What Does Vegan Mean?
What does vegan mean?
Vegans don’t eat, wear or use anything from animals — whether from land animals (meat, dairy, eggs, honey, shellac, leather, fur etc) or from water animals (fish, prawns, crab, lobster etc). Vegans also exclude, as far as is practicable, all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty.
What do vegans eat?
Vegans tend to have a healthier diet packed with good stuff! Vegans eat bread, pasta, rice, fruit and vegetables, nuts, beans, peas, lentils and other pulses. We can also eat meat, fish and dairy alternatives often made from soya, almonds, coconuts, oats and nuts. Pretty much anything can be made vegan!
Have a look at what vegans eat at our Vegan Recipe Club – there are hundreds of delicious recipes just waiting for you to try.
Do vegans eat…
- Eggs? No, vegans don’t eat eggs as they come from an animal. Eggs are not just a ‘by-product’ from chickens. Hens are farmed in horrendous conditions; selectively bred to lay more eggs than their bodies can handle and commonly have their beaks trimmed – a painful procedure. The male chicks are killed at just one day old.
See our page about the egg industry for more information.
- Fish? No, vegans don’t eat fish. Many people believe eating fish is healthy, less cruel and better for the environment. Nothing could be further from the truth.
See our page about the fish industry and its health implications for more information.
- Cheese? No, vegans don’t eat cheese that is made from dairy. Cows must be made pregnant and give birth to produce milk. They are locked into a cycle of perpetual pregnancy and the male calves are killed shortly after birth. (Don’t panic – there are lots of vegan cheeses available!).
See our page about the dairy industry and its health implications for more information.
- Bread? Yes, vegans eat bread. Bread is a grain-based food and so most regular bread (including sliced bread, rolls, bagels, tortillas, pitta and sourdough) are vegan. Check the ingredients to make sure there are no hidden ingredients like honey or milk powder. Gluten-free bread often contains eggs.
- Pasta? Yes, vegans eat pasta, including durum wheat pasta and wholewheat pasta — but not egg pasta. You can find vegan pasta (including vegan ravioli) in the regular supermarket aisle.
- Chocolate? Yes, many dark chocolate brands are vegan. However, milk chocolate and white chocolate contains cow’s milk. You can buy vegan versions! Check the ingredients or see our page about the best vegan chocolate.