Vegans avoid eating any animal-derived foods, including meat, fish, poultry, milk, eggs and honey. This includes other foods made from animal-derived products, such as cheese, butter, lard and gelatin. Vegans also often avoid using animal-derived products unrelated to food, such as leather, wool, fur and goose down.
People typically become vegans for several different reasons, including ethical, environmental and health-related reasons. For instance, some people become vegans for moral reasons, in order to protest what they see as the unethical and inhumane treatment of animals for food. They believe not only that it is immoral to slaughter animals for food, but that institutions such as factory farms and dairies subject animals to cruel and immoral treatment even while they are still alive. As a result, vegans refuse to buy any animal products at all in order to avoid supporting what they see as an immoral industry.
Similarly, people may also become vegans for environmental reasons. Raising animals for food has a significant negative impact on the environment. For example, it is estimated that the methane produced by keeping livestock for food is one of the most significant factors causing global warming, according to Vegan.com. It is also more efficient and uses fewer resources to raise crops directly for human consumption, rather than raising them to feed livestock. As a result, many people become vegans in order to lessen their environmental footprints.