Fruitlands, a short-lived vegan community established in 1844 by Amos Bronson Alcott in Harvard, Massachusetts
Mahatma Gandhi, Vegetarian Society, London, 20 November 1931, with Henry Salt on his right
Barbara Moore attended the first meeting of the Vegan Society as an observer.
German strongman Patrik Baboumian, who starred in the 2018 documentary The Game Changers to demonstrate that athletes can thrive on a vegan diet
Mock meats in a supermarket in Vienna
Modern methods of factory farming are considered highly unethical by most vegans.
Vegan soap made from olive oil; soap is usually made from tallow (animal fat).
Soy milk
Vegan dish
Healthy vegan meal composition shown using the food plate method
Granola oatmeal with soy milk. Oatmeal is a rich source of manganese and a moderate source of protein, fiber, phosphorus, and zinc.
Pigs, as well as chicken and cattle, often have their movement restricted.
The amount of globally needed agricultural land would be reduced by three-quarters if the entire population adopted a vegan diet.
Reduction of one's carbon footprint for various actions. A plant-based diet in this study referred to a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. Vegan diets are known to have lower carbon footprints.
Vegan graffiti showing an enclosed V in Lisbon, Portugal

Practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.

- Veganism

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Practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat .

Parshwanatha founded Jain vegetarianism in 9th century BCE, which is widely considered to be the earliest form of planned vegetarian diet.
Emperor Tenmu began bans on killing and eating meat in 675 CE in Japan.
Labeling is mandatory in India to distinguish vegetarian products (green) from non-vegetarian products (brown).
A variety of vegan and vegetarian deli foods.
A vegetarian hamburger with potato slices.
Acorn soup
A fruit stall in Barcelona
Sign promoting vegetarianism at Key Monastery, Spiti, India.
Sanitarium products for sale.
The food choices of Jains are based on the value of Ahimsa (non-violence).
At the Sikh langar, all people eat a vegetarian meal as equals.

As the strictest of vegetarian diets, a vegan diet excludes all animal products, including eggs and dairy (and even extends to abstain the use of any animal derived product).

Animal product

Any material derived from the body of an animal.

A dish called "Duck, Duck, Duck" because the three parts come from the complex body of the duck: duck eggs, duck confit and roast duck breast
Varieties of goat cheese
Slaughterhouse waste

Other diets, such as vegan-vegetarian diets and all its subsets exclude any material of animal origin.

Plant-based diet

Diet consisting mostly or entirely of plant-based foods.

Food from plants
European respondents to a climate survey conducted in 2021-2022 by the European Investment Bank say that most people will switch to a plant-based diet within 20 years to help the environment

They do not need to be vegan or vegetarian but are defined in terms of low frequency of animal food consumption.


Animal flesh that is eaten as food.

A selection of uncooked red meat and poultry
A typical shoulder cut of lamb
A Hereford bull, a breed of cattle frequently used in beef production.
Dog meat sold at Gyeongdong Market, Seoul, South Korea
Fresh meat in a supermarket in North America
Blade steaks are an example of "red" meat
A slaughterhouse of the meat company Atria in Seinäjoki, South Ostrobothnia, Finland
In the meat products sector of the Rungis International Market, France.
The word "sausage" is derived from Old French saussiche, from the Latin word salsus meaning "salted".
Cereal-use statistic showing an estimated large fraction of crops used as fodder
Meat production is a main driver of tropical deforestation, in the Amazon largely due to beef production/exports
Life-cycle assessment of GHG emissions for foods – beef is the food with the largest carbon footprint, mainly due to methane production from cows
A spit barbecue at a street fair in New York City's East Village.
Pork ribs being smoked
Sautéed reindeer with mashed potatoes, lingonberry and gherkin.
Risk of 25 common conditions per >70g/day daily intake of unprocessed red and processed meat according to a study using UK Biobank data.
Risk of ischemic heart disease for each 50 g per day increase in processed meat consumption

There are nonetheless people who choose to not eat meat (vegetarians) or any animal products (vegans), for reasons such as taste preferences, ethics, environmental concerns, health concerns or religious dietary rules.

