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Clockwise from top left: tofu scramble, soy pizza,
vegan cupcakes and makizushi
Description Elimination of the use of animal products
Early proponents Roger Crab (1621–1680)[1]
James Pierrepont Greaves (1777–1842)
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
Sylvester Graham (1794–1851)[2]
Amos Bronson Alcott (1799–1888)[3]
Donald Watson (1910–2005)
H. Jay Dinshah (1933–2000)
Origin of the term November 1944, with the foundation of the British Vegan Society
Notable vegans
List of vegans

Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. A follower of veganism is known as a vegan.

Distinctions are sometimes made between different categories of veganism. Dietary vegans (or strict vegetarians) refrain from consuming animal products, not only meat but, in contrast to ovo-lacto vegetarians, also eggs, dairy products and other animal-derived substances. The term ethical vegan is often applied to those who not only follow a vegan diet, but extend the vegan philosophy into other areas of their lives, and oppose the use of animals and animal products for any purpose.[4] Another term used is environmental veganism, which refers to the avoidance of animal products on the premise that the harvesting or industrial farming of animals is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.[5]

The term vegan was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson when he co-founded the Vegan Society in England, at first to mean "non-dairy vegetarian" and later to refer to "the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals."[6] Interest in veganism increased in the 2000s; vegan food became increasingly available in supermarkets and restaurants in many countries.[7]

Vegan diets tend to be higher in dietary fibre, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron and phytochemicals, and lower in calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12.[8] Well-planned vegan diets can reduce the risk of heart disease,[9] and are regarded as appropriate for all stages of the life-cycle by the American Dietetic Association, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, and Dietitians of Canada.[10] Because uncontaminated plant foods do not provide vitamin B12 (which is produced by bacteria), researchers agree that vegans should eat B12-fortified foods or take a supplement.[11]


  • History 1
    • Background 1.1
    • Coining the term vegan, founding the Vegan Society 1.2
    • Founding the American Vegan Society 1.3
    • Achieving mainstream acceptance (2000s–2010s) 1.4
    • Demographics (1996–present) 1.5
  • Animal products 2
    • Avoidance 2.1
    • Milk, eggs, honey and silk 2.2
  • Vegan diet 3
    • Soy 3.1
    • Plant milk, cheese 3.2
    • Egg replacements 3.3
    • Vegan food groups 3.4
    • Nutrients 3.5
      • Protein 3.5.1
      • Vitamin B12 3.5.2
      • Calcium 3.5.3
      • Vitamin D 3.5.4
      • Iron 3.5.5
      • Omega-3 fatty acids 3.5.6
      • Iodine 3.5.7
    • Health arguments 3.6
    • Pregnancy, babies and children 3.7
  • Vegan toiletries 4
  • Philosophy 5
    • Ethical veganism 5.1
    • Environmental veganism 5.2
      • Resources and the environment 5.2.1
      • Animals killed in crop harvesting 5.2.2
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • Further reading 8



Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) at the Vegetarian Society, London, 20 November 1931; Henry Salt (1851–1939) is sitting to his right.[12]

Vegetarianism can be traced to

Vegan diet
  • American Dietetic Association. "A new food guide for North American vegetarians", 2003.
  • Brazier, Brendan. Thrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health, Da Capo Press, 2011.
  • Coscarelli, Chloe. Chloe's Kitchen, Simon and Schuster, 2012.
  • Hobbs, Suzanne Havala. Living Dairy-Free For Dummies, John Wiley & Sons, 2010.
  • Jacobs, D. R. et al. "Food, plant food, and vegetarian diets in the US dietary guidelines: conclusions of an expert panel", The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89(5), May 2009, pp. 1549–1552.
  • Jamieson, Alexandra. Living Vegan For Dummies, John Wiley & Sons, 2009.
  • Jurek, Scott with Friedman, Scott. Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.
  • Mangels, Reed; Messina, Virginia; and Messina, Mark. The Dietitian's Guide to Vegetarian Diets, Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011.
  • Mangels, Reed. The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book, Adams Media, 2011.
  • Mangels, Reed. "Pregnancy and the Vegan Diet", Vegetarian Resource Group, 2006.
  • Norris, Jack. Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet, Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2011.
  • Reynolds, Gretchen. "Can Athletes Perform Well on a Vegan Diet?", The New York Times, 20 June 2012.
  • Schinner, Mikoyo. Artisan Vegan Cheese, Book Publishing Co., 2012.
  • Stone, Gene (ed.). Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, The Experiment, 2011.
  • Wasserman, Debra and Mangels, Reed (eds.). Vegan Handbook, Vegetarian Resource Group, 2010.
Early vegan/vegetarian texts (chronological)
  • Riston, Joseph. An Essay on Abstinence from Animal Food, as a Moral Duty, Wilks and Taylor, 1802.
  • Kingsford, Anna. The Perfect Way in Diet, Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1881.
  • Shelley, Percy Bysshe. A Vindication of Natural Diet, F. Pitman, 1884.
  • Salt, Henry Stephens. A Plea for Vegetarianism, Vegetarian Society, 1886.
  • Williams, Howard. The Ethics of Diet, Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1896.
  • Wheldon, Rupert H. No Animal Food, Health Culture Co., 1910 (first known vegan cookbook).

Further reading

  1. ^ Records of Buckinghamshire, Volume 3, BPC Letterpress, 1870, p. 68.
  2. ^ Rynn Berry, "A History of the Raw-Food Movement in the United States," in Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina (eds.), Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets, Book Publishing Company, 2010, p. 9ff.
  3. ^ a b James D. Hart, "Alcott, Amos Bronson," in The Oxford Companion to American Literature, Oxford University Press, 1995, p. 14.

    Richard Francis, Fruitlands: The Alcott Family and their Search for Utopia, Yale University Press, 2010.

  4. ^ "Vegan Diets Become More Popular, More Mainstream", Associated Press/CBS News, 5 January 2011: "Ethical vegans have a moral aversion to harming animals for human consumption ... though the term often is used to describe people who follow the diet, not the larger philosophy."

    Gary Francione and Robert Garner, The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition Or Regulation? Columbia University Press, 2010, p. 62: "Although veganism may represent a matter of diet or lifestyle for some, ethical veganism is a profound moral and political commitment to abolition on the individual level and extends not only to matters of food but also to the wearing or using of animal products. Ethical veganism is the personal rejection of the commodity status of nonhuman animals ..."

    Victoria Moran, "Veganism: The Ethics, the Philosophy, the Diet," Vegetarian Times, January 1989, p. 50: "Webster's dictionary provides a most dry and limiting definition of the word 'vegan': 'one that consumes no animal food or dairy products.' This description explains dietary veganism, but so-called ethical vegans – and they are the majority – carry the philosophy further."

  5. ^ a b Michael Shapiro, "Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson: 'You don't watch whales die and hold signs and do nothing'", The Guardian, 21 September 2010; Matthew Cole, "Veganism," in Margaret Puskar-Pasewicz (ed.), Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism, ABC-Clio, 2010, p. 241.
  6. ^ Donald Watson, Vegan News, No. 1, November 1944; "Interview with Donald Watson", Vegetarians in Paradise, 11 August 2004; Leslie Cross, "Veganism Defined", The Vegetarian World Forum, 5(1), Spring 1951.
  7. ^ Rynn Berry, "Veganism," The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, Oxford University Press, 2007, pp. 604–605; "Vegan Diets Become More Popular, More Mainstream", Associated Press, 5 January 2011; Nijjar, Raman. "From pro athletes to CEOs and doughnut cravers, the rise of the vegan diet", CBC News, 4 June 2011.
  8. ^ Winston J. Craig, "Health effects of vegan diets", The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89(5), May 2009 (pp. 1627S–1633S, review article), p. 1627S: "Vegan diets are usually higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins C and E, iron, and phytochemicals, and they tend to be lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, long-chain n–3 (omega-3) fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B-12. ... A vegan diet appears to be useful for increasing the intake of protective nutrients and phytochemicals and for minimizing the intake of dietary factors implicated in several chronic diseases."
  9. ^ a b Note that several sources use the word vegetarian to refer to an entirely plant-based diet:

    Winston J. Craig, "Health effects of vegan diets", The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89(5), May 2009 (pp. 1627S–1633S, review), p. 1627S: "Vegans tend to be thinner, have lower serum cholesterol, and lower blood pressure, reducing their risk of heart disease ... A vegan diet appears to be useful for increasing the intake of protective nutrients and phytochemicals and for minimizing the intake of dietary factors implicated in several chronic diseases."

    M. Nestle, "Animal v. plant foods in human diets and health: is the historical record unequivocal?", Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 58(2), May 1999, pp. 211–218 (review): "This shift has led to increasing scientific consensus that eating more plant foods but fewer animal foods would best promote health. This consensus is based on research relating dietary factors to chronic disease risks, and to observations of exceptionally low chronic disease rates among people consuming vegetarian, Mediterranean and Asian diets. ... Most evidence suggests that a shift to largely plant-based diets would reduce chronic disease risks among industrialized and rapidly-industrializing populations."

    L. Van Horn et al, "The evidence for dietary prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease", Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108(2), February 2008, pp. 287–331 (systematic review).

    "Building healthy eating patterns", Dietary Guidelines for Americans, United States Department of Agriculture, 2010, p. 45: "In prospective studies of adults, compared to non-vegetarian eating patterns, vegetarian-style eating patterns have been associated with improved health outcomes – lower levels of obesity, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and lower total mortality. Several clinical trials have documented that vegetarian eating patterns lower blood pressure.

    "On average, vegetarians consume a lower proportion of calories from fat (in particular, saturated fatty acids); fewer overall calories; and more fiber, potassium, and vitamin C than do non-vegetarians. In general, vegetarians have a lower body mass index. These characteristics and other lifestyle factors associated with a vegetarian diet may contribute to the positive health outcomes that have been identified among vegetarians."

  10. ^ a b c "Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian diets", Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 103(6), June 2003 (pp. 748–765), p. 748: "Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life-cycle including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence."

    Also see J. Winston Craig and Reed Mangels, "Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets", Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(7), July 2009, pp. 1266–1282.

    "Dietary Guidelines for Australia", National Health and Medical Research Council, p. 13; "Government recognises vegan diet as viable option for all Australians", MND Australia, 12 July 2013.

  11. ^ a b R. Pawlak, et al, "How prevalent is vitamin B(12) deficiency among vegetarians?", Nutrition Reviews, 71(2), February 2013, pp. 110–117 (review article): "The main finding of this review is that vegetarians develop B12 depletion or deficiency regardless of demographic characteristics, place of residency, age, or type of vegetarian diet. Vegetarians should thus take preventive measures to ensure adequate intake of this vitamin, including regular consumption of supplements containing B12."
    • Mangels, Messina, and Messina, 2011, pp. 181–192; "Vitamin B12", Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, accessed 17 December 2012.

      Reed Mangels, "Vitamin B12 in the Vegan Diet", Vegetarian Resource Group, accessed 17 December 2012: "Vitamin B12 is needed for cell division and blood formation. Neither plants nor animals make vitamin B12. Bacteria are responsible for producing vitamin B12. Animals get their vitamin B12 from eating foods contaminated with vitamin B12 and then the animal becomes a source of vitamin B12. Plant foods do not contain vitamin B12 except when they are contaminated by microorganisms or have vitamin B12 added to them. Thus, vegans need to look to fortified foods or supplements to get vitamin B12 in their diet."

