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Clockwise from top left:
Seitan pizza; roasted sprouts, tofu and pasta;
cocoa–avocado brownies; leeks and beans with dumplings.
Pronunciation /ˈvɡənɪzəm/ VEE-gə-niz-əm
Description Elimination of the use of animal products, particularly in diet
Earliest proponents
Term coined by Donald Watson, November 1944[8]
Notable vegans List of vegans

Veganism is both the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated abolitionist philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.[9] A follower of either the diet or the philosophy is known as a vegan (pronounced VEE-gən).

Distinctions are sometimes made between several categories of veganism. Dietary vegans refrain from ingesting animal products. This means avoiding not only meat but also egg and dairy products and other animal-derived foodstuffs. Some dietary vegans choose to wear clothing that includes animal products (for example, leather or wool).[10] The term ethical vegan is often applied to those who extend the philosophy beyond diet into other areas of their lives. This philosophy means opposing the use of animal products for any purpose.[n 1] Environmental veganism refers to avoiding animal products on the premise that harvesting or industrial farming of animals is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.[16]

The term vegan was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson when he co-founded the Vegan Society in England. At first this meant "non-dairy vegetarian" and later "the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals".[17] Interest in veganism increased in the 2010s; more vegan shops opened, and vegan options became increasingly available in more supermarkets and restaurants in many countries.[18]

Vegan diets tend to be higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and phytochemicals, and lower in dietary energy, saturated fat, cholesterol, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12.[n 2] Well-planned vegan diets can reduce the risk of some types of chronic disease including heart disease.[20] Vegan diets are regarded as appropriate for all stages of the life-cycle by the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, and Dietitians of Canada.[21] Because uncontaminated plant foods do not provide vitamin B12 (which is produced by microorganisms such as bacteria), researchers agree that vegans should eat B12-fortified foods or take a supplement.[n 3]



Strict vegetarians[edit]

Further information: History of vegetarianism
Fruitlands, a short-lived vegan community established by Amos Bronson Alcott in Harvard, Massachusetts, in 1844.[22]

The origin of the English term vegetarian is unknown.[23] The earliest known use is attributed to the actress Fanny Kemble, writing around 1839 in Georgia in the United States.[n 4] The practice can be traced to Pythagoras in 6th century BCE Greece. Greek philosophers Empedocles and Theophrastus were vegetarians, as were Seneca the Younger, Ovid, Plutarch, Plotinus, Porphyry,[26] and the Arab poet Al-Maʿarri.[27] Their arguments were based on health, the transmigration of souls, animal welfare, and the view, espoused by Porphyry in De Abstinentia ab Esu Animalium ("On Abstinence from Animal Food"), that if humans deserve justice, so do animals.[26]

Vegetarianism established itself as a significant movement in 19th century England and the United States.[28] There were ovo-lacto vegetarians, who avoided meat but ate eggs and dairy; pescetarians, who in addition ate fish; and dietary vegans, then called strict vegetarians, who ate no meat, nor animal related products.[29] In 1813 the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley published A Vindication of Natural Diet, advocating "abstinence from animal food and spirituous liquors," and in 1815 William Lambe, a London physician, claimed that a vegan diet could cure a range of diseases from cancer and tuberculosis to acne.[30] Sylvester Graham's meatless Graham diet—mostly fruit, vegetables, water, and bread made at home with stoneground flour—became popular as a supposed health remedy in the 1830s in the United States.[31]

Several vegan communities were established. Amos Bronson Alcott, father of novelist Louisa May Alcott, opened the Temple School in 1834 and Fruitlands in 1844 in Massachusetts.[32] In England in 1838 James Pierrepont Greaves founded the Concordium, a vegan community at Alcott House on Ham Common.[3][33] In 1843 members of Alcott House created the British and Foreign Society for the Promotion of Humanity and Abstinence from Animal Food, led by Sophia Chichester.[34]

Alcott House helped establish the British Vegetarian Society, which held its first meeting in 1847 in Ramsgate, Kent.[35]:64 An article in the society's magazine in 1851 discussing alternatives to shoe leather suggests the presence of vegans within the membership who rejected animal use entirely.[36] The first known vegan cookbook, Rupert H. Wheldon's No Animal Food: Two Essays and 100 Recipes, was published in London in 1910. A vegetarian society newsletter in 1912 asked vegetarians to write in concerning egg and milk consumption, and reported on the arguments, concluding that the use of these products could not be justified.[37]

Coining the term vegan (1944)[edit]

Further information: Vegan Society
Mahatma Gandhi, Vegetarian Society, London, 20 November 1931, with Henry Salt on his right[n 5]
External images

Vegan News, first edition, 1944
Donald Watson, front row, fourth left, 1947[39]

During a visit to London in 1931, Mahatma Gandhi—who had joined the Vegetarian Society's executive committee when he lived in London from 1888 to 1891—gave a speech to the society arguing that it ought to promote a meat-free diet as a matter of ethics, not health.[38][40] The consumption of eggs and dairy had become something of an issue within the society. There were regular discussions in its newsletter, the Vegetarian Messenger, about the treatment of cows and hens; it appears from the correspondence that many opponents of veganism came from within the vegetarian community.[8][41] Lacto-vegetarians typically did not oppose veganism on moral grounds, and acknowledged the ethical consistency of the vegan position. However, they regarded a vegan diet as impractical, and were concerned that it might be an impediment to spreading vegetarianism if vegans found themselves unable to participate in social circles where no vegan food might be available. This became the predominant view of the Vegetarian Society.[37]

In August 1944 several members asked that a section of the society's newsletter be devoted to non-dairy vegetarianism. When the request was turned down, Donald Watson, secretary of the Leicester Vegetarian Society, set up a new quarterly newsletter, Vegan News, in November 1944, priced tuppence. He chose the word vegan himself.[7][n 6] The first edition attracted over 100 letters, including from George Bernard Shaw, who resolved to give up eggs and dairy.[8] The six members of the new Vegan Society held their first meeting in early November at the Attic Club, 144 High Holborn, London.[n 7] World Vegan Day is held every 1 November to mark the society's creation.[44]

Vegan News changed its name to The Vegan in November 1945, by which time it had 500 subscribers.[45] It published recipes, health news and a "vegan trade list" of animal-free products such as Colgate toothpaste, Kiwi shoe polish, Dawson & Owen stationery and Gloy glue.[46] Vegan books appeared, including Vegan Recipes by Fay K. Henderson, and Aids to a Vegan Diet for Children by Kathleen V. Mayo.[47] The Vegan Society soon made clear that it rejected the use of animals for any purpose, not only as food, and in 1951 it defined veganism as "the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals."[48][49] In 1956 Leslie Cross, the society's vice-president, founded the Plantmilk Society to explore commercial soy milk production. As Plantmilk Ltd (later Plamil Foods) it began production in 1965 of one of the first widely distributed soy milks in the Western world.[50]

The first vegan society in the United States was founded in 1948 by Catherine Nimmo and Rubin Abramowitz in California, who distributed Watson's newsletter.[51] In 1960 H. Jay Dinshah founded the American Vegan Society (AVS), linking veganism to the concept of ahimsa, "non-harming" in Sanskrit.[52][53] According to Joanne Stepaniak, the word vegan was first published independently in 1962 by the Oxford Illustrated Dictionary, defined as "a vegetarian who eats no butter, eggs, cheese or milk."[54]

Increasing interest[edit]

In the 1960s a countercultural food movement emerged in the United States around concerns about diet, the environment and a distrust of food producers, leading to increasing interest in organic gardening and vegetarianism.[55] Frances Moore Lappé's Diet for a Small Planet (1971) sold over three million copies and suggested "getting off the top of the food chain."[56]

From the late 1970s a group of scientists in the US, including physicians Dean Ornish, Caldwell Esselstyn, Neal D. Barnard, John A. McDougall, Michael Greger and biochemist T. Colin Campbell, argued that diets based on animal fat and animal protein, such as the Western pattern diet, were detrimental to health.[57]

The following decades saw a series of books recommend vegan or vegetarian diets, including McDougall's The McDougall Plan (1983), John Robbins's Diet for a New America (1987), which associated meat eating with environmental damage, and Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease (1990).[58] In 2003 two major North American dietitians' associations approved the vegan diet as safe for all life stages.[59] This was followed by the film Earthlings (2005), Campbell's The China Study (2005), and Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin's Skinny Bitch (2005), as well as Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals (2009) and the film Forks over Knives (2011).[60]

Into the mainstream (2010s)[edit]

Further information: List of vegans
Interest in veganism in the 2010s was reflected in increased page views for the topic on Wikipedia.[61]

