Veganism refers to those individuals, vegans, who adopt a lifestyle that aims to eliminate all use and consumption of any animal product. The vegan movement gained its most momentum starting in the 2010s when restaurants and supermarkets began to more heavily market and cater to the vegan community. Strict vegans refrain from eating any and all animal products and do not use products with any animal derivation. The reason that many vegans choose to adopt that lifestyle is because they disagree with the manner in which animals raised to be food are treated unethically. Studies from the United States, Canada, England, and Australia have indicated that a properly balanced vegan diet is a healthy alternative to a meat based diet and can greatly help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, including heart disease. An improperly balanced vegan diet can lead to deficiencies in many of the vital nutrients that a meat diet provides. Most vegans require supplements, especially B12, in order to balance their diets.
The vegan movement is quickly gaining notoriety on a global scale as a healthy and sustainable alternative to a meat based diet. Join “Informed”, a series distributed to Public Television PBS Member stations, as they explain what it means to be a vegan.