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November 08, 2021 6 min read

As the buzz about plant-based meat continues to explode, you may have found yourself wondering if you should try out a plant-based diet. Veganism has been practiced for thousands of years, but fortunately, in this day and age, it’s become a lot easier to give up animal products.

Like most people, you’ve probably grown up eating dairy, meat, and eggs. You may not think twice about eating these foods. However, just because you’ve grown up believing something is “normal”, “essential”, or “correct” doesn’t mean it’s actually what is best for you and others.

This is something that is starting to be realized as more and more people are being diagnosed with heart disease and cancer and the shocking clear signs of climate change. The rise of these damaging events has been linked back to the increased amount of animal products, including meat, in the United States and around the world.

The good news is, there’s another way: plants! There are millions of people today who thrive on plant-based and vegan diets. But you may be wondering, what is veganism and why should I give it a try?

What is Veganism?

Green text at the top reads "Go Vegan." Beneath are five graphics - a heart, a peace sign, a paw print, a globe, and a handprint, labeled respectively "compassion," "nonviolence," "for the animals," "for the planet," and "for the people."

Veganism is a philosophy and a way of living where people who follow it seek to exclude all forms of cruelty and exploitation to animals. This includes animals used for food, clothing, animal testing, and more.

On top of the animal welfare concerns, many vegans also choose the vegan lifestyle because of the negative environmental impact that factory farming has, or the health benefits of adding more plant foods to their diet.

This philosophy also promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of the environment, animals, and humans. When it comes to the diet, all animal-based products – including meat, dairy, eggs, fish, chicken, honey, and so on – are not consumed.

What’s the difference between Plant-Based and Vegan?

A plant-based diet consists of plants. Most people use the term to refer to some who only eat plants, however there are some people who consider themselves plant-based while still consuming small amounts of animal products.

Are there foods that are vegan but not plant-based?

For the most part, no. Most vegan and plant-based diets consist of vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, and other plants. However, it really depends on the person’s mindset. For example, a bag of potato chips can qualify as vegan but the processed snack may not fit into the plant-based lifestyle.

Are there foods that are plant-based but not vegan?

There are foods that are plant-based but not necessarily vegan. Two popular examples that come to mind are wine and honey. Honey is usually not a part of a vegan diet because the health of the bees can be compromised through conventional production. Quite a few wines aren’t vegan because of the clarification process, animal products like gelatin, casein, albumin, or isinglass are used.

People who are plant-based also may not adopt other aspects that vegans do. For example, vegans will not wear clothing made with animal products or use beauty products that are tested on animals or have animal-based ingredients while someone who is plant-based might.

People embrace the vegan lifestyle in different ways, in technical terms, being vegan means avoiding:

  • Animal foods like fish, meat, seafood, honey, eggs, and dairy
  • Food ingredients and additives that manufacturers get from animals like beeswax, gelatin, and cochineal
  • Clothing and other products are made from feathers, silk, or animal skin like leather, wool, fur, and suede.
  • Circuses, zoos, aquariums, and other instances where animals are used for entertainment.
  • Ingredients or products that manufacturers have tested on animals.

Why Go Vegan?

There are many reasons to go vegan, but here we’re going to share the top 3 reasons why you should go vegan.

For Your Health

A plate of vegetables and fruits including tomatoes, avocado slices, and sweet potato chunks, among others.

Well-planned out vegan diets follow guidelines that contain everything your body needs. There is quite a bit of research that has linked a vegan diet with lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and lower rates of type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease.

Going vegan is the perfect way to broaden your horizons, it helps you learn more about cooking, nutrition, and helps you improve your diet. Getting your vitamins and nutrients from plant-based foods allows you to incorporate more health-promoting food options like fruit, seeds, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. These foods are packed with minerals, beneficial fiber, and vitamins!

For the Animals

A red stop sign that has been edited to read "Stop eating animals."