The vegan diet became increasingly mainstream in the Western world in the 2010s.[62][18] Chain restaurants began marking vegan items on their menus, and supermarkets improved their selection of vegan processed food.[63] The global mock-meats market increased by 18% between 2005 and 2010,[64] and in the US by 8% between 2012 and 2015 to $553 million a year.[65] In the UK the plant milk market increased by 155% in two years, from 36 million litres in 2011 to 92 million in 2013.[66] The European Parliament defined the meaning of vegan for food labels in 2010, in force as of 2015.[61][67]

Celebrities, athletes and politicians adopted vegan diets, some seriously, some part-time.[68] In recent years, some in America have promoted veganism as "glamorous" and trendy, to counter the image of self-deprivation projected by vegan straight edges and animal rights activists.[69] The idea of the "flexi-vegan" gained currency; in his book VB6 (2013), New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman recommended sticking to a vegan diet before 6 pm.[70] De Vegetarische Slager, the first known vegetarian butcher shop, selling mock meats, opened in the Netherlands in 2010.[64][71] In 2011 Europe's first vegan supermarkets appeared in Germany – Vegilicious in Dortmund[72] and Veganz in Berlin and elsewhere.[70] In 2013 the Oktoberfest in Munich, traditionally a meat-heavy affair, offered vegan dishes for the first time in its 200-year history.[73] America's first known vegan butcher's, the Herbivorous Butcher, opened in Minneapolis in 2016.[65][74]

In Israel, interest in veganism surged in recent years, with an estimated 5% of Israelis identifying as vegan in 2015, approximately double the figure in 2010.[75] The phenomenon has been attributed to a 2012 visit by abolitionist activist Gary Yourofsky, who frequently compares the treatment of animals to the Holocaust.[76][77] Following a protest in 2015, the Israeli army was forced to make special provisions for vegan soldiers, including non-leather boots and wool-free berets.[78] Veganism also became popular among Israeli Arabs, leading to collaborations between Jewish and Arab animal rights activists.[79]

Increasing interest in veganism has prompted criticism and backlash from non-vegans. Critics of veganism have questioned the evolutionary legitimacy and health effects of a vegan diet, and pointed to longstanding philosophical traditions which held that man is superior to the other animals.[80] Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain once compared vegans to the militant group Hezbollah.[81]


The total number of vegans around the world is unknown. Research indicates that the global percentage of vegans is small but growing, especially in wealthier countries.[82]

  •  Australia: According to a 2009 telephone survey commissioned by Vegetarian/Vegan Society of Queensland and conducted by Newspoll Sydney amongst a representative sample of 1202 people across the country, 0.06% or about 10,000 adult Australians were vegan.[83]
  •  Austria: In 2013, Kurier reported 0.5% of Austria practised veganism, and in the capital of Vienna 0.7%.[84] That same year, Der Standard quoted former biomarket owner Stefan Maran as saying that more than 40,000 Austrians were vegan, 15,000 of whom were Viennese.[85]
  •  Belgium: A 2016 iVOX online study, commissioned by EVA vzw, found that out of 1000 Dutch-speaking residents of Flanders and Brussels of 18 years and up, 0.3% were vegan (no animal products), 1.5% were vegetarian (no meat or fish), 1.6% ate fish but no meat, 2.2% almost-vegetarian (ate meat or fish twice a month at most), 10% part-time vegetarian (ate no meat or fish at least three times a week), and 84.4% omnivores (ate meat or fish almost every day) (margin of error: 3.1%).[86]
  •  Finland: One 2013 estimate put the share of Finnish vegans at 0.5% (27,000 citizens).[87]
  •  Germany: There were an estimated 800,000 vegans (1%) in Germany as of 2013.[73]
  •  Iceland: There are no official statistics on veganism in Iceland. However, veganism appears to be growing in Iceland, with more vegetarian and vegan products having become available between 2000 and 2015. As of 2015, the Facebook group Íslenskar Grænmetisætur (Icelandic Vegetarians) had over 4,000 members or about 1.2% of the country's entire population. One estimate suggested that 4–8% of tourists (especially from North America) who visit Iceland are vegetarian/vegan.[88]
  •  Israel: According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), 2.6% of Israelis identified as vegetarian or vegan in 2010.[89] In a January 2014 poll by the Panels Institute for MasterChef Israel, (nearly) 5% of respondents said they were vegan (and 8% vegetarian), making it the highest per capita vegan population in the world.[89][90][91] In October 2014, activist group Vegan-Friendly claimed that nearly 4% or around 300,000 Israelis were vegan.[89] However, a March 2014 CBS poll found that 1.7% of adults aged 20 or more identify as vegan (and 4.7% vegetarian).[92]
  •  Italy: On 2 October 2015, La Repubblica reported that, according Eurisko-Tre Valli, 3% of all Italians is vegan.[93] Two weeks later, however, the same newspaper claimed the share of vegans was only 0.6%.[94] In July 2016, the RTBF stated that "veganism (...) is rising in Italy. Certain reports estimate that about 2.8% of the Italian population follows this lifestyle."[95]
  •  Japan: According to a December 2014 survey with 1,188 valid responses, 4.7% of the Japanese population are vegetarian or vegan (2.7% vegan, which would amount to 3,432,000 people).[96]
  •  Netherlands: A study found there were about 16,000 vegans (0.1%) in 1996.[97][98] In 2014, the Dutch Society for Veganism (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Veganisme, NVV) estimated there to be 45,000 Dutch vegans (0.27%), based on their membership growth;[99] in 2016 they estimated the number at 50,000 (0.3%).[100] Also in 2016, spokesman Pablo Moleman of Viva Las Vega's estimated about 1% (170,000) of the Dutch population to be vegan,[97][101] whereas Wageningen researcher Hans Dagevos put the maximum at 70,000 (0.4%).[100] There are no recent representative data available, however.[97]
  •  Poland: The share of vegans was 1.6% or 608,000 Poles in 2013, according to research by Badania Opinii Homo Homini commissioned by LightBox amongst a representative sample of 1,104 adults.[102]
  •  Spain: There are no official statistics on veganism in Spain. According to data from a food brand's 2006 market study gathered by the Spanish Vegetarian Union (Unión Vegetariana Española, UVE), around 0.08% or 36,800 Spaniards were vegan.[103]
  •  Sweden: 4% (equivalent to 390,000 people) said they were vegan in a 2014 Demoskop poll amongst 1,000 people aged 15 and over.[104]
  •   Switzerland: There are no recent estimates or official data, but the Swiss Vegan Society (Vegane Gesellschaft Schweiz) presumes that currently around 1% of the Swiss population lives vegan.[105]
  •  United Kingdom: In 2006, The Independent reported there to be 600,000 (0.99%) British vegans at minimum, and a million (1.66%) at most, compared to just 100,000 (0.17%) in 1993.[106] 2% said they were vegan in a 2007 government survey.[107] A 2016 Ipsos MORI study commissioned by The Vegan Society and Vegan Magazine, inquiring almost 10,000 people aged 15 or over across England, Scotland and Wales, found that at least 542,000 Britons were vegan, or at least 1.05% of the UK populace; this is 3.5 times as much as the 150,000 in their previous survey of 2006.[108]
  •  United States: Gallup estimated that as of 2012, 2% of people in the United States self-identified as vegan.[109][100] A 2016 Harris Interactive poll commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group found that 3.3% of respondents were vegetarian, of which slightly under half were also vegan, leading to an estimate of approximately eight million adult American vegetarians including 3.7 million vegans.[110]

Animal products[edit]


Further information: Rendering (food processing)
The mock meat section in Veganz, a vegan supermarket in Berlin

Vegans do not eat beef, pork, poultry, fowl, game, seafood, eggs, dairy, or any other animal products, such as gelatin. Plant-based eaters, who may identify as dietary vegans might use animal products in clothing (as leather, wool, and silk), toiletries and similar.[111] Veganism extends not only to matters of food but also to the wearing or using of animal products. Vegans reject the commodification of animals.[112] The British Vegan Society will certify a product only if it is free of animal involvement as far as possible and practical, including animal testing.[113]

Philosopher Gary Steiner argues that it is not possible to be entirely vegan, because animal use and products are "deeply and imperceptibly woven into the fabric of human society."[114] Animal products in common use include albumen, allantoin, beeswax, blood, bone char, bone china, carmine, casein, castoreum, cochineal, elastin, emu oil, gelatin, isinglass, keratin, lactic acid, lanolin, lard, rennet, retinol, shellac, squalene, tallow/sodium tallowate, whey and yellow grease. Some of these are chemical compounds which can be derived from animal products, from plants, or from petrochemicals. Allantoin, lactic acid, retinol and squalene, for example, can be vegan. However, these products and their origins are not always included in the list of ingredients.[115]

