With more Aussies and Kiwis adopting the vegan way of life more than ever, words like ‘plant-based’ and ‘cruelty-free’ can seem like a whole new language. Well, queue Justin Bieber’s ‘What Do You Mean?’, we’re here to decipher the Da Vinci Code that can be vegan vocab, regulations, rules and common choices, to get you in the know of what it means to live a vegan life.
What does it mean to be vegan? Can someone please explain what ‘vegan-friendly’ means? Is veganism just about animal products, are we talking about more than food? Let’s start from the very beginning – text book style.
Definition of vegan
a person who does not eat or use animal products.
“I’m a strict vegan”
using or containing no animal products.
“a vegan diet”
Lesson 1: what exactly does it mean to be ‘vegan-friendly’?
Spoiler – it doesn’t mean you’re particularly welcoming to vegans (although, we do endorse that). There are two ways of looking at being ‘vegan-friendly’. Just like our menu at Lord of the Fries, products are vegan-friendly when they are made without animal products. Businesses can also dupe themselves as vegan-friendly if they have adapted or can adapt to the needs of vegan customers.
To clear it up; Lord of the Fries is not just vegan-friendly offering vegan options, we are the vegan option. Every item on our menu is vegan.
The next step: But is being a vegan limited to food?
So, you’re passionate about animal rights and have committed to the vegan diet, but does a vegan lifestyle extend to other areas of their life? ‘Vegan’ is commonly thought of in the context of diet, but actually refers to anything free of animal products, not just food.
The next best thing after Lord of the Fries’ plant-based menu is vegan clothes, of course! Some vegans don’t wear clothes made with animals’ skin, hair or feathers. So, you won’t find furs, leather, silk, wool and feathers in their wardrobe. Instead, they deck themselves out with plant fabrics (including cotton, linen and hemp) and manufactured materials (including polyester, acrylic and nylon). Don’t know where to get this stuff? PETA endorse brands and stockists that sell vegan clothing and accessories in their ‘PETA-Approved Vegan’ programme.
Wait, there’s more: Is the vegan lifestyle just food and clothing?
Nope! It goes further than that. Did you know you this extends to skincare too?
Back to the vocab lesson for a second – Cruelty Free refers to products that haven’t harmed animals in their process. Vegans won’t buy cosmetics or products that have been tested on animals, opting for cruelty-free or vegan (products not including animal products like milk) instead.
These aren’t as hard to come by as you might think. Non-profit organisations, including Choose Cruelty Free, actively campaign against animal testing and provide consumers with a help list of Cruelty Free vegan products sold in Australia.
Something to remember: What about activities?
Going on a date with a vegan? Best friend just make the switch? Not sure where to take them? A little tip, you’re unlikely to see a vegan visiting a zoo, aquarium, racetrack, or safari park. Vegans support animals being in their natural habitat, not enclosed for our entertainment and profit. The exception – animal rescue centres!
This seems like a lot of work…
Not a vegan, but thought about becoming one? Do you think that there are a lot of changes to make to your current lifestyle? Fear not.
Many vegans begin their lifestyle change through their dietary choices. From there, if you ultimately embrace a full vegan lifestyle, other changes may unfold naturally – just like our own Brekky menu, which became 100% vegan in March 2018.
A great first place to start? Pop in and taste the plant-based innovations from Beyond Meat, we’ve got the Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage for all you plant-based food lovers out there. Both look, cook and taste just like real meat, the catch? They’re 100% vegan!