What is Veganism? Vegan Alternatives for Everyday Ingredients

Vinita Contractor

What is Veganism?

Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. This means refraining from consumption of animal products, such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, milk products and use of other animal-derived substances such as leather, honey, silk etc.

Many people feel it is a fad or that it is a diet but in actuality it is a movement, it is philosophy, it is a lifestyle choice. A lot of people are interested to know more about the vegan diet. So it’s no surprise that ‘Going vegan’ is predicted to be a fast growing food trend.

 There are 3 main reasons for people choosing veganism.

  1. Health
  2. Environmental/ Ecological
  3. Ethical

Health

People may often choose the vegan diet because it is believed to, at times, have helped in health issues like cardio vascular disease conditions, diabetes, obesity and as such. It is considered to be the most sustainable and effective way to maintain fitness and a healthy body. All this is possible with a healthy vegan diet, which includes WHOLE FOOD and PLANT- BASED food consisting of whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, sprouts, seeds and nuts, and not an unhealthy vegan diet which may include foods rich in oil, sugar or refined foods.

Environmental/ Ecological

Industrial agriculture and factory farming of animals system is often held responsible for global greenhouse emissions and it may often depend on fossil fuels for transportation and synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. This tells us that our food choices can directly impact the environment.

Ethical

Millions of people in the world may not have food to eat. Even when we produce enough grain and corn to feed everyone in the world. A large part of the grain and corn are used to feed livestock. This grain may be able to feed the human population that is going hungry. In my personal opinion, Veganism  is a sustainable and compassionate. 

To help you try this alternative lifestyle, here are 10 Vegan Alternatives to Everyday Ingredients 

10 everyday Vegan Alternatives 

  1. Milk for tea or coffee- cashew milk, almond milk, soy milk.
  2. Curd- can be made with any of the above mentioned plant-based milks. Set it with a non dairy starter culture.
  3. Paneer- use Tofu
  4. Cheese- can be made with fermented cashew paste
  5. Ghee- use coconut butter
  6. White Makkhan – can be made with coconut cream
  7. Butter- use nut or seed butter made with pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts or almonds.
  8. Milk for kheer or porridge- use coconut milk
  9. Cream for Dal Makhani- use thick coconut milk
  10. Meat- you can use mock meat, jackfruit, mushrooms