stated: "The lacto-vegetarians, on the whole, do not defend the practice of consuming the dairy products except on the ground of expediency."
In August 1944, several members of the Vegetarian Society asked that a section of its newsletter be devoted to non-dairy vegetarianism. When the request was turned down, Donald Watson, secretary of the Leicester branch, set up a new quarterly newsletter in November 1944, priced tuppence. He called it The Vegan News. The word vegan was invented by Watson and Dorothy Morgan, a schoolteacher he would later marry. The word is based on "the first three and last two letters of 'vegetarian'" because it marked, in Mr Watson's words, "the beginning and end of vegetarian".The Vegan News asked its readers if they could think of anything better than vegan to stand for "non-dairy vegetarian". They suggested allvega, neo-vegetarian, dairyban, vitan, benevore, sanivores, and beaumangeur.
The first edition attracted more than 100 letters, including from George Bernard Shaw, who resolved to give up eggs and dairy. The new Vegan Society held its first meeting in early November at the Attic Club, 144 High Holborn, London. Those in attendance were Donald Watson, Elsie B. Shrigley, Fay K. Henderson, Alfred Hy Haffenden, Paul Spencer and Bernard Drake, with Mme Pataleewa (Barbara Moore, a Russian-British engineer) observing.World Vegan Day is held every 1 November to mark the founding of the Society and the month of November is considered by the Society to be World Vegan Month.
The Vegan News changed its name to The Vegan in November 1945, by which time it had 500 subscribers. It published recipes and a "vegan trade list" of animal-free products, such as toothpastes, shoe polishes, stationery and glue. Vegan books appeared, including Vegan Recipes by Fay K. Henderson (1946)  and Aids to a Vegan Diet for Children by Kathleen V. Mayo (1948).
The Vegan Society soon made clear that it rejected the use of animals for any purpose, not only in diet. In 1947, Watson wrote: "The vegan renounces it as superstitious that human life depends upon the exploitation of these creatures whose feelings are much the same as our own ...". From 1948, The Vegan's front page read: "Advocating living without exploitation", and in 1951, the Society published its definition of veganism as "the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals". In 1956, its vice-president, Leslie Cross, founded the Plantmilk Society; and in 1965, as Plantmilk Ltd and later Plamil Foods, it began production of one of the first widely distributed soy milks in the Western world.
Since 1988, The Vegan Society defines veganism as follows:
Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.
In the 1960s and 1970s, a vegetarian food movement emerged as part of the counterculture in the United States that focused on concerns about diet, the environment, and a distrust of food producers, leading to increasing interest in organic gardening. One of the most influential vegetarian books of that time was Frances Moore Lappé's 1971 text, Diet for a Small Planet. It sold more than three million copies and suggested "getting off the top of the food chain".
The vegan diet became increasingly mainstream in the 2010s, especially in the latter half.The Economist declared 2019 "the year of the vegan". Chain restaurants began marking vegan items on their menus and supermarkets improved their selection of vegan-processed food.
The global mock-meat market increased by 18 percent between 2005 and 2010, and in the United States by eight percent between 2012 and 2015, to $553 million a year. The Vegetarian Butcher (De Vegetarische Slager), the first known vegetarian butcher shop, selling mock meats, opened in the Netherlands in 2010, while America's first vegan butcher, the Herbivorous Butcher, opened in Minneapolis in 2016. Since 2017, more than 12,500 chain restaurant locations have begun offering Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods products including Carl's Jr. outlets offering Beyond Burgers and Burger King outlets serving Impossible Whoppers. Plant-based meat sales in the U.S grew 37% between 2017 and 2019.
By 2016, 49% of Americans were drinking plant milk, and 91% still drank dairy milk. In the United Kingdom, the plant milk market increased by 155 percent in two years, from 36 million litres (63 million imperial pints) in 2011 to 92 million (162 million imperial pints) in 2013. There was a 185% increase in new vegan products between 2012 and 2016 in the UK. In 2017, the United States School Nutrition Association found 14% of school districts across the country were serving vegan school meals compared to 11.5% of schools offering vegan lunch in 2016, reflecting a change happening in many parts of the world, including Brazil and England.
In total, as of 2016[update], the largest share of vegan consumers globally currently reside in Asia Pacific with nine percent of people following a vegan diet. In 2017, veganism rose in popularity in Hong Kong and China, particularly among millennials. China's vegan market was estimated to rise by more than 17% between 2015 and 2020, which is expected to be "the fastest growth rate internationally in that period". This exceeds the projected growth in the second and third fastest-growing vegan markets internationally in the same period, the United Arab Emirates (10.6%) and Australia (9.6%) respectively.
In January 2021, 582,538 people from 209 countries and territories signed up for Veganuary, breaking the previous year's record of 400,000. That same month, ONA in France became the first vegan restaurant in the country to receive a Michelin star. Throughout the year, a further 79 plant-based restaurants around the world received Michelin stars. At the end of the year, a poll conducted by The Guardian showed that a new high of 36% of the British public were interested in veganism.
Australia: Australians topped Google's worldwide searches for the word "vegan" between mid-2015 and mid-2016. A Euromonitor International study concluded the market for packaged vegan food in Australia would rise 9.6% per year between 2015 and 2020, making Australia the third-fastest growing vegan market behind China and the United Arab Emirates.
Belgium: A 2016 iVOX online study found that out of 1000 Dutch-speaking residents of Flanders and Brussels of 18 years and over, 0.3 percent were vegan.
Brazil: According to research by IBOPE Inteligência published in April 2018, 14% of Brazilians, or about 30 million people, considered themselves vegetarians, 7 million of them vegans.
Canada: In 2018, one survey estimated that 2.1 percent of adult Canadians considered themselves as vegans.
Germany: A government-commissioned survey indicates that as of 2021[update], 2% of German residents follow a vegan diet, with higher incidence rates among the younger, the less educated (people who ended their formal education with Hauptschule graduation), and residents of former West Germany.
India: In the 2005–06 National Health Survey, 1.6% of the surveyed population reported never consuming animal products. Veganism was most common in the states of Gujarat (4.9%) and Maharashtra (4.0%).
Israel: Five percent (approx. 300,000) in Israel said they were vegan in 2014, making it the highest per capita vegan population in the world. A 2015 survey by Globes and Israel's Channel 2 News similarly found 5% of Israelis were vegan. Veganism increased among Israeli Arabs. The Israeli army made special provision for vegan soldiers in 2015, which included providing non-leather boots and wool-free berets. Veganism also simplifies adherence to the Judaic prohibition on combining meat and milk in meals.
Italy: Between 0.6 and 3 percent of Italians were reported to be vegan as of 2015[update].
Netherlands: In 2018, the Dutch Society for Veganism (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Veganisme, NVV) estimated there were more than 100,000 Dutch vegans (0.59 percent), based on their membership growth. In July 2020 the NVV estimated the number of vegans in the Netherlands at 150,000. That is approximately 0.9% of the Dutch population.
Romania: Followers of the Romanian Orthodox Church keep fast during several periods throughout the ecclesiastical calendar amounting to a majority of the year. In the Romanian Orthodox tradition, devotees abstain from eating any animal products during these times. As a result, vegan foods are abundant in stores and restaurants; however, Romanians may not be familiar with a vegan diet as a full-time lifestyle choice.
Sweden: Four percent said they were vegan in a 2014 Demoskop poll.
Switzerland: Market research company DemoSCOPE estimated in 2017 that three percent of the population was vegan.
United Kingdom: A 2016 Ipsos MORI study commissioned by the Vegan Society, surveying almost 10,000 people aged 15 or over across England, Scotland, and Wales, found that 1.05 percent were vegan; the Vegan Society estimates that 542,000 in the UK follow a vegan diet. According to a 2018 survey by Comparethemarket.com, the number of people who identify as vegans in the United Kingdom has risen to over 3.5 million, which is approximately seven percent of the population, and environmental concerns were a major factor in this development. However, doubt was cast on this inflated figure by the UK-based Vegan Society, who perform their own regular survey: the Vegan Society themselves found in 2018 that there were 600,000 vegans in Great Britain (1.16%), which was seen as a dramatic increase on previous figures. YouGov reported 3% vegans in 2021.
