We are never too young, or too old to become vegan.
Veganism is a compassionate lifestyle, where we align our actions with our ethics. The term vegan was coined by Vegan Society co-founder Donald Watson in 1944, though the ethics of animal rights have roots much further back in world history.
“What is veganism?”
In short, it is a lifestyle that avoids animal products; and activities that are exploitive and harmful to animals.
The official Vegan Society definition:
“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 humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”
“Why should I go vegan?”
Animals have their own lives they want to live. Unlike plants, animals have a nervous system and are capable of feeling pain.
They also have complex social structures, and just like us, non-human animals will mourn lost family and companions. There are numerous examples of animals helping other animals- even when those in need are of completely different species.
Ultimately, the answer to “Why should I go vegan?” is…
… Because you care
Given that animals really aren’t so different from us, why would we choose to contribute to their suffering? It’s in our innate nature to be kind to each other. We love our companion animals; we are upset by imagery of animals being hurt.
When when we were young, what was our instinct towards animals – hunger and aggression? Or curiosity and delight? Society has taught us to regard our fellow animals as inanimate objects; as products. We need to unlearn this.
“But what about-?”
There are many questions and statements posed to vegans by non-vegans – what can I eat instead? What about protein? But farm animals will overpopulate and take over the planet! I once saw a documentary where they said plants feel pain! What about the farmers jobs? But animals are sometimes killed during harvesting plants! These are stemmed from misunderstanding, and the website Carnism Debunked will answer them for you.
Earthling Ed, Bite Size Vegan (Emily Moran), Paul Bashir, Joey Carbstrong, Gary Yourofsky and many others all have great videos debating with non-vegans, and/or covering topics that come up regularly about veganism and animal rights.
“What do I eat?”
Everything else. Pretty much every dish can be adapted to a plant-based version. Search social media (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc) for vegan hash tags like #veganfood #whatdoveganseat #plantbaseddiet #veganfoodporn. You can eat #healthyveganfood, or you can eat #veganjunkfood. We recommend reading up on nutrition (there’s a big chance you’ll discover a lot that you didn’t know).
Big brands are updating their ranges to adjust to the surging vegan demand, so you will find vegan versions of all your favourite foods such as pizzas, cheeses, milks, mayonnaise, ready meals, sandwiches, chocolates, ice-cream, crisps, cereals etc in the majority of supermarkets.
See our Living Vegan page.
“Where do I start?”
See our Get Started page!
“But what do I eat? What do I buy when I go shopping?”
“What restaurants/cafes/stores can I find vegan options at?”
Most chains in the UK have amazing vegan options now (Zizzi, Pizza Express, Pizza Hut, Bella Italia, Ask, Harvester, Pret, Starbucks, Caffe Nero, Costa Coffee, Boots, WHSmith, M&S, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco etc), and there are many eateries that are 100% vegan.
Wherever you are in the world, you can use the website or phone app Happy Cow to find your location to find nearby vegan-friendly restaurants/stores/bakeries.
See our Vegan Croydon page to find out what’s in the local area and surrounds – there’s loads!
“What about [such and such] on a vegan diet?”
See our Nutrition page!
“I have some more questions about veganism…”
Thank you for taking the time to learn about veganism so far! For anything we’ve not covered on this page or in the links provided, please contact us on Facebook.