Veganism and Vegetarianism
Veganism is fast becoming an alternative source of feeding relying exclusively on plant-based diets. With increasing recognition accorded this practice, all sorts of myths are streaming into the human consciousness of those not thinking outside the box. But the concept goes beyond a lifestyle that simply shuns meat. Being a vegan means opting for a healthy lifestyle. Fish, poultry and dairy products such as eggs and milk may tempt the human mouth but satisfaction can also be found elsewhere. Veganism is not vegetarianism.
A Way of Life
An interplay of factors assists in shaping the intellectual mind-set of the few or so of the world’s population (about 1.8 million) indulging in the vegan way of life. Reasons for this skewed way of life – some may want to call it – differ from individual to individual and are not necessarily influenced by healthy life choices alone. For vegans, environmental considerations along with ethical factors can in addition be the trigger points.
Moral and Environmental Considerations
Some vegans choose their lifestyle to reinforce their opposition to any idea promoting animals as tools of trade. They stay away from organisations linked to the practice of animal husbandry. They have their moral conscience about them and do not see any merit in raising animals for veal. Their conviction in a humane and just society explores alternative sources that move away from animal cruelty.
Rather than being judgmental and cynical, vegans are sometimes influenced by environmental considerations. The strength of such an argument lies in protecting the environment and ties in with their non-recognition of meat production processes.
If we wonder momentarily about alternative nutritional way of living, we find the answers in veganism. Vitamin-derived sources other than from meat, fish, poultry or dairy products abound. Fruits, leafy greens, nuts and seeds often viable sources are often ignored in humans’ scale of preference. The human calorie intake can be enriched with soya milk, spinach, broccoli, rice and potatoes if up to 52 grams.
For vegans, cholesterol or fatty foods lead to weaker hearts with attendant complications. Fatal attractions such as margarine and vegetable oil all too easily take their toll on our stamina just as smoking does.
Vitamins and Importance to Vegans
Deficiency resulting from the absence of vitamin D leads to rickets and deformities. Whereas non-vegans tend to rely on fatty fish and egg yolks for their vitamin D supply, vegans are happy with a half-hour twice–weekly exposure to sunlight. But over-exposure to sun rays can lead to skin pigmentation and damage to the kidneys. Calcium-fortified sources including okra, soybeans, almond butter and dark green vegetables are vegan ways in much the same way that vitamin B12 is essential to growth and helpful to children and pregnant women.
Animals as Sentient Beings
Like animals, vegans are sentient beings endowed with feelings and capable of emotions, happiness, stress and joy. In ordering their lifestyle, vegans have become conscious of specielism or treating animals differently by reasons of their species. Vegans’ adoption of a just free society is telling. Vegans avoid clothing made of fur, feathers, hide and animal-derived cosmetics. Vegans tap into viable sources like cotton, linen, nylon and other man-made materials. The use of vegan furnishings is in steep rise due to their versatile, durable and recyclable nature.
Ethics versus Entrapments
Veganism is winning both converts and adherents to a different world of entertainment. Influenced by ethical rules and standards, vegans avoid places characterised with animal entrapments such as circuses, safari parks and zoos. Unlike non converts to veganism, vegans do not visit aquariums or unnatural habitats.
When Vevgans Intervene
Vegans believe that we are all animals and we should be able to exploit our natural propensity to roam the world without fear. This is why adopting animals as pets for vegans, amounts to an unjust exploitation and imprisonment against their will. Domestication may not be a familiar word to a vegan. Vegans applaud interventionism based on moral justifications and they would rescue endangered or abandoned animals with the same respect accorded to refugees.
Ignorance or Indifference?
It may be sheer ignorance or indifference or even a bloated sense of our own identity that is continuing to perpetuate the use of medicines, soaps, gels derived from animal exploitation. Vegans are leading examples we should all emulate in declaring a zero tolerance to animal cruelty. By avoiding products sourced from animals, vegans are promoting an awareness and culture that recognise animals as free beings with a high level of sentience. Trademarks depicting sunflower logo are now rife with vegan products. There are also second-hand vegan products and countless vegan websites.