History of Veganism

by Sanjeev Kapoor
                                                                                            History of Veganism
Did you know that the term ‘Vegan’ was coined by a British woodworker named Donald Watson in 1944? Veganism, as we all know it, is a philosophy and a way of life that essentially eliminates the consumption and use of products procured by putting animals in harm's way. 

Veganism dates back to as early as 500 BCE that was not a very widely used term long after. In the recent past, veganism as a term was revived and today, people all over the world have started abiding by this way of life once again.

Veganism is a diet that completely excludes animal meat and products but in today’s age, vegans also entirely avoid dairy products as those are derived from animals too. Over the years, with the many advancements in technology and the increased knowledge base, people around the world are creating alternatives for products that are beneficial for the human body. This came around because everyone across the globe is used to a certain diet and completely avoiding certain foods is not feasible with the current lifestyle hence, that led to the creation of dairy as well as meat alternatives. 

Isn’t it fascinating how civilisation moves in a complete circle? What was once a common practice lost its touch and gained it back a thousand years after. 

Veganism in India also goes back many centuries. Early 'moral vegetarian' philosophers such as Mahavira and Acharya Kundakunda believed in and preached the concept of vegetarianism which carries on to date as a religious concept followed by a significant percentage of Indians. Nowadays, with the world switching their beliefs to that of veganism, Indians, apart from being vegetarian, are also moving a step higher and giving up dairy products in order to turn vegan. 

Apart from supporting the humanitarian cause by ensuring the exclusion of meat, veganism is also a more environmentally friendly way of living. The production of meat, dairy, eggs, fish, and material derived from animals is comparatively more resource-intensive as compared to plant-based food and products. The high volume of land, crops, and water required to raise livestock is a leading cause of deforestation and the extinction of species. Hence, going vegan is an extremely effective way of reducing our individual carbon footprints. 

People who do not follow the philosophy of veganism simply assume that the food consumed by vegans is ‘Not Food’, but that is absolutely untrue. With the advancement of our civilisations, the food that is consumed by vegans is full of flavour and provides the same wholesome nutrition as non-vegan diets. So, if you are looking to turn vegan, what’s stopping you?

For those of you who enjoy cooking and consuming a vegan diet, you can follow many of my recipes including Chocolate Chip Cookies, Tofu Makhanwala, Kulfi, Yogurt, Kadhi, among many others! 

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.