United States: Estimates of vegans in the U.S. in past varied from 2% (Gallup, 2012) to 0.5% (Faunalytics, 2014). According to the latter, 70% of those who adopted a vegan diet abandoned it. However, Top Trends in Prepared Foods 2017, a report by GlobalData, estimated that "6% of US consumers now claim to be vegan, up from just 1% in 2014." In 2020, YouGov published results of 2019 research which showed only 2.26% reported being vegan. Nearly 59% of the vegan respondents were female. According to Gallup, black Americans are three times as likely to be vegan and vegetarian as whites as of July 2018 (9% compared to 3%).
While vegans broadly abstain from animal products, there are many ways in which animal products are used, and different individuals and organizations that identify with the practice of veganism may use some limited animal products based on philosophy, means or other concerns.
Philosopher Gary Steiner argues that it is not possible to be entirely vegan, because animal use and products are "deeply and imperceptibly woven into the fabric of human society".
Animal Ingredients A to Z (2004) and Veganissimo A to Z (2013) list which ingredients might be animal-derived. The British Vegan Society's sunflower logo and PETA's bunny logo mean the product is certified vegan, which includes no animal testing. The Leaping Bunny logo signals no animal testing, but it might not be vegan. The Vegan Society criteria for vegan certification are that the product contain no animal products, and that neither the finished item nor its ingredients have been tested on animals by, or on behalf of, the manufacturer or by anyone over whom the manufacturer has control. Its website contains a list of certified products, as does Australia's Choose Cruelty Free (CCF). The British Vegan Society will certify a product only if it is free of animal involvement as far as possible and practical, including animal testing, but "recognises that it is not always possible to make a choice that avoids the use of animals", an issue that was highlighted in 2016 when it became known that the UK's newly introduced £5 note contained tallow.
Meat, eggs and dairy
Modern methods of factory farming are considered highly unethical by most vegans.
Like vegetarians, vegans do not eat meat (including beef, pork, poultry, fowl, game, animal seafood). The main difference between a vegan and vegetarian diet is that vegans exclude dairy products and eggs. Ethical vegans avoid them on the premise that their production causes animal suffering and premature death.
In egg production, most male chicks are culled because they do not lay eggs. Egg laying hens also suffer from keel bone fractures due to being bred to produce disproportionately large eggs, with the largest study of its kind showing that 85% of Danish egg laying hens suffer from keel bone fractures.
To obtain milk from dairy cattle, cows are made pregnant to induce lactation; they are kept lactating for three to seven years, then slaughtered. Female calves can be separated from their mothers within 24 hours of birth, and fed milk replacer to retain the cow's milk for human consumption. Most male calves are slaughtered at birth, sent for veal production, or reared for beef.
Many clothing products may be made of animal products such as silk, wool (including lambswool, shearling, cashmere, angora, mohair, and a number of other fine wools), fur, feathers, pearls, animal-derived dyes, leather, snakeskin, or other kinds of skin or animal product. While dietary vegans might use animal products in clothing, toiletries, and similar, ethical veganism extends not only to matters of food but also to the wearing or use of animal products, and rejects the commodification of animals altogether.: 62 Most leather clothing is made from cow skins. Some vegans regard the purchase of leather, particularly from cows, as financial support for the meat industry.: 115 Vegans may wear clothing items and accessories made of non-animal-derived materials such as hemp, linen, cotton, canvas, polyester, artificial leather (pleather), rubber, and vinyl.: 16 Leather alternatives can come from materials such as cork, piña (from pineapples), cactus, and mushroom leather. Some vegan clothes, in particular leather alternatives, are made of petroleum-based products, which has triggered criticism because of the environmental damage involved in their production.
Vegans replace personal care products and household cleaners containing animal products with products that are vegan. Animal ingredients are ubiquitous because they are relatively inexpensive. After animals are slaughtered for meat, the leftovers are put through a rendering process and some of that material, particularly the fat, is used in toiletries.
Common animal-derived ingredients include: tallow in soap; collagen-derived glycerine, which used as a lubricant and humectant in many haircare products, moisturizers, shaving foams, soaps and toothpastes;lanolin from sheep's wool is often found in lip balm and moisturizers; stearic acid is a common ingredient in face creams, shaving foam and shampoos, (as with glycerine, it can be plant-based, but is usually animal-derived); Lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid derived from animal milk, is used in moisturizers; allantoin— from the comfrey plant or cows' urine —is found in shampoos, moisturizers and toothpaste; and carmine from scale insects, such as the female cochineal, is used in food and cosmetics to produce red and pink shades;
Beauty Without Cruelty, founded as a charity in 1959, was one of the earliest manufacturers and certifiers of animal-free personal care products.
Vegan groups disagree about insect products. Neither the Vegan Society nor the American Vegan Society considers honey, silk, and other insect products as suitable for vegans. Some vegans believe that exploiting the labor of bees and harvesting their energy source is immoral, and that commercial beekeeping operations can harm and even kill bees. Insect products can be defined much more widely, as commercial bees are used to pollinate about 100 different food crops.
Due to the environmental impact of meat-based pet food and the ethical problems it poses for vegans, some vegans extend their philosophy to include the diets of pets. This is particularly true for domesticated cats and dogs, for which vegan pet food is both available and nutritionally complete, such as Vegepet. This practice has been met with caution and criticism, especially regarding vegan cat diets because felids are obligate carnivores. Nutritionally complete vegan pet diets are comparable to meat-based ones for cats and dogs. A 2015 study found that 6 out of 24 commercial vegan pet food brands do not meet the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) labeling regulations for amino acid adequacy.
A concern is the case of medications, which are routinely tested on animals to ensure they are effective and safe, and may also contain animal ingredients, such as lactose, gelatine, or stearates. There may be no alternatives to prescribed medication or these alternatives may be unsuitable, less effective, or have more adverse side effects. Experimentation with laboratory animals is also used for evaluating the safety of vaccines, food additives, cosmetics, household products, workplace chemicals, and many other substances. Vegans may avoid certain vaccines, such as the flu vaccine, which is commonly produced in chicken eggs. An effective alternative, Flublok, is widely available in the United States.
In the 2010s and 2020s, a number of companies have genetically engineered yeast to produce cow milk proteins, whey, or fat, without the use of cows. These include Perfect Day, Novacca, Motif FoodWorks, Remilk, Final Foods, Imagindairy, Nourish Ingredients, and Circe.
Nutritional content of cows', soy, and almond milk
As of 2019 in the United States, there were numerous vegan egg substitutes available, including products used for "scrambled" eggs, cakes, cookies, and doughnuts.Baking powder, silken (soft) tofu, mashed potato, bananas, flaxseeds, and aquafaba from chickpeas can also be used as egg substitutes. Which one of these works depends on the egg property the replacement is meant to emulate. Scrambled tofu for instance replaces scrambled eggs, but tofu does not act as a binding agent for cakes like raw eggs, flaxseeds or bananas do.
Raw veganism, combining veganism and raw foodism, excludes all animal products and food cooked above 48 °C (118 °F). A raw vegan diet includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain and legume sprouts, seeds, and sea vegetables. There are many variations of the diet, including fruitarianism.
Research and guidance
A 2022 review indicated that a vegan diet may be effective for reducing body weight, lowering the risk of cancer, and providing a lower risk of all-cause mortality. People on a vegan diet with diabetes or cardiovascular diseases may have lower levels of disease biomarkers.
A 2022 meta-analysis found moderate evidence that adhering to a vegan diet for at least 12 weeks may be effective in individuals with overweight or type 2 diabetes to induce a meaningful decrease in body weight and improve glycemia.
A 2021 Cochrane review of randomized controlled trials found that there is "currently insufficient information to draw conclusions about the effects of vegan dietary interventions on cardiovascular disease risk factors". A 2018 meta-analysis of observational studies concluded that "In most countries, a vegan diet is associated with a more favourable cardio-metabolic profile compared to an omnivorous diet". A 2022 meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies concluded that vegan diets are associated with reduced risk of Ischemic Heart Disease, but no clear association was found for cardiovascular disease and stroke.