Diet (nutrition)

Sum of food consumed by a person or other organism.

A selection of magnesium containing food consumed by humans. The human diet can vary widely.
Raw food tacos prepared with guacamole, non-fried beans and sour cream. Raw foodism promotes the consumption of food which has not been cooked.

Many do not eat food from animal sources to varying degrees (e.g. flexitarianism, pescetarianism, vegetarianism, veganism) for health reasons, issues surrounding morality, or to reduce their personal impact on the environment, although some of the public assumptions about which diets have lower impacts are known to be incorrect.

Dairy product

Dairy products or milk products, also known as lacticinia, are food products made from (or containing) milk.

Dairy, like this cow's milk, is the basis of all dairy products.
Dairy products made from water buffalo milk, Philippines
Milk products and production relationships
Condensed milk
Whipped cream
Kefir is a fermented probiotic dairy drink
Ice cream

Some people avoid some or all dairy products either because of lactose intolerance, veganism, or other health reasons or beliefs.

Vitamin B12

Water-soluble vitamin involved in metabolism.

A vitamin B12 solution (hydroxocobalamin) in a multi-dose bottle, with a single dose drawn up into a syringe for injection. Preparations are usually bright red.
A blister pack of 500 µg methylcobalamin tablets
Methylcobalamin (shown) is a form of vitamin B12. Physically it resembles the other forms of vitamin B12, occurring as dark red crystals that freely form cherry-colored transparent solutions in water.

Vegans—people who choose to not consume any animal-sourced foods—are at risk because plant-sourced foods do not contain the vitamin in sufficient amounts to prevent vitamin deficiency.

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Medical condition in which the blood and tissue have a lower than normal level of vitamin B12.

Possible oral manifestation of B12 deficiency: erythema and depapillation of the tongue in a patient. From Kim et al., 2016.
MRI image of the brain in vitamin B12 deficiency, axial view showing the "precontrast FLAIR image": note the abnormal lesions (circled) in the periventricular area suggesting white matter pathology.
MRI image of the cervical spinal cord in vitamin B12 deficiency showing subacute combined degeneration. (A) The midsagittal T2 weighted image shows linear hyperintensity in the posterior portion of the cervical tract of the spinal cord (black arrows). (B) Axial T2 weighted images reveal the selective involvement of the posterior columns.
Hydroxocobalamin injection is a clear red liquid solution.

In infants of vegans, undetected and untreated deficiency can lead to poor growth, poor development, and difficulties with movement.


Ancient Indian principle of nonviolence which applies to all living beings.

Lord Mahavira, the torch-bearer of ahimsa
The 5th-century CE Tamil scholar Valluvar, in his Tirukkural, taught ahimsa and moral vegetarianism as personal virtues. The plaque in this statue of Valluvar at an animal sanctuary at Tiruvallur describes the Kural's teachings on ahimsa and non-killing, summing them up with the definition of veganism.
Gandhi promoted the principle of Ahimsa by applying it to politics.
The hand with a wheel on the palm symbolises the Jain Vow of Ahimsa. The word in the middle is Ahimsa. The wheel represents the dharmacakra which stands for the resolve to halt the cycle of reincarnation through relentless pursuit of truth and non-violence.
Buddhist monk peace walk

Between the 1st century BCE and 5th century CE, Valluvar emphasized ahimsa and moral vegetarianism as virtues for an individual, which formed the core of his teachings.

Straight edge

Subculture of hardcore punk whose adherents refrain from using alcohol, tobacco, and other recreational drugs, in reaction to the excesses of punk subculture.

A straight-edge tattoo
Minor Threat, pictured in 1981, coined the term straight edge.
Youth of Today, youth crew pioneers
The Brazilian vegan straight edge band Point of No Return in 2006
Italian straight edge band To Kill performing at a club
Boston straight edge band Have Heart's 2019 reunion show outside the Worcester Palladium had the highest attendance of any hardcore show in history.

For some, this extends to refraining from engaging in promiscuous sex, to following a vegetarian or vegan diet, and to not using caffeine or prescription drugs.