Years ago I had a conversation with someone who ate a completely plant-based diet, didn’t buy anything made out of animals and would not purchase anything animal tested but refused to call himself Vegan and would correct anyone that referred to him as one. When I asked why, he replied without hesitation, “I don’t believe in following any religion and Veganism is nothing short of religion.” I found this an odd reason and I didn’t completely agree but I have thought of this statement a lot over the years.
Through the followers on my Don’t Fear The Vegan page on Facebook I have been exposed to a wider view of what is involved in being a vegan from different people’s perspectives. Much like religion, each sect or group has their own take and belief system, many of which are willing to call out others for not being as vegan as themselves. I myself have been told I am not vegan because I use chocolate. A friend told me to look up the meaning in the dictionary because I was misguided. In my Webster’s American Family dictionary it simply states, “A vegetarian that omits all animal products from the diet.” The point they were trying to get at is that it has nothing to do with leather, down comforters or wool; it is simply about the diet.
There are so many different takes and like religion where they are all after the same greater reward, vegans are also working toward a greater good though they may follow a slightly different path to get there. This can all be very confusing and there are so many different takes on the subject and that is why we have decided to make our first question: What does “Vegan” mean to you?