A 2020 review of inflammation biomarkers found that a vegan diet was associated with lower levels of C-reactive protein compared to omnivores. There is inconsistent evidence for vegan diets providing an effect on metabolic syndrome. There is tentative evidence of an association between vegan diets and a reduced risk of cancer. A vegan diet without caloric restriction may reduce high blood pressure similarly to diets recommended by medical societies and portion-controlled diets. Vegans may be at risk of low bone mineral density.
Positions of dietetic and government associations
Healthy vegan meal composition shown using the food plate method
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Dietitians of Canada consider well-planned vegetarian and vegan diets "appropriate for individuals during all stages of the lifecycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes". The German Society for Nutrition cautioned against a vegan diet for pregnant women, breastfeeding women, babies, children, and adolescents. The position of the Canadian Pediatric Society is that "well-planned vegetarian and vegan diets with appropriate attention to specific nutrient components can provide a healthy alternative lifestyle at all stages of fetal, infant, child and adolescent growth. It is recommended that attention should be given to nutrient intake, particularly protein, vitamins B12 and D, essential fatty acids, iron, zinc, and calcium.
Vegan diets tend to be high in dietary fiber, folate, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, and unsaturated fats. However, consuming no animal products increases the risk of deficiencies of vitamins B12 and D, calcium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids.
The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that special attention may be necessary to ensure that a vegan diet will provide adequate amounts of vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, iodine, iron, and zinc. It also states that concern that vegans and vegan athletes may not consume an adequate amount and quality of protein is unsubstantiated.
These nutrients are available in plant foods, with the exception of vitamin B12, which can be obtained only from B12-fortified vegan foods or supplements. Iodine may also require supplementation, such as using iodized salt.Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs in up to 80% of vegans that do not supplement with vitamin B12.
For information on the impact of meat on the diet, see this article.
Pigs, as well as chickens and cattle, often have their movement restricted.
Ethical veganism is based on opposition to speciesism, the assignment of value to individuals based on (animal) species membership alone. Divisions within animal rights theory include the utilitarian, protectionist approach, which pursues improved conditions for animals. It also pertains to the rights-based abolitionism, which seeks to end human ownership of non-humans, including as pets. Abolitionists argue that protectionism serves only to make the public feel that animal use can be morally unproblematic (the "happy meat" position).: 62–63
Donald Watson, co-founder of The Vegan Society, stated in response to a question on why he was an ethical vegan, "If an open-minded, honest person pursues a course long enough, and listens to all the criticisms, and in one's own mind can satisfactorily meet all the criticisms against that idea, sooner or later one's resistance against what one sees as evil tradition has to be discarded." On bloodsports, he has said that "to kill creatures for fun must be the very dregs," and that vivisection and animal experimentation "is probably the cruelest of all Man's attack on the rest of Creation." He has also stated that "vegetarianism, whilst being a necessary stepping-stone, between meat eating and veganism, is only a stepping stone."
Law professor Gary Francione, an abolitionist, argues that all sentient beings should have the right not to be treated as property, and that adopting veganism must be the baseline for anyone who believes that non-humans have intrinsic moral value.[m]: 62 Philosopher Tom Regan, also a rights theorist, argues that animals possess value as "subjects-of-a-life", because they have beliefs, desires, memory and the ability to initiate action in pursuit of goals. The right of subjects-of-a-life not to be harmed can be overridden by other moral principles, but Regan argues that pleasure, convenience and the economic interests of farmers are not weighty enough. Philosopher Peter Singer, a protectionist and utilitarian, argues that there is no moral or logical justification for failing to count animal suffering as a consequence when making decisions, and that killing animals should be rejected unless necessary for survival. Despite this, he writes that "ethical thinking can be sensitive to circumstances", and that he is "not too concerned about trivial infractions".
An argument proposed by Bruce Friedrich, also a protectionist, holds that strict adherence to veganism harms animals, because it focuses on personal purity, rather than encouraging people to give up whatever animal products they can. For Francione, this is similar to arguing that, because human-rights abuses can never be eliminated, we should not defend human rights in situations we control. By failing to ask a server whether something contains animal products, we reinforce that the moral rights of animals are a matter of convenience, he argues. He concludes from this that the protectionist position fails on its own consequentialist terms.: 72–73
Philosopher Val Plumwood maintained that ethical veganism is "subtly human-centred", an example of what she called "human/nature dualism" because it views humanity as separate from the rest of nature. Ethical vegans want to admit non-humans into the category that deserves special protection, rather than recognize the "ecological embeddedness" of all. Plumwood wrote that animal food may be an "unnecessary evil" from the perspective of the consumer who "draws on the whole planet for nutritional needs"—and she strongly opposed factory farming—but for anyone relying on a much smaller ecosystem, it is very difficult or impossible to be vegan.
Bioethicist Ben Mepham, in his review of Francione and Garner's book The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation?, concludes that "if the aim of ethics is to choose the right, or best, course of action in specific circumstances 'all things considered', it is arguable that adherence to such an absolutist agenda is simplistic and open to serious self-contradictions. Or, as Farlie puts it, with characteristic panache: 'to conclude that veganism is the "only ethical response" is to take a big leap into a very muddy pond'." He cites as examples the adverse effects on animal wildlife derived from the agricultural practices necessary to sustain most vegan diets and the ethical contradiction of favoring the welfare of domesticated animals but not that of wild animals; the imbalance between the resources that are used to promote the welfare of animals as opposed to those destined to alleviate the suffering of the approximately one billion human beings who undergo malnutrition, abuse, and exploitation; the focus on attitudes and conditions in western developed countries, leaving out the rights and interests of societies whose economy, culture and, in some cases, survival rely on a symbiotic relationship with animals.
David Pearce, a transhumanist philosopher, has argued that humanity has a "hedonistic imperative" to not merely avoid cruelty to animals or abolish the ownership of non-human animals, but also to redesign the global ecosystem such that wild animal suffering ceases to exist. In the pursuit of abolishing suffering itself, Pearce promotes predation elimination among animals and the "cross-species global analogue of the welfare state". Fertility regulation could maintain herbivore populations at sustainable levels, "a more civilised and compassionate policy option than famine, predation, and disease". The increasing number of vegans and vegetarians in the transhumanism movement has been attributed in part to Pearce's influence.
A growing political philosophy that incorporates veganism as part of its revolutionarypraxis is veganarchism, which seeks "total abolition" or "total liberation" for all animals, including humans. Veganarchists identify the state as unnecessary and harmful to animals, both human and non-human, and advocate for the adoption of a vegan lifestyle within a stateless society. The term was popularized in 1995 with Brian A. Dominick's pamphlet Animal Liberation and Social Revolution, described as "a vegan perspective on anarchism or an anarchist perspective on veganism".
Direct action is a common practice among veganarchists (and anarchists generally) with groups like the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), the Animal Rights Militia (ARM), the Justice Department (JD) and Revolutionary Cells – Animal Liberation Brigade (RCALB) often engaging in such activities, sometimes criminally, to further their goals.Steven Best, animal rights activist and professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at El Paso, is an advocate of this approach, and has been critical of vegan activists like Francione for supporting animal liberation, but not total liberation, which would include not only opposition to "the property status of animals", but also "a serious critique of capitalism, the state, property relations, and commodification dynamics in general." In particular, he criticizes the focus on the simplistic and apolitical "Go Vegan" message directed mainly at wealthy Western audiences, while ignoring people of color, the working class and the poor, especially in the developing world, noting that "for every person who becomes vegan, a thousand flesh eaters arise in China, India and Indonesia." The "faith in the singular efficacy of conjectural education and moral persuasion," Best writes, is no substitute for "direct action, mass confrontation, civil disobedience, alliance politics, and struggle for radical change."Donald Watson has stated that he "respects the people enormously who do it, believing that it's the most direct and quick way to achieve their ends." Sociologist David Nibert of Wittenberg University posits that any movement towards global justice would necessitate not only the abolition of animal exploitation, particularly as a food source for humans, but also transitioning towards a socioeconomic alternative to the capitalist system, both of which dovetail into what he refers to as the animal–industrial complex.
