A vegan is someone who avoids all animal products entirely ? usually for dietary and ethical or moral reasons. But now a new term has been coined, the "veggan" diet, which adds eggs to the menu.
Unsurprisingly, not everyone is happy with the addition of eggs, with one news article labeling the diet "pretty disrespectful".
The term "veggan" is a clever play on words - vegan plus eggs. And that's really all it is. Someone is a veggan if they stick to a vegan diet - consisting of no animal products - but have a cheeky egg at weekend brunch, or even as part of their daily diet.
The diet is officially called "ovo-vegetarian", but that doesn't make quite as catchy an Instagram hashtag as #veggan!
Why are vegans eating eggs?
Strict vegans are understandably confused or concerned about the addition of eggs, which stem from a sometimes questionably industry in terms of ethics and animal treatment.
So why are some people choosing to add eggs to their otherwise plant-based diet? Some say it's the taste - the simply need their googey fix. Yet for others, they find it closes the gap in nutrition, providing an extra hit of vitamins and protein that the strict vegan diet sometimes misses.
But isn't a vegan diet healthy already?
The vegan diet has been found to be, on the whole, a healthy way to live - since vegans tend to have healthier hearts, slimmer waistlines, and a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 dibaetes. They also consume fewer calories and less saturated fat, and so have lower cholesterol levels. A vegan typically eats a high-fibre diet by default, given their high intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
However, vegetarians and vegans can be at risk of developing a vitamin B12 deficiency, according to several studies.
Eggs just happen to be an egg-scellent source of B12, as well as containing about a quarter of the recommended daily intake of protein, plus vitamins D, iodine, and selenium.
So why is vegganism controversial?
Here's the main concern some vegans have with the veggan diet: people usually don't go vegan for dietary reasons. It's often because they believe strongly in animal rights and welfare, are conscious of the environmental footprint of animal products and the people who consume them, as well as other personal and moral reasons.
They tend to understand that shunning animal products for those reasons does mean they will have to find core macro and micronutrients elsewhere to ensure they have enough fuel for their bodies.
And yes, while eggs are unfertilised and hence are deemed to be ?non-animal?, many vegans have issues with the egg industry in the way that male chicks and killed once born, as well as the way some producers treat their hens.
What if you really like eggs?
If you're a vegan who likes eggs, needs more protein, but doesn't want to eat any animal products, there are alternatives on the market. You can cook and bake with many egg substitutes, or try the new "vegan egg" - a product a little like vegan sausages and burgers.
Or you could become a veggan and see if it improves your health; just be warned you may get criticised for your Instagram pics of eggs on avocado with the hashtag #veggan.
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