Being a vegan doesn't mean wearing weird clothing, having dreadlocks or regularly worshipping nature... in fact they look just like us (gasp!). There might even be one sitting next to you right now!
A concept that seemed pretty out-there not long ago, veganism is now fairly common in the western world, and many restaurants now offer 'vegan-friendly' choices on their menus.
What does being a vegan entail you ask? Read on...
1. First of all, it is important to note that every vegan, vegetarian, carnivore and omnivore creates their diet based on their own individual likes, dislikes and beliefs. Being a vegan can mean a million different things depending on whom you talk to. The rest of this list is composed of general 'rules', but I am sure that there are many vegans who don't follow them (if you are a vegan and find anything that I have written to be wrong or offensive, leave a comment and let me know!)
2. Often called a 'cruelty-free' lifestyle, being a vegan means committing yourself to not using or consuming animal products of any kind (being a vegetarian means that you only avoid 'flesh foods')
3. Vegans also tend to avoid dairy, eggs, fur, leather, wool, down, and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals.
4. So what do vegans eat? A diet consisting of grains, beans, legumes, veggies and fruit with vegan friendly 'junk food' thrown in the mix (for some) like hot dogs, ice cream, cheese etc.
5. Insects — because it is believed that they do not feel pain — are not considered 'animals' to most, so products like honey and silk are ok to eat and use.
6. Is this healthy? YES! Many top athletes, especially those that run marathons and ultra marathons practice veganism, and it has been known to help with heart disease.