Some vegans also embrace the philosophy of anti-natalism, as they see the two as complementary in terms of "harm reduction" to animals and the environment.
The Vegan Society has written, "by extension, [veganism] promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans." Many ethical vegans and vegan organizations cite the poor working conditions of slaughterhouse workers as a reason to reject animal products. The first vegan activist, Donald Watson, has stated, "If these butchers and vivisectors weren't there, could we perform the acts that they are doing? And, if we couldn't, we have no right to expect them to do it on our behalf. Full stop! That simply compounds the issue. It means that we're not just exploiting animals; we're exploiting human beings."
The amount of globally needed agricultural land would be reduced by three-quarters if the entire population adopted a vegan diet.
Environmental vegans focus on conservation, rejecting the use of animal products on the premise that fishing, hunting, trapping and farming, particularly factory farming, are environmentally unsustainable.
Reduction of one's carbon footprint for various actions. A plant-based diet in this study referred to a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. Vegan diets are known to have lower carbon footprints.
A 2015 study determined that significant biodiversity loss can be attributed to the growing demand for meat, which is a significant driver of deforestation and habitat destruction, with species-rich habitats being converted to agriculture for livestock production. A 2017 study by the World Wildlife Fund found that 60% of biodiversity loss can be attributed to the vast scale of feed crop cultivation needed to rear tens of billions of farm animals, which puts an enormous strain on natural resources resulting in an extensive loss of lands and species. In November 2017, 15,364 world scientists signed a warning to humanity calling for, among other things, "promoting dietary shifts towards mostly plant-based foods".
A 2018 study found that global adoption of plant-based diets would reduce agricultural land use by 76% (3.1 billion hectares, an area the size of Africa) and cut total global greenhouse gas emissions by 28%. Half of this emissions reduction came from avoided emissions from animal production including methane and nitrous oxide, and half came from trees re-growing on abandoned farmland which remove carbon dioxide from the air. The authors conclude that avoiding meat and diary is the "single biggest way" to reduce one's impact on Earth.
A 2022 study found that for high-income nations alone 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide could be removed from the air by the end of the century through a shift to plant-based diets and re-wilding of farmland. The researchers coined the term double climate dividend to describe the effect that re-wilding after a diet shift can have. However, the researchers note that "We don't have to be purist about this, even just cutting animal intake would be helpful. If half of the public in richer regions cut half the animal products in their diets, you're still talking about a massive opportunity in environmental outcomes and public health".
One of the leading activists and scholars of feminist animal rights is Carol J. Adams. Her premier work, The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory (1990), noted the relationship between feminism and meat consumption. Since the release of The Sexual Politics of Meat, Adams has published several other works, including essays, books, and keynote addresses. In one of her speeches, "Why feminist-vegan now?"—adapted from her original address at the "Minding Animals" conference in Newcastle, Australia (2009)—Adams stated that "the idea that there was a connection between feminism and vegetarianism came to [her] in October 1974", illustrating that the concept of feminist veganism has been around for nearly half a century. Other authors have echoed Adams' ideas while also expanding on them. Feminist scholar Angella Duvnjak stated in "Joining the Dots: Some Reflections on Feminist-Vegan Political Practice and Choice" that she was met with opposition when she pointed out the connection between feminist and vegan ideals, even though the connection seemed more than obvious to her and other scholars (2011).
Animal and human abuse parallels
One of the central concepts that animates feminist veganism is the idea that there is a connection between the oppression of women and the oppression of animals. For example, Marjorie Spiegal compared the consumption or servitude of animals for human gain to slavery. This connection is further mirrored by feminist vegan writers like Carrie Hamilton, who pointed out that violent "rapists sometimes exhibit behavior that seems to be patterned on the mutilation of animals" suggesting there is a parallel between the violence of rape and animal cruelty.
Capitalism and feminist veganism
Feminist veganism also relates to feminist thought through the common critique of the capitalist means of production. In an interview with Carol J. Adams, she highlighted "meat eating as the ultimate capitalist product, because it takes so much to make the product, it uses up so many resources". This extensive use of resources for meat production is discouraged in favor of using that productive capacity for other food products that have a less detrimental impact on the environment.
Donald Watson argued, "If Jesus were alive today, he'd be an itinerant vegan propagandist instead of an itinerant preacher of those days, spreading the message of compassion, which, as I see it, is the only useful part of what religion has to offer and, sad as it seems, I doubt if we have to enroll our priest as a member of the Vegan Society."
In the US, Black veganism is a social and political philosophy as well as a diet. It connects the use of non-human animals with other social justice concerns such as racism, and with the lasting effects of slavery, such as the subsistence diets of enslaved people enduring as familial and cultural food traditions. Dietary changes caused by the Great Migration also meant former farmers, who had previously been able to grow or forage their own vegetables, became reliant on processed foods.
According to AshEL Eldridge, an Oakland activist, the movement is about the Black community reclaiming its food sovereignty and "decolonizing" the diet of Black Americans. According to Shah, the area where most vegans of color feel the greatest rift with mainstream veganism is in mainstream veganism's failure to recognize the intersectionality with other social justice issues such as food access.
PETA columnist Zachary Tolivar noted he had often heard Black veganism called "a revolutionary act" because it often involves rejecting both family tradition and systemic oppression. Amirah Mercer described it as "revoking my own Black card" and said that for US Blacks, choosing veganism was an act of protest against disenfranchisement by governmental health care and food policy.
Participant of the Animal Liberation March in Warsaw encouraging veganism, 2022
In 2021, vegan climate activist Greta Thunberg called for more vegan food production and consumption worldwide. Parties like Tierschutzpartei in Germany and PACMA in Spain have pro-vegan agendas. They cooperate via Animal Politics EU. In the European Union, meat producers and vegans argue whether vegan food products should be allowed to use labels like "sausages" or "burgers" for vegan food. The EU currently bans labeling with dairy-related words like "almond milk", a rule instated in 2017. As of 2019[update], six countries in Europe apply higher value-added tax (VAT) rates to vegan plant milk than to cows' milk, which pro-vegan activists have called discrimination.
In the United States, 1 out of 10 Americans over the age of 18 consider themselves vegan or vegetarian.
In the below chart, polls with larger sample sizes are preferred over those with smaller sample size.
In the United Kingdom, an employment tribunal ruled in 2020 that the Equality Act 2010 protects "ethical veganism", a belief it defined as veganism that extends beyond diet to all areas of life and is motivated by a concern for animals.
Multiple symbols have been developed to represent veganism. Several are used on consumer packaging, including the Vegan Society trademark and the Vegan Action logo, to indicate products without animal-derived ingredients. Various symbols may also be used by members of the vegan community to represent their identity and in the course of animal rights activism, such as a vegan flag.
Veganism is often misrepresented in media. Some argue that veganism has been dismissed in news media or that clickbait culture often portrays feminists and vegans as "irrational extremists." This is because in Western societies, "meat-based diets are the norm" with those who avoid meat still representing "a small minority," with more women than men as vegan and vegetarian, with women being "under-represented in the mass media," the latter influencing more to be vegetarians. Others have noted those who are vegetarian and vegan are met with "acceptance, tolerance, or hostility" after they divulge they are vegetarian or vegan. There are a number of vegan stereotypes, including claims they hate meat-eaters, are always hungry, weak, angry, or moralistic. The hatred of vegans has been termed as vegaphobia by some individuals. Farhad Manjoo, in 2019, stated that "preachy vegans are something of a myth," and argued that in pop culture, and generally, it is "still widely acceptable to make fun of vegans."
