Vegan Diet & Veganism

Donald Watson
Donald Watson reading the first issue of The Vegan

The word "vegan" (pronounced 'VEE-gan') originated from a British man named Donald Watson who had wanted an appropriate name to describe what a "100% vegetarian" has always eaten, as distinguished from other types of mixed plant & animal product dietary choices.

He called his newsletter "The Vegan News" and described veganism as "the practice of living on fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, and other wholesome non-animal products."

Excerpt from the first issue of 'The Vegan News' November 1947:

"Without making any claims to self-righteousness, we feel in a strong position to criticise lacto-vegetarianism, because the worst we can say will be but a repetition of criticism we have already levelled against ourselves. Therefore we shall express the Truth as we see it and feel it, and though our friends the lacto-vegetarians may reject our ideas if they wish, we hope they will not reject us for stating them. Watson was born on September 2, 1910 and lived to be 95 years old. He died on November 16, 2005.

Vegan Nutrition

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The key to a nutritionally sound vegan diet is variety. A healthy and varied vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Work on limiting, or avoiding processed foods, which are hard to digest and are without the energy of live whole foods (whole foods are those that you eat the way they grow). Some nutritionists also recommend healthy unrefined oil supplements (like hemp, flax, coconut, etc...) and other vitamins.

Why Go Vegan?

Because there is plenty to eat without eating flesh meat or taking an animal's milk. Because there is plenty to use without killing animals for their body parts. Choosing vegan is conscientiously choosing compassion over killing, ecological preservation over destruction, health over disease, and simplicity over complexity. As everything in this universe are inter-connected, each decision we make affect not only ourselves, but that of our neighbors, the planet, and all the creatures that share our earth home.

Moreover, nutritionists, physicians, and people everywhere recognize that plant products are good sources of protein, iron, calcium, and vitamin D, because they can be easily absorbed by the body and don't contain artery-clogging fat. The American Dietetic Association states, "Well-planned vegan diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence."