Veganism isnt a new concept, but its been receiving more and more attention lately.

In fact, online searches for the term vegan have risen by more than 250% over the last 5 years.

In the past few years, several celebrities have gone vegan, and a growing number of vegan products have appeared in stores.

This article explains what a vegan is, what vegans eat and why people choose to eat this way.

What Is a Vegan?

The term €œvegan€ was coined in 1944 by a small group of vegetarians who broke away from the Leicester Vegetarian Society to form the Vegan Society.

These people chose not to consume dairy, eggs or any other products of animal origin, in addition to not eating meat like the vegetarians.

Therefore, they felt the need to form a society that better represented their views.

The term vegan was chosen by combining the first and last letters of the word vegetarian. Veganism was originally defined as €œthe principle of emancipation of animals from exploitation by man.€

In 1979, the Vegan Society became a registered charity and updated that definition.

Veganism is currently defined as a way of living that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, be it for food, clothing or any other purpose.

Several types of vegans exist. The most common types are:

  • Dietary vegans: This term is often used interchangeably with €œplant-based eaters€ and refers to those who choose to avoid animal products in their diet but continue to use them in other products, such as clothing and cosmetics.
  • Whole-food vegans: Vegans who favor a diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
  • Junk-food vegans: Vegans who rely heavily on processed vegan food, such as vegan meats, fries, vegan frozen dinners and vegan desserts, such as Oreo cookies and non-dairy ice cream.
  • Raw-food vegans: Vegans who consume raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, as well as foods cooked at temperatures below 118°F (48°C) (22).
  • Low-fat, raw-food vegans: Also known as fruitarians, this subset of raw vegans limits high-fat foods, such as nuts, avocados and coconuts and relies mainly on fruit. Sometimes other plants are also eaten in smaller amounts.
  • Bottom Line: The main types of veganism include dietary, whole-food, junk-food, raw-food or low-fat, raw-food vegans.