Often vegan or vegetarian characters are portrayed as fringe characters, although other novels cast them as protagonists or encourage people to become vegetarians or vegans. Some have argued that there are more vegan cookbooks than "vegan literature" There also books which introduce "vegan identity to children" or encourage people to "write for" animals. Also, Bruce Banner in Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk and Karolina Dean in Runaways, who is also known as Lucy in the Sky or L.S.D., are vegans. The latter is a lesbian, a vegan, and "an ardent animal lover...committed to a life completely free of meat and dairy."
By the 2010s, social media sites like Instagram became prominent in the promotion of veganism, more than a fad, with people trying to "change the world by being vegan" as stated by various media outlets.
The 2014 documentary film Cowspiracy estimates that a vegan, over the course of one year, will save 1.5 million litres of water, 6,607 kg of grain, 1,022 square metres of forest cover, 3,322 kg of CO2, and 365 animal lives compared to the average U.S. diet.[scholarly source needed] According to a 2016 study, if everyone in the U.S. switched to a vegan diet, the country would save $208.2 billion in direct health-care savings, $40.5 billion in indirect health-care savings, $40.5 billion in environmental savings, and $289.1 billion in total savings by 2050. The study also found that if everybody in the world switched to a vegan diet, the global economy would save $684.4 billion in direct health-care savings, $382.6 billion in indirect health-care savings, $569.5 billion in environmental savings, and $1.63 trillion in total savings by 2050.
Economists have worked out how, on average, a consumer affects the number of animal products supplied by declining to buy that product. They estimate that, on average, if you give up one egg, total production ultimately falls by 0.91 eggs; if you give up one gallon of milk, total production falls by 0.56 gallons. Other products are somewhere in between: economists estimate that if you give up one pound of beef, beef production falls by 0.68 pounds; if you give up one pound of pork, production ultimately falls by 0.74 pounds; if you give up one pound of chicken, production ultimately falls by 0.76 pounds.
^Other common but less frequent pronunciations recorded by the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and the Random House Dictionary are /ˈveɪɡən/VAY-gən and /ˈvɛdʒən/VEJ-ən. The word was coined in Britain by Dorothy Morgan and Donald Watson, who preferred the pronunciation /ˈviːɡən/VEE-gən, and the 1997 edition of the Random House Dictionary reported that this pronunciation was considered "especially British" and that /ˈvɛdʒən/VEJ-ən was the most frequent and only other common American pronunciation.
^ ab"[Al-Maʿarri's] diet was extremely frugal, consisting chiefly of lentils, with figs for sweet; and, very unusually for a Muslim, he was not only a vegetarian, but a vegan who abstained from meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, and honey, because he did not want to kill or hurt animals, or deprive them of their food."
^For veganism and animals as commodities:
Helena Pedersen, Vasile Staescu (The Rise of Critical Animal Studies, 2014): "[W]e are vegan because we are ethically opposed to the notion that life (human or otherwise) can, or should, ever be rendered as a buyable or sellable commodity."Gary Steiner (Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism, 2013): " ... ethical veganism, the principle that we ought as far as possible to eschew the use of animals as sources of food, labour, entertainment and the like ... [This means that animals] ... are entitled not to be eaten, used as forced field labor, experimented upon, killed for materials to make clothing and other commodities of use to human beings, or held captive as entertainment."
Gary Francione ("Animal Welfare, Happy Meat and Veganism as the Moral Baseline", 2012): "Ethical veganism is the personal rejection of the commodity status of nonhuman animals ..."
^Laura Wright (The Vegan Studies Project, 2015): "[The Vegan Society] definition simplifies the concept of veganism in that it assumes that all vegans choose to be vegan for ethical reasons, which may be the case for the majority, but there are other reasons, including health and religious mandates, people choose to be vegan. Veganism exists as a dietary and lifestyle choice with regard to what one consumes, but making this choice also constitutes participation in the identity category of 'vegan'."
Brenda Davis, Vesanto Melina (Becoming Vegan, 2013): "There are degrees of veganism. A pure vegetarian or dietary vegan is someone who consumes a vegan diet but doesn't lead a vegan lifestyle. Pure vegetarians may use animal products, support the use of animals in research, wear leather clothing, or have no objection to the exploitation of animals for entertainment. They are mostly motivated by personal health concerns rather than by ethical objections. Some may adopt a more vegan lifestyle as they are exposed to vegan philosophy."
Laura H. Kahn, Michael S. Bruner ("Politics on Your Plate", 2012): "A vegetarian is a person who abstains from eating NHA [non-human animal] flesh of any kind. A vegan goes further, abstaining from eating anything made from NHA. Thus, a vegan does not consume eggs and dairy foods. Going beyond dietary veganism, 'lifestyle' vegans also refrain from using leather, wool or any NHA-derived ingredient."
Vegetarian and vegan diets may be referred to as plant-based and vegan diets as entirely plant-based.
^Gary Francione (The Animal Rights Debate, 2010): "Although veganism may represent a matter of diet or lifestyle for some, ethical veganism is a profound moral and political commitment to abolition on the individual level and extends not only to matters of food but also to the wearing or using of animal products.": 62 This terminology is controversial within the vegan community. While some vegan leaders, such as Karen Dawn, endorse efforts to avoid animal consumption for any reason; others, including Francione, believe that veganism must be part of an holistic ethical and political movement in order to support animal liberation. Accordingly, the latter group rejects the label "dietary vegan", referring instead to "strict vegetarians", "pure vegetarians", or followers of a plant-based diet.
^Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2009): "It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes."
^The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung, 2016: "The DGE does not recommend a vegan diet for pregnant women, lactating women, infants, children or adolescents."
^Winston J. Craig (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009): "Vegan diets are usually higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins C and E, iron, and phytochemicals, and they tend to be lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, long-chain n–3 (omega-3) fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B-12. ... A vegan diet appears to be useful for increasing the intake of protective nutrients and phytochemicals and for minimizing the intake of dietary factors implicated in several chronic diseases."
^Fanny Kemble (Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838–1839, 1839): "The sight and smell of raw meat are especially odious to me, and I have often thought that if I had had to be my own cook, I should inevitably become a vegetarian, probably, indeed, return entirely to my green and salad days."
Another early use was by the editor of The Healthian, a journal published by Alcott House, in April 1942: "To tell a man, who is in the stocks for a given fault, that he cannot be so confined for such an offence, is ridiculous enough; but not more so than to tell a healthy vegetarian that his diet is very uncongenial with the wants of his nature, and contrary to reason."
^In 1838 William Alcott, Amos's cousin, published Vegetable Diet: As Sanctioned by Medical Men and By Experience in All Ages (1838). The word vegetarian appears in the second edition but not the first.
^Mahatma Gandhi, address to the Vegetarian Society, 20 November 1931: "I feel especially honoured to find on my right, Mr. Henry Salt. It was Mr. Salt's book 'A Plea for Vegetarianism', which showed me why apart from a hereditary habit, and apart from my adherence to a vow administered to me by my mother, it was right to be a vegetarian. He showed me why it was a moral duty incumbent on vegetarians not to live upon fellow-animals. It is, therefore, a matter of additional pleasure to me that I find Mr. Salt in our midst."
^Plant-milk brands include Dean Foods' Silk soy milk and almond milk; Blue Diamond's Almond Breeze, Taste the Dream's Almond Dream, and Rice Dream; and Plamil Foods' Organic Soya and Alpro's Soya. Vegan ice-creams include Swedish Glace, Food Heaven, Tofutti, Turtle Mountain's So Delicious and Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss.
^Gary Francione (2009): "We all believe it's wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering and death on animals. ... So now the next question becomes 'what do we mean by necessity?' Well, whatever it means, whatever abstract meaning it has, if it has any meaning whatsoever, its minimal meaning has to be that it's wrong to inflict suffering and death on animals for reasons of pleasure, amusement or convenience ... Problem is 99.9999999 percent of our animal use can only be justified by reasons of pleasure, amusement or convenience."
