Q: What is a vegan?
A: A vegan is someone who eats no animal or dairy products. Vegans also do not use or wear any products that are derived from animals - ie. they do not wear leather, silk, suede, or use products with animal ingredients in.
Q: What is a vegetarian?
A: A vegetarian does not eat meat or fish. However vegetarians are not as strict as vegans and usually eat/drink other animal products such as dairy.
Q: What does 'veg*n' mean?
A: 'Veg*n' means either vegan or vegetarian.
Q: What do vegans eat?
A: There is soooooo much vegan food around! If you eat meat, think of a meat product - and there is highly likely to be a vegan alternative. You can buy veggie burgers, vegan bacon, veggie sausages, vegan chocolate, vegan cupcakes, soya ice-cream, vegan donuts... the list is endless. Many people mistakenly believe that you can only eat vegetables and fruit! This is not true. Visit a vegan store or a health food store and you will be amazed at the range of vegan products on offer.
Q: Are there many vegans around?
A: There are estimated to be around 180,000 vegans just in the UK alone. Some well known vegans include Chrissie Hynde, Jared Leto, Geezer Butler, Davey Havok and Hunter Burgan, Darryl Hannah, Bryan Adams, Morrissey, Alicia Silverstone just to name a few.
Q. What is a pescatarian?
A. A pescatarian eats fish but not meat. It's halfway to being a vegetarian - but NOT vegetarian. Some people call themselves vegetarian yet eat fish - this is not a true vegetarian - just a pescatarian. However, it is much kinder to be pescatarian than to eat meat. Although better to be vegan than pescatarian! Fish have feelings and feel pain too.
Q: Is it more expensive to be vegan?
A: A vegan diet can be cheaper than an omnivorous one. Especially with raw veganism; relying mostly on food that doesn't come prepared (vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes). Look online for free vegan recipes. Some nutrition basics are helpful too. For example, did you know rice and beans combined has complete protein? It contains all nine of the essential amino acids that make up protein. Also, many supermarkets sell their own brand or 'basic' ranges which can be vegan and cheaper than other branded food. For example, Sainsbury's sell a vegan beef & tomato pot noodle snack for only 40p compared to Unilever's Pot Noodle (Unilever test on animals) which is £1.
Q: What is specisism?
A: We all care about other living being, but to varying degrees. Specisism is discrimination towards certain animals. Some discrimination is warranted (we can assume that none human animals have no use with the right to vote... or at least until we learn their language, or they learn ours). But most is not. All animals want suitable food, water, freedom of motion, and companionship. We “allow” certain animals their natural given rights, while we exploit others and deprive them of their basic needs. Of course, it is NEVER okay to pick and choose who is allowed to live, be happy, and be healthy.
Q: Is eating honey 'cruel'?
A: See “What is specisism?”. Vegans do not consume honey because they don't want to exploit bees. Queen bees are often artificially inseminated and sometimes have their wings cut off so they cannot fly. Bees produce honey (it's actually bee vomit) as nutrition for themselves but commercial companies take this honey - which is pretty much thieving in order to make money. Bees are often killed or harmed when handled badly. You can find alternative products that do not contact honey - for example, instead of eating honeycomb, some vegan companies now make a vegan honeycomb.
Q: I'm not vegetarian but I eat free range. Is that ok?
A: It's a scam, a lie, you've been hoodwinked, bamboozled, tricked! These industries are out to get your money. So of course they want to make you feel nice, and good about yourself when these factory farms give you neat little packages in air conditioned super markets with cute little pictures of happy animals (like if they're happy about forcibly sacrificing their life for you). Don't fall for it. The qualifications for free range are less than impressive, and don't specify if they ever see the sun, feel grass under their feet, aren't beaten, or fed their own waste, and other dead animals. It's still as cruel, they just have a tiny, little bit more leg room. Its all just talk anyway, because there are no organizations that check all the supposedly 'free range farms' to see if they still qualify after years of putting that label on their products. If you love animals just don't eat them.
Q: Will I get enough vitamins and other nutrients being vegan? Protein? B12?
A: A vegan diet is as healthy - if not a lot more healthy - than a meat eating one (meat causes many diseases). A vegan diet can reduce the risk of heart disease as well as obsesity. Obviously, fruit and vegetables contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients. Many vegan food contain a lot of protein. We love Trek Protein Flapjacks which contain 10g of protein per bar. Tempeh, soybeans, lentils, other beans all contain a lot of protein. Other vegan food and drink may be fortified with B12, calcium, omega 3 & 6 and other items that our body needs. The Vegan Society also sells a multivitamin if you feel you are lacking in certain vitamins.
More coming soon!