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 animals."

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."

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