Being a vegan is definitely more of a lifestyle choice and a philosophy than a diet. Some people believe that the words “vegetarian” and “vegan” mean the same thing, but they do not. Vegetarian is a broader term that encompasses several different diets, while vegans eat a specific type of diet and often try to avoid any animal products in their day to day lifestyle.
Vegans do not eat any type of animal flesh, nor do they consume animal products such as eggs and milk. Most vegans do not eat honey, and some do not eat yeast products. Lifestyle characteristics include not wearing any type of animal product, including silk or wool, and not using lotions or other products that have ingredients that originate from animals. Vegans also avoid using products that have been tested on animals.
Some people may disagree with the meaning of vegetarianism. The general interpretation is that a vegan will not consume any foods of animal origin, not even honey, while a vegetarian might consume eggs (ovo-vegetarian), or dairy (lacto-vegetarian). The principle is to avoid consuming or using anything that could harm any type of animal. Those who adhere to a strict vegan diet but are not concerned with non-food uses of animal products are called dietary vegans.
In principal vegetarians do not eat any animals. This includes pigs, chickens, cows, sea animals, and every other animal. In addition to not consuming any animal flesh, a vegan (strict vegetarian) also doesn’t eat dairy products, eggs, or any other product derived from an animal.
Vegetarianism has been practiced for many centuries. Some are vegetarian for religious reasons, others for ethical reasons, and others simply believe that it is a healthier way to live. As long as one includes all of the necessary vitamins and minerals in one’s vegetarian diet, vegetarianism does not cause any health problems.