      Jack Norris, "Vitamin B12: Are you getting it?", Vegan Outreach, 26 July 2006: "Contrary to the many rumors, there are no reliable, unfortified plant sources of vitamin B12 ... [There is an] overwhelming consensus in the mainstream nutrition community, as well as among vegan health professionals, that vitamin B12 fortified foods or supplements are necessary for the optimal health of vegans, and even vegetarians in many cases. Luckily, vitamin B12 is made by bacteria such that it does not need to be obtained from animal products."

      Victor Herbert. "Vitamin B12: plant sources, requirements and assay", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 48(3), September 1988, pp. 852–858.

  12. ^ a b Mahatma Gandhi, "The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism", speech to the Vegetarian Society, London, 20 November 1931: "I feel especially honoured to find on my right, Mr. Henry Salt. It was Mr. Salt's book 'A Plea for Vegetarianism’, which showed me why apart from a hereditary habit, and apart from my adherence to a vow administered to me by my mother, it was right to be a vegetarian. He showed me why it was a moral duty incumbent on vegetarians not to live upon fellow-animals. It is, therefore, a matter of additional pleasure to me that I find Mr. Salt in our midst."
  13. ^ Fanny Kemble, Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838–1839, Harper and Brothers, New York, 1839, pp. 197–198: "The sight and smell of raw meat are especially odious to me, and I have often thought that if I had had to be my own cook, I should inevitably become a vegetarian, probably, indeed, return entirely to my green and salad days."

    Also see John Davis, "The earliest known uses of the word 'vegetarian'", and "Extracts from some journals 1842–48 – the earliest known uses of the word 'vegetarian'", International Vegetarian Union, accessed 17 December 2012.

    Rod Preece, Sins of the Flesh: A History of Ethical Vegetarian Thought, University of British Columbia Press, 2008, pp. 12–13: Another early use of vegetarian is the April 1842 edition of The Healthian, a journal published by Alcott House: "Tell a healthy vegetarian that his diet is very uncongenial to the wants of his nature."

  14. ^ "Under Examination," The Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger, Vol XI, 1884, p. 237: "There are two kinds of Vegetarians – an extreme sect, who eat no animal food whatever; and a less extreme sect, who do not object to eggs, milk, or fish ... The Vegetarian Society ... belongs to the more moderate division."
  15. ^ Karen Iacobbo and Michael Iacobbo, Vegetarians and Vegans in America Today, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006, p. 142.
  16. ^ John Davis, World Veganism, International Vegetarian Union, 2012, p. 32.
  17. ^ "History of the Vegetarian Society", Vegetarian Society, accessed 7 February 2011; John Davis, "The Origins of the "Vegetarians", International Vegetarian Union", 28 July 2011.
  18. ^ "History of Vegetarianism: The Origin of Some Words", International Vegetarian Union, 6 April 2010: " ... as early as 1851 there was an article in the Vegetarian Society magazine (copies still exist) about alternatives to leather for making shoes, there was even a report of someone patenting a new material. So there was always another group who were not just 'strict vegetarians' but also avoided using animal products for clothing or other purposes – naturally they wanted their own 'word' too, but they had a long wait."
  19. ^ Henry Stephens Salt, A Plea for Vegetarianism and other essays, The Vegetarian Society, 1886, p. 7.

    Henry Salt, "The Humanities of Diet," in Kerry S. Walters and Lisa Portmess (eds.), Ethical Vegetarianism: from Pythagoras to Peter Singer, State University of New York Press, 1999, p. 115ff, an extract from Salt's The Logic of Vegetarianism (1899).

    For Salt being the first modern animal rights advocate, Angus Taylor, Animals and Ethics, Broadview Press, 2003, p. 62.

  20. ^ Leah Leneman, "No Animal Food: The Road to Veganism in Britain, 1909–1944",Society and Animals, 7(3), 1999 (pp. 219–228), p. 220.

    Rupert Wheldon, No Animal Food, Health Culture Co, New York-Passaic, New Jersey, 1910.

  21. ^ Leneman 1999, pp. 219–220, 222.

    C.P. Newcombe, editor of TVMHR, the journal of the society's Manchester branch, started a debate about it in 1912 on the letters page, to which 24 vegetarians responded. He summarized their views: "The defence of the use of eggs and milk by vegetarians, so far as it has been offered here, is not satisfactory. The only true way is to live on cereals, pulse, fruit, nuts and vegetables."

  22. ^ Leneman 1999, p. 221.
  23. ^ Mahatma Gandhi, "The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism", speech to the Vegetarian Society, London, 20 November 1931, pp. 11–14.
  24. ^ Leneman 1999, pp. 222–223. Cross wrote that to produce milk for human consumption the cow has to be separated from her calves soon after their birth: "in order to produce a dairy cow, heart-rending cruelty, and not merely exploitation, is a necessity."
  25. ^ a b Donald Watson, "The Early History of the Vegan Movement," The Vegan, Winter 1965, pp. 5–7.
  26. ^ "Interview with Donald Watson", Vegetarians in Paradise, 11 August 2004.
  27. ^ "World Vegan Day", Vegan Society, accessed 13 August 2009.
  28. ^ Stepaniak 2000(a)), p. 5.
  29. ^ Leslie Cross, "Veganism Defined", The Vegetarian World Forum, 5(1), Spring 1951: "[V]eganism is not so much welfare as liberation, for the creatures and for the mind and heart of man; not so much an effort to make the present relationship bearable, as an uncompromising recognition that because it is in the main one of master and slave, it has to be abolished before something better and finer can be built."

    The Vegan Society wrote in 1979 that the word veganism "denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude – as far as is possible and practical – all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives ..." See "Memorandum of Association of the Vegan Society", Vegan Society, 20 November 1979.

  30. ^ Harry Maher, "The Milk of Human Kindness", interview with Arthur Ling, Vegan Views, 37, Autumn 1986; "C Arthur Ling, 1919–2005", Plamil Foods; "The Plantmilk Society," The Vegan, X(3), Winter 1956, pp. 14–16.
  31. ^ Stepaniak 2000(a), p. 3.
  32. ^ Stepaniak 2000(a), pp. 6–7.
  33. ^ Linda Austin and Norm Hammond, Oceano, Arcadia Publishing, 2010, p. 39; Freya Dinshah, "Vegan, More than a Dream", American Vegan, Summer 2010, p. 31; for Nimmo having been a vegan since 1931, Stepaniak 2000(a), p. 6.
  34. ^ Stepaniak 2000(a), pp. 6–7; "American Vegan Society: History", American Vegan Society, accessed 17 December 2012.
  35. ^ a b Meat Atlas, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Friends of the Earth Europe, 2014, p. 57; Mona Chalabi, "Meat atlas shows Latin America has become a soybean empire", The Guardian, 9 January 2014.
  36. ^ For Ornish, Campbell, Esselstyn and Barnard informally discussing veganism and health, see Kathy Freston, Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World, Weinstein Publishing, 2011:

    Dean Ornish on weight loss and reversing heart disease, p. 21ff; T. Colin Campbell on cancer, heart disease and diabetes, p. 41ff; Caldwell Esselstyn on heart disease, p. 57ff; Neal D. Barnard on diabetes, p. 73ff. Also see:

    Soren Ventegodt and Joav Merrick, "The Nobel Prize in Medicine should go to Dean Ornish", British Medical Journal, 29 December 2010.

    C. B. Trapp and Neal D. Barnard, "Usefulness of vegetarian and vegan diets for treating type 2 diabetes", Current Diabetes Reports, 10(2), April 2010.

    Roger Segelken, "China Study II: Switch to Western diet may bring Western-type diseases", Cornell Chronicle, 28 June 2001.

    T. Colin Campbell, B. Parpia, and J. Chen, "Diet, lifestyle, and the etiology of coronary artery disease: the Cornell China study", American Journal of Cardiology, 82(10B), November 1998, pp. 18T-21T.

    Neal D. Barnard, et al. "Vegetarian and vegan diets in type 2 diabetes management", Nutrition Reviews, 67(5), May 2009, pp. 255–263.

    Dean Ornish, S. E. Brown, and L. W. Scherwitz, et al. "Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? The Lifestyle Heart Trial", The Lancet, 336(8708), July 1990, pp. 129–133.

    Dean Ornish, et al. "Effects of a vegetarian diet and selected yoga techniques in the treatment of coronary heart disease," Clinical Research, 27, 1979.

    Caldwell Esselstyn, "Updating a 12-year experience with arrest and reversal therapy for coronary heart disease (an overdue requiem for palliative cardiology)", American Journal of Cardiology, 84(3), August 1999, pp. 339–341.

    J. McDougall, et al. "Effects of a Very Low-Fat, Vegan Diet in Subjects with Rheumatoid Arthritis", Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 8(1), February 2002, pp. 71–75.

  37. ^ Sanjay Gupta, "Gupta: Becoming heart attack proof", CNN, 25 August 2011.
  38. ^ "Vegan diets becoming more popular, more mainstream", Associated Press, 6 January 2011.
  39. ^ Amanda Holpuch, "Al Gore follows Bill Clinton's lead with apparent turn to veganism", The Guardian, 26 November 2013.

    Joel Stein, "The Rise of the Power Vegans", Bloomberg Businessweek, 4 November 2010; "Bill Clinton Explains Why He Became a Vegan", AARP Magazine, August/September 2013, p. 3 (Clinton became a vegan, then started eating fish).

  40. ^ a b Susie Mesure, "Veganism 2.0: Let them eat kale", The Independent, 8 December 2013.
  41. ^ "European Parliament legislative resolution of 16 June 2010", European Parliament: "The term 'vegan' shall not be applied to foods that are, or are made from or with the aid of, animals or animal products, including products from living animals." Also see Antonia Molloy, "No meat, no dairy, no problem: is 2014 the year vegans become mainstream?", The Independent, 31 December 2013.
  42. ^ Michael Valraven, "Vegetarian butchers make a killing", Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 14 September 2011; The Vegetarian Butcher, accessed 16 July 2014.
  43. ^ "Europe's first vegan supermarket opens in Dortmund", Deutsche Welle, 3 October 2011.
  44. ^ a b Amy Guttman, "Meat-Drenched Oktoberfest Warms To Vegans", National Public Radio, 4 October 2013.
  45. ^ Rachel Tishler, " Haaretz, 17.09.2014
  46. ^ Mark Damian Duda and Kira C. Young, "Americans' attitudes toward animal rights, animal welfare, and the use of animals," 1996 (cited in Damian and Young, "American Attitudes Toward Scientific Wildlife Management ...", Effective Public Relations and Communications, p. 10; Duda and Young also cited in Barbara McDonald, "Once You Know Something, You Can't Not Know It: An Empirical Look at Becoming Vegan", Animals and Society, 8(1), 2000, p. 3.
  47. ^ For 2006, Charles Stahler, "How many adults are vegetarian?", Vegetarian Journal, 25, 2006, pp. 14–15. For 2008, "Vegetarianism in America", Vegetarian Times, 2008. For 2009, "Vegan diets becoming more popular, more mainstream", Associated Press, 6 January 2011. For 2012, "In U.S., 5% Consider Themselves Vegetarians. Even smaller 2% say they are vegans", Gallup, 26 July 2012.

