“If a being suffers there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration.”
— Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
Veganism recognises the right of all sentient beings to be treated with justice, respect, and compassion. It is a way of living that excludes as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploiting animals for food, clothing, entertainment, or any other purpose. Vegans also recognise the significant environmental benefit of living this way, as well as enjoying many other positive effects: physiological, psychological, emotional, and spiritual.
A vegan is a person who chooses not to consume or use anything produced from animals or containing any ingredients derived from animals. Therefore, a major part of being vegan is eating a plant-based diet. Vegans do not eat meat, including fish, shellfish, 'poultry' (birds), or any other animal's flesh, or organs. We also abstain from eating eggs, dairy products, gelatine, (made from animal skin - often listed as E441), carmine (a red food colouring made from crushed beetles - often listed as E120), honey, fish sauce, oyster sauce, or indeed any other food derived from animals. We also avoid foods containing these things as ingredients, even in small quantities, and even when derived from organic, free range, or wild animals.
We also refrain from wearing or using any product made from leather, fur, silk, wool, feathers, or bone. A vegan chooses cosmetics and other personal care items that are neither derived from nor tested on animals, and avoids all forms of entertainment exploiting them.
So, what do vegans do? Many people imagine the vegan lifestyle to be difficult and/or restrictive, but nothing could be further from the truth. Veganism is not about giving things up but learning how to live more ethically. It's about open mindedness and receptiveness to a beautiful, abundant new way of living and eating.
Vegans enjoy an incredibly wide variety of exciting and delicious foods. Even more so than your average meat-eater most of the time! Not only do we eat fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds - but also whole array of delicious and familiar culinary creations such as: cakes, biscuits, breads, pasta, pizzas, pies, pastries, tofu, tempeh, curries, stir-fries, soups, all kinds of fresh vibrant salads - and much much more! There is nothing bland or boring about a plant-based diet.