^United Nations Environment Programme (2010): "Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth, increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.": 82
^ abAdams, Carol J. (2014). Never too late to go vegan: the over-50 guide to adopting and thriving on a plant-based diet. Patti Breitman, Virginia Messina. New York. p. 8. ISBN978-1-61519-098-0. OCLC864299353. In 1944, the word vegan (pronounced VEEgan) was coined. A group was forming and needed a name. Donald Watson and Dorothy Morgan, members of the group, were at a dance, discussing the need for a word that denoted the kind of vegetarian who used no animal products. What if the first three and last two letters of the word vegetarian were taken to describe people who at the time were called nondairy vegetarians? Morgan proposed the name; Watson liked it, as did the other members. Morgan and Watson married, and along with twenty-three other people, they founded the Vegan Society in England.
^Richard Francis, Fruitlands: The Alcott Family and their Search for Utopia, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010, 11. ISBN978-0-300-17790-9
^ abcWatson, Donald (15 December 2002). "Interview with Donald Watson"(PDF) (Transcript). Interviewed by George D. Rodger. The Vegan Society. Archived(PDF) from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.Watson, Donald (11 August 2004). "24 Carrot Award: Donald Watson". Vegetarians in Paradise (e-Zine). Vol. 6, no. 10. Interviewed by George D. Rodger. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018. I invited my early readers to suggest a more concise word to replace 'non-dairy vegetarian.' Some bizarre suggestions were made like 'dairyban, vitan, benevore, sanivore, beaumangeur', et cetera. I settled for my own word, 'vegan', containing the first three and last two letters of 'vegetarian'—'the beginning and end of vegetarian.' The word was accepted by the Oxford English Dictionary and no one has tried to improve it.
^Laura H. Kahn, Michael S. Bruner, "Politics on Your Plate: Building and Burning Bridges across Organics, Vegetarian, and Vegan Discourse", in Joshua Frye (ed.), The Rhetoric of Food: Discourse, Materiality, and Power, Routledge, 2012, 46. ISBN978-0-203-11345-5
^ ab"Indian Vegan Society". Indian Vegan Society. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2021. A vegan always tries to avoid any cruelty and undue exploitation of all animals including humans and protect the environment.
^ abWatson, Paul (21 September 2010). "Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson: 'You don't watch whales die and hold signs and do nothing'". The Guardian (Interview). Interviewed by Michael Shapiro. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018. Stop eating the ocean. Don't eat anything out of the ocean – there is no such thing as a sustainable fishery. If people eat meat, make sure it's organic and isn't contributing to the destruction of the ocean because 40 percent of all the fish that's caught out of the ocean is fed to livestock – chickens on factory farms are fed fish meal. And be cognizant of the fact that if the oceans die, we die. Therefore our ultimate responsibility is to protect biodiversity in our world's oceans.
Matthew Cole, "Veganism", in Margaret Puskar-Pasewicz (ed.), Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism, ABC-Clio, 2010 (239–241), 241.
^ abDavis, John (2016). "The Origins of the Vegans: 1944-46"(PDF). Vegetarian Society. pp. 8, 12. Dorothy, nee Morgan, had passed away about ten years before Donald, having long since retired as head of a small village primary school. ... The Vegan Society AGM on Sunday November 10, 1946, at Friends House, Euston, London (TV Spring 1947 pp.4-5) was reminded that Donald Watson had already said he could not continue running everything himself (He had married Dorothy two weeks earlier).
^Rod Preece, Sins of the Flesh: A History of Ethical Vegetarian Thought, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2008, 12ISBN978-0-7748-1510-9
^Davis, John (1 June 2011). "The Vegetus Myth". VegSource. Archived from the original on 18 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018. Vegetarian can equally be seen as derived from the late Latin 'vegetabile' – meaning plant – as in Regnum Vegetabile / Plant Kingdom. Hence vegetable, vegetation – and vegetarian. Though others suggest that 'vegetable' itself is derived from 'vegetus'. But it's very unlikely that the originators went through all that either – they really did just join 'vegetable+arian', as the dictionaries have said all along.
^Fanny Kemble, Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838–1839, Harper and Brothers, New York, 1863, 197–198.
^Geert Jan van Gelder, Gregor Schoeler, "Introduction", in Abu l-Ala al-Maarri, The Epistle of Forgiveness Or A Pardon to Enter the Garden, Volume 2, New York and London: New York University Press, 2016, xxvii. ISBN978-1-4798-3494-5
^ ab"International Health Exhibition", The Medical Times and Gazette, 24 May 1884, 712.
^James C. Whorton, Crusaders for Fitness: The History of American Health Reformers, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014, 69–70: "Word of these cures of pimples, consumption, and virtually all ailments in between was widely distributed by his several publications ..."
^Watson, Donald (15 December 2002). "Interview with Donald Watson"(PDF) (Transcript). Interviewed by George D. Rodger. The Vegan Society. Archived(PDF) from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.Watson, Donald (11 August 2004). "24 Carrot Award: Donald Watson". Vegetarians in Paradise (e-Zine). Vol. 6, no. 10. Interviewed by George D. Rodger. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018. I invited my early readers to suggest a more concise word to replace 'non-dairy vegetarian.' Some bizarre suggestions were made like 'dairyban, vitan, benevore, sanivore, beaumangeur', et cetera. I settled for my own word, 'vegan', containing the first three and last two letters of 'vegetarian'—'the beginning and end of vegetarian.' The word was accepted by the Oxford English Dictionary and no one has tried to improve it.
^"World Vegan Month". The Vegan Society. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018. Every November we celebrate World Vegan Day and World Vegan Month, as well as the formation of The Vegan Society.
^Frances Moore Lappé, Diet for a Small Planet: How to Enjoy a Rich Protein Harvest by Getting Off the Top of the Food Chain, Friends of the Earth/Ballantine, 1971; Smith 2013, 197.
^For health professionals' interest in vegetarian diets in the last quarter of the 20th century: Donna Maurer, Vegetarianism: Movement or Moment?, Temple University Press, 2002, 23; for Ornish and Barnard, 99–101.
For McDougall: Karen Iacobbo, Michael Iacobbo, Vegetarians and Vegans in America Today, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006, 75.
For Ornish, Campbell, Esselstyn, Barnard, and Greger:Kathy Freston, Veganist, Weinstein Publishing, 2011. Ornish, from 21; Campbell, 41; Esselstyn, 57; Barnard, 73; Greger, 109.
^For McDougall Plan: Iacobbo and Iacobbo 2006, 75; for Robbins: Wright 2015, 35, and
Preece 2008, 327; for Ornish: Maurer 2002, 99–101.
^Sanna, Jacopo (20 September 2017). "The Sincere and Vibrant World of the Czech DIY Scene". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018. Every year, at the end of July, the small and grassy airport of Rokycany, a small Czech town a few miles east of Plzeň, fills with people for a gathering called Fluff Fest. Attendance is a summer ritual for many European fans of punk, hardcore, crust, and screamo. Featuring more than a hundred bands, tons of vegan food, a fanzine library, and various workshops, Fluff Fest has established itself as the main DIY hardcore punk event in Europe, growing every year since its inaugural edition in 2000.
^ abShah, Allie (8 January 2016). "Nation's first vegan butcher shop to open in Minneapolis Jan. 23". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018. The Herbivorous Butcher is scheduled to open on Jan. 23  in northeast Minneapolis. [...] The opening of a vegan butcher shop is yet another sign of the rise of fake meat in American diets. Since 2012, sales of plant-based meat alternatives have grown 8 percent, to $553 million annually, according to the market research firm, Mintel.
^Walraven, Michel (14 September 2011). "Vegetarian butchers make a killing". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Archived from the original on 4 April 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2018. The first Vegetarian Butcher shop opened its doors in October 2010 in The Hague. Now, less than a year later, there are 30 spread all over the country. The display counter of these shops challenges even a staunchly carnivorous stomach not to rumble; the fake meat products are almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
^Mesure, Susie (8 December 2013). "Veganism 2.0: Let them eat kale". The Independent. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018. One further example of how plant-based diets are becoming mainstream will arrive in Britain next year, when a German-owned chain of vegan supermarkets opens its first outlet in London. Veganz, which is a European first in offering a full range of vegan grocery products, opened its first store in Berlin in 2011. It is expanding fast and aims to have 21 outlets across Europe by the end of 2015.