    For one in 150, Robin Banerji, "Vegan dating: Finding love without meat or dairy", BBC News, 15 August 2012.

  48. ^ "Donald Watson", The Times, 8 December 2005; Martin Hickman, "An ethical diet: The joy of being vegan", The Independent, 15 March 2006.

    "Would you describe yourself as a vegetarian or vegan?", Survey of Public Attitudes and Behaviours toward the Environment, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 2007, table 210, question F7, p. 481: 81 respondents out of 3,618 said they were vegans.

  49. ^ Anna-Louise Taylor, "Rise of the 'semi-vegetarians'", BBC News, 25 August 2012.
  50. ^ "Wat is veganisme?", Nederlandse Vereniging voor Veganisme, accessed 16 July 2014.
  51. ^ "Israelis growing hungry for vegan diet".  
  52. ^ Francione and Garner 2010, p. 257.
  53. ^ Francione and Garner 2010, p. 62.
  54. ^ "Criteria for Vegan food", and "Trademark Standards", Vegan Society, accessed 17 December 2012.

    Also see "What is Vegan?", American Vegan Society, accessed 17 December 2012: "Vegans exclude flesh, fish, fowl, dairy products (animal milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, etc.), eggs, honey, animal gelatin, and all other foods of animal origin. Veganism also excludes animal products such as leather, wool, fur, and silk in clothing, upholstery, etc. Vegans usually make efforts to avoid the less-than-obvious animal oils, secretions, etc., in many products such as soaps, cosmetics, toiletries, household goods and other common commodities."

  55. ^ "Animal ingredients and products", Vegan Peace, accessed 17 December 2012; D. L. Meeker, Essential Rendering: All About The Animal By-Products Industry, National Renderers Association, 2006; "Vegan FAQs", Vegan Outreach, accessed 17 December 2012.
  56. ^ Stepaniak 2000(a), pp. pp. 20, 115–118, 154; see p. 116 for the environmental damage associated with petroleum-based products.
  57. ^ "Egg Production & Welfare", Vegetarian Society, accessed 17 December 2012.
  58. ^ "Dairy Cows & Welfare", Vegetarian Society, accessed 17 December 2012.
  59. ^ Erik Marcus, Veganism: The New Ethics of Eating, McBooks Press, 2000, pp. 128–129.
  60. ^ "Goats", Vegetarian Society, accessed 17 January 2013.
  61. ^ Daniel Engber, "The Great Vegan Honey Debate: Is honey the dairy of the insect world?", Slate, 30 July 2008.

    "Honey: Ain't so sweet for the bees", Vegan Society, accessed 16 December 2012; "What is Vegan?", American Vegan Society, accessed 16 December 2012.

    "Is honey vegan?", Vegan Action, accessed 16 December 2012; "What about honey and silk?" and "What about insects killed by pesticides or during harvest?", Vegan Outreach, accessed 16 December 2012.

  62. ^ Chloe Coscarelli, Chloe's Kitchen, Simon and Schuster, 2012, p. 9.
  63. ^ Reed Mangels, Virginia Messina and Mark Messina, The Dietitian's Guide to Vegetarian Diets, Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011, p. 7.
  64. ^ a b Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, pp. 256–257: "Soy protein products typically have a protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) ... >0.9, which is similar to that of meat and milk protein. Consequently, consuming the recommended dietary allowance (RDA, 0.8 mg/kg body weight [bw]), for protein entirely in the form of soy will meet the biologic requirement for amino acids. ... Formal recognition of the high quality of soy protein came in the form of a ruling by the USDA [United States Department of Agriculture] allowing soy protein to replace 100 percent of meat protein in the Federal School Lunch Program."
  65. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina, 2011, p. 444.
  66. ^ "Milk, whole, 3.25% milkfat, with added vitamin D", United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.
  67. ^ "Soymilk (all flavors), unsweetened, with added calcium, vitamins A and D", United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.
  68. ^ "Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened",
  69. ^ Monica Reinagel, Nutrition Diva's Secrets for a Healthy Diet, Macmillan 2011, pp. 20–21.
  70. ^ Reed Mangels, The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book, Adams Media, 2011, p. 174.

    Also see Russell J. Merritt and Belinda H. Jenks, "Safety of Soy-Based Infant Formulas Containing Isoflavones: The Clinical Evidence", The Journal of Nutrition, 134(5), May 1, 2004, pp. 1220–1224 (review article): "Modern soy formulas meet all nutritional requirements and safety standards of the Infant Formula Act of 1980."

    Popular plant-milk brands include Alpro's Soya. Vegan ice-creams based on plant milk include Tofutti, Turtle Mountain's So Delicious, and Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss. See Miriam Krule, "Two Scoops, Hold the Dairy", Slate, 15 August 2012.

  71. ^ Sarah E. Mosko, "The Cheese Challenge", E/The Environmental Magazine, 22(5), Sept–Oct 2011, pp. 38–39: "After melting and taste-testing four top brands, the site concluded that vegan cheddar and mozzarella shreds made primarily from tapioca or arrowroot flour combined with various oils from Daiya had both the flavor and melt-ability to stand up to their dairy counterparts."
  72. ^ Coscarelli 2012, p. 4.
  73. ^ For Stepaniak, see Stepaniak 2000(a), p. 188.
  74. ^ Kay Stepkin, "Vegan cheese replaces lingering brie craving", Chicago Tribune, 16 January 2013.
  75. ^ Coscarelli 2012, p. 12.
  76. ^ Jason Dorrier, "Lab-Grown Cheese Made by 'Milking' Genetically Modified Yeast Cells", Singularity Hub, 21 July 2014.
  77. ^ Victoria Moran and Adair Moran, Main Street Vegan, Penguin 2012, p. 168; Katherine Goldstein, "The Most Incredible Condiment You Probably Aren't Using", Slate, 27 December 2013; "Plamil Egg Free Mayonnaise",; "The Miso alternative to mayonnaise",
  78. ^ a b Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. 445.
  79. ^ Caldwell Esselstyn, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure, Penguin, 2007, p. 266.
  80. ^ Coscarelli 2012, p. 183.
  81. ^ "Egg Replacements", People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, accessed 13 December 2012.
  82. ^ a b "The New Four Food Groups", Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, accessed 16 January 2013.
  83. ^ Marian Burros, "Eating Well; Rethink 4 Food Groups, Doctors Tell U.S.", The New York Times, 10 April 1991.
  84. ^ a b "What Foods Are in the Protein Foods Group?", United States Department of Agriculture: "All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group."

    "Vegetarian Choices in the Protein Foods Group": "Vegetarians get enough protein from this group as long as the variety and amounts of foods selected are adequate. Protein sources from the Protein Foods Group for vegetarians include eggs (for ovo-vegetarians), beans and peas, nuts, nut butters, and soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers)."

    "What Foods Are Included in the Dairy Group?": "Calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage) is also part of the Dairy Group."

    Also see William Neuman, "Nutrition Plate Unveiled, Replacing Food Pyramid", The New York Times, 2 June 2011.

  85. ^ a b "The eatwell plate", National Health Service.

    "The vegan diet", National Health Service: "You should be able to get most of the nutrients you need from eating a varied and balanced vegan diet. A healthy vegan diet contains: plenty of fruit and vegetables; plenty of starchy foods; some non-dairy sources of protein, such as beans and pulses; some dairy alternatives, such as fortified soya drinks; just a small amount of fatty and sugary foods" (punctuation added).

    "The vegetarian diet", National Health Service: "Milk and dairy products, such as cheese and yoghurt, are great sources of protein, calcium and vitamins A and B12. This food group includes milk and dairy alternatives, such as fortified soya, rice and oat drinks, which also contain calcium."

  86. ^ ), 2009American Journal of Clinical NutritionCraig (, p. 1627S: "Vegan diets are usually higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins C and E, iron, and phytochemicals, and they tend to be lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, long-chain n–3 (omega-3) fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B-12."
  87. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. 71; for their chapter on protein, see pp. 65–79.
  88. ^ M. Krajcovicova-Kudlackova, K. Babinska, and M. Valachovicova, "Health benefits and risks of plant proteins", Bratisl Lek Listy, 106(6–7), 2005, pp. 231–234 (review article).
  89. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, pp. 72, 78; Jack Norris and Virginia Messina, "Protein & Amino Acids in Common Foods", Vegan Outreach, December 2010.
  90. ^ M. Messina and V. Messina, "The role of soy in vegetarian diets", Nutrients, 2(8), August 2010, pp. 855–888 (review article).

    A. Vega-Gálvez, et al, "Nutrition facts and functional potential of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa willd.), an ancient Andean grain: a review", Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 90(15), December 2010, pp. 2541–2547 (review article).

    L. E. James Abugoch, "Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.): composition, chemistry, nutritional, and functional properties", Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, 58, 2009, pp. 1–31 (review article).

    J. Fuhrman and D. M. Ferreri, "Fueling the vegetarian (vegan) athlete", Current Sports Medicine Reports, 9(4), July–August 2010, pp. 233–241 (review article).

  91. ^ a b "Crediting Tofu and Soy Yogurt Products", USDA, 22 February 2012.
  92. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. 75ff. Also see V. R. Young and P. L. Pellett, "Plant proteins in relation to human protein and amino acid nutrition", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 59(5), May 1994, pp. 1203S–1212S.
  93. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. 77.
  94. ^ a b Reed Mangels, Virginia Messina, and Mark Messina, "Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)," The Dietitian's Guide to Vegetarian Diets, Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011, pp. 181–192; Reed Mangels, "Vitamin B12 in the Vegan Diet", Vegetarian Resource Group, accessed 28 November 2012; Victor Herbert, "Vitamin B12: plant sources, requirements and assay", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 48(3), September 1988, pp. 852–858.
  95. ^ Jack Norris and Virginia Messina, Vegan for Life, Da Capo Press, 2011, p. 34.
  96. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. 188; Herbert 1988, p. 854, citing research by James Halsted; James Halsted, et al, "Serum Vitamin B12 Concentration in Dietary Deficiency", The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 8(3), 1960, pp. 374–376 (for information on Halsted, see Cecil J. Smith and Marian Swendseid, "James A. Halsted", The Journal of Nutrition, undated).

    Victor Herbert writes that Sheila Callender, an English haematologist, conducted an experiment in the 1950s in which she made water extracts of faeces collected from vegans who were suffering from anaemia caused by a lack of B12, and cured the B12 deficiency by feeding them the extracts; see Herbert 1988, p. 852. For information on Callender, see David Weatherall,"Sheila Callender", British Medical Journal, 329(7470), 9 October 2004, p. 860.

  97. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. 179. For the point about hygiene, see Herbert 1988, p. 854: "[S]trict vegetarians who do not practice thorough hand washing or vegetable cleaning may be untroubled by vitamin B-12 deficiency."
  98. ^ "Vitamin B12", Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, 24 June 2011.
  99. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, pp. 183–184.
  100. ^ a b Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, pp. 182–183.
  101. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. 187.

