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The Basics of Veganism

Veganism has become a popular lifestyle choice for many people around the world. This dietary and ethical movement promotes the avoidance of animal products in all forms, including food, clothing, and other products. Vegans believe that animals should not be exploited for human use and that we can live happy, healthy lives without relying on their exploitation.

What Do Vegans Not Eat?

The main focus of this article is to answer the question: what do vegans not eat? The most obvious answer is meat. Vegans do not eat any type of meat, including beef, pork, chicken, fish or any other animal flesh.

The reasons behind this are varied but mainly revolve around the idea that killing animals for food is wrong and unnecessary. In addition to meat, vegans also avoid all animal products such as eggs and dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt or butter.

These products are derived from animals and thus go against vegan principles. Many vegans also choose to avoid honey due to concerns about how bees are treated during honey production.
There are many reasons why someone may choose to follow a vegan lifestyle – for health reasons or ethical concerns – but regardless of the reason it is important to understand what vegans do not eat in order to respect their choices and beliefs. In the following sections we will explore some lesser-known foods that contain animal-derived ingredients as well as common food additives used in processed foods which may be derived from animals – you might be surprised at what items contain traces of animal byproducts!

Meat and Animal Products: Why Vegans Avoid Them

Vegans choose to avoid meat and all other animal products for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is that animals raised for food are often subjected to inhumane living conditions and treatment. Cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals are often kept in overcrowded spaces with little room to move or exercise.

They are routinely injected with antibiotics and hormones to speed up their growth and increase milk or egg production, which can have negative health effects on both the animals and humans who consume them. Beef, pork, chicken, fish, and all other types of meat are excluded from a vegan diet because they require the killing of animals.
This means that vegans do not consume hamburgers, steaks, bacon or any other types of meat that come from an animal. While some people may argue that eating meat is natural or necessary for a healthy diet, vegans believe that we can obtain all the nutrients we need from plant-based sources without causing harm to animals.


Eggs are often included in many meals due to their versatility as an ingredient. However, eggs are not vegan-friendly as they come from chickens which requires hens to be kept in cramped cages where they cannot move around freely.

Once a hen’s egg production declines after about two years (when her natural lifespan could be up to 10 years), she is typically sent off for slaughter along with millions of male chicks who aren’t useful in the egg industry. In addition to ethical concerns surrounding how eggs are sourced and how hens are treated on many farms today; there’s also evidence suggesting excessive consumption of eggs may contribute to heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure or cholesterol levels – so it’s another reason why vegans decide against adding eggs into their diets.

Dairy Products

Milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products are also avoided by vegans. Cow’s milk is a common allergen and can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating and indigestion—even in those without an allergy. Additionally, cow’s milk can contain hormones and antibiotics that are passed on to the consumer.

Cows must continually be impregnated to produce milk, and their offspring is often taken away from them within hours or days of birth so that they do not consume the milk intended for human consumption. For ethical reasons related to animal welfare concerns (as well as for environmental reasons), vegans avoid dairy products.


Honey is another animal-based product excluded from a vegan diet. Although most honey comes from bees that are not killed during harvesting, many vegans choose to avoid honey because they believe it exploits bees for human consumption. Bees work hard to make honey, which they store in their hives as a food source for themselves over the winter months.

When humans harvest this food source, these insects have less access to important resources needed for survival during the colder months of the year. Furthermore, commercial beekeeping often places bees at risk of disease or injury as hives are moved around frequently between crops requiring pollination – sometimes over long distances – or when new colonies are developed through artificial insemination (to create commercially-appropriate genetic characteristics).

Other Foods That May Contain Animal Products

As a vegan, it’s not always easy to know what foods may contain animal products. Sometimes they are hidden in ingredients that we wouldn’t expect. Here are some examples of foods that may contain animal products:

Gelatin (found in some candies and desserts)

Gelatin is a protein derived from animal collagen, usually from cow or pig bones, skin, or connective tissue. It is commonly used as a thickener or stabilizer in many candies and desserts.