^Guttman, Amy (4 October 2013). "Meat-Drenched Oktoberfest Warms To Vegans". The Salt. NPR. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018. The culinary cornerstones of the Munich festival, which runs this year from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6, include roast pork, ham hock, and weisswurst—a white sausage that complements the 40 different types of local beer. But this year, breaking with a 200-year-old tradition, Oktoberfest is catering to vegans. Claudia Bauer of the Munich City Council, which organizes the festival, says the move is a sign of the times.
^"US sales of dairy milk turn sour as non-dairy milk sales grow 9% in 2015". Mintel. April 2016. Archived from the original on 26 January 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018. The continued popularity of non-dairy milk is troubling for the dairy milk category with Mintel research revealing that half (49 percent) of Americans consume non-dairy milk, including 68 percent of parents and 54 percent of children under age 18. What's more, seven in 10 (69 percent) consumers agree that non-dairy milk is healthy for kids compared to 62 percent who agree that dairy milk is healthy for kids. [...] While an overwhelming majority of Americans consume dairy milk (91 percent), it is most commonly used as an addition to other food (69 percent), such as cereal, or as an ingredient (61 percent). Just 57 percent of consumers drink dairy milk by itself.
^Khomami, Nadia (8 February 2015). "From Beyoncé to the Baftas, vegan culture gets star status". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018. In 2012 there were an estimated 150,000 vegans in the UK, a number thought to have increased dramatically. Mintel's 2014 report on the market for dairy drinks, milk and cream, showed the non-dairy market jumping from 36m litres in 2011 to 92m litres in 2013, an increase of 155%. Plant-based, non-dairy foods are worth £150.6m a year and sales of soya-based alternatives to yoghurt are rising by 8% year on year.
^ abcdWhite, Victoria (24 May 2016). "Euromonitor launches new Ethical Labels database". New Food. Russell Publishing. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018. The top three fastest growing vegan markets between 2015 and 2020 are China at 17.2 percent, United Arab Emirates at 10.6 percent, and Australia at 9.6 percent."Sales growth of the vegan market between 2015 and 2020 worldwide, by country". Euromonitor International. May 2016. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018 – via Statista. According to the report, China was projected to be the fastest growing market for vegan products between 2015 and 2020, with a growth rate of 17.2 percent. As of 2016, Asia Pacific held the largest share of vegan consumers globally, with approximately nine percent of people following a vegan diet in this area. [...] China, the United Arab Emirates and Australia were forecast to be the fastest growing markets for vegan products between 2015 and 2020. Australia's vegan market was projected to have a growth rate of 9.6 percent during the period considered.
^ abcMoon, Louise (28 October 2017). "Inside Hong Kong's growing appetite for veganism". Hong Kong (Health & Environment). South China Morning Post. Alibaba Group. Archived from the original on 10 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018. In contrast, Hong Kong residents in 2015 consumed the highest amount of meat and seafood in the world, at 140 kg per capita, a study by global market research company Euromonitor found. Yet in the five years from 2015 to 2020, China's vegan market is expected to rise by more than 17 per cent – marking the fastest growth rate internationally in that period and offering proof the trend has filtered into the region in recent years.
^ abCormack, Lucy (4 June 2016). "Australia is the third-fastest growing vegan market in the world". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018. The Brewers are an example of the increasing move towards veganism in Australia, now the third-fastest growing vegan market in the world, after the United Arab Emirates and China. Data from market researcher Euromonitor International has shown Australia's packaged vegan food market is currently worth almost $136 million, set to reach $215 million by 2020.
Cohen, Tova (21 July 2015). "In the land of milk and honey, Israelis turn vegan". Reuters. Tel Aviv. Archived from the original on 4 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018. A study prepared for the Globes newspaper and Israel's Channel Two found 5 percent of Israelis identify as vegan and 8 percent as vegetarian while 13 percent are weighing going vegan or vegetarian. In 2010 just 2.6 percent were vegetarian or vegan.
^"Veganism in Israel (Society & Culture: Veganism)". The Jewish Virtual Library. AICE. February 2016. Archived from the original on 5 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018. Israel is home to the largest percentage of vegans per capita in the world. Approximately 5 percent of Israelis (approximately 300,000) are vegans according to a 2015 survey by Globes and Israel's Channel 2 News, compared to 2 percent of U.S. and U.K. citizens and only 1 percent of Germans. Hence, it's not surprising that more than 400 certified vegan restaurants can be found in Tel Aviv alone.
^Kamin, Debra (December 2015). "Big in Israel: Vegan Soldiers". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 4 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018. The IDF is also issuing leather-free combat boots and wool-free berets to soldiers who register as vegan, so they can march into battle knowing that no living creature has been harmed in their provisioning. (What happens during battle is, of course, harder to control.)
Cheslow, Daniella (10 December 2015). "As More Israelis Go Vegan, Their Military Adjusts Its Menu". The Salt. NPR. Archived from the original on 4 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018. The Israeli military, it turns out, was surprisingly eager to help. A military spokesman tells The Salt that vegans serve in all capacities, including as combat soldiers. Vegan soldiers wear wool-free berets and leather-free boots, and they get an additional stipend to supplement their food, the military says.
^Molloy, Antonia (24 March 2014). "One in ten Swedes is vegetarian or vegan, according to study". The Independent. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018. In the poll conducted by Demoskop, six per cent of respondents said they were vegetarians, while four per cent said they were vegans. The highest prevalence was seen among 15–34 year-olds, with 17 per cent describing themselves as vegetarian or vegan.
^"Find out how many vegans are in Great Britain". The Vegan Society. 17 May 2016. Archived from the original on 5 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018. There are over half a million vegans in Britain—at least 1.05% of the 15 and over population*—new research commissioned by The Vegan Society in partnership with Vegan Life magazine, has found. At least 542,000 people in Britain are now following a vegan diet and never consume any animal products including meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs and honey. This is a whopping increase since the last estimate of 150,000 ten years ago, making veganism one of Britain's fastest growing lifestyle movements. [...] *There are 51 million people in England, Scotland and Wales aged 15 and over.
^Petter, Olivia (3 April 2018). "Number of vegans in UK soars to 3.5 million, survey finds". Indy/Eats. The Independent. Archived from the original on 3 April 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018. [A]ccording to a new survey by comparethemarket.com, there has been a significant spike in the number of people going vegan in the UK since 2016, with more than 3.5 million Brits now identifying as such. The research means that seven per cent of Great Britain's population are now shunning animal products altogether for life less meaty—and cheesy. [...] Supported by Gresham College professor Carolyn Roberts, the research suggests that environmental concerns are largely responsible for edging people towards a vegan diet, as Brits strive to reduce their carbon footprint.
^Newport, Frank (26 July 2012). "In U.S., 5% Consider Themselves Vegetarians". Gallup. Archived from the original on 5 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018. Vegetarianism in the U.S. remains quite uncommon and a lifestyle that is neither growing nor waning in popularity. The 5% of the adult population who consider themselves to be vegetarians is no larger than it was in previous Gallup surveys conducted in 1999 and 2001. The incidence of veganism is even smaller, at a scant 2% of the adult population.
^Croswell, Alexis (5 February 2014). "How to Read a Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Label". One Green Planet. Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018."FAQ: Are all Leaping Bunny companies vegan (i.e., manufactured without animal by-products)?". Leaping Bunny. 27 February 2014. Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018. The Leaping Bunny list does not provide information about the composition of ingredients. Because ingredient information is available—and required by law—we know that conscientious consumers can read labels to discover whether products are vegan or not. For this reason, Leaping Bunny chooses to focus its resources on validating information that is not readily available to consumers, such as animal testing claims. Many Leaping Bunny companies are committed to manufacturing natural and vegan products; however, the Leaping Bunny Program can only certify the animal testing component of this process.
^ abc"Medications". The Vegan Society. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018. Vegans avoid using animals 'as far as is practicable and possible'. This definition recognises that it is not always possible to make a choice that avoids the use of animals. Sometimes, you may have no alternative to taking prescribed medication.