    F. Watanabe, et al, "Biologically active vitamin B12 compounds in foods for preventing deficiency among vegetarians and elderly subjects", Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, 61(280, 17 July 2013, pp. 6769–6775 (review article).

    F. Watanabe et al, "Vitamin B12-containing plant food sources for vegetarians", Nutrients, 6(5), 5 May 2014, pp. 1861–1873: "A survey of naturally occurring and high Vitamin B12-containing plant-derived food sources showed that nori, which is formed into a sheet and dried, is the most suitable Vitamin B12 source for vegetarians presently available."

  102. ^ a b "Calcium", Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. The RDA for eighteen years and under is 200 mg for 0–6 months, 260 mg for 7–12 months, 700 mg for 1–3 years, 1,000 mg for 4–8 years, 1,300 mg for 9–18 years.

    Catherine A. Ross, et al (eds.), "DRI Dietary Reference Intakes, Calcium, Vitamin D", Food and Nutrition Board, The National Academies Press, 2011, particularly pp. 35–74.

    For a discussion of calcium and vegan/vegetarian diets, see Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. p. 109ff.

  103. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. 110.
  104. ^ P. Appleby et al, "Comparative fracture risk in vegetarians and nonvegetarians in EPIC-Oxford", European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 61(12), February 2007, pp. 1400–1406: "In conclusion, fracture risk was similar for meat eaters, fish eaters and vegetarians in this study. The higher fracture risk among vegans appeared to be a consequence of their considerably lower mean calcium intake. Vegans, who do not consume dairy products, a major source of calcium in most diets, should ensure that they obtain adequate calcium from suitable sources such as almonds, sesame seeds, tahini (sesame paste), calcium-set tofu, calcium-fortified drinks and low-oxalate leafy green vegetables such as kale ..."

    "Calcium: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet", National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, November 21, 2013: "In the Oxford cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, bone fracture risk was similar in meat eaters, fish eaters and vegetarians, but higher in vegans, likely due to their lower mean calcium intake."

    Also see Jack Norris, "Bones, Vitamin D, and Calcium", Vegan Outreach, 9 January 2007: "Based on research showing that vegans who consumed less than 525 mg per day of calcium had higher bone fracture rates than people who consumed more than 525 mg per day (14), vegans should make sure they get a minimum of 525 mg of calcium per day. It would be best to get 700 mg per day for adults, and at least 1,000 mg for people age 13 to 18 when bones are developing. This can most easily be satisfied for most vegans by eating high-calcium greens on a daily basis and drinking a nondairy milk that is fortified with calcium."

  105. ^ L. T. Ho-Pham et al, "Effect of vegetarian diets on bone mineral density: a Bayesian meta-analysis", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90(4), October 2009, p. 943–950.

    L. T. Ho-Pham, "Veganism, bone mineral density, and body composition: a study in Buddhist nuns", Osteoporos Int, 20(12), December 2009, pp. 2087–2093.

    A. M. Smith, "Veganism and osteoporosis: a review of the current literature", International Journal of Nursing Practice, 12(5), October 2006, pp. 302–330 (review article): "The findings gathered consistently support the hypothesis that vegans do have lower bone mineral density than their non-vegan counterparts. However, the evidence regarding calcium, Vitamin D and fracture incidence is inconclusive."

  106. ^ T. Colin Campbell, The China Study, Benbella Books, 2006, pp. 205–208.
  107. ^ a b c d e "Vitamin D", Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health; Ross et al (Food and Nutrition Board) 2011.

    For vitamin D and vegan/vegetarian diets, Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, pp. 204–209. For vitamin D and calcium, P. J. Appleby et al, "Comparative fracture risk in vegetarians and nonvegetarians in EPIC-Oxford", European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 61(12), February 2007.

  108. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. 209.
  109. ^ Ross, et al (Food and Nutrition Board) 2011, p. 75.
  110. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. 208.
  111. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, pp. 207–208.

    The daily tolerable upper intake level (daily) for 9 years to adulthood is 100 mcg, according to the National Institutes of Health; for children it is 25 mcg for 0–6 months, 38 mcg for 7–12 months, 63 mcg for 1–3 years, and 75 mcg for 4–8 years. See "Vitamin D: Health Risks from Excessive Vitamin D", Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health.

  112. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, pp. 138ff, 143–144. For a detailed discussion, see "Iron", Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy Press, 2001, pp. 290–393.
  113. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. 146.
  114. ^ "Iron: Recommend Intakes", Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health.

    The RDA for 18 years and under is 11 mg for 7–12 months; 7 mg for 1–3 years; 10 mg for 4–8 years; 8 mg for 9–13 years; 11 mg for 14–18 years (men) and 15 mg for 14–18 years (women).

  115. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. 143.
  116. ^ "Iron: Health Risks from Excessive Iron", Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health.
  117. ^ Davida Gypsy Breier and Reed Mangels, Vegan & Vegetarian FAQ: Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions, Vegetarian Resource Group, 2001, p. 27.
  118. ^ T. A. Sanders, "The nutritional adequacy of plant-based diets", The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 58(2), 1999, pp. 265–269. For information about Sanders, see "Professor Tom Sanders", King's College London.
  119. ^ Mangels, Messina and Messina 2011, p. 142; Reed Mangels, "Iron in the Vegan Diet", The Vegetarian Resources Group.
  120. ^ "Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Health", Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health.
  121. ^ Jack Norris, "Omega-3 Fatty Acid Recommendations for Vegetarians", Vegan Outreach, accessed 4 February 2011.
  122. ^ a b Paul N. Appleby et al, "The Oxford Vegetarian Study: an overview", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70(3), September 1999, pp. 525S–531S.
  123. ^ a b "Iodine", Vegan Outreach, 26 December 2006: "Iodine is needed for healthy thyroid function which regulates metabolism. Both too much and too little iodine can result in abnormal thyroid metabolism. ... Studies have shown that vegans in Europe (where salt is either not iodized or not iodized at high enough levels) who do not supplement (as well as those who oversupplement) have indications of abnormal thyroid function."

    H. J. Lightowler, G. J. Davies, and M. D. Trevan, "Iodine in the diet: perspectives for vegans", Journal of the Royal Society of Health, 116(1), February 1996, pp. 14–20.

  124. ^ "Iodine", Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health.
  125. ^ ), 2009American Journal of Clinical NutritionCraig (, p. 1627S.
  126. ^ "Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian diets", Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 103(6), June 2003 (pp. 748–765), p. 755.

    Also see M. A. O'Connor, et al, "Vegetarianism in anorexia nervosa? A review of 116 consecutive cases", Medical Journal of Australia, 147(11–12), 1987, pp. 540–542 (review article).

    Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet, Book Publishing Company 2000, p. 224.

  127. ^ "Dietary Guidelines for Australia", National Health and Medical Research Council, p. 13; "Government recognises vegan diet as viable option for all Australians", MND Australia, 12 July 2013.
  128. ^ a b "Ist vegetarische Ernährung für Kinder geeignet?", Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung: "The strict vegetarian/vegan diet is not recommended for any age group because of the risks. The DGE warns against it especially for infants, children and young people" ("Die streng vegetarische/vegane Ernährung wird aufgrund ihrer Risiken für keine Altersgruppe empfohlen. Die DGE rät besonders für Säuglinge, Kinder und Jugendliche dringend davon ab").

    For Switzerland, "Indikator 2.12: Vegetarismus", Bundesamt fuer Gesundheit: "The 6th Swiss Nutrition Report (see Lüthy et al 2012, p. 26) identified the 'ovo-lacto vegetarian diet as a balanced diet for healthy adults,' while there is a risk of nutritional deficiencies with other forms of vegetarianism. However, it is also true that a high consumption of meat and fish can pose health risks" ("Der 6. Schweizerische Ernährungsbericht (vgl. Lüthy et al. 2012, S. 26) identifiziert allerdings einzig die 'ovo-lacto-vegetarische Ernährung für gesunde Erwachsene als ausgewogene Ernährungsweise', während er bei den anderen Arten des Vegetarismus auf Risiken der mangelnden Zufuhr verschiedener Nährstoffe hinweist. Umgekehrt gilt jedoch auch, dass ein häufiger Konsum von Fleisch und Fisch gesundheitliche Risiken bergen kann").

  129. ^ Timothy J. Key et al, "Mortality in vegetarians and nonvegetarians: detailed findings from a collaborative analysis of 5 prospective studies", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70(3), September 1999, pp. 516S-524S: "Further categorization of diets showed that, in comparison with regular meat eaters, mortality from ischemic heart disease was 20% lower in occasional meat eaters, 34% lower in people who ate fish but not meat, 34% lower in lactoovovegetarians, and 26% lower in vegans. There were no significant differences between vegetarians and nonvegetarians in mortality from cerebrovascular disease, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, or all other causes combined."
    • Timothy J. Key et al, "Mortality in British vegetarians: review and preliminary results from EPIC-Oxford", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 78(3), September 2003, pp. 533S–538S.
  130. ^ Agte V, Tarwadi KV (2012). Watson RR, Preedy VR, Zibadi S, ed. Nutritional Status, Socioeconomic Factor, Alcohol, and Cataracts. Alcohol, Nutrition, and Health Consequences (Springer Science & Business Media). p. 310.  

    For the study, Paul N. Appleby, Naomi E. Allen, and Timothy J. Key, "Diet, vegetarianism, and cataract risk", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 93(5), 28 February 2011, pp. 1128–1135.

  131. ^ "Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: vegetarian diets", Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, Summer 2003, 64(2), pp. 62–81 (also available here).
  132. ^ American Dietetic Association, p. 754.
  133. ^ Ann Reed Mangels, "Vegetarian diets in pregnancy," in Carol Jean Lammi-Keefe, Sarah C. Couch, and Elliot H. Philipson (eds.), Handbook of Nutrition and Pregnancy, Humana Press, 2008, p. 215.
  134. ^ M. R. Pepper and M. M. Black, "B12 in fetal development", Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology, 22(6), August 2011, pp. 619–623 (review).

    Also see T. Kuhne, R. Bubl, and R. Baumgartner, "Maternal vegan diet causing a serious infantile neurological disorder due to vitamin B12 deficiency", European Journal of Pediatrics, 150(3), 1991, pp. 205–208; R. Weiss, Y. Fogelman and M. Bennett, "Severe vitamin B12 deficiency in an infant associated with a maternal deficiency and a strict vegetarian diet", Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 26(4), 2004, pp. 270–271.

  135. ^ American Dietetic Association, p. 753.
  136. ^ Mary Frances Picciano and Michelle Kay McGuire, "Dietary supplements during pregnancy: Needs, efficacy, and safety," in Carol Jean Lammi-Keefe, Sarah C. Couch, and Elliot H. Philipson (eds.), Handbook of Nutrition and Pregnancy, Humana Press, 2008, p. 200.

    Lucia Lynn Kaiser and Lindsay Allen, "Nutrition and lifestyle for a healthy pregnancy outcome", Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108(3), March 2008.

    Ann Reed Mangels and V. Messina, "Considerations in planning vegan diets: Infants" and "Considerations in planning vegan diets: Children"Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 101, June 2001.