Vegans will not buy woollen jumpers, silk scarves, leather shoes, bedding that contains goose down or duck feathers, ordinary soap (usually made of animal fat), or cosmetics that contain animal products. They avoid certain vaccines; the flu vaccine, for example, is usually grown in hens' eggs, although an effective alternative, Flublok, is widely available in the United States.[116] Non-vegan items acquired before they became vegan might be donated to charity or used until worn out. Some vegan clothes, in particular leather alternatives, are made of petroleum-based products, which has triggered criticism because of the environmental damage involved in their production.[117]

Some vegetarians argue that the restrictiveness of a vegan lifestyle is impractical, and that vegetarianism is a better goal, even though veganism is the fastest growing movement at the moment and it's becoming easier and easier to find vegan alternatives. [118][119]

Eggs, dairy, honey, silk[edit]

The main difference between a vegan and vegetarian diet is that vegans exclude eggs and dairy products. Ethical vegans avoid them on the premise that their production causes animal suffering and premature death. In egg production, most male chicks are culled because they do not lay eggs.[120] To obtain milk from dairy cattle, cows are made pregnant to induce lactation; they are kept pregnant and lactating for three to seven years, then slaughtered. Female calves are separated from their mothers within 24 hours of birth, and fed milk replacer to retain the cow's milk for human consumption. Male calves are slaughtered at birth, sent for veal production, or reared for beef.[121]

Vegan groups disagree about insect products.[122] Neither the Vegan Society nor the American Vegan Society considers honey, silk, and other insect products as suitable for vegans,[123] while Vegan Action and Vegan Outreach view it as a matter of personal choice.[124] Agave nectar is a popular vegan alternative to honey.[125]

Vegan diet[edit]

Vegan cuisine at Wikibook Cookbooks


Warm tofu (soybean curd) with garlic sauce. Soybeans are a source of complete protein.

Vegan diets are based on grains and other seeds, legumes (particularly beans), fruits, vegetables, edible mushrooms, and nuts.[126] Meat analogues (mock meats) based on soybeans (tofu), or wheat-based seitan/gluten, are a common source of plant protein, usually in the form of vegetarian sausage, mince, and veggie burgers.[citation needed]

Dishes based on soybeans are a staple of vegan diets because soybeans are a complete protein; this means they contain all the essential amino acids for humans and can be relied upon entirely for protein intake.[n 8] They are consumed most often in the form of soy milk and tofu (bean curd), which is soy milk mixed with a coagulant. Tofu comes in a variety of textures, depending on water content, from firm, medium firm, and extra firm for stews and stir-fries; to soft or silken for salad dressings, desserts, and shakes. Soy is also eaten in the form of tempeh, seitan, and texturized vegetable protein (TVP); also known as textured soy protein (TSP), the latter is often used in pasta sauces.[128]

Plant milk, cheese, mayo[edit]

(Left to right): almond milk, hemp milk, soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk. 240 mL (1 cup) of fortified, unsweetened soy milk contains 300 mg of calcium, 6.95 g of protein and 330 kJ (80 kcal).[132]

Plant milks—such as soy milk, almond milk, grain milks (oat milk and rice milk), hemp milk, and coconut milk—are used in place of cows' or goats' milk.[n 9] Soy milk provides around 7 g of protein per cup (240 mL or 8 fl oz), compared with 8 g of protein per cup of cow's milk. Almond milk is lower in dietary energy, carbohydrates and protein.[134] Soy milk should not be used as a replacement for breast milk for babies. Babies who are not breastfed may be fed commercial infant formula, normally based on cows' milk or soy. The latter is known as soy-based infant formula or SBIF.[135]

Butter can be replaced with a vegan alternative such as Earth Balance's.[136] Vegan (egg-free) mayonnaise brands include Vegenaise, Nayonaise, Miso Mayo, Just Mayo, Mindful Mayo, and Plamil's Egg-Free Mayo.[137]

Vegan cheeses such as Chreese, Daiya, Sheese, Teese and Tofutti, are made from soy, nuts and tapioca, and can replace the meltability of dairy cheese.[138] Nutritional yeast is a common substitute for the taste of cheese in vegan recipes.[139] Several recipe books describe how to make cheese substitutes at home;[140] one recipe for vegan brie combines cashew nuts, soy yogurt and coconut oil.[141] In 2014 Oakland's Counter Culture Labs and Sunnyvale's BioCurious produced vegan cheese from casein extracted from genetically modified yeast.[142]

Egg replacements[edit]

Further information: Egg substitutes

Commercial egg substitutes, such as Bob's Red Mill egg replacer and Ener-G egg replacer, are available for cooking and baking.[143] The protein in eggs thickens when heated and binds other ingredients together.[144] Flaxseeds will do the same: replace each egg with one tablespoon of flaxseed meal mixed with three tablespoons of water.[143] For pancakes a tablespoon of baking powder can be used instead of eggs.[145] Other ingredients include (to replace one egg): one tablespoon of soy flour and one tablespoon of water; a quarter cup of mashed bananas, mashed prunes or apple sauce; or in batter two tablespoons of white flour, half a tablespoon of vegetable oil, two tablespoons of water, and half a tablespoon of baking powder.[144] Silken (soft) tofu and mashed potato can also be used.[146] Bean brine, known as aquafaba, can be used to replace egg whites in meringues, ice cream, and baking.[citation needed]

Vegan food groups[edit]

Further information: Food group
New Four Food Groups, clockwise from top left: fruit; legumes (such as soybeans) for protein; vegetables; whole grains, as in whole-wheat bread.[147]

Since 1991 the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has recommended a no-cholesterol, low-fat vegan diet based on what they call the New Four Food Groups: fruit, legumes, grains and vegetables. Legumes include peas, beans, lentils and peanuts.[147]

PCRM recommends three or more servings a day of fruit (at least one of which is high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruit, melon or strawberries); two or more of protein-rich legumes (such as soybeans, which can be consumed as soy milk, tofu or tempeh); five or more of whole grains (such as corn, barley, rice and wheat, in products such as bread and tortillas); and four or more of vegetables (dark-green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, and dark-yellow and orange such as carrots or sweet potatoes).[147]

The New Four Food Groups was created as an alternative to the Four Food Groups – meat, milk, vegetables and fruit, and cereal and breads – recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 1956 until 1992.[148] In 1992 the USDA replaced this with the food guide pyramid and in 2011 with MyPlate, which is consistent with a vegan diet. MyPlate is divided into five groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy (or calcium-fortified soymilk), and protein. The protein includes meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds.[n 10] In the UK the National Health Service recommends the Eatwell Plate, also with five groups and consistent with a vegan diet: fruit and vegetables; potatoes, bread and other starchy foods; dairy or non-dairy alternatives; meat, fish, eggs, or beans for protein; and fat and sugar.[149]




Proteins are composed of amino acids. Vegans obtain all their protein from plants, omnivores usually a third, and ovo-lacto vegetarians half.[150] Sources of plant protein include legumes such as soy beans (consumed as tofu, tempeh, texturized vegetable protein, soy milk and edamame), peas, peanuts, black beans and chickpeas (the latter often eaten as hummus); grains such as quinoa (pronounced keenwa), brown rice, corn, barley, bulgur and wheat (the latter eaten as bread and seitan); and nuts and seeds. Combinations that contain high amounts of all the essential amino acids include rice and beans, corn and beans, and hummus and whole-wheat pita.[151]

Soy beans and quinoa are known as complete proteins because they each contain all the essential amino acids in amounts that meet or exceed human requirements,[152] although analyses disagree on whether soy protein is slightly deficient in the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine, leading to reported PDCAAS values between 0.92 (slightly incomplete) and 1.00 (truly complete).[153] Mangels et al. write that consuming the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein (0.8 g/kg body weight) in the form of soy will meet the biologic requirement for amino acids.[127] In 2012 the United States Department of Agriculture ruled that soy protein (tofu) may replace meat protein in the National School Lunch Program.[154]

The American Dietetic Association said in 2009 that a variety of plant foods consumed over the course of a day can provide all the essential amino acids for healthy adults, which means that protein combining in the same meal may not be necessary.[155] Mangels et al. write that there is little reason to advise vegans to increase their protein intake, but erring on the side of caution, they recommend a 25% increase over the RDA for adults, to 1.0 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.[156]

Vitamin B12[edit]

Tahini miso soup with brown rice, turnips, squash, radishes and nori (an edible seaweed). Nori is cited as a plant source of B12,[157] but vegans are advised to take supplements.[n 3]

