What is a Vegan?
Vegan is pronounced (Vee Gun)
"The British Vegan Society defines veganism as "a
philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and
practical — 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 humans, animals and the
environment." In dietary terms the society defines Veganism as "the
practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from
The term "animal product" in a vegan context
refers to material derived from non-human animals for human use or consumption.
Human breast milk, for example, is acceptable when voluntarily used for human
babies, but, by comparison, when a human being drinks a cow's milk, it is
regarded as the consumption of an "animal product." Products of human
origin that are obtained involuntarily are not considered acceptable.
Animal products include meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, dairy
products, fur, leather, wool, pearls, and mother of pearl. By-products include
gelatin, lanolin, rennet, and whey. Items derived from insects include items
such as silk, honey, beeswax, shellac and cochineal.
Some vegans avoid cane sugar that has been filtered with bone char and will
not drink beer or wine clarified with albumen (egg white), animal blood, or
isinglass, even though these are not present in the final product. Some also
avoid food cooked in utensils that have been used to cook non-vegan foods.
Vegans also avoid toothpaste with calcium extracted from animal bones if they
are aware of it. Similarly for soap with ingredients which may have been
extracted from animal fat (e.g. stearic acid).
Most vegans refrain from supporting industries that use animals directly or
indirectly, such as circuses and zoos, and will not use products that are
tested on animals."