    Ann Reed Mangels, "Pediatric Vegetarianism," in S. Edelstein and J. Sharlin (eds.), Nutrition in the Life Cycle: An Evidence-based Approach, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2008, p. 229; "Vegan babies and children: a dietary guide, including pre-conception and pregnancy", British Vegan Society.

  137. ^ Rob Davies, "Couple face questioning after vegan daughter suffers bone disease", The Daily Telegraph, 8 June 2008.
  138. ^ "Fruit diet mother found dead", BBC News, 21 August 2003.
  139. ^ Kate Moisse, "Atlanta Couple Gets Life for Starving 6-Week-Old Son", ABC News, 13 September 2011; Amy Joy Lanou, "Just the facts: A vegan diet is safe, healthy for infants", Houston Chronicle, 25 June 2007.
  140. ^ Raymond Eller Kirk, Donald Frederick Othmer, Kirk-Othmer Chemical Technology of Cosmetics, John Wiley & Sons, 2012, p. 535.
  141. ^ "Trademark Standards" and Trademark search, British Vegan Society.
  142. ^ "Welcome", Beauty Without Cruelty;;"Cruelty-free toiletries", Animal Aid; Honesty Cosmetics.
  143. ^ Vegan products, Kiss My Face; "Happy World Vegan Day!", Lush; "BB cream", Haut Cosmetics.
  144. ^ Sasha-wyatt Minter. "Beauty Without Cruelty- Approved Products",, 9 September 2009; "Philosophy", Esse Organic Skincare; "Accredited Cruelty-Free Vegan Companies", Choose Cruelty Free.
  145. ^ a b Animal Ingredients A to Z, E. G. Smith Collective, 2004, 3rd edition; Erik Marcus, The Ultimate Vegan Guide: Compassionate Living Without Sacrifice,, chapter 24. Also see "Animal ingredients list", PETA.
  146. ^ Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights, University of California Press, 1983, pp. 243, 333–334, 394.
  147. ^ Francione and Garner 2010, p. 62ff.

    Also see Interview with Gary Francione, Vimeo, 2009, from 13:53 mins: "We all believe it's wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering and death on animals.&nsbp;... So now the next question becomes "what do we mean by necessity?" Well, whatever it means, whatever abstract meaning it has, if it has any meaning whatsoever, its minimal meaning has to be that it's wrong to inflict suffering and death on animals for reasons of pleasure, amusement or convenience&nsbp;... Okay. Problem is 99.9999999 percent of our animal use can only be justified by reasons of pleasure, amusement or convenience. It's gotta go."

  148. ^ Erik Marcus, "Erik Marcus Debates Professor Francione on Abolition vs. Animal Welfare", Erik's Diner, 25 February 2007, from c.&nsbp;2:20 mins (transcript).
  149. ^ Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, Cambridge University Press, 1999, p.&nsbp;50; Catherine Clyne, "Singer Says", Satya magazine, October 2006; Singer 1999, p.&nsbp;60ff.
  150. ^ Peter Singer and Jim Mason, The Way We Eat, Rodale, 2006, pp.&nsbp;282–283. The term "Paris exemption" was coined in 2004 by Daren Firestone, a Chicago law student; see Amanda Paulson, "One woman's quest to enjoy her dinner without guilt", Christian Science Monitor, 27 October 2004, p.&nsbp;2.
  151. ^ Clyne, October 2006; Francione and Garner 2010, pp.&nsbp;71–72.
  152. ^ Bruce Friedrich, "Personal Purity versus Effective Advocacy", PETA, 2006.
  153. ^ Francione and Garner 2010, pp.&nsbp;72–73.
  154. ^ Henning Steinfeld et al, Livestock's Long Shadow, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2006, p. 3; "Inventory of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and sinks: 1990–2009", United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2011.
  155. ^ Livestock's Long Shadow, p. 272.
  156. ^ Felicity Carus, "UN urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet", The Guardian, 2 June 2010; "Energy and Agriculture Top Resource Panel's Priority List for Sustainable 21st Century", United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Brussels, 2 June 2010.

    For an opposing position, Simon Fairlie, Meat: A Benign Extravagance, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2010.

  157. ^ Heinz-Ulrich Neue, "Methane emission from rice fields", BioScience, 43(7), 1993, pp. 466–473; Tim Hirsch, "Plants revealed as methane source", BBC News, 11 January 2006.
  158. ^ Christian J. Peters, Jennifer Wilkins, and Gary W. Ficka, "Testing a complete-diet model for estimating the land resource requirements of food consumption and agricultural carrying capacity: The New York State example", Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 22(2), 2008, pp. 145–153; Susan Lang, "Diet for small planet may be most efficient if it includes dairy and a little meat, Cornell researchers report", Cornell Chronicle, Cornell University, 4 October 2007.
  159. ^ Jim Mason and Peter Singer, Animal Factories: What Agribusiness is Doing to the Family Farm, the Environment and Your Health, Harmony Books, 1990.
  160. ^ a b S. L. Davis, "Least harm principle suggests that humans should eat beef, lamb, dairy, not a vegan diet", Proceedings of the Third Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics, 2001, pp. 440–450.

    S. L. Davis, "What is the Morally Relevant Difference between the Mouse and the Pig?", Proceedings of EurSafe 2000, 2nd Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics, 2000, pp. 107–109.

    S. L. Davies, "The Least Harm Principle May Require that Humans Consume a Diet Containing Large Herbivores, Not a Vegan Diet", Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 16(4), 2003, pp. 387–394.

    George Sedler, "Does Ethical Meat-Eating Maximize Utility?", Social Theory and Practice, 31(4), 2005, pp. 499–511.

  161. ^ Andy Lamey, "Food Fight! Davis versus Regan on the Ethics of Eating Beef", Journal of Social Philosophy, 38(2), 2009 (pp. 331–348), p. 331.
  162. ^ Gaverick Matheny, "Least Harm: A Defense of Vegetarianism from Steven Davis's Omnivorous Proposal", Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 16(5), 2003, pp. 505–511.
  163. ^ Lamey 2009, pp. 336, 338; for the quote, p. 344.


See also

Andy Lamey further argued that Davis's calculation of harvest-related deaths was flawed. It was based on two studies. One study included deaths from predation, which Lamey wrote is morally unobjectionable for Regan because not related to human action. The other examined production of a nonstandard crop (sugarcane), which Lamey wrote has little relevance to deaths associated with typical crop production. Lamey also maintained, like Matheny, that accidental deaths are ethically distinct from intentional ones, and that if Davis includes accidental animal deaths in the moral cost of veganism, he must also include the accidental human deaths caused by his proposed diet, which, Lamey wrote, leaves "Davis, rather than Regan, with the less plausible argument."[163]

Davis's analysis was criticized in 2003 by Gaverick Matheny in the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. Matheny argued that Davis had miscalculated the number of animal deaths, based his figures on land area rather than per consumer, and had confined his analysis to grass-fed ruminants, rather than factory-farmed animals. He wrote that Davis had also equated lives with lives worth living, focusing on numbers rather than including in his calculations the harm done to animals raised for food, which can involve pain from branding, dehorning and castration, a life of confinement, transport without food or water to a slaughterhouse, and a frightening death. Matheny argued that vegetarianism "likely allows a greater number of animals with lives worth living to exist."[162]

Based on a study finding that wood-mouse populations dropped from 25 to five per hectare after harvest (attributed to migration and mortality), Davis estimated that 10 animals per hectare are killed from crop farming every year. He argued that if all 120,000,000 acres (490,000 km2) of cropland in the continental United States were used for a vegan diet, approximately 500 million animals would die each year. But if half the cropland were converted to ruminant pastureland, he estimated that only 900,000 animals would die each year, assuming people switched from the eight billion poultry killed each year to beef, lamb and dairy products. Therefore, he argued, according to the least-harm principle we should convert to a ruminant-based diet rather than a plant-based one.[160]

Andy Lamey, a philosopher at Monash University, calls this the "burger vegan" argument, namely that if human beings were to eat cows raised on a diet of grass, not grain, fewer animals would be killed overall, because the number of mice, rats, raccoons and other animals killed during the harvest outnumbers the deaths involved in raising cows for beef.[161]

Steven Davis, a professor of animal science at Oregon State University, asked Tom Regan in 2001 what the difference was between killing a field mouse while cultivating crops, and killing a pig for the same reason, namely so that human beings could eat. Regan responded with what Davis called the "Least Harm Principle," according to which we must choose the food products that, overall, cause the least harm to the least number of animals. Davis argued that a plant-based diet would kill more than one containing beef from grass-fed ruminants.[160]

Female pigs in gestation crates. Vegans see animal agriculture, particularly factory farming, as an infringement of the animals' rights and a threat to the environment.[159]

Animals killed in crop harvesting

Greenhouse gas emissions are not limited to animal husbandry. Plant agriculture such as rice cultivation can also cause environmental problems.[157] A 2007 Cornell University study that simulated land use for various diets for New York State concluded that, although vegetarian diets used the smallest amount of land per capita, a low-fat diet that included some meat and dairy – less than 2 oz (57 g) of meat/eggs per day, significantly less than that consumed by the average American – could support slightly more people on the same available land than could be fed on some high-fat vegetarian diets, since animal food crops are grown on lower-quality land than are crops for human consumption.[158]

In November 2006 a United Nations Livestock's Long Shadow, linked animal agriculture to environmental damage. It concluded that livestock farming (primarily of cows, chickens and pigs) has an impact on almost all aspects of the environment: air, land, soil, water, biodiversity and climate change.[154] According to the report, livestock account for 9 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, 37 percent of methane, 65 percent of nitrous oxide, and 68 percent of ammonia, and livestock waste emits 30 million tonnes of ammonia a year, which the report said is involved in the production of acid rain.[155] In June 2010 a report from the United Nations Environment Programme said that a move toward a vegan diet is needed to save the world from hunger, fuel shortages, and climate change.[156]

Environmental vegans focus on conservation rather than animal rights: they reject the use of animal products on the premise that practices such as farming – particularly factory farming – fishing, hunting and trapping are environmentally unsustainable. Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said in 2010 that all Sea Shepherd ships are vegan for environmental reasons: "Forty percent of the fish caught from the oceans is fed to livestock – pigs and chickens are becoming major aquatic predators."[5]

Resources and the environment

Environmental veganism

Singer's support for the "Paris exemption" is reflected within the animal rights movement by the divide between protectionism (represented by Singer and PETA), according to which incremental change can achieve reform, and abolitionism (represented by Regan and Francione), according to which welfare reform serves only to persuade the public that animal use is morally unproblematic.[151] Bruce Friedrich of Farm Sanctuary, a protectionist, argued in 2006 that strict adherence to veganism, rather than encouraging people to give up whatever animal products they can, focuses on personal purity, and that this is anti-vegan because it hurts animals.[152] For Francione, this is similar to arguing that, because human rights abuses can never be eliminated, we should not safeguard human rights in situations we control. By failing to ask a server whether something contains animal products, in the interest of avoiding a fuss, he argues that we reinforce the idea that the moral rights of animals are a matter of convenience. He concludes from this that the protectionist position fails even on its own consequentialist terms.[153]