Vitamin B12 is a bacterial product needed for cell division, the formation and maturation of red blood cells, the synthesis of DNA, and normal nerve function. A deficiency can lead to megaloblastic anaemia and nerve damage.[158][n 11] Vegans are unable in most cases to obtain B12 from their diet.[n 12] Vegetarians are also at risk, as are older people and those with certain medical conditions.[161][162] A 2013 study found that "vegetarians develop B12 depletion or deficiency regardless of demographic characteristics, place of residency, age, or type of vegetarian diet. Vegetarians should thus take preventive measures to ensure adequate intake of this vitamin, including regular consumption of supplements containing B12."[n 3]

Increased hygiene in the food supply is probably the cause of B12 depletion from plant-based diets.[164][n 13] Neither plants nor animals make B12; it is produced by microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and algae. Plants not washed properly may contain B12 from bacteria in the soil, often from faeces, and drinking water may be similarly contaminated, particularly in the developing world. Animals obtain it by eating contaminated plants, from their internaal bacteria, other animals, or their own faeces, and become sources of B12 if eaten themselves.[158][n 14] Intensively farmed animals are often given B12 supplements or injections, particularly pigs and poultry, because when raised indoors they have no access to plants and less access to their own faeces.[166] Bacteria in the human digestive tract produce B12, but most is expelled in the faeces. The mouth is another source, but in small amounts and possibly analogue (not biologically active).[167][n 15]

Japanese researchers say that around 4 g of dried purple nori, an edible seaweed, supplies the adult RDA of 2.4 mcg (µg) of B12. Tempeh, a fermented soybean food, is cited as another source, perhaps because of contamination during production.[157][n 16] One tablespoon of Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula nutritional yeast delivers the adult RDA of B12.[169][n 17] There is no gold standard for assessing B12 status and few studies exist of long-term vegans who have not used supplements or fortified foods.[171] Studies of vegans not taking supplements or eating fortified food have found low B12 levels and clinical signs of deficiency; low B12 levels without signs of a deficiency; and neither.[172][173] Nevertheless, the consensus among researchers is that vegans and vegetarians should use supplements, or eat B12-fortified foods such as plant milk or breakfast cereal.[161][174] Mangels et al. say: "It is likely that all Western vegans consuming unsupplemented diets will eventually develop vitamin B12 deficiency, although it may take decades for this to occur."[175] No animal products are involved in the production of B12 supplements.[158]


Vegan cheeses

Calcium is needed to maintain bone health and for several metabolic functions, including muscle function, vascular contraction and vasodilation, nerve transmission, intracellular signalling and hormonal secretion. 99% of the body's calcium is stored in the bones and teeth.[176][177]:35–74

Vegans are advised to eat three servings a day of a high-calcium food, such as fortified plant milk, fortified tofu, almonds or hazelnuts, and to take a supplement as necessary.[21] Plant sources include broccoli, turnip, bok choy and kale; the bioavailability of calcium in spinach is poor.[176] Vegans should make sure they consume enough vitamin D, which is needed for calcium absorption.[178]

A 2007 report based on the Oxford cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, which began in 1993, suggested that vegans have an increased risk of bone fractures over meat eaters and vegetarians, likely because of lower dietary calcium intake. The study found that vegans consuming at least 525 mg of calcium daily have a risk of fractures similar to that of other groups.[n 18][181] A 2009 study found the bone mineral density (BMD) of vegans was 94% that of omnivores, but deemed the difference clinically insignificant.[182][n 19]

Vitamin D[edit]

Most people can obtain enough vitamin D from sunlight in the spring, summer and fall.[184]

Vitamin D (calciferol) is needed for several functions, including calcium absorption, enabling mineralization of bone, and bone growth. Without it bones can become thin and brittle; together with calcium it offers protection against osteoporosis. Vitamin D is produced in the body when ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin; outdoor exposure is needed because UVB radiation does not penetrate glass. It is present in salmon, tuna, mackerel and cod liver oil, with small amounts in cheese, egg yolks and beef liver, and in some mushrooms.[184]

Most vegan diets contain little or no vitamin D without fortified food. People with little sun exposure may need supplements. The extent to which sun exposure is sufficient depends on the season, time of day, cloud and smog cover, skin melanin content, and whether sunscreen is worn. According to the National Institutes of Health, most people can obtain and store sufficient vitamin D from sunlight in the spring, summer and fall, even in the far north. They report that some researchers recommend 5–30 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen between 10 am and 3 pm, at least twice a week. Tanning beds emitting 2–6 per cent UVB radiation have a similar effect, though tanning is inadvisable.[184][185]

Vitamin D comes in two forms. Cholecalciferol (D3) is synthesized in the skin after exposure to the sun, or consumed in the form of animal products; when produced industrially it is taken from lanolin in sheep's wool. Ergocalciferol (D2) is derived from ergosterol from UV-exposed mushrooms or yeast and is suitable for vegans. Conflicting studies have suggested that the two forms may or may not be bioequivalent.[186] According to researchers from the Institute of Medicine, the differences between D2 and D3 do not affect metabolism, both function as prohormones, and when activated exhibit identical responses in the body.[187]


Oatmeal with blueberries, toasted almonds and almond milk; one packet of instant oatmeal contains 8.2 mg of iron.[188]

In some cases, iron and zinc status of vegans may also be of concern because of the limited bioavailability of these minerals.[189] There are concerns about the bioavailability of iron from plant foods, assumed by some researchers to be 5–15% compared to 18% from a nonvegetarian diet.[190] Iron deficiency anaemia is found as often in nonvegetarians as in vegetarians, though studies have shown vegetarians' iron stores to be lower.[191]

Mangels et al. write that, because of the lower bioavailability of iron from plant sources, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences established a separate RDA for vegetarians and vegans of 14 mg for vegetarian men and postmenopausal women, and 33 mg for premenopausal women not using oral contraceptives.[192] Supplements should be used with caution after consulting a physician, because iron can accumulate in the body and cause damage to organs. This is particularly true of anyone with hemochromatosis, a relatively common condition that can remain undiagnosed.[193]

High-iron vegan foods include soy beans, black-strap molasses, black beans, lentils, chickpeas, spinach, tempeh, tofu, and lima beans.[194][195] Iron absorption can be enhanced by eating a source of vitamin C at the same time,[196] such as half a cup of cauliflower or five fluid ounces of orange juice. Coffee and some herbal teas can inhibit iron absorption, as can spices that contain tannins (turmeric, coriander, chillies, and tamarind).[195]

Omega-3 fatty acids, iodine[edit]

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid, is found in leafy green vegetables and nuts, and in vegetable oils such as canola and flaxseed oil.[197] Vegan Outreach suggests vegans take 1–1.5 g (14 teaspoon) of flaxseed oil (also known as linseed oil) daily, and use oils containing low amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, such as olive, canola, avocado, or peanut oil.[198] Vegans may use DHA supplements derived from algae instead of fish oil;[199] a 2011 meta-analysis concluded that algal oil may be an effective replacement for fish oil.[200]

Iodine supplementation may be necessary for vegans in countries where salt is not typically iodized, where it is iodized at low levels, or where, as in Britain and Ireland, dairy products are relied upon for iodine delivery because of low levels in the soil.[201] Iodine can be obtained from most vegan multivitamins or regular consumption of seaweeds, such as kelp.[202][203]

Health effects[edit]

Further information: Vegan nutrition and Raw veganism
supermarket freezer stocked with packaged food
Vegan products in a supermarket (Oceanside, California, 2014)

Veganism appears to provide health benefits, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease.[20] There is evidence that a vegan diet aids weight loss more effectively than a vegetarian or non-vegetarian diet, particularly in the short term.[204] A 2016 systematic review found that a vegan diet was associated with a significant reduction in cancer risk, although only in a small number of studies.[205]

According to nutritionist Winston Craig, writing in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2009, vegan diets tend to be higher in dietary fibre, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and phytochemicals, and lower in dietary energy, saturated fat, cholesterol, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12.[n 2] Craig wrote that vegans tend to be thinner, with lower serum cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Factors associated with a vegan diet being considered cancer-protective include an increased intake of fruits and vegetables; absence of meat; sources of vegan protein, including soy protein; and typically lower body mass index (BMI).[19]

Eliminating all animal products increases the risk of deficiencies of vitamins B12 and D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Craig advised vegans to eat fortified foods or take supplements, and warned that iron and zinc may be problematic because of limited bioavailability. Vegans might be at risk of low bone mineral density without supplements.[19]