^Aerts, S.; Boonen, R.; Bruggeman, V.; De Tavernier, J.; Decuypere, E. (2009). "Culling of day-old chicks: opening the debates of Moria". In Millar, Kate; West, Pru Hobson; Nerlich, Brigitte (eds.). Ethical futures: bioscience and food horizons: Bioscience and Food Horizons: EurSafe 2009, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 2-4 July 2009. Wageningen Academic Publishers. pp. 117–122. ISBN978-90-8686-115-6.
^ abAnimal Ingredients A to Z, E. G. Smith Collective, 2004, 3rd edition; Lars Thomsen and Reuben Proctor, Veganissimo A to Z, The Experiment, 2013 (first published in Germany, 1996)."Animal-Derived Ingredients Resource". PETA. 18 April 2012. Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
^Wakefield, Lorelei A.; Shofer, Frances S.; Michel, Kathryn E. (July 2006). "Evaluation of cats fed vegetarian diets and attitudes of their caregivers". Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 229 (1): 70–73. doi:10.2460/javma.229.1.70. PMID16817716. S2CID30948193.
^Kanakubo, Kayo; Fascetti, Andrea J.; Larsen, Jennifer A. (15 August 2015). "Assessment of protein and amino acid concentrations and labeling adequacy of commercial vegetarian diets formulated for dogs and cats". Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 247 (4): 385–392. doi:10.2460/javma.247.4.385. PMID26225610.
^Reed Mangels, Virginia Messina and Mark Messina, The Dietitian's Guide to Vegetarian Diets, Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011, 7.
^Berkeley Wellness (2 December 2014). "Fake Meat Gets Real". Berkeley Wellness. Berkeley University of California. Archived from the original on 25 February 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2018. Made from such ingredients as soy, beans, lentils, wheat gluten, rolled oats, brown rice, nuts, sunflower seeds, and vegetables (like mushrooms, onions, peas, peppers, and carrots), fake meats are also being embraced by some hard-core meat eaters. And you won't find just faux burgers, sausages, hot dogs, and breakfast patties anymore. Now there is everything from chicken-less strips and beef-less tips to pulled 'pork' and 'fish' fillets, all ready to heat and eat. Faux prawns are not only vegetarian, but kosher to boot.
^Buren, Alex Van (29 March 2018). "What Is Vegan Cheese Exactly—and Should You Be Eating It?". Health. Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 3 April 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018. Those looking to emulate the creamy texture and saltiness of real cheese tend to find themselves reaching for cashews, both at restaurants and at home. [...] But several other nuts can be transformed into vegan 'cheese'—what Keenan calls 'nutcheese'—such as almonds and pine nuts, among others.
^Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets, Summertown: Book Publishing Company, 2010, 4.
^Selinger, Eliška; Neuenschwander, Manuela; Koller, Alina; et al. (16 May 2022). "Evidence of a vegan diet for health benefits and risks – an umbrella review of meta-analyses of observational and clinical studies". Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition: 1–11. doi:10.1080/10408398.2022.2075311. ISSN1040-8398. S2CID248851078.
^Dinu M, Abbate R, Gensini GF, Casini A, Sofi F (November 2017). "Vegetarian, vegan diets and multiple health outcomes: A systematic review with meta-analysis of observational studies". Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 57 (17): 3640–3649. doi:10.1080/10408398.2016.1138447. hdl:2158/1079985. PMID26853923. S2CID10073754. vegan diet seems to be associated with a lower rate of cancer incidence, but this result must be interpreted with caution, because of the very small sample size and the low number of studies evaluating this aspect.
^Lopez PD, Cativo EH, Atlas SA, Rosendorff C (July 2019). "The Effect of Vegan Diets on Blood Pressure in Adults: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials". Am. J. Med. 132 (7): 875–883.e7. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2019.01.044. PMID30851264. S2CID73498903. a vegan diet is not associated with lower blood pressure measurements than omnivorous alternatives; its effect is comparable with the effect of society-recommended and portion-controlled diets.
^Thweatt-Bates, Jeanine (2016). Cyborg Selves: A Theological Anthropology of the Posthuman. London: Routledge, 100–101 (first published 2012).
^Pearce, David (30 July 2014). "The Radical Plan to Phase Out Earth's Predatory Species" (Interview). Interviewed by George Dvorsky. io9. Archived from the original on 4 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018. Carnivorous predators keep populations of herbivores in check. Plasmodium-carrying species of the Anopheles mosquito keep human populations in check. In each case, a valuable ecological role is achieved at the price of immense suffering and the loss of hundreds of millions of lives. What's in question isn't the value of the parasite or predator's ecological role, but whether intelligent moral agents can perform that role better. On some fairly modest assumptions, fertility regulation via family planning or cross-species immunocontraception is a more civilised and compassionate policy option than famine, predation and disease. The biggest obstacle to a future of compassionate ecosystems is the ideology of traditional conservation biology—and unreflective status quo bias.
^Fairlie, Simon (2010). Meat: A Benign Extravagance. Chelsea Green Publishing. 230–231. ISBN978-1-60358-325-1.
^Dominick, Brian. Animal Liberation and Social Revolution: A vegan perspective on anarchism or an anarchist perspective on veganism, third edition, Firestarter Press, 1997, pp. 5–6.
^Joy, Melanie (2010). Why we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows : an introduction to carnism: the belief system that enables us to eat some animals and not others. San Francisco: Conari Press. p. 9. ISBN978-1-57324-461-9. OCLC316832932.
^Gibert, Martin; Desaulniers, Élise (2014), "Carnism", in Thompson, Paul B.; Kaplan, David M. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics, Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, pp. 292–298, doi:10.1007/978-94-007-0929-4_83, ISBN978-94-007-0928-7, retrieved 3 April 2021, Carnism refers to the ideology conditioning people to consume certain animal products. It is essentially the opposite of veganism
^Bland, Alastair (1 August 2012). "Is the Livestock Industry Destroying the Planet?". Smithsonian. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018. The global scope of the livestock issue is huge. A 212-page online report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says 26 percent of the earth's terrestrial surface is used for livestock grazing.
^McGrath, Matt (6 May 2019). "Humans 'threaten 1m species with extinction'". BBC. Retrieved 3 July 2019. Pushing all this forward, though, are increased demands for food from a growing global population and specifically our growing appetite for meat and fish.
^Watts, Jonathan (6 May 2019). "Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth's natural life". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2019. Agriculture and fishing are the primary causes of the deterioration. Food production has increased dramatically since the 1970s, which has helped feed a growing global population and generated jobs and economic growth. But this has come at a high cost. The meat industry has a particularly heavy impact. Grazing areas for cattle account for about 25% of the world's ice-free land and more than 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
^Adams, Carol J. (2 November 2016). "The Poetics of Christian Engagement: Living Compassionately in a Sexual Politics of Meat World". Studies in Christian Ethics. 30 (1): 45–59. doi:10.1177/0953946816674148. S2CID151458099.
^Cole, Matthew; Morgan, Karen (1 March 2011). "Vegaphobia: derogatory discourses of veganism and the reproduction of speciesism in UK national newspapers". The British Journal of Sociology. 62 (1): 134–153. doi:10.1111/j.1468-4446.2010.01348.x. PMID21361905.
^"Lei n.º 11/2017 (Law No. 11/2017)". Diário da República (in Portuguese). 2017. Note that the law means vegan, not what is commonly understood as vegetarian: Art. 3-2 specifies that "Para efeitos do número anterior, entende-se por «opção vegetariana» a que assenta em refeições que não contenham quaisquer produtos de origem animal." ("For the purposes of the preceding paragraph, «vegetarian option» is understood to be based on meals that do not contain any products of animal origin.").
^Lindquist, Anna (May 2013). "Introduction". Beyond Hippies and Rabbit Food: The Social Effects of Vegetarianism and Veganism (Undergraduate). University of Puget Sound. pp. 1, 3, 6. Archived from the original on 9 October 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2020.