While veganism isn’t a new principle to live by, it certainly has come to the forefront in recent years. We all have that friend that’s a vegan and makes sure everyone knows it. As the joke goes, “How do you know if someone is vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.”
(I’ve also heard that same joke for Crossfit, and it’s true in both cases).
Awareness of the Vegan Diet has risen dramatically over the last 5-10 years as many celebrities have hopped on board, much press attention has been given, and many have begun to follow it as well. Suddenly our grocery stores and food menus are littered with “vegan” options.
The question is – does it work?
What is the Vegan Diet?
While this style of eating began way before then, the term of being a “vegan” has origins back to 1944. An offshoot of a group of vegetarians in the UK split off from the Leicester Vegetarian Society, ending their consumption of dairy, eggs, and any other food that is derived from animals in any way. It is the polar opposite of the Carnivore Diet, described here. By taking the first and last letters from the word “vegetarian”, the term “vegan” was born.
Outside of just ridding of consumption of anything of animal origins, this movement also excludes all kinds of animal cruelty and exploitation, which means not using animals for clothing or other purposes.
Why Do People Choose Veganism?
There are a number of reasons that would lead someone to go vegan. For many, it is an ethical choice. They hold the belief that all creatures deserve freedom and not be used for our consumption, whether nutritionally or materially. Whether it is the meat, the flesh, its milk, or other parts, we have no right to end or interfere with an animal’s life for our purposes.
For others, the catalyst to going vegan is an opposition to the treatment of animals. I’m sure you have seen the shock videos online of the cruelty that some of these animals can endure in the farming business, with dirty and cramped cages and pens that no living being deserves to suffer through.
Aside from ethical reasons, many choose veganism because of its health benefits. Going on a plant-based diet is very nutritious and can help ward off risk factors of many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and others. These types of foods also have fat-burning properties, helping you lose weight.
Lastly, some do not trust the hormones and antibiotics that are used in modern animal farming and abstain from their consumption altogether because of this.
All in all, it’s safe to say you won’t see a vegan shopping at Jerky Snob.
What To Eat on a Vegan Diet
It’s pretty easy to explain what you can’t eat on this diet – anything that is an animal or comes from an animal. There is not nearly enough space here to list all of the foods that can be eaten on a Vegan Diet because it includes… everything else! Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, soy, legumes, lentils, grains, etc. I also recommend this vegan pre-workout supplement I review here.
If you’re looking for recipe ideas and meal plans, this book called Forks Over Knives is one of the best on the subject. It includes tons of plant-based recipes that are delicious and nutritious!
While going plant-based certainly has its merits, you’ll be lacking some serious nutrients that you would otherwise get in a regular diet. For that reason, if you go vegan, I highly recommend supplementation. Bauer Nutrition is my go-to source for products like that.