Saturday, 1 November 2008

Happy World Vegan Day!

Happy World Vegan Day!

Today is also the start of Vegan Month.

The holiday, created by the Vegan Society, has been celebrated since 1994 by vegans around the world. This year’s theme is: improving the quality and availability of vegan food.

Veganism is a diet and lifestyle that excludes animal-derived products. Vegans choose not to eat any foods derived from living or dead animals - no meat of any kind (red meat, poultry, white meat, fish etc.), no animal milks (cow's dairy products, sheep, goats etc.), no eggs, honey or any other animal products (no gelatin, cochineal, shellac etc.).

Most common reasons for becoming vegan include an ethical conviction for animal rights, the environment (animal farming uses much more land, energy and water and has a greater effect on climate change than plant-based agriculture), health and religious concerns.

How do you plan to celebrate vegan month?

Maybe try going a day or two without eating any animal products? It’s easier than you think! Lots of dishes are already vegan, including Chinese, Indian, African, Asian and Mediterranean meals.

Click here for other ideas on how you can celebrate.


Jme said...

I think honey is a stretch. Definitely several camps of veganism out there.

Sybil Hebert, RD said...

Thanks James. I agree. This is from Vegan Action's website:

"It depends on one's definition of vegan. Insects are animals, and so insect products, such as honey and silk, are not traditionally considered vegan. Many vegans, however, are not opposed to using insect products, because they do not believe insects are conscious of pain. Moreover, even if insects were conscious of pain, it's not clear that the production of honey involves any more pain for insects than the production of most vegetables, since the harvesting and transportation of all vegetables involves many 'collateral' insect deaths.

The question remains a matter of scientific debate and personal choice. However, when cooking or labeling food for vegans —particularly vegans you don't know— it's best to be on the safe side and not include honey."

Anonymous said...

Vegans have no ambivalence about honey. To obtain honey, beekeepers "smoke out" the bees. This is not good. And the essence of veganism is the lack of exploitation of any living creature.

Similarly, wood and silk are out. Silk worms are boiled alive; wool farmers frequently use a cruel technique called mulesing, a bloody practice that removes strips of skin from the animal.

again, though, the idea is to avoid exploitation. It is cruel and simply unnecessary