Peter Singer argues from a utilitarian perspective that there is no moral or logical justification for refusing to count animal suffering as a consequence when making ethical decisions, that sentience is "the only defensible boundary of concern for the interests of others," and that killing animals should be rejected unless necessary for survival.[149] Despite this, Singer supports what is known as the "Paris exemption": if you find yourself in a fine restaurant, allow yourself to eat what you want, and if you have no access to vegan food, go vegetarian.[150]

Gary L. Francione, another prominent rights theorist, argues that "all sentient beings should have at least one right – the right not to be treated as property," and that adopting veganism must be the unequivocal baseline for anyone who sees nonhuman animals as having intrinsic moral value:[147] He argues that the pursuit of improved conditions for animals, rather than the abolition of animal use, is like campaigning for "conscientious rapists" who will rape their victims without beating them. The pursuit of animal welfare does not move us away from the paradigm of animals qua property, and serves only to make people feel comfortable about using them.[148]

Ethical veganism is based on opposition to speciesism, the assignment of different values to individuals on the basis of species membership alone. There is a division within animal rights theory between a rights-based (deontological) approach and a utilitarian (consequentialist) one, reflected in the debate about the moral basis of veganism. Tom Regan, a rights theorist, argues that animals possess value as "subjects-of-a-life," because they have beliefs and desires, an emotional life, memory and the ability to initiate action in pursuit of goals; they must therefore be viewed as ends in themselves. He argues that the right of subjects-of-a-life not to be harmed can be overridden by other valid moral principles, but that the reasons cited for eating animal products – pleasure, convenience and the economic interests of farmers – are not weighty enough to do that.[146]

Gary Francione speaking about veganism, 2009

Ethical veganism


Lanolin from sheep's wool is another common ingredient, found in lip balm and moisturizers, as is stearic acid, used in face creams, shaving foam and shampoos; as with glycerine, it can be plant-based but most manufacturers use the animal-derived form. Lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid derived from animal milk, is often found in moisturizers, as is allantoin, derived from the comfrey plant or cows' urine, and found in shampoos, moisturizers and toothpaste.[145]

Because animal ingredients are cheap, they are ubiquitous in toiletries. After animals are slaughtered for meat, the leftovers (bones, brains, eyes, spines and other parts) are put through the rendering process, and some of that material, especially the fats, ends up in toiletries and cosmetics. Vegans often refer to Animal Ingredients A to Z (2004) to check which ingredients might be animal-derived. Common animal products include tallow in soap, and glycerine (derived from collagen), which is used as a lubricant and humectant in haircare products, moisturizers, shaving foam, soap and toothpaste; there is a plant-based form but the glycerine in most products is animal-based.[145]

[144] Kiss My Face sells vegan toiletries in the United States, Canada and the UK.

The British Vegan Society criteria for vegan certification are that the product contain no animal products, and that neither the product nor its ingredients have been tested on animals by or on behalf of the manufacturer, or by anyone over whom the manufacturer has control. The society's website contains a list of certified products.[141] Beauty Without Cruelty is a well-known manufacturer of vegan toiletries and cosmetics. Animal Aid in the UK sells vegan toiletries online, as does Honesty Cosmetics.[142]

Cochineal, from the female cochineal insect, is used for pink shades in cosmetics and food.[140]

Symbol on products certified by the Vegan Society

Vegan toiletries

[139] Newspapers reported cases of

As of 2003 the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada considered well-planned vegan diets "appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence."[131] The German Society for Nutrition cautioned against a vegan diet for pregnant women and children as of 2011.[128] The American Dietetic Association added that a regular source of B12 is crucial for pregnant, lactating and breastfeeding women.[132] According to Reed Mangels, maternal stores of B12 appear not to cross the placenta,[133] and researchers have reported cases of vitamin B12 deficiency in lactating vegetarian mothers that were linked to deficiencies and neurological disorders in their children.[134] Pregnant vegans may also need to take extra vitamin D, depending on their exposure to sunlight and whether they are eating fortified foods.[135] Doctors may recommend iron supplements and folic acid for all pregnant women (vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian). A doctor or registered dietitian should be consulted about taking supplements during pregnancy.[136]

Pregnancy, babies and children

A 1999 meta-analysis of five studies comparing mortality rates in Western countries found that mortality from ischemic heart disease was 26 percent lower in vegans than in regular meat-eaters. This was compared to 20 percent lower in occasional meat eaters, 34 percent lower in pescetarians (those who ate fish but no other meat), and 34 percent lower in ovo-lacto vegetarians (those who ate no meat, but did consume animal milk and eggs). No significant difference in mortality from other causes was found between vegetarian/vegan and non-vegetarian diets.[129] In 2011 a study of self-reported diabetes-free people aged over 40 found a correlation between diet and cataract risk, with a vegan diet appearing the least risky.[130]

Between 1980 and 1984 the Oxford Vegetarian Study recruited 11,000 subjects (6,000 vegetarians and a control group of 5,000 non-vegetarians) and followed up after 12 years. The study indicated that vegans had lower total- and LDL-cholesterol concentrations than the meat-eaters, and that death rates were lower in the non-meat eaters. The authors wrote that mortality from ischemic heart disease was positively associated with higher dietary cholesterol levels and the consumption of animal fat. They also wrote that the non-meat-eaters had half the risk of the meat eaters of requiring an emergency appendectomy, and that vegans in the UK may be prone to iodine deficiency.[122]

In 2013 the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council recognized a well-planned vegan diet as a viable option for people of any age; they recommended that vegans eat B12-fortified foods or take supplements.[127] As of 2011 the German Society for Nutrition did not recommend a vegan diet and cautioned against it for children, the pregnant and the elderly.[128]

The United States Department of Agriculture's MyPlate allows for an entirely plant-based diet. It recommends five food groups (grains, vegetables, fruits and protein, with a small amount of dairy or calcium-fortified soymilk); the protein component can come from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds.[84] The USDA allows meat to be replaced with tofu in the National School Lunch Program.[91] The British National Health Service's Eatwell Plate is also consistent with a vegan diet: its five groups are fruits and vegetables; potatoes, bread and other starchy foods; dairy products (which they say can be swapped for vegan alternatives); meat, fish, eggs or beans for protein; and fat and sugar.[85]

The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) and Dietitians of Canada published a joint position paper in 2003 on vegan diets, in which they wrote that properly planned vegan diets were nutritionally adequate for all stages of life, including pregnancy and lactation. The paper said that people avoiding meat were reported to have a lower BMI, and that from this followed lower death rates from ischemic heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and fewer incidences of type 2 diabetes and prostate and colon cancers.[10] They indicated that vegetarian diets may be more common among adolescents with eating disorders, but that its adoption may serve to camouflage an existing disorder, rather than cause one.[126]

Craig wrote that compared to other vegetarians, "vegans tend to be thinner, have lower serum cholesterol, and lower blood pressure". He added that eliminating all animal products increases the risk of deficiencies of vitamins B12 and D, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids; he advised vegans to eat foods fortified with these nutrients or take supplements, and warned that iron and zinc may also be problematic because of limited bioavailability. There is no good evidence that a vegan diet helps prevent cancer in people.[125]

Vegans appear to be at least as healthy as other types of vegetarian, and benefit from a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease though they might be at increased risk of suffering from low bone mineral density if not supplementing the base diet.[9]

Evaporating iodine. Iodine supplementation may be necessary for vegans in some countries; it can be obtained from vegan multivitamins or regular consumption of seaweeds, such as kelp.[123]

Health arguments

Iodine supplementation may be necessary for vegans in countries where salt is not typically iodized, where it is iodized at low levels, or where, as in Britain and Ireland, dairy products are relied upon for iodine delivery because of low levels in the soil.[122] Iodine can be obtained from most vegan multivitamins or from regular consumption of seaweeds, such as kelp.[123] The RDA is 110 mcg (0–six months), 130 mcg (7–12 months), 90 mcg (1–8 years), 120 mcg (9–13 years), 150 mcg (14+). The RDA for pregnancy and lactation is 220 and 290 mcg respectively.[124]


Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid, is found in leafy green vegetables and nuts, and in vegetable oils such as canola and flaxseed oil. The Adequate Intake for ALA is 1.1–1.6 g/day.[120] Vegan Outreach suggests vegans take 1/4 teaspoon of flaxseed oil (also known as linseed oil) daily, and use oils containing low amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, such as olive, canola, avocado or peanut oil.[121]

Flaxseed oil contains a high level of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid.

Omega-3 fatty acids

According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, high-iron foods suitable for vegans include black-strap molasses, lentils, tofu, quinoa, kidney beans and chickpeas.[117] Nutritionist Tom Sanders writes that iron absorption can be enhanced by eating a source of vitamin C along with a plant source of iron, and by avoiding coingesting anything that would inhibit absorption, such as tannin in tea.[118] Sources of vitamin C might be half a cup of cauliflower, or five fluid ounces of orange juice, consumed with a plant source of iron such as soybeans, tofu, tempeh or black beans. Some herbal teas and coffee can inhibit iron absorption, as can spices that contain tannins (turmeric, coriander, chillies and tamarind).[119]

The hemochromatosis, a relatively common condition that can remain undiagnosed. The daily tolerable upper intake level, according to the National Institutes of Health, is 40 mg for 7 months to 13 years, and 45 mg for 14+.[116]

Vegetarian and vegan diets usually contain as much iron as animal-based diets, or more; vegan diets generally contain more iron than vegetarian ones because dairy products contain very little. There are concerns about the bioavailability of iron from plant foods, assumed by some researchers to be around 5–15 percent compared to 18 percent from a nonvegetarian diet.[112] Iron deficiency anaemia is found as often in nonvegetarians as in vegetarians, though studies have shown vegetarians' iron stores to be lower.[113]

Molasses is high in iron.


