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Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal product—particularly in diet—and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. An individual who follows the diet or philosophy is known as a vegan. Distinctions may be made between several categories of veganism. Dietary vegans, also known as "strict vegetarians", refrain from consuming meat, eggs, dairy products, and any other animal-derived substances. An ethical vegan is someone who not only follows a plant-based diet but extends the philosophy into other areas of their lives, opposes the use of animals for any purpose, and tries to avoid any cruelty and exploitation of all animals including humans. Another term is "environmental veganism", which refers to the avoidance of animal products on the premise that the industrial farming of animals is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.
|Pronunciation||Veganism // VEE-gə-niz-əm|
Vegan // VEE-gən
|Description||Avoiding the use of animal products, particularly in diet|
|Term coined by||Dorothy Morgan and Donald Watson (November 1944)|
|Notable vegans||List of vegans|
|Notable publications||List of vegan media|
Well-planned vegan diets are regarded as appropriate for all stages of life, including infancy and pregnancy, as said by the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, the British Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, the New Zealand Ministry of Health, and the Italian Society of Human Nutrition. The German Society for Nutrition—which is a non-profit organisation and not an official health agency—does not recommend vegan diets for children or adolescents, or during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The components of a whole-foods plant-based vegan diet including legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts—along with little to no consumption of refined foods and animal products, are widely acknowledged to be highly beneficial for both avoiding and treating type 2 diabetes, also known as metabolic syndrome; some evidence suggests that a vegan diet can help with weight loss, especially in the short term. Vegan diets tend to be higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and phytochemicals, and lower in dietary energy, saturated fat, cholesterol, omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12. As a result of the elimination of all animal products, a vegan diet may lead to nutritional deficiencies that nullify any beneficial effects and may cause serious health issues. some of which can only be prevented with fortified foods or dietary supplements. Vitamin B12 supplementation is important because its deficiency can cause blood disorders and potentially irreversible neurological damage; this danger is also one of the most common in poorly-planned non-vegan diets.