Types of Vegans

By Megan Vick

You may have heard the term “vegan” thrown around here and there.  Maybe you’ve seen it on some food products at the grocery store.  At the end of the day, there are a lot of ways people define vegan, and it can be quite confusing.  Vegans abstain from the use of all animal products, however definitions begin to gray.

Ethical vegans do not consume any animal products or wear clothing from animals (goodbye patent leather shoes!).  Many common food ingredients are derived from animals like lard, whey, and gelatin, however many ingredients like beeswax, honey, lanolin, and shellac find ways into food and personal care products too.

Dietary vegans do not consume any animal product for health or animal welfare reasons. They have adopted a plant-based whole food diet, but may use other items made from animals such as wool and leather.

There is much controversy in the vegan community as to what a “true” vegan is.  Whether or not you are vegan, the best philosophy is to accept everyone, regardless of dietary choices.  Both Alicia Silverstone and Woody Harrelson discovered when they stopped being “preachy” about their choice to be vegan, more people were curious about their lifestyle.

Share your thoughts about veganism in the comments!

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