Supplements should be used with caution because vitamin D can be toxic, especially in children.[110] The RDA is 10 mcg for 0–12 months, 15 mcg for 1–70 years, and 20 mcg for 70+.[107] People with little or no sun exposure may need more, perhaps up to 25 mcg daily.[111] The extent to which sun exposure is sufficient to meet the body's needs depends on the time of day, cloud and smog cover, skin melanin content, whether sunscreen is worn, and the season. According to the National Institutes of Health, most people can obtain and store sufficient vitamin D from sunlight in the spring, summer and fall months, even in the far north. They report that some researchers recommend 5–30 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen between ten in the morning and three o'clock in the afternoon, at least twice a week. They also report that tanning beds emitting 2–6 per cent UVB radiation will have a similar effect, though tanning may be inadvisable for other reasons.[107]

Most vegan diets contain little or no vitamin D, unless the food is fortified (such as fortified soy milk), so supplements may be needed depending on exposure to sunlight.[107] Vitamin D comes in two forms. Cholecalciferol (D3) is synthesized in the skin after exposure to the sun, or consumed in the form of animal products; when produced industrially it is taken from lanolin in sheep's wool. Ergocalciferol (D2) is derived from ergosterol from yeast and is suitable for vegans. Conflicting studies have suggested that the two forms may or may not be bioequivalent.[108] According to a 2011 report by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences, the differences between D2 and D3 do not affect metabolism, both function as prohormones, and when activated exhibit identical responses in the body.[109]

Vitamin D (calciferol) is needed for several functions, including calcium absorption, enabling mineralization of bone, and bone growth. Without it bones can become thin and brittle; together with calcium it offers protection against osteoporosis. Vitamin D is produced in the body when ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin; outdoor exposure is needed because UVB radiation does not penetrate glass. It is present in very few foods (mostly salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod liver oil, with small amounts in cheese, egg yolks and beef liver, and in some mushrooms).[107]

According to the National Institutes of Health, most people can obtain enough vitamin D from sunlight in the spring, summer and fall.[107]

Vitamin D

The EPIC-Oxford study suggested that vegans have an increased risk of bone fractures over meat eaters and vegetarians, likely because of lower dietary calcium intake; vegans consuming more than 525 mg/day have a risk of fractures similar to that of other groups.[104] A 2009 study of bone density found the bone mineral density (BMD) of vegans was 94 percent that of omnivores, but deemed the difference clinically insignificant. Another study in 2009 by the same researchers examined over 100 vegan post-menopausal women, and found that their diet had no adverse effect on BMD and no alteration in body composition.[105] Biochemist T. Colin Campbell suggested in The China Study (2005) that osteoporosis is linked to the consumption of animal protein; he argued that, unlike plant protein, animal protein increases the acidity of blood and tissues, which is then neutralized by calcium pulled from the bones.[106]

Vegans are advised to eat three servings per day of a high-calcium food, such as fortified soy milk, fortified tofu, almonds or hazelnuts, and to take a supplement as necessary.[10] Plant sources include broccoli, turnip and cabbage, such as Chinese cabbage (bok choi) and kale; the bioavailability of calcium in spinach is poor. Whole-wheat bread contains calcium; grains contain small amounts.[102] Because vitamin D is needed for calcium absorption, vegans should make sure they consume enough vitamin D (see below).[103]

Calcium is needed to maintain bone health and for a number of metabolic functions, including muscle function, vascular contraction and vasodilation, nerve transmission, intracellular signalling and hormonal secretion. Ninety-nine percent of the body's calcium is stored in the bones and teeth. The RDA for adults is 1,000 mg for 19–50 years, 1,000 mg for 51–70 years (men) and 1,200 mg (women), and 1,200 mg for 71+.[102]

Bok choi is high in calcium.


There is disagreement within the vegan community as to whether supplementation is needed; several studies of vegans who did not take supplements or eat fortified food, including in Western countries, have found no sign of B12 deficiency.[99] According to Mangels et al., the disagreement is caused by the lack of a gold standard for assessing B12 status, and because there are very few studies of long-term vegans who have not used supplements or fortified foods.[100] There are reports that certain plant foods are sources of B12; fermented foods such as tempeh and miso, as well as edible seaweed (such as arame, wakame, nori, and kombu), spirulina, and certain greens, grains and legumes, have been cited as B12 sources, as has rainwater. Barley malt syrup, shiitake mushrooms, parsley and sourdough bread have also been referenced, but these products may be sources of inactive B12.[101] Mangels et al. write that all Western vegans not using supplements or eating fortified foods will probably develop a B12 deficiency, although it may take decades to appear.[100]

Western vegan diets are likely to be deficient in B12 because of increased hygiene. Vegans can obtain B12 by taking a supplement or by eating fortified foods, such as fortified soy milk or cereal, where it may be listed as cobalamin or cyanocobalamin.[97] B12 supplements are produced industrially through bacterial fermentation-synthesis; no animal products are involved in that process. The RDA for adults (14+ years) is 2.4 mcg (or µg) a day, rising to 2.4 and 2.6 mcg for pregnancy and lactation respectively; 0.4 mcg for 0–6 months, 0.5 mcg for 7–12 months, 0.9 mcg for 1–3 years, 1.2 mcg for 4–8 years, and 1.8 mcg for 9–13 years.[98]

Neither plants nor animals make B12; it is produced by microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi and algae. Herbivorous animals obtain it from bacteria in their rumens, either by absorbing it or by eating their own cecotrope faeces; rabbits, for example, produce and eat cecal pellets. When those animals are eaten, they become sources of B12. Plants from the ground that are not washed properly may contain B12 from bacteria in the soil, often from faeces; drinking water may also be contaminated with B12-producing bacteria, particularly in the developing world.[94] Mangels et al. write that bacteria in the human digestive tract produce B12, but most of it is not absorbed and is expelled in the faeces, with tiny amounts also expelled in the urine. James Halsted, a medical researcher, reported in the 1960s that a group of villagers in Iran eating very little or no animal protein were found to have normal B12 levels because they were living with animal manure near their homes, and were eating vegetables grown in human manure and not thoroughly washed. The human mouth is another source of B12, but in small amounts and possibly analogue (not biologically active).[96]

Vitamin B12 is a bacterial product needed for cell division, the formation and maturation of red blood cells, the synthesis of DNA, and normal nerve function. A deficiency can lead to several health problems, including megaloblastic anemia and nerve damage.[94] The consensus among nutritionists is that vegans and even vegetarians should eat foods fortified with B12 or use supplements.[11] That vegans are unable in most cases, at least in the West, to obtain B12 from a plant-based diet is often used as an argument against veganism.[95]

Tofu (soybeans) with spinach and mushroom

Vitamin B12

Traditional combinations that contain high amounts of all the essential amino acids are rice and beans, corn and beans, and hummus and whole-wheat pita. The American Dietetic Association said in 2009 that a variety of plant foods consumed over the course of a day can provide all the essential amino acids for healthy adults, which means that protein combining in the same meal may not be necessary.[92] Mangels et al. write that there is little reason to advise vegans to increase their protein intake, but erring on the side of caution (taking into account the lower digestibility and poorer amino acid pattern of plant protein), they would recommend a 25 percent increase over the RDA for adults, to 1.0 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.[93]

Soy beans and quinoa are known as complete proteins because they each contain all the essential amino acids.[90] Mangels et al. write that consuming the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein (0.8 g/kg body weight) in the form of soy will meet the biologic requirement for amino acids.[64] In 2012 the United States Department of Agriculture ruled that soy protein (tofu) may replace meat protein in the National School Lunch Program.[91]

Sources of plant protein include legumes, such as soy beans (consumed as tofu, tempeh, texturized vegetable protein, soy milk and edamame), peas, peanuts, black beans and chickpeas (the latter often eaten as hummus); grains such as quinoa (pronounced keenwa), brown rice, corn, barley, bulgur and wheat (often eaten as whole-wheat bread and seitan); and nuts and seeds, such as almonds, hemp and sunflower seeds.[89]

Proteins are composed of amino acids. Nutritionist Reed Mangels writes that omnivores generally obtain a third of their protein from plant foods, and ovo-lacto vegetarians a half.[87] Vegans obtain all their protein from plant sources. A common question is whether plant protein supplies an adequate amount of the essential amino acids, which cannot be synthesized by the human body.[88]

Rice and beans is a common vegan protein combination.


According to nutritionist Winston Craig, writing in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2009, vegan diets tend to be higher in dietary fibre, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron and phytochemicals, and lower in calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12.[86]


The PCRM vegan food group was intended to replace the Four Food Groups – meat, milk, vegetables and fruit, and cereal and breads – recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 1956 until 1992.[83] In 1992 the USDA replaced its model with the food guide pyramid, and in 2011 with MyPlate, which is consistent with a vegan diet. It is divided into five food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy (or calcium-fortified soymilk), and protein; the protein includes meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds).[84] In the UK the National Health Service recommends the Eatwell Plate, also with five food groups that are consistent with a vegan diet: fruits and vegetables; potatoes, bread and other starchy foods; dairy or non-dairy alternatives; meat, fish, eggs or beans for protein; and fat and sugar.[85]

Since 1991 the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has recommended a no-cholesterol, low-fat vegan diet based on what they call the New Four Food Groups: fruit, legumes, grains and vegetables. Legumes include peas, beans, lentils and peanuts. PCRM recommends three or more servings a day of fruit (at least one of which is high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruit, melon or strawberries), two or more of protein-rich legumes (such as soybeans, which can be consumed as soy milk, tofu or tempeh), five or more of whole grains (such as corn, barley, rice and wheat, in products such as bread and tortillas), and four or more of vegetables (dark-green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, and dark-yellow and orange such as carrots or sweet potatoes).[82]

Vegan food groups

For vegan pancakes a tablespoon of baking powder can be used instead of eggs.[80] Other ingredients include, to replace one egg, one tablespoon of soy flour and one tablespoon of water; a quarter cup of mashed bananas, mashed prunes or apple sauce; or in batter two tablespoons of white flour, half a tablespoon of vegetable oil, two tablespoons of water and half a tablespoon of baking powder.[78] Silken (soft) tofu and mashed potato can also be used.[81]

Vegan (egg-free) mayonnaise brands include Vegenaise, Nayonaise, Miso Mayo and Plamil's Egg-Free Mayo.[77] Eggs are used in recipes as thickeners and binders; the protein in eggs thickens when heated and binds the other ingredients together.[78] This effect can be achieved in vegan recipes with ground flax seeds; replace each egg in a recipe with one tablespoon of flaxseed meal mixed with three tablespoons of water. Commercial egg substitutes, such as Bob's Red Mill egg replacer and Ener-G egg replacer, are also available.[79]

Egg replacements

In 2014 Oakland's Counter Culture Labs and Sunnyvale's BioCurious produced vegan cheese in the lab from casein extracted from genetically modified yeast. The team identified casein-producing genes in cow DNA, then optimized the genes to work within yeast. They synthesized the gene in a gene compiler. With added sugar and vegetable oil, the resulting mixture could be used to make any cheese. The group said that no genetically modified material remained in the casein, so that the cheese itself was not genetically modified, nor were any animals directly involved.[76]

Cheese analogues are made from soy, nuts and tapioca. Vegan cheeses such as Chreese, Daiya, Sheese, Teese and Tofutti can replace both the taste and meltability of dairy cheese.[71] Nutritional yeast is a common cheese substitute in vegan recipes.[72] Cheese substitutes can be made at home, using recipes from Joanne Stepaniak's Vegan Vittles (1996), The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook (1997), and The Uncheese Cookbook (2003), and Mikoyo Schinner's Artisan Vegan Cheese (2012).[73] One recipe for vegan brie involves combining cashews, soy yogurt and coconut oil.[74] Butter can be replaced with a vegan margarine such as Earth Balance.[75]

Plant cream and plant milk, such as soy milk, almond milk, grain milk (oat milk and rice milk) and coconut milk, are used instead of cows' or goats' milk. Soy and almond milk are widely available. Soy milk provides around 7 g of protein per cup (240 ml or 8 fluid ounces), compared with 8 g of protein per cup of cow's milk. Almond milk is lower in calories, carbohydrates and protein.[69] Soy milk should not be used as a replacement for breast milk for babies; babies who are not breastfed need commercial infant formula, which is normally based on cows' milk or soy (the latter is known as soy-based infant formula, or SBIF).[70]

Plant milk, cheese

Dishes based on soybeans are a staple of vegan diets, because soybeans are a complete protein; this means they contain all the essential amino acids for humans, and can be relied upon entirely for protein intake.[64] They are consumed most often in the form of soy milk and tofu (bean curd), which is soy milk mixed with a coagulant; tofu comes in a variety of textures, depending on water content, from firm, medium firm and extra firm for stews and stir-fries, to soft or silken for salad dressings, desserts and shakes. Soy is also eaten in the form of tempeh and texturized vegetable protein (TVP) (also known as textured soy protein, TSP); TVP is often used in pasta sauces.[65]

Vegan diets are based on grains and other seeds, legumes (particularly beans), fruits and nuts.[63] Meat analogues (mock meats) based on soybeans (tofu), or wheat-based seitan/gluten, are a common source of plant protein, usually in the form of vegetarian sausage, mince and veggie burgers.

