What is Veganism

The official definition of Veganism as explained by The Vegan Society:

"Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."

There are many ways to embrace vegan living. Yet one thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey as well as products like leather and any tested on animals.

History

Although the vegan diet was defined early on in The Vegan Society's beginnings in 1944, it was as late as 1949 before Leslie J Cross pointed out that the society lacked a definition of veganism. He suggested “[t]he principle of the emancipation of animals from exploitation by man”. This is later clarified as “to seek an end to the use of animals by man for food, commodities, work, hunting, vivisection, and by all other uses involving exploitation of animal life by man”.

When The Vegan Society became a registered charity in 1979, the Memorandum and Articles of Association updated the definition of “veganism” as: 

"A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."

To read more on the history of veganism, see here.

Visit the website of The Vegan Society for much more information on how and why to lead a vegan lifestyle .