150 billion animals are killed each year by humans. This is an unfathomable number. Ethics usually plays the biggest role in people going vegan and staying vegan, people want to prevent the exploitation of animals.

Some transition to being vegan because they have an emotional attachment to animals while many believe that all sentient beings have a right to life and freedom, being vegan demonstrates true compassion for animals.

In today’s factory farms animals are regularly injected with stimulants and hormones to make them grow faster and bigger. Many dairy ranchers use rBGH or recombinant bovine growth hormone to enhance milk production, this chemical, which is found in the milk you drink,  is known to cause cancer and other diseases.

Animal feedlots are filthy, crowded, and have open sewers. These environments are not survivable but animals are kept alive by being pumped full of antibiotics. In some factory farms, cattle are fed “renders” which is ground up cow, and chickens are kept in tight cages with bright lights on them 24/7 to increase and induce egg production.

Most of us grow up believing:

  • Cows produce milk constantly and naturally
  • Most animals raised for food spend their lives outdoors
  • Animals bred for consumption aren’t smart

We know now that these are all false, yet these myths are still shared and believed throughout society today. Going vegan is the strongest way to eliminate animal exploitation.

For the Environment

A white person's hands holding moss and a dandelion.

The choice to eat meat affects the entire planet. While that may seem like a dramatic sentence, it’s 100% true. Recycling and carpooling to work are good options for ways to live a green life, but the most effective thing you can do to lower your carbon footprint is to avoid consuming, using and purchasing animal products.

You may be wondering “why are animal products terrible for the environment”? The production of animal products including meat really burdens the environment, everything from the water and crops used to feed the animals to transportation and the other processes involved to get the animal from the farm to people’s plates.

On top of that, the sheer amount of grain needed to feed the animals used for meat production is a huge contributor to habitat loss, deforestation, and species extinction. For example, in Brazil 5.6 million acres of land are used to grow soy for animals located in Europe. This process contributes to the development of world malnutrition by causing impoverished populations to grow cash crops for animals rather than for themselves.

On the other hand, lower amounts of crops and water are used to sustain a vegan diet. This means switching to veganism is an extremely effective, easy, and enjoyable way to reduce human impact on the environment.

Is There Such Thing as Ethical Meat?

While there may be some methods of raising and killing animals that are considered less cruel than others, there’s no such thing as ethical meat. It’s really easy to want to believe that this does exist and that the animal this food came from lived a full, happy life and experience no pain or suffering. However, the truth is all living beings fear death, just like we do.

It’s important to put out there that you’ll often see labels on meat and eggs like grass-fed or cage-free. These conditions aren’t any better. Grass-fed cow farming is potentially worse than grain-fed cow farming. Grass-fed cows lead to two to four times more methane and it also takes more water, land, and fossil fuels which is more harmful and the cows don’t gain any benefits.

Cage-free eggs are another very misleading label. Just because the birds are not in cages doesn’t mean they’re happy or healthy. Cage-free chickens have the same amount of space, they just live in a large shed with thousands of other birds.

Birds often peck each other so badly that they’ll lose feathers, get open gashes, and even die from cannibalism which is caused by the birds’ being in a high-density environment.

No matter how they were treated while they were alive, they all experience fear when it comes to the point where they’ll be made into food.

The Good News

Vegans live a healthier lifestyle that is kinder to animals and has less of an environmental impact than omnivores. With veganism on the rise, it’s becoming easier to transition to a fully vegan lifestyle. With loads more vegan food, vegan clothing, vegan accessories, and vegan beauty options, you’ll find that the transition is almost seamless.

Here at Doshi, we want to encourage and support people buying and wearing vegan and ethical products. Interested in getting vegan accessories? We use microfiber vegan leather to make our products, Women’s Vegan Handbags, Women’s Vegan Backpacks, and Men’s Vegan Briefcases.


An image of a man in a suit with a briefcase that reads, "Veganism is not just a dietary preference. It's a way of life."


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