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Dietitians of Canada indicate that vegetarian diets may be more common among adolescents with eating disorders, but that its adoption may serve to camouflage a disorder rather than cause one. The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council similarly recognizes a well-planned vegan diet as viable for any age.[21] As of 2011 the German Society for Nutrition did not recommend a vegan diet and cautioned against it for babies and children, the pregnant and the elderly.[206] The British National Health Service's Eatwell Plate allows for an entirely plant-based diet,[149] as does the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) MyPlate.[n 10] The USDA allows tofu to replace meat in the National School Lunch Program.[154]

Pregnancy, infants, and children[edit]

Further information: Nutrition and pregnancy

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Dietitians of Canada consider well-planned vegetarian and vegan diets "appropriate for individuals during all stages of the lifecycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes."[208] The German Society for Nutrition cautioned against a vegan diet for pregnant women, babies, and children as of 2011.[206] The Canadian Pediatric Society regards well-planned vegan diets as appropriate "at all stages of fetal, infant, child, and adolescent growth"; attention should be given to nutrient intake, particularly protein, vitamins B12 and D, essential fatty acids, iron, zinc, and calcium.[209]

According to a 2015 systematic review, there is little evidence available about vegetarian and vegan diets during pregnancy, and a lack of randomized studies meant that the effects of diet could not be distinguished from confounding factors. It concluded: "Within these limits, vegan-vegetarian diets may be considered safe in pregnancy, provided that attention is paid to vitamin and trace element requirements."[210] A daily source of vitamin B12 is important for pregnant and lactating vegans, as is vitamin D if there are concerns about low sun exposure.[n 20] Researchers have reported cases of vitamin B12 deficiency in lactating vegetarian mothers that were linked to deficiencies and neurological disorders in their children.[212][213] A doctor or registered dietitian should be consulted about taking supplements during pregnancy.[214]

Raw veganism[edit]

Main article: Raw veganism

Raw veganism is a diet that combines the concepts of veganism and raw foodism. It excludes all food and products of animal origin, as well as food cooked at a temperature above 48 °C (118 °F). A raw vegan diet includes raw vegetables and fruits, nuts and nut pastes, grain and legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, and fresh juices. There are many different variations of the diet, including fruitarianism, juicearianism, and sproutarianism.[citation needed]

Personal items[edit]

Toiletries, household[edit]

Further information: Testing cosmetics on animals
Soap made from olive oil; soap is usually made from tallow (animal fat)

Ethical vegans will not use toiletries or household cleaners that contain animal products. Animal ingredients are ubiquitous because they are cheap. After animals are slaughtered for meat, the leftovers are put through the rendering process, and some of that material, particularly the fat, ends up in toiletries. Common ingredients include tallow in soap, and glycerine (derived from collagen), used as a lubricant and humectant in haircare products, moisturizers, shaving foam, soap and toothpaste; there is a plant-based form but it is usually animal-based.[215]

Lanolin from sheep's wool is found in lip balm and moisturizers. Stearic acid is a common ingredient in face creams, shaving foam and shampoos; as with glycerine, it can be plant-based but is usually animal-derived. Lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid derived from animal milk, is used in moisturizers, as is allantoin, from the comfrey plant or cows' urine, in shampoos, moisturizers and toothpaste.[215] Carmine from scale insects, such as the female cochineal, is used in food and cosmetics to produce red and pink shades.[216]


Vegan Society sunflower:
certified vegan, no animal testing
PETA bunny:
certified vegan, no animal testing
Leaping bunny:
no animal testing, might not be vegan

The British Vegan Society's sunflower logo and PETA's bunny logo mean the product is certified vegan, which includes no animal testing. The leaping-bunny logo signals no animal testing, but it might not be vegan.[217] The Vegan Society criteria for vegan certification are that the product contain no animal products, and that neither the finished item nor its ingredients have been tested on animals by, or on behalf of, the manufacturer or by anyone over whom the manufacturer has control. Its website contains a list of certified products,[218] as does Australia's Choose Cruelty Free website.[219] Animal Ingredients A to Z (2004) and Veganissimo A to Z (2013) list which ingredients might be animal-derived.

Beauty Without Cruelty, founded as a charity in 1959, was one of the earliest manufacturers and certifiers of vegan toiletries.[220] Several international companies stock large vegan ranges, including Kiss My Face, MuLondon and Lush.[221]


Ethical vegans avoid clothing that incorporates silk, wool (including lambswool, shearling, cashmere, and angora), fur, feathers, or leather, snakeskin, or any other kind of skin or animal product. Most leather clothing is made from cows' and calves' skins, but the skin of sheep, goats, horses, and pigs is also used. Less common skins include those from kangaroos, elephants, zebras, seals, crocodile, and deer. Vegans regard the purchase of leather, particularly from cows, as financial support for the meat industry.[222] They wear shoes, belts, jackets and carry handbags made of hemp, linen, cotton, canvas, polyester, synthetic leather (known as pleather), rubber, or vinyl. Manufacture of the petroleum-based materials is harmful to the environment.[223]


Ethical veganism[edit]

Further information: Carnism and Ethics of eating meat

Ethical veganism is based on opposition to speciesism, the assignment of value to individuals on the basis of species membership alone. Divisions within animal rights theory include rights-based (deontological) and utilitarian (consequentialist) approaches, as well as protectionism, which pursues improved conditions for animals, and abolitionism, which seeks to end human ownership of non-humans. Abolitionists argue that protectionism serves only to make the public feel that animal use can be morally unproblematic (the "happy meat" position). Rights-theorists tend to be abolitionist[citation needed] and utilitarians protectionist.[224][225]

Law professor Gary Francione, a rights theorist and prominent abolitionist, argues that all sentient beings should have the right not to be treated as property, and that adopting veganism must be the baseline for anyone who believes that non-humans have intrinsic moral value.[226][n 21] Pursuing improved welfare conditions is like campaigning for "conscientious rapists" who will rape without beating, he argues.[225] Philosopher Tom Regan, also a rights theorist, argues that animals possess value as "subjects-of-a-life," because they have beliefs, desires, memory and the ability to initiate action in pursuit of goals. The right of subjects-of-a-life not to be harmed can be overridden by other moral principles, but pleasure, convenience, and the economic interests of farmers are not weighty enough.[228]

On the other hand, Katherine Wayne argues that while the property status of animals should be abolished, and veganism is a moral obligation in present circumstances, there could be conditions under which it may be morally appropriate to collect, consume, sell, or otherwise use animal products, though not to slaughter animals. She writes that relationships of use between asymmetrically dependent parties are essential to the functioning of cooperative society, and are therefore desirable.[229]

Philosopher Peter Singer, a prominent protectionist and utilitarian, argues that there is no moral or logical justification for failing to count animal suffering as a consequence when making decisions, and that killing animals should be rejected unless necessary for survival.[230] Despite this, he writes that "[e]thical thinking can be sensitive to circumstances," and that he is "not too concerned about trivial infractions."[231]

An argument proposed by Bruce Friedrich, also a protectionist, holds that strict adherence to veganism harms animals, because it focuses on personal purity, rather than encouraging people to give up whatever animal products they can.[232] For Francione, this is similar to arguing that, because human-rights abuses can never be eliminated, we should not defend human rights in situations we control. By failing to ask a server whether something contains animal products, we reinforce that the moral rights of animals are a matter of convenience, he argues. He concludes from this that the protectionist position fails on its own consequentialist terms.[233]

Another view is that ethical veganism remains "subtly human-centred." Philosopher Val Plumwood saw ethical veganism, which she called "Ontological Veganism," as an example of human/nature dualism in that it views humanity as separate from the rest of nature; ethical vegans want to admit non-humans into the category that deserves special protection, rather than recognize the "ecological embeddedness" of all.[234] Plumwood maintained that animal food may be an "unnecessary evil" from the perspective of the consumer who "draws on the whole planet for nutritional needs," and she strongly opposed factory farming, but for anyone relying on a much smaller ecosystem, it is very difficult or impossible to be vegan, she argued.[235]

Environmental veganism[edit]

Environmental vegans focus on conservation, rejecting the use of animal products on the premise that fishing, hunting, trapping and farming, particularly factory farming, are environmentally unsustainable.[16] Around 30% of the planet's surface is devoted to the livestock sector. In the United States ten billion land animals are killed every year for human consumption, and in 2005 48 billion birds were killed globally.[236][237] A 2006 UN report, Livestock's Long Shadow, concluded that livestock farming (mostly of cows, chickens and pigs) affects the air, land, soil, water, biodiversity, and climate change.[238]

Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society called pigs and chicken "major aquatic predators", and said that all Sea Shepherd ships are vegan for environmental reasons.[16] In 1999 222 million tonnes of meat were produced globally.[239] Livestock consumed 1,174 million tonnes of food in 2002, including 7.6 million tonnes of fishmeal and 670 million tonnes of cereals, one-third of the global cereal harvest.[240] In 2001 they consumed 45 million tonnes of roots and vegetables and 17 million tonnes of pulses.[241] As of 2006 the livestock industry accounted for 9% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, 37% of methane, 65% of nitrous oxide, and 68% of ammonia; livestock waste emitted 30 million tonnes of ammonia a year, which is involved in the production of acid rain.[242][243] Greenhouse gas emissions are not limited to animal husbandry. Plant agriculture such as rice cultivation can also cause environmental problems.[244]

Sows in gestation crates. Vegans view animal agriculture as an environmental threat.[245]

Richard Oppenlander, a lecturer, author and environmental activist, believes the adoption of a vegan diet would significantly cut down on global warming,[246] reduce the prevalence of cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses,[247] and prevent loss of biodiversity.[248] He cites the destructive effect livestock farming has had on the rainforest, with 70% of all deforested land in the Amazon being used to raise cattle. [249]

Comparative studies of the impact and sustainability of different diets concluded that the vegan diet has a low land-use footprint, albeit requiring high quality croplands.[250] A 2010 UN report, Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Consumption and Production, argued that animal products "in general require more resources and cause higher emissions than plant-based alternatives."[251]:80 It argued that a move away from animal products is needed to reduce environmental damage.[n 22][252]

Steven Davis, a professor of animal science, argued in 2003 that, applying the least-harm principle, human beings should convert to a ruminant-based rather than plant-based diet, because of the animals killed by crop production.[253] Based on a finding that wood-mouse populations fell from 25 to five per hectare after harvest, Davis estimated that 10 animals per hectare are killed from crop farming every year. If all 120,000,000 acres (490,000 km2) of cropland in the continental United States were used for a vegan diet, 500 million animals would die, but if half the land were used for ruminant pasture the number would be 900,000. This assumes that people switch to beef, lamb and dairy products from the eight billion poultry killed each year.[253]

Philosopher Andy Lamey argued that, to include nonhuman deaths in the moral cost of veganism, Davis must also include human deaths caused by his proposed diet.[254] Economist Gaverick Matheny wrote that Davis had miscalculated the animal deaths, basing his figures on land area rather than per consumer. In addition, by focusing on numbers rather than welfare, and by excluding factory-farmed animals, Davis had equated lives with lives worth living. His argument ignored the harm done to farmed animals: pain from branding, dehorning and castration, confinement, transport without food or water to a slaughterhouse, and a frightening death. Matheny argued that (strict) vegetarianism probably allows for a greater number of animals with lives worth living.[236]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Laura Wright, 2015: "[The Vegan Society] definition simplifies the concept of veganism in that it assumes that all vegans choose to be vegan for ethical reasons, which may be the case for the majority, but there are other reasons, including health and religious mandates, people choose to be vegan. Veganism exists as a dietary and lifestyle choice with regard to what one consumes, but making this choice also constitutes participation in the identity category of 'vegan'."[11]
    Brenda Davis, Vesanto Melina, 2013: "There are degrees of veganism. A pure vegetarian or dietary vegan is someone who consumes a vegan diet but doesn't lead a vegan lifestyle. Pure vegetarians may use animal products, support the use of animals in research, wear leather clothing, or have no objection to the exploitation of animals for entertainment. They are mostly motivated by personal health concerns rather than by ethical objections. Some may adopt a more vegan lifestyle as they are exposed to vegan philosophy."[12]
    Laura H. Kahn, Michael S. Bruner, 2012: "A vegetarian is a person who abstains from eating NHA [non-human animal] flesh of any kind. A vegan goes further, abstaining from eating anything made from NHA. Thus, a vegan does not consume eggs and dairy foods. Going beyond dietary veganism, 'lifestyle' vegans also refrain from using leather, wool or any NHA-derived ingredient."[13]
    Gary Francione, Robert Garner, 2010: "Although veganism may represent a matter of diet or lifestyle for some, ethical veganism is a profound moral and political commitment to abolition on the individual level and extends not only to matters of food but also to the wearing or using of animal products."[14]

    Vegetarian and vegan diets may be referred to as plant-based and vegan diets as entirely plant-based.[15]

  2. ^ a b Winston J. Craig, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009: "Vegan diets are usually higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins C and E, iron, and phytochemicals, and they tend to be lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, long-chain n–3 (omega-3) fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B-12. ... A vegan diet appears to be useful for increasing the intake of protective nutrients and phytochemicals and for minimizing the intake of dietary factors implicated in several chronic diseases."[19]
  3. ^ a b c Roman Pawlak, et al., Nutrition Reviews, 2013: "The main finding of this review is that vegetarians develop B12 depletion or deficiency regardless of demographic characteristics, place of residency, age, or type of vegetarian diet. Vegetarians should thus take preventive measures to ensure adequate intake of this vitamin, including regular consumption of supplements containing B12."[163]
  4. ^ Fanny Kemble, 1839: "The sight and smell of raw meat are especially odious to me, and I have often thought that if I had had to be my own cook, I should inevitably become a vegetarian, probably, indeed, return entirely to my green and salad days."[24]

    The next use was by the editor of The Healthian, a journal published by Alcott House, in April 1942: "To tell a man, who is in the stocks for a given fault, that he cannot be so confined for such an offence, is ridiculous enough; but not more so than to tell a healthy vegetarian that his diet is very uncongenial with the wants of his nature, and contrary to reason."[25]

  5. ^ Mahatma Gandhi, 20 November 1931: "I feel especially honoured to find on my right, Mr. Henry Salt. It was Mr. Salt's book 'A Plea for Vegetarianism’, which showed me why apart from a hereditary habit, and apart from my adherence to a vow administered to me by my mother, it was right to be a vegetarian. He showed me why it was a moral duty incumbent on vegetarians not to live upon fellow-animals. It is, therefore, a matter of additional pleasure to me that I find Mr. Salt in our midst."[38]
  6. ^ Watson called the first newsletter Vegan News, but asked his readers if they had other suggestions for "non-dairy vegetarian." Suggestions included allvega, neo-vegetarian, dairyban, vitan, benevore, sanivores and beaumangeur.[42]
  7. ^ Members who attended the first meeting were Donald Watson, Elsie B. Shrigley, Fay K. Henderson, Alfred Hy Haffenden, Paul Spencer, and Bernard Drake, with Mme Pataleewa (probably Barbara Moore) observing.[43]
  8. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina, 2011: "Soy protein products typically have a protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) ... >0.9, which is similar to that of meat and milk protein. Consequently, consuming the recommended dietary allowance (RDA, 0.8 mg/kg body weight [bw]), for protein entirely in the form of soy will meet the biologic requirement for amino acids. ... Formal recognition of the high quality of soy protein came in the form of a ruling by the USDA [United States Department of Agriculture] allowing soy protein to replace 100 percent of meat protein in the Federal School Lunch Program."[127]
  9. ^ Popular plant-milk brands include Dean Foods' Silk soy milk and almond milk, Blue Diamond's Almond Breeze, Taste the Dream's Almond Dream and Rice Dream, and Plamil Foods' Organic Soya and Alpro's Soya. Vegan ice-creams include Tofutti, Turtle Mountain's So Delicious, and Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss.[133]
  10. ^ a b United States Department of Agriculture: "All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group."[207]
  11. ^ The RDA for B12 for adults (14+ years) is 2.4 mcg (µg) a day, rising to 2.4 and 2.6 mcg during pregnancy and lactation respectively. For infants and children, it is 0.4 mcg for 0–6 months, 0.5 mcg for 7–12 months, 0.9 mcg for 1–3 years, 1.2 mcg for 4–8 years, and 1.8 mcg for 9–13 years.[159]
  12. ^ Reed Mangels, 2006: "Vitamin B12 is needed for cell division and blood formation. Neither plants nor animals make vitamin B12. Bacteria are responsible for producing vitamin B12. Animals get their vitamin B12 from eating foods contaminated with vitamin B12 or from the bacteria present on their rumen and then the animal becomes a source of vitamin B12. Plant foods do not contain vitamin B12 except when they are contaminated by microorganisms or have vitamin B12 added to them. Thus, vegans need to look to fortified foods or supplements to get vitamin B12 in their diet."[160]
  13. ^ Victor Herbert, 1988: "[S]trict vegetarians who do not practice thorough hand washing or vegetable cleaning may be untroubled by vitamin B-12 deficiency."[165]
  14. ^ Herbivorous animals obtain B12 from bacteria in their rumens, either by absorbing it or by eating their own faeces.[158]
  15. ^ Victor Herbert, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1988: In the 1950s, Sheila Callender, an English haematologist, made water extracts of faeces collected from vegans with anaemia caused by a lack of B12, and cured the deficiency by feeding them the extracts.[165]:852