Unfortunately for vegans, this means that many types of gummy bears, marshmallows, and Jell-O contain gelatin. Fortunately, there are now vegan versions of these treats available. Look for candies labeled “gelatin-free” or “vegan-friendly.” You can also make your own vegan marshmallows using plant-based ingredients like agar instead of gelatin.

Worcestershire sauce (contains anchovies)

Worcestershire sauce is a popular condiment made from vinegar, molasses, sugar, salt, onions, garlic, and other flavorings. However, it also contains anchovies which makes it off-limits for vegans. Often used as a marinade or seasoning in meat dishes like steak or burgers), Worcestershire sauce can be hard to avoid.

Luckily there are alternatives to Worcestershire sauce that do not use anchovies, such as soy sauce mixed with lemon juice and brown sugar. Alternatively, you could try making your own vegan version by mixing apple cider vinegar with molasses and spices like garlic powder and onion powder.

Marshmallows (contain gelatin)

As mentioned earlier, Marshmallows often contain gelatin which means they’re unsuitable for vegans. They are often used as toppings on sweet potato pies or roasted over campfires during camping trips.

However, there are now vegan marshmallows that use plant-based ingredients like agar-agar or carrageenan instead of gelatin. You could also try making your own vegan marshmallows at home using a recipe that you can find online.

Making your own marshmallows gives you the freedom to add any flavors or colors you like and it’s also cheaper than purchasing them in a store. Now, with these alternatives, vegans don’t have to miss out on delicious treats like s’mores!

Food Additives That May Be Derived from Animals

Carmine: The Secret Ingredient Made from Crushed Insects

When it comes to food additives, some may surprise you. One of them is carmine, which is a red food coloring made from crushed insects. And no, it’s not just any insect – it’s specifically made from the cochineal beetle.

This may sound strange and unappetizing, but carmine has been used as a food coloring for centuries. It provides a bright red color that is difficult to achieve with other natural or artificial colorings.

Carmine can be found in many foods and drinks, including candy, yogurt, fruit juices, and even some alcoholic beverages. But why do vegans avoid this seemingly harmless ingredient?
Aside from ethical concerns about using insects as food additives, some people may also have allergic reactions to carmine. For vegans who avoid all animal products and byproducts on principle, carmine is definitely off-limits.

The Hair-Raising Truth About L-cysteine in Bread

You might want to sit down for this if you’re a bread lover. L-cysteine is an amino acid that is often used as an additive in bread dough to make it softer and more elastic. Sounds harmless enough… until you find out where it comes from.

L-cysteine can be derived from various sources, such as human hair or duck feathers! Yes, you read that right: the same stuff that grows out of your head or on ducks can end up in your bread.
While synthetic or plant-based versions of L-cysteine exist and are available in baking products (and some companies do use them), many industrial bakeries still choose the cheaper animal-derived option. Vegans who are passionate about avoiding all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty may want to think twice before biting into that fluffy slice of bread.


Recap of What Vegans Do Not Eat

To recap, vegans avoid all animal products, including meat (beef, pork, chicken, fish), eggs, dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt), and honey. Additionally, they may avoid foods that contain animal-derived additives or ingredients like gelatin and L-cysteine. It’s important to note that veganism is not just about what we eat.

It’s a lifestyle choice that seeks to reduce animal harm and minimize our environmental impact. This often involves avoiding products made from or tested on animals as well.
The Importance of Being Aware of What We Consume

Becoming aware of what we consume is essential not only for vegans but for everyone. Knowing where our food comes from and how it’s produced can help us make informed choices that align with our values and support sustainable practices.

By adopting a vegan diet or simply reducing our consumption of animal products, we can reduce the demand for factory farming and promote more humane treatment of animals. We can also help mitigate the environmental impacts associated with animal agriculture, such as deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.

Whether you’re considering going vegan or just want to be more conscious about your food choices, being aware of what you consume is a crucial step towards a healthier planet and a more compassionate world. Let’s make every meal count! If you’d like more info on getting started, please review this article.


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