Veganism is not passing trend, researches point that is a real lifestyle which is always more and more popular. There are not official data of the number of vegans, but it is a fact that there are more vegans every year. Why do people dedice to join veganism? There are many reasons, from avoiding animal suffering to improving physical and mental health, even emotional health can be improved!
To be a vegan is a kind of philosophy whose origins are easy to find along the History, but is is funny to find out that the term “veganism” is not an ancient word. In fact, it is quite new: its creation is attributed to Donald Watson, father of veganism as we know it today.
The need for coining the term veganism
To give a date of the origins of Veganism is hard. The renounce of eating meat or consuming animal origin products has been practised for centuries, but it became popular in Europe during XIX century. In these days some people became vegan for ethical reasons. Here we go the origins of current Veganism!
As the number of vegans started to grow up, the ethical limits of animal product did the same. Those who renounced to consume animal products were not just worried about animal suffering when becoming human’s food, but about many other ways of suffering (agriculture, shows, textile…) Two currents was being defined and it was need of using two different terms to denominate each of them. Donald Watson divided both currents when he used the term veganism, different from vegetarism.
So Donald Watson was not the first vegan, but he was the one who gave a name to the practise of avoiding the consumption of animal origin products.
Donald Watson, father of veganism as we undestand it today
Donald Watson joined non consumption of animal origin products philosophy in 1924. He was 14. Donald was born in a family that ate meat regularly, but once he visited a relative’s farm and the discovered how animals suffered in such a place. Animals were killed while screamed and shouted, but there had to “work” for humans too.
From 1924 his attitude became more and more restrictive as he found out that slaughter is not the only way animals suffer. At the same time he realized that he was different from vegetarians, who consumed some products derived from animals, such as eggs, milk or honey.
In November 1944 Watson founded Vegan Society, the first society for vegans which tried to define a non animal origin product consumption lifestyle. The society had a magazine called The Vegan News. The first number of the magazine included the terms vegan and veganism . From 1994, Nov the 1st is the World Veganism Day.
Donald Watson was actively working for the defence of animal rights for the rest of his life and he lived as a vegan. He was dead when he was 95 years old.
Principles of Veganism
Donald Watson can be considered as the father of veganism in the way we understand this philosophy today, the coined the word to call this way of life and he founded the first society for vegans, but he did not define the principles of veganism. Watson tried a lifestyle by avoiding the use of any kind of product, activity, service when an animal was involved.
From the idea of “no animal suffering”, principles of Veganism were developed . Principles of Vegan Philosophy include:
- To avoid the consumption of animal origin food, including eggs, milk and honey.
- Also the use of products made from animals, such as fur or leather.
- To not attend shows where there were animals.
- Avoiding the use of medicines, cosmetic and other products which had been tested on animals.
- To avoid the purchase of pets.
In short: veganism promotes and defends the idea that humans should not think that they have animal exploitation rights.
It is possible to follow a vegan diet and to be healthy?
Yes, it is! Cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables can give us all the nutrients we need to be healthy. To maintain good health in case you are a vegan is is essential to follow a well-balanced diet which should include the biggest variety of vegan product. And take advantage of the many nutrients that you can get from superfood too!