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Definition of Vegan

In our blog post on “How to Become Vegetarian,” we spoke briefly regarding to what extend one might choose to pursue a vegetarian diet. Due to the amount of questions received about the definition of vegan and vegetarian diets, we thought we’d take a second to go a bit more into these disciplines, reasons for choosing each, and the best practices associated with each.

Definition of Vegan, Vegetarian, and Macrobiotic

The first definition of vegan appeared in 1944. The term “Vegan” is reserved for those who eliminate all animal products from their daily lives including animal meat, fur, eggs and dairy products. Those who choose this lifestyle often do so for animal rights and environmental reasons and consider it the responsibility of people to act as caretakers for all living things. The practice dates back as far as 500 BCE to Greek philosophers Pythagoras who also advocated benevolence for all living things. Vegetarianism however can be defined as the elimination of animal meat including beef, pork, chicken, and what is considered red and white meat. Unlike vegans, some vegetarians continue the use of fish and dairy products in a regular diet. Though arguable whether or not this can be considered vegetarian, the title is more of a general term which may or may not warrant consideration of stricter guidelines. The macrobiotic diet consisting mainly of whole grains and vegetables was first introduced to the American lexicon in the 1960’s, adapted from Japanese philosopher George Ohsawa’s teachings of healthy living. The most controversial of the three dietary methods, macrobiotics is claimed to prevent and reverse some forms of cancer. Although the definition of vegan, vegetarian and macrobiotics differ, these diets have more in common than most diets.

Reasons for choosing Vegan

Are you looking to change, or maybe on the fence about changing to a vegan lifestyle? Perhaps you are not convinced of the social, environmental or ethical benefits. In simple terms, being vegan is one of the easiest ways you can simultaneously help the environment, improve your health and the quality of life for those around you. For an example, two of the greatest expenses in any house hold include the cost of groceries and healthcare. Both can dramatically decrease on a vegan diet. Consider how much would be saved if every other household in the United States became vegan. On the same note, we would see a dramatic decrease in the rate of high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes – three of the top killers in the United States – if we chose a vegan diet. Last but not least, as a vegan, you would contribute to the conservation of fossil fuels, potable water, soil and natural forest through more effective means of producing food. Many don’t realize it takes 78 calories of fossil fuels to produce 1 calorie of beef protein or 16 pounds of soybeans. By any measure, that is outrageous.

Definition of Vegan – Best Practices

To start your way to a vegan lifestyle, I would suggest for consulting a friend or family member about why they decided to make the change, getting their advice of places to shop, groups to join, and viable alternatives to the many creature comforts you enjoy on a regular basis. Stores like Earthfare, Whole Foods Market, and Trader Joe’s carry a wide variety of reasonably priced vegan products. During the spring and summer, check out the local farmers markets for new and exciting alternatives to the typical food you would find at the grocery store. It may require a little effort at first, but so does any transition in habit or lifestyle. I would suggest setting a goal to remain meat free for 30 days. If that works out, then set another goal for 60 days. Continue that pattern until you are comfortable. Just remember that being vegan doesn’t have to be permanent. In most cases that I’ve seen, the people that make the change completely acquire an aversion to meat products. However you should not be made to feel ashamed for averting back to eating meat once or twice.

For advice and a more in depth discussion on the definition of vegan, join us on out during next Holistic Holiday at Sea vegan cruise.

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Beautiful Locations

San Juan Porto Rico
Beaches of Cozumel, Mexico
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Exquisite Cuisine

Spring Rolls
Gourmet Vegan Meals
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Luxurious Ship

Ship in Port
Cruising Italian Style
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Suite with Veranda
Verandas and Suites Available
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Dr. Neal Barnard
World Leaders in Holistic Health
Including Dr. T. Colin Campbell

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