Today, there are more and more followers of a lifestyle that refuses animal suffering in all its forms, especially when it comes to the animal finishing our plate.
Vegetarian, vegan, vegan, so many terms that correspond to lifestyles including a restrictive diet of animal foods. Let's take stock of these attitudes, which have distant origins.
Vegan lifestyle: very strict restrictions
There are several dietary attitudes that consist in refusing to use animals and to exploit them for human purposes:
Vegetarianism: vegetarians eat plants (cereals, vegetables, legumes, seeds, oilseeds, fruits...), as well as eggs and/or milk, but do not eat any animal (no meat, no poultry, no cold cuts, no fish, no seafood...).
Veganism: in addition to being vegetarians, vegans do not eat eggs, milk, cheese, honey or any other animal product.
Veganism: a vegan, in addition to being vegan, extends his active compassion to the whole of his life, and is careful not to use any product of animal origin, a fortiori if they are obtained at the price of the suffering of animals, whether it is for his clothes, his shoes, the products or objects that he uses, his leisure activities, etc.
What does it mean to be vegan?
A vegan refuses all animal products. He never uses: leather, wool, fur, cosmetics tested on animals and household products tested on animals.
Consequently, he also refuses: hunting, fishing, bullfighting, water parks like "marineland" or "delphinarium", circuses with animal acts.
The vegan way of life is based above all on 3 principles, which are :
Ecological: the vegan rejects intensive breeding and its consequences on the planet; it promotes responsible consumption.
Ethical: veganism promotes the rejection of animal suffering and compassion towards all living beings, which are forbidden to degrade and/or torture, especially for human purposes.
Health: the vegan adopts a healthier diet based on cereals, seeds and vegetables, a diet low in fats and sugars.
Controversy about the vegan lifestyle: a protein deficiency?
The vegan diet would be decried for its insufficient daily intake of proteins.
However, vegans get their protein from: legumes, tofu, nuts, seeds, nutritional yeast and grain products.
Thus, although the proteins found in the plant kingdom are not sufficient on their own (in each food), they become sufficient if they are combined at each meal.
It is necessary for a good dietary balance to combine legumes and cereals at each meal, for example: chickpeas and semolina, lentils and rice, red beans and quinoa.
Advice on how to start veganism
There are many online resources about the vegan lifestyle and diet. You can find recommendations, recipes, quizzes and a lot of advice if you want to turn to this lifestyle.
It is recommended not to change one's diet abruptly, but to start the changes gradually.
If you have any questions or need advice or support, do not hesitate to consult your doctor, who will be able to refer you to a nutritionist.