Veganism can be a topic that elicits a series of strong emotions from both proponents and opponents of the idea. Much of this emotion stems from the fact that a good portions of vegans root their motivation in a moral framework, and this can often rub some the wrong way – nobody likes to be told that some aspect of their lifestyle may be immoral according to a certain set of beliefs.
Regardless, the purpose of this article is not to debate the virtues or vices of one diet versus another, rather to simply cover veganism in general, what they believe, the foods they eat etc.
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While I am no longer a practising Vegan, one of the most frustrating things to this day for me was the amount of ignorance surrounding vegans and the inability to explain things without eliciting some sort of emotional reaction from others. Thankfully Geeker has given me this opportunity to share a bit about vegans and veganism on a neutral platform.
If you are considering going Vegan, are looking for Vegan recipes, or are simply wishing to learn more about the Vegan lifestyle – I highly recommend you check out The Complete Vegan Kitchen on Geekercom
What is a Vegan Diet
This could also simply have been titled “What is a Vegan” since a vegan is simply someone who adheres to a vegan diet. Go ahead and look it up and you will see that the vegan definition is simply “A person who does not eat or use animal products”. This means that there are many different types of vegans who are vegans for a wide variety of reasons – from Hindu adherents to California hippies. There are even quite a few professional athlete vegans these days including boxers, climbers and power lifters.
Some are very strict, while others simply do the best they can.
Vegan vs Vegetarian
At first glance, and especially if you were only going by the book definition, veganism and vegetarianism soundly relatively similar. Vegetarianism is defined as: “Relating to the exclusion of meat or other animal products from the diet. Sometimes this also excludes the use of other animal products as well.” Clearly that is more or less the same definition we covered earlier for veganism.
The truth is that veganism is a type of vegetarian diet. For example, a lacto-ovo vegetarian has a diet that includes eating dairy products and eggs, while a vegan vegetarian abstains from all animal products.
Very often, those who self-identify as a vegan are more likely to adopt a certain type of lifestyle as well. Most vegans try and avoid all animal products including cosmetic products, clothes and other items as well as food. This mission obviously requires some significant changes in certain areas of life.
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Popular Vegan Foods
There are obviously too many options to put together a comprehensive collection of vegan recipes or a full vegan food list, but I think sharing a few of my past favorites may give a solid idea of what a Vegan diet entails. Vegan food can be as good as your imagination will allow.
There is a lot more to Vegan breakfasts than oatmeal and fruit. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and probably where I most enjoy putting effort. Geeker asked me to talk about some of my favorite Vegan dishes, and if I was to be completely honest – they all would be breakfasts.
- Vegan Breakfast Burritos
A vegan breakfast burrito is a solid way to start the day off with something substantial and full of flavor. Create a tofu scramble to replace the typical eggs (tofu, mushrooms, garlic and red peppers do nicely). Add avocado, refried beans, cilantro and salsa and prepare like you would any other burrito. This is a healthy and flavor packed breakfast option.
- Vegan Pancakes
This is a popular staple of vegan restaurants. If you ever find yourself at a Vegan restaurant and don’t know what to order, this is always a safe choice. There are a bunch of recipes out there; one I have personally tried and loved is available here.
My one non-breakfast favorite (though I have definitely eaten it for breakfast before) would be pizza. Vegan pizza comes in many forms, and places like Papa John’s (as long as you avoid the thin crust and the normal sauce/cheese) is actually a chain with some solid vegan options. Their Garden Fresh Vegetarian Pizza can be made without cheese. PizzaHut just launched a vegan cheese option. If you are looking for some home recipes of vegan pizza, here are some great options.
And you know what? They even have a vegan breakfast pizza recipe. So I think we can technically say that all of my endorsed vegan recipes are all breakfast. Much like non-vegan food, breakfast is just simply the best.
Obviously this blog isn’t some attempt by Geekercom to try and convert you to Veganism. Rather, it is an honest attempt to present the subject in a factual and apolitical way. If you are interested in learning more about veganism, what it entails or the possible benefits, there are many places to look. Whether you agree with the concept or not, it is important you understand the topic if you wish to engage with those who do. Understanding what another believes is key to being able to have a productive and friendly conversation – and I know they will appreciate it.