    A 1960s study reported that villagers in Iran eating little or no animal protein, living near animal manure and eating vegetables grown in human manure had normal B12 levels.[167]

  16. ^ Other sources of B12 cited are miso, edible seaweeds (arame, wakame and kombu), spirulina and rainwater. Barley malt syrup, shiitake mushrooms, parsley and sourdough bread have also been referenced, but may be sources of inactive B12.[168]
  17. ^ Red Star developed Vegetarian Support Formula as a nutritional supplement especially for vegetarians and vegans ... Two teaspoons of flakes or one teaspoon of powdered Vegetarian Support Formula provides one microgram of Vitamin B12 ..."[170]
  18. ^ Appleby et al., European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007: "We observed similar fracture rates among meat eaters, fish eaters and vegetarians. A 30% higher fracture rate among vegans compared with meat eaters was halved in magnitude by adjustment for energy and calcium intake and disappeared altogether when the analysis was restricted to subjects who consumed at least 525 mg/day calcium, a quantity equal to the UK EAR. ... In conclusion, fracture risk was similar for meat eaters, fish eaters and vegetarians in this study. The higher fracture risk among vegans appeared to be a consequence of their considerably lower mean calcium intake. Vegans, who do not consume dairy products, a major source of calcium in most diets, should ensure that they obtain adequate calcium from suitable sources such as almonds, sesame seeds, tahini (sesame paste), calcium-set tofu, calcium-fortified drinks and low-oxalate leafy green vegetables such as kale ..."[179]

    National Institutes of Health, 2013: "In the Oxford cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, bone fracture risk was similar in meat eaters, fish eaters and vegetarians, but higher in vegans, likely due to their lower mean calcium intake."[180]

  19. ^ Annabelle M. Smith, International Journal of Nursing Practice, 2006: "The findings gathered consistently support the hypothesis that vegans do have lower bone mineral density than their non-vegan counterparts. However, the evidence regarding calcium, Vitamin D and fracture incidence is inconclusive."[183]
  20. ^ Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2009: "Key nutrients in pregnancy include vitamin B-12, vitamin D, iron, and folate whereas key nutrients in lactation include vitamin B-12, vitamin D, calcium, and zinc. Diets of pregnant and lactating vegetarians should contain reliable sources of vitamin B-12 daily. Based on recommendations for pregnancy and lactation, if there is concern about vitamin D synthesis because of limited sunlight exposure, skin tone, season, or sunscreen use, pregnant and lactating women should use vitamin D supplements or vitamin D–fortified foods. No studies included in the evidence-analysis examined vitamin D status during vegetarian pregnancy. Iron supplements may be needed to prevent or treat iron-deficiency anemia, which is common in pregnancy. Women capable of becoming pregnant as well as women in the periconceptional period are advised to consume 400 μg folate daily from supplements, fortified foods, or both. Zinc and calcium needs can be met through food or supplement sources as identified in earlier sections on these nutrients."[211]
  21. ^ Gary Francione, 2009: "We all believe it's wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering and death on animals. ... So now the next question becomes "what do we mean by necessity?" Well, whatever it means, whatever abstract meaning it has, if it has any meaning whatsoever, its minimal meaning has to be that it's wrong to inflict suffering and death on animals for reasons of pleasure, amusement or convenience ... Okay. Problem is 99.9999999 percent of our animal use can only be justified by reasons of pleasure, amusement or convenience. It's gotta go."[227]
  22. ^ United Nations Environment Programme, 2010: "Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth, increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products."[251]:82


  1. ^ Records of Buckinghamshire, Volume 3, BPC Letterpress, 1870, p. 68.
  2. ^ Karen Iacobbo, Michael Iacobbo, Vegetarian America: A History, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004, p. 3.
  3. ^ a b J. E. M. Latham, Search for a New Eden, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1999, p. 168.
  4. ^ Rynn Berry, "A History of the Raw-Food Movement in the United States" in Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina (eds.), Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets, Book Publishing Company, 2010, p. 9ff.
  5. ^ James D. Hart, "Alcott, Amos Bronson", in The Oxford Companion to American Literature, Oxford University Press, 1995, p. 14.
  6. ^ Iacobbo and Iacobbo 2004, p. 132.
  7. ^ a b George D. Rodger, "Interview with Donald Watson", Vegetarians in Paradise, 11 August 2004. George D. Rodger, "Interview with Donald Watson", recorded 15 December 2002 (abridged version later published in The Vegan).
  8. ^ a b c Donald Watson, "The Early History of the Vegan Movement", The Vegan, Autumn 1965, pp. 5–7.

    Donald Watson, Vegan News, first issue, November 1944.

  9. ^ For veganism and animals as commodities:
    Helena Pedersen, Vasile Staescu, "Conclusion: Future Directions for Critical Animal Studies," in Nik Taylor, Richard Twine (eds.), The Rise of Critical Animal Studies: From the Margins to the Centre, Routledge, 2014 (pp. 262–276), p. 267: " ... we are vegan because we are ethically opposed to the notion that life (human or otherwise) can, or should, ever be rendered as a buyable or sellable commodity."
    Gary Steiner, Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism, Columbia University Press, 2013, p. 206: " ... ethical veganism, the principle that we ought as far as possible to eschew the use of animals as sources of food, labour, entertainment and the like ... [This means that animals] ... are entitled not to be eaten, used as forced field labor, experimented upon, killed for materials to make clothing and other commodities of use to human beings, or held captive as entertainment."
    Gary Francione, "Animal Welfare, Happy Meat and Veganism as the Moral Baseline," in David M. Kaplan, The Philosophy of Food, University of California Press, 2012 (pp. 169–189) p. 182: "Ethical veganism is the personal rejection of the commodity status of nonhuman animals ..."
    Gary Steiner, "Animal, Vegetable, Miserable", The New York Times, 21 November 2009: "People who are ethical vegans believe that differences in intelligence between human and non-human animals have no moral significance whatsoever. The fact that my cat can't appreciate Schubert's late symphonies and can't perform syllogistic logic does not mean that I am entitled to use him as an organic toy, as if I were somehow not only morally superior to him but virtually entitled to treat him as a commodity with minuscule market value."
    For commodification of animals in general:
    Kathryn Gillespie, "Nonhuman animal resistance and the improprieties of live property," in Irus Braverman (ed.), Animals, Biopolitics, Law, Routledge, 2015, chapter six. See in particular the section "The Animal-as-Commodity."
    Rosemary-Claire Collard, Kathryn Gillespie, "Introduction," in Kathryn Gillespie, Rosemary-Claire Collard (eds.), Critical Animal Geographies, Routledge, 2015, p. 2.
    Gregory R. Smulewicz-Zucker, "The Problem with Commodifying Animals," in Gregory R. Smulewicz-Zucker (ed.), Strangers to Nature: Animal Lives and Human Ethics, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2012, pp. 157–175.
    Rhoda Wilkie, "Sentient Commodities: The Ambiguous Status of Livestock," Livestock/Deadstock: Working with Farm Animals from Birth to Slaughter, Temple University Press, 2010, chapter 6, pp. 115–128; also 176–177.

    David N. Cassuto, "Owning What You Eat: The Discourse of Food," in J. Ronald Engel, Laura Westra, Klaus Bosselman (eds.), Democracy, Ecological Integrity and International Law, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.

  10. ^ "The Great Vegan vs. Plant-Based Debate - UC Davis Integrative Medicine". UC Davis Integrative Medicine. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  11. ^ Laura Wright, The Vegan Studies Project: Food, Animals, and Gender in the Age of Terror, University of Georgia Press, 2015, p. 2.
  12. ^ Brenda Davis, Vesanto Melina, Becoming Vegan: Express Edition, Book Publishing Company, 2013, p. 3.
  13. ^ Laura H. Kahn, Michael S. Bruner, "Politics on Your Plate: Building and Burning Bridges across Organics, Vegetarian, and Vegan Discourse," in Joshua Frye (ed.), The Rhetoric of Food: Discourse, Materiality, and Power, Routledge, 2012, p. 46.
  14. ^ Gary Francione, Robert Garner, The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition Or Regulation?, Columbia University Press, 2010, p. 62.
  15. ^ Philip J. Tuso, et al., "Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets", The Permanente Journal, 17(2), Spring 2013, pp. 61–66. doi:10.7812/TPP/12-085 PMID 23704846

    Debra K. Moser, Barbara Riegel, Cardiac Nursing, Elsevier Health Sciences, 2008, p. 158.

