Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, as well as an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. A follower of veganism is known as a vegan.

Ethical vegan is applied to those who not only follow a vegan diet, but extend the vegan philosophy into other areas of their lives, and oppose the use of animals or animal products for any purpose. 

Environmental vegan refers to the rejection of animal products on the premise that the harvesting or industrial farming of animals is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.

Dietary vegans refrain from consuming animal products, not only meat and fish but, also eggs, dairy products and other animal-derived substances.

The term vegan was coined in England in 1944 by Donald Watson, co-founder of the British Vegan Society, to mean “non-dairy vegetarian”; the society also opposed the consumption of eggs.

Veganism is a growing movement. In many countries the number of vegan restaurants is increasing, and some of the top athletes– for instance, the Ironman triathlon and the ultramarathon – practise veganism, including raw veganism. Well-planned vegan diets have been found to offer protection against degenerative conditions, including heart disease and cancer and are regarded by the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada as appropriate for all stages of the life-cycle. Vegan diets tend to be higher in dietary fibre, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, Vitamin D, iron, and phytochemicals, lower in saturated fat and completely void of cholesterol and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

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