The vegan lifestyle – A crowing trend
More and more people are talking about the vegan way of life. In Germany, according to the national consumption study, 800,000 people now forgo animal products. And that number is increasing.
It’s no wonder: living without causing animals suffering from it is an admirable attitude.
Not only do vegans abstain from eating animals, they also do not use products of animal origin. They forgo eggs, milk and yogurt, as well as cheese and honey. They do not buy leather shoes and do not wear silk, because silkworms die for this product. Vegans use animal-free cosmetics and cleaning products.
Vegans have various reasons for their lifestyle:
- Respect for animals is usually at the top of the list. Vegans do not want animals to suffer or for any animals to be killed.
- Ecological reasons also play a role in the vegan lifestyle. The extent of present-day milk and meat consumption requires extensive animal husbandry. This often causes over-fertilized and over-acidified soils and contaminated drinking water, as well as an increased output of climate-change-relevant gases.
- According to an investigation by the Albert Schweitzer Foundation, there is another motive that is particularly important for older people: they eat vegan for health reasons.
- The VEBU, an advocacy group for vegetarian and vegan people in Germany, mentions further motives, such as combating world hunger or simply enjoyment as such.
How healthy is a vegan diet really?
There is some evidence that a vegan diet is at least healthier than the average diet. The vegetarian alternative is well-researched.
- Vegetarians eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grain products and nuts. As a result, they have more vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium and folic acid in their diets.
- By avoiding sausage and meat, they consume less saturated fat than the average citizen.
All this also applies to vegans, but experts advise them to take at least a vitamin B12 supplement. This supplement is recommended, in particular, for women who have been vegan for years and then want to become pregnant: it ensures that unborn and later breast-fed children are optimally supplied with the vitamin. In most cases, doctors are preaching to the choir here: As a rule, vegans are well-informed, and it is self-evident for them to take B12.
Vegan – a question of definition
For vegans, the origin of products is crucial. Because living vegan doesn’t mean simply forgoing meat, milk, and eggs. Vegans read ingredient lists, since they also have to pay attention to indirect consumption. Ingredients of animal origin can be concealed in aromas, for example. Foods with animal rennet or gelatin are also taboo. This means that most gummi bears are not vegan. However, the Organic Janosch Bear Friends or Organic Malt- and Grapesugar Bears from Frusano are! These are produced without gelatin.
For a vegan declaration on a Frusano product, we ensure that the product contains neither direct nor indirect ingredients of animal origin. We check every ingredient and pay attention to animal-free production.
Among vegans, it is a minimum consensus for a vegan life, to be mindful of the ingredients, whether direct or indirect animal products are used. In addition, vegans differ in their view of strictly observing the rules of animal-free consumption. This is a huge challenge in today's often very complicated and sometimes non-transparent production processes.
For many products, it is difficult to see whether they contain hidden substances of animal origin. For example, lactic acid bacteria might be added to a bread dough - and these might have grown in a milk-containing nutritive solution. Apples from the supermarket are sometimes waxed (this must be apparent to the customer). Various means are suitable for this purpose, including beeswax. Flavors and additives can be obtained from animal starting materials.