  16. ^ a b c Michael Shapiro, "Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson: 'You don't watch whales die and hold signs and do nothing'", The Guardian, 21 September 2010.

    Matthew Cole, "Veganism," in Margaret Puskar-Pasewicz (ed.), Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism, ABC-Clio, 2010 (pp. 239–241), p. 241.

  17. ^ Donald Watson, Vegan News, No. 1, November 1944, p. 2; Leslie Cross, "Veganism Defined", The Vegetarian World Forum, 5(1), Spring 1951.
  18. ^ a b "Veganisme wordt mainstream" (in Dutch). Vlaams infocentrum land- en tuinbouw. 9 February 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
    Kat Tancock, "Vegan cuisine moves into the mainstream – and it's actually delicious", The Globe and Mail, 13 January 2015.
    Antonia Molloy, "No meat, no dairy, no problem: is 2014 the year vegans become mainstream?", The Independent, 31 December 2013.
    Raman Nijjar, "From pro athletes to CEOs and doughnut cravers, the rise of the vegan diet", CBC News, 4 June 2011.

    "Vegan diets becoming more popular, more mainstream", Associated Press, 6 January 2011.

  19. ^ a b c Winston J. Craig, "Health effects of vegan diets", The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89(5), May 2009 (pp. 1627S–1633S), p. 1627S. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.26736N PMID 19279075
  20. ^ a b Note: several sources use the word vegetarian to refer to a vegan or entirely plant-based diet:

    Monica Dinu, Rosanna Abbate, Gian Franco Gensini, Alessandro Casini & Francesco Sofi, Vegetarian, vegan diets and multiple health outcomes: a systematic review with meta-analysis of observational studies, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, February 2016: "From the analysis of the studies available in the literature we were able to determine that a significant protection versus ischemic heart disease and cancer is present in vegetarian subjects, but that this protection is not significant for overall mortality, cardio and cerebrovascular diseases. In addition, vegan diet seems to be associated with a lower rate of cancer incidence, but this result must be interpreted with caution, because of the very small sample size and the low number of studies evaluating this aspect."doi:10.1080/10408398.2016.1138447 PMID 26853923

    Marian Glick-Bauer, Ming-Chin Yeh, "The Health Advantage of a Vegan Diet: Exploring the Gut Microbiota Connection", Nutrients, 6(11), November 2014, pp. 4822–4838. doi:10.3390/nu6114822 PMID 25365383

    "Halt heart disease with a plant-based, oil-free diet", Harvard Heart Letter, 25(2), 1 October 2014, p. 6. PMID 26027024

    Gabrielle Turner-McGrievy, Metria Harris, "Key elements of plant-based diets associated with reduced risk of metabolic syndrome," Current Diabetes Reports, 14(9), August 2014, p. 524. doi:10.1007/s11892-014-0524-y PMID 25084991

    Lap Tai Le, Joan Sabaté, "Beyond Meatless, the Health Effects of Vegan Diets: Findings from the Adventist Cohorts", Nutrients, 6(6), June 2014, pp. 2131–2147: "In summary, vegetarians have consistently shown to have lower risks for cardiometabolic outcomes and some cancers across all three prospective cohorts of Adventists. Beyond meatless diets, further avoidance of eggs and dairy products may offer a mild additional benefit. Compared to lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets, vegan diets seem to provide some added protection against obesity, hypertension, type-2 diabetes; and cardiovascular mortality. In general, the protective effects of vegetarian diets are stronger in men than in women." doi:10.3390/nu6062131 PMID 24871675

    Philip J. Tuso, et al., "Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets", The Permanente Journal, 17(2), Spring 2013, pp. 61–66: "The major benefits for patients who decide to start a plant-based diet [vegetarian or vegan] are the possibility of reducing the number of medications they take to treat a variety of chronic conditions, lower body weight, decreased risk of cancer, and a reduction in their risk of death from ischemic heart disease." doi:10.7812/TPP/12-085 PMID 23704846

    Winston J. Craig, "Health effects of vegan diets", The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89(5), May 2009 (pp. 1627S–1633S), p. 1627S: "A vegan diet appears to be useful for increasing the intake of protective nutrients and phytochemicals and for minimizing the intake of dietary factors implicated in several chronic diseases." doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.26736N PMID 19279075

  21. ^ a b c "Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets", Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(7), July 2009, pp. 1266–1282: "It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes." doi:10.1016/j.jada.2009.05.027 PMID 19562864

    "Dietary Guidelines for Australia", National Health and Medical Research Council, p. 13; "Government recognises vegan diet as viable option for all Australians", MND Australia, 12 July 2013.

    "Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian diets", Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 103(6), June 2003 (pp. 748–765), p. 755. PMID 12826028

  22. ^ Richard Francis, Fruitlands: The Alcott Family and their Search for Utopia, Yale University Press, 2010.
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  25. ^ The Healthian, 1(5), April 1842, pp. 34–35.

    Also see John Davis, "The earliest known uses of the word 'vegetarian'", and "Extracts from some journals 1842–48 – the earliest known uses of the word 'vegetarian'", International Vegetarian Union.

    John Davis, "Prototype Vegans," The Vegan, Winter 2010, pp. 22–23 (also here).

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    Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Vindication of Natural Diet, London: F. Pitman, 1884 [1813].

    William Lambe, Joel Shew, Water and Vegetable Diet, New York: Fowler's and Wells, 1854 [London, 1815].

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    In 1838 William Alcott, Amos's cousin, published Vegetable Diet: As Sanctioned by Medical Men and By Experience in All Ages (1838); see William A. Alcott, Vegetable Diet: As Sanctioned by Medical Men and By Experience in All Ages, Boston: Marsh, Capen & Lyon, 1838; Vegetable Diet, New York: Fowlers and Wells, 1851. The word vegetarian appears in the second edition but not the first.

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  176. ^ a b "Calcium", Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. The RDA for adults is 1,000 mg for 19–50 years, 1,000 mg for 51–70 years (men) and 1,200 mg (women), and 1,200 mg for 71+. The RDA for eighteen years and under is 200 mg for 0–6 months, 260 mg for 7–12 months, 700 mg for 1–3 years, 1,000 mg for 4–8 years, 1,300 mg for 9–18 years.

    Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. 109ff.

  177. ^ Catherine A. Ross, et al. (eds.), "DRI Dietary Reference Intakes, Calcium, Vitamin D", Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium, Institute of Medicine, 2011.
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  215. ^ a b Animal Ingredients A to Z, E. G. Smith Collective, 2004, 3rd edition; Lars Thomsen and Reuben Proctor, Veganissimo A to Z, The Experiment, 2013 (first published in Germany, 1996).

    Also see "Animal ingredients list", PETA.

  216. ^ Rosie Mestel, "Cochineal and Starbucks: Actually, this dye is everywhere", Los Angeles Times, 20 April 2012; Raymond Eller Kirk, Donald Frederick Othmer, Kirk-Othmer Chemical Technology of Cosmetics, John Wiley & Sons, 2012, p. 535.
  217. ^ Messina 2013, pp. 232–233; Aexis Croswell, "How to Read a Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Label", One Green Planet, 5 February 2014; "Certify", Vegan Action; FAQ, Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics.
  218. ^ "Trademark Standards" and Trademark search, British Vegan Society.
  219. ^ "Accredited Cruelty-Free Vegan Companies", Choose Cruelty Free.
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  221. ^ Britanny Helmrich, "13 Cool Vegan-Friendly Businesses That Inspire", Business New Daily, 10 June 2015; "Why aren't all your products vegan?", FAQ, Lush.

    Virginia Messina, Vegan for Her, Da Capo Press, 2013, p. 233.

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  226. ^ Francione and Garner 2010, p. 62ff.
  227. ^ Eric Prescott, "I'm Vegan: Gary Francione, Vimeo, 2009, from 13:53 mins.
  228. ^ Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights, University of California Press, 1983, pp. 243, 333–339.
  229. ^ "Permissible Use and Interdependence: Against Principled Veganism", Journal of Applied Philosophy Volume 30, Issue 2, pages 160–175, May 2013
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    For an opposing position, Simon Fairlie, Meat: A Benign Extravagance, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2010.

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Further reading[edit]

  • The Vegan, past issues.
  • Mangels, Reed; Messina, Virginia; and Messina, Mark. The Dietitian's Guide to Vegetarian Diets, Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011.
  • Mangels, Reed. The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book, Adams Media, 2011.
  • "Naked Food Magazine", magazine and website
Early texts
Academic studies

External links[edit]