Veganism is on the march.

With now more than half a million vegans in the UK –

– what does it actually mean?

It might seem obvious what being vegan is but there is even an app – Is It Vegan? – to check if certain products count or not.

Simply scan a product and the app will analyse its ingredients and give you the thumbs up or down.

Budding vegans and curious meat eaters may be wondering about the finer details about what the lifestyle entails.

The definition of veganism – according to The Vegan Society who coined the term in 1944 is:

‘A philosophy and 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 and by extension promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans – animals and the environment.

In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals’.

It is therefore more than just cutting out meat and dairy products but a more comprehensive lifestyle choice striving to avoid animal cruelty and exploitation.