Thursday, February 23, 2006

Vegan diet holds lessons for others | Lifestyles: "Ever eat a cheeseless pizza or dunk a cookie into a glass of soymilk? For about one out of every 100 people, avoiding all animal products -- meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products -- is second nature.

They're vegan (VEE-gun) -- vegetarians who go a few steps farther than the rest. In fact, most vegans also steer clear of honey, and some avoid refined sugar (much of it is whitened with bone char).

What motivates people to go to such extremes?

Vegans are typically motivated by convictions about ecology, world hunger and animal rights. Any use of animals that exploits them or contributes to suffering is off-limits, and that extends to clothing and cosmetics, too. Vegans don't wear leather, wool or silk and they avoid makeup, shampoo and other household products made with animal ingredients or tested on animals.

Health reasons may be motivating factors, too, though they usually aren't the driving force.

Vegans (and vegetarians) are less likely than nonvegetarians to be overweight, and they have lower rates of coronary artery disease. They have lower blood cholesterol levels and lower rates of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer."

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