What can a vegan not eat

Why vegans also do without eggs and milk

What do vegans eat?

Vegans go one step further than vegetarians in their diet: They do not eat meat, eggs, cheese, yogurt or butter. All food that comes from animals is taboo for vegans. Try our vegan recipes.

What's behind it?

The reason for the total waiver: Vegans are against any kind of animal husbandry for the food industry. No animals have to be killed for eggs, cheese, yoghurt or milk, but these radical vegetarians believe that laying hens and dairy cows are by no means kept in a species-appropriate manner. "Vegans are a little more consistent in their behavior," says Sebastian Zösch (31 / photo), managing director of the Vegetarian Association Germany and a convinced vegan himself. After all, real vegans don't just avoid animal foods. They also do without any form of leather, do not wear fur and do not sleep on down pillows. Because all of these products come from animals. Sometimes their rules seem bizarre to outsiders: Many vegans also do without honey - because, in their opinion, honey bees are exploited by humans.

Why do vegans eat this way?

Factory farming, climate change, monocultures - in principle, the same ethical and ecological waiver reasons apply to vegans as to vegetarians, they are only more consistent in this, in their opinion. Do you think they are better eaters as a result? "There are quite a few vegans who see their way as the better," admits Sebastian Zösch. Most of them, however, are very relaxed contemporaries.

How many vegans are there in Germany?

Nevertheless, vegans are so far only a relatively small minority: The Vegetarian Association estimates that around 600,000 vegans live in Germany. "But we assume that the number will increase in the near future," says Zösch. The reason: At some point, many vegetarians are no longer consistent enough with their diet. This is what happened to Sebastian Zösch: "After a while I noticed that animals were harmed by consuming eggs and milk." He believes that every vegetarian will deal with this topic at some point.

What do nutrition experts say about vegans?

A vegetarian diet is now considered safe, but when it comes to vegan diets, scientists urge caution: Vegans are also better protected from civilization diseases. However, if you eat the wrong way as a vegan, you can suffer from a lack of iron, zinc, calcium, iodine, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin B2 or omega-3 fatty acids. "Despite all ethical reasons: As a vegan, it is not enough just to leave out eggs and milk. Anyone who wants to eat vegan has to be very careful about how to replace the missing nutrients," says nutrition expert Prof. Claus Leitzmann. That means: A vegan diet should be well prepared.

Proteins can be obtained from legumes, iron from millet or amaranth and omega-3 fatty acids from nuts. But with vitamin B12 it becomes more difficult. Most of them rule out any compensation recommended by the American Dietetic Association, for example through dietary supplements. After all, many vitamin pills are coated with gelatin capsules. And those in turn come from animal processing. In addition, there are also more and more vegan foods that are fortified with the vitamin.