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Welcome to the Vegan Village
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Please note that this page is no longer being updated. You may still find some of the links below useful, otherwise please do browse the main Vegan Village site which is updated daily - click here for the Vegan Village index page.
National Grid for Learning
  This page of the Vegan Village was created especially for the (now defunct) National Grid for Learning, and is the only section intended for non-vegans. The following links lead to websites and pages which outline the main vegan issues and provide answers to your questions about veganism (external links will open in a new window).
Why do vegans...
  The Vegan Society collection of factsheets cover the core vegan issues such as dairy, eggs, honey, and silk, plus information about the "hidden" animal by-products such as gelatine and whey. (Many people are amazed when they learn what it is in their food - for example did you know that Quorn contains eggs or that many wines are "fined" using blood, bone marrow, fish oil or gelatine.)
Is veganism healthy?
  Just like in the rest of the population, there are healthy vegans and unhealthy vegans. Being vegan per-se does not make you one or the other, although (contrary to popular opinion) it does appear that a balanced vegan diet can help to protect you from some diseases - see the health section for relevant links. Animal Aid's Veggie Month pages include summaries of the key issues and you can send for a free Veggie Pack. The Vegan Society provide factsheets on calcium and protein. There have been some very famous and respected vegan athletes and there are even vegan bodybuilders!
What do vegans eat?
  The simple answer is "anything they want" - vegans just choose not to eat animal products. See our recipes section for links to the best vegan recipe websites. Many ready-made alternatives to animal food products are also available, including "cheeses", milks, sausages, burgers, "fish fingers" and "bacon" rashers. "The Animal Free Shopper", published by the Vegan Society, is an excellent guide to vegan products and is available from several of the online vegan shops.
Why vegan?
  Vegans are vegan for many reasons, including ethical/moral, health/diet and spiritual/religious (see the Vegan Profile). Some of the vegan homepages explain why people became vegan. "Vegan Stories" by Julie Rosenfield is a collection of stories from vegans around the world, and is available to order from several of the online vegan shops.
How many vegans?
  Best estimates put the number of vegans in the UK at around 250,000 (see The Vegan Research Panel Factfile for sources and more statistics).
Vegans are odd, aren't they?
  Vegans are just like anyone else - some are odd and some are not! Find out more about what makes vegans tick in the vegan homepages section. The Vegan Society holds a list of local contacts.
Further reading
The Vegan Village listings link to all the key vegan-run organisations in the UK. Below are a taster of some that may be of particular interest to students and teachers.
Vegan families and children
  The Vegan Family House is an excellent resource for families, with information and support for vegan families and good links.
Food distribution and environment
  Vegfam is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to feed the hungry without exploiting animals. VON is a not-for-profit organisation promoting vegan-organic agriculture.
Vegan statistics
  The Vegan Research Panel produces twice yearly online surveys of vegans. Questions can be placed on behalf of vegan researchers to support major projects/theses. (The panel is run by Imaner Consultants, who also run the Vegan Village.)
Vegan business
  Browse through the listings to see the wide range of professionals who carry their personal beliefs over into their working lives. For example, the Redwood range is 100% vegan and is produced in a purpose-built animal-free factory, while Ethical Wares state that "by the sale of these vegan products we hope to play our part in the promotion of a cruelty-free lifestyle".
Animal rights

The Animal Aid website has a wealth of information including factsheets, videos, the philosophical Great Debate and a Youth website. They stock some excellent books including "Animal Century" by Mark Gold and "Animal Liberation" by Peter Singer. Uncaged Campaigns are leading the campaign for a Universal Declaration of Animal Rights. Both organisations promote a cruelty-free, vegan lifestyle.

Animal experiments
  The Uncaged Campaigns website includes fully researched and referenced information about animal experiments