Practical Issues >
Health - Index > Vegan
[from Charlotte Observer]
Ever eat a cheeseless pizza or dunk a cookie into soymilk?
For about one out of every 100 people, avoiding all animal products --
meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products -- is second nature. They
do it every day.
They're vegan (VEE-gun) -- vegetarians who go a few steps farther than
the rest. Most vegans also steer clear of honey, and some even avoid
refined sugar (much of it is whitened with bone char).
What motivates people to go to such extremes? Ethics, usually.
Vegans are typically motivated by deeply felt convictions about
ecology, world hunger and animal rights. They believe it's wrong to
kill or misuse animals.
Any use of animals that exploits them or contributes to suffering is
off limits, and that extends to clothing and cosmetics, too. Vegans
don't wear leather, wool, or silk and they avoid make-up, shampoo and
other products made with animal ingredients or tested on animals.
But perhaps the most important lesson we could all learn from vegans
is their thoughtfulness toward food. Vegans mindfully consider
everything they eat. They study the fine print on food labels and
pepper restaurant wait staff with questions.
While most people would consider a vegan lifestyle too extreme,
adopting a more thoughtful approach to what goes onto your plate can
be a giant step toward a healthier diet.
Suzanne Havala Hobbs is a registered dietitian and a clinical
assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy at UNC;