Veganism, as defined by the Vegan Society, is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far(sic) as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
There are three main types of vegans: dietary vegans, ethical vegans, and environmental vegans.
Dietary vegans (often known as plant-based) do not eat any animal products (yes, that includes honey). They restrict their diets for reasons that run the spectrum of a moral objection to animal products to a belief in the nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet.
Ethical vegans not only follow a vegan diet, but they also expand their abstinence to any animal by-product or any product that involves exploiting animals. For instance, they will not go to a zoo, attend the Kentucky Derby, wear leather shoes, or buy a down comforter. Moby is a well-known example of an ethical vegan.
The expression “vegan for the animals” is used to differentiate those who have gone vegan because of their empathy towards animals from those who have made the switch for environmental reasons. Those aware of the destructive impact that industrial farming has on the environment and who then make the choice to give up animal products in an attempt to lessen their complicity in the problem are environmental vegans.
As a general rule, I try not to feel the pressure these labels may carry, but rather I remind myself that I am doing the best I can with the knowledge I have. If you are trying to do the right thing, you are already taking a step in the right direction. That is what Get Seasoned is all about. I started with a first step years ago, and now I have a long road of ethical choices behind me, choices I am proud of. I’m still learning everyday, and my hope is that I can transfer some of that knowledge and help others on their journey.