Further information: Vegan recipes
Vegan cuisine at Wikibook Cookbooks


Vegan diet

There is disagreement among vegan groups about avoiding products from insects. Ethical vegans regard modern beekeeping as cruel and exploitative. Neither the Vegan Society nor the American Vegan Society considers honey, silk and other insect products as suitable for vegans, while Vegan Action and Vegan Outreach view it as a matter of personal choice.[61] Agave nectar is a popular vegan alternative to honey.[62]

To obtain milk from dairy cattle, cows are kept pregnant through artificial insemination to prolong lactation. Male calves are slaughtered at birth, sent for veal production or reared for beef. Female calves are separated from their mothers within 24–48 hours of birth and fed milk replacer, so that the cows' milk is retained for human consumption.[58] After five years or so they are slaughtered to be made into ground-meat products, although they might otherwise live for 20 years.[59] The situation is similar with goats and their kids.[60]

The main difference between a vegan and vegetarian diet is that vegans exclude eggs and dairy products; ethical vegans state that the production of eggs and dairy causes animal suffering and premature death. In both battery cage and free-range egg production, most male chicks are culled because they will not lay eggs and there is no financial incentive for a producer to keep them.[57]

Vegans avoid eggs because they believe egg production causes animal suffering.

Milk, eggs, honey and silk

Ethical vegans will not use these products, and will try to avoid anything tested on animals. They will also avoid certain vaccines; the production of the flu vaccine, for example, involves the use of hens' eggs. Depending on their circumstances, vegans may donate non-vegan items to charities, or use them until they wear out. Some vegan clothes, in particular leather alternatives, are made of petroleum-based products, which has triggered criticism because of the environmental damage associated with production.[56]

Animal products include meat, poultry and seafood, eggs, dairy products, honey and beeswax, fur, leather, wool, silk, goose down and duck feathers; they also include lesser known products such as bone char, bone china, carmine, casein, cochineal, gelatin, isinglass, lanolin, lard, rennet, shellac, tallow, whey and yellow grease. Many of the lesser known ones may not be identified in the list of ingredients.[55]

The issue that divided the 19th- and early 20th-century vegetarians, namely whether to avoid animal products for reasons of ethics or health, persists. Dietary vegans avoid consuming animal product, but might use them in clothing and toiletries.[52] Ethical vegans see veganism as a philosophy; they reject the commodification of animals and will not use them for food, clothing, entertainment or any other purpose.[53] The British Vegan Society will only certify a product if it is free of animal involvement as far as possible and practical, including animal testing.[54]

Lard from pigs


Animal products

In Europe the Times of London estimated in 2005 that there were 250,000 vegans in the UK (out of a population of 60 million), in 2006 The Independent estimated 600,000, and in 2007 two percent of respondents in a British government survey self-identified as vegan.[48] The British market for tofu and mock meats was £786.5 million a year in 2012.[49] The Netherlands Association for Veganism estimated that there were 16,000 vegans in the Netherlands as of 2007, around 0.1 percent of the population.[50] The German Vegetarian Society said in 2013 that there were 800,000 vegans in Germany (out of a population of nearly 82 million).[44] According to the animal rights organization Vegan-Friendly, there are approximately 300,000 vegans in Israel, nearly four percent of the population.[51]

In the United States surveys between 1996 and 2012 suggested that between 0.5 and three percent (1.5 to over nine million people) were vegan. In 1996 three percent said they did not use animals for any purpose.[46] A 2006 Harris Interactive poll suggested that 1.4 percent were dietary vegans; a 2008 survey for the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) reported 0.5 percent; a 2009 VRG survey said that it was one percent (two million out of a population of 313 million, or one in 150); and a 2012 Gallup poll reported two percent.[47]

A demonstration of Vegans in Tel Aviv, Israel. About 5% of Israel's population is considered to be Vegan, and another 8% Vegetarian.[45]

Demographics (1996–present)

In 2010 the European Parliament adopted a food-labelling guideline that defined vegan (in force as of 2015).[41] The first known vegetarian butcher shop, De Vegetarische Slager (selling mock meats), opened in the Netherlands in 2010,[42] and in 2011 Europe's first vegan supermarkets appeared in Germany. Vegilicious opened in Dortmund,[43] and the first chain, Veganz, opened in Berlin and several other cities.[40] In 2013 the Oktoberfest in Munich, traditionally a meat-heavy affair, offered vegan dishes for the first time in its 200-year history.[44]

Celebrities, athletes and politicians began to adopt vegan diets, some seriously, some part-time.[39] The idea of the "flexi-vegan" gained currency, to the irritation of ethical vegans; in his book VB6 (2013), New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman recommended sticking to a vegan diet before 6 pm.[40]

In 2011 the Associated Press reported that in the United States the vegan diet was "moving from marginal to mainstream"; chefs said vegan entrees were becoming popular, and chain restaurants began to mark vegan items on their menus.[38] The interest in veganism in the 2010s was reflected in increased page views on WorldHeritage. The English WorldHeritage article on veganism was viewed 73,000 times in August 2009 but 145,000 times in August 2013; articles on veganism were viewed more during this period than articles on vegetarianism in the English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish WorldHeritages.[35]

From the late 1970s a group of scientists in the United States – physicians John A. McDougall, Caldwell Esselstyn, Neal D. Barnard, Dean Ornish, Michael Klaper and Michael Greger, and biochemist T. Colin Campbell – began to argue that diets based on animal fat and animal protein, such as the standard American diet, were detrimental to health. They proposed that a low-fat, plant-based diet would prevent, and might reverse, certain chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.[36] Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, said in his documentary The Last Heart Attack (2011) that Campbell's The China Study (2005) had changed the way people all over the world eat, including Gupta himself.[37]

Interest in veganism in the 2010s was reflected in increased page views for the topic on WorldHeritage.[35]

Achieving mainstream acceptance (2000s–2010s)

The first vegan society in the United States was founded in 1948 by Catherine T. Nimmo of Oceano, California, and Rubin Abramowitz of Los Angeles.[32] Originally from the Netherlands, Nimmo had been a vegan since 1931; when the Vegan Society was founded in England she began distributing its newsletter to her own mailing list.[33] In 1957 H. Jay Dinshah visited a slaughterhouse and read some of Watson's literature. He gave up all animal products and, on 8 February 1960, founded the American Vegan Society (AVS) in Malaga, New Jersey. He incorporated Nimmo's society and linked veganism to the concept of ahimsa, a Sanskrit word meaning "non-harming." The AVS called this "dynamic harmlessness" and named its magazine Ahimsa.[34]

Founding the American Vegan Society

In 1956 Leslie Cross founded the Plantmilk Society to explore how to produce a commercial soy milk, and as Plamil Foods it began production in 1965 of one of the first widely distributed soy milks in the Western world.[30] According to Joanne Stepaniak, the word vegan was independently published for the first time in 1962, in the Oxford Illustrated Dictionary, defined as "a vegetarian who eats no butter, eggs, cheese or milk."[31]

Two vegan books appeared around this time. The Leicester Vegetarian Society published Vegetarian Recipes without Dairy Produce by Margaret B. Rawls, and in the summer of 1946 the Vegan Society published Vegan Recipes by Fay K. Henderson.[28] In 1951 the society broadened its definition of veganism to "the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals," and pledged to seek an end to the use of animals "for food, commodities, work, hunting, vivisection and all other uses involving exploitation of animal life by man."[29]

Watson issued the first newsletter, Vegan News, in November 1944 (priced tuppence, or a shilling for a year's subscription); Watson said later that the word vegan (/ˈviːɡən/) represented "the beginning and end of vegetarian."[26] Readers also suggested allvega, neo-vegetarian, dairyban, vitan, benevore, sanivores and beaumangeur, but Watson stuck with vegan. The new Vegan Society held its first annual meeting on 15 December 1945 at the Attic Club, High Holborn, London.[25] World Vegan Day has been held every 1 November since 1994 to mark the society's founding date.[27]

In July 1943 Leslie Cross of the Leicester Vegetarian Society expressed concern in its newsletter that vegetarians were still consuming cows' milk.[24] In August 1944 several Vegetarian Society members, including Donald Watson, asked that a section of its magazine be devoted to non-dairy vegetarianism. When the request was turned down, Watson suggested setting up his own quarterly newsletter; thirty readers sent him a shilling to fund it.[25]

Donald Watson (1910–2005) coined the term vegan and founded the British Vegan Society in 1944.

Coining the term vegan, founding the Vegan Society

The first known vegan cookbook, Rupert H. Wheldon's No Animal Food: Two Essays and 100 Recipes, appeared in London in 1910.[20] Historian Leah Leneman writes that there was a vigorous correspondence between 1909 and 1912 within the Vegetarian Society about the ethics of dairy and eggs; to produce milk, cows are kept pregnant and their calves are removed soon after birth and killed, while male chicks are killed in the production of eggs because surplus to requirements.[21] The society's position remained unresolved, but its journal noted in 1923 that the "ideal position for vegetarians is abstinence from animal products."[22] In November 1931 Gandhi gave a speech, "The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism," to the society in London (attended by 500 people, including Henry Salt), arguing that it ought to promote a meat-free diet as a moral issue, not only in the interests of human health.[23]

Vegetarians interested in the moral aspects of diet began to discuss abstaining from animal use entirely. An 1851 article in the Vegetarian Society's magazine discussed alternatives to leather for shoes.[18] In 1886 the society published A Plea for Vegetarianism by the English campaigner Henry Salt, which argued for vegetarianism as a moral imperative; Salt was one of the first to make the paradigm shift from the promotion of animal welfare to animal rights.[19] His work influenced Mahatma Gandhi and the men became friends.[12]

There were several attempts in the 19th century to establish strict-vegetarian communities. In 1834 Amos Bronson Alcott, father of novelist Louisa May Alcott, opened the Temple School in Boston, Massachusetts, on strict-vegetarian principles.[15] In 1844 he founded Fruitlands, a short-lived community in Harvard, Massachusetts, which opposed the use of animals for any purpose, including farming.[3] In England in 1838 James Pierrepont Greaves opened Alcott House in Ham, Surrey, a community that followed a strict-vegetarian diet.[16] Members of Alcott House were involved in 1847 in forming the British Vegetarian Society, which held its first meeting that year in Ramsgate.[17]

[14] Vegetarians who also avoided eggs and dairy were known as strict or total vegetarians.[13]

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