We received a question through our FAQ page that simply said “define vegan.” And, my initial thought was to copy the dictionary’s definition and send it back. Then I thought about what Dwight K. Schrute would think about that:
“If I wanted the dictionary definition, I’d buy a dictionary.” – Dwight K. Schrute
So, I made the assumption that this ‘question’ was more about how we at BioGains define vegan. And to be honest, this is a very thought-provoking question. And it was a question that I hadn’t really thought about before. So, the first thing I did was lookup the definition of vegans on Google. And Google defines a vegan as:
A person who does not eat or use animal products.
What a basic definition that is. So, instead of just responding to the original question, I decided to write a blog post about how I define vegan since Google’s definition leaves a lot to be desired, in my opinion. So, without further ado, here are my thoughts and how I personally define vegan.
Defining Vegan Isn’t that Easy
In very general terms, Google’s definition covers the very basic fundamental underlying of what vegans are. They’re people who don’t consume or use animal products. I can’t debate that so, good job Google.
The fact is that the nearly all people who go vegan do so because they want to stop animal abuse and unnecessary animal slaughtering. So, we can see where the textbook definition comes from. But vegans are significantly more that just people who avoid animal products and foods. Vegans are leaving a very lasting impact on the world.
Vegans are always associated with not eating meat. But when vegans don’t eat meat, they help the world in many ways that don’t directly involve saving animals from torture.
Vegans are Advocates for a Sustainable World
Veganism is Good for the World – Raising animals for food requires a lot of land and open space. To create this space, trees are chopped down and wooded areas become fields.
Over the years, humans have chopped down forests and wooded areas to create room for livestock to roam. But, it’s not just a problem that we made in the past. It’s a mistake that we’re still making today. Approximately 46,800 square miles of plants and trees are wiped out each year.
Chopping down forests is aiding in the acceleration of climate change. The climate will continue to change as more forests are removed because there are fewer trees to store carbon.
In addition to climate change, we have to understand that having a diverse group of plants is essential to maintaining a balanced and sustainable ecosystem.
Veganism Saves Energy – It takes an enormous amount of energy to raise livestock since most animals take months or years to raise. Throughout an animal’s entire life, energy is required for everything from processing meats to transporting meats. By comparison, plants require about 8 times less energy than
Veganism is Good for Our Water – How vegans help the worlds water supply comes down to two separate benefits that vegans present: because of veganism, there is more clean water available for people who need it and there is less water that gets polluted.
Consider that one of the largest problems in the world is that millions of people don’t have access to clean water. However, in most developed countries, we use endless amounts of water to care for animals that are eventually slaughtered. The basic premise is that we use clean water in order to raise animals for a food source, but we don’t have enough water to ensure that millions of people throughout the world suffer from serious illnesses and death related to a lack of water? That is quite absurd.
Vegans help combat the world’s water shortage by replacing meat sources. When plant sources are used for food, it requires that fewer animals be raised and the end result is that more water is left. This water can be used to grow plants which feed more people than animals do – and requires less water.
It’s estimated to take up to 200 times more water to raise animals than plants. Which, as you know, is a lot of water.
The second part of the equation is that animals are a major cause for water pollution. Animals create an enormous amount of waste – approximately 500 million tons per year. And that waste always ends up somewhere. Sometimes, the place that the waste ends up is in our lakes, rivers and water sources.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a plant that poops.
Define Vegan: Some Final Thoughts
While the main reason that people go vegan is to save animals, there is an enormous amount of causes that help define vegan. In this article, I really just sat back and rattled off my thoughts on defining veganism. So, there wasn’t much thought put into this article – it’s simply from my brain to my fingers. Hopefully, it explains by thoughts on veganism and how it’s much more than just avoiding animal products and foods – although that’s undoubtedly the main reason behind the veganism movement.
So, how do you define vegan? We’d love to hear your thoughts on veganism. Head over to the contact page and send us a message. Tell us why you chose to go vegan and the benefits you’ve noticed from your change to veganism. If you’re still on the fence about going vegan, then tell us the main reasons why you are considering a life of veganism. We all have different reasons for why we become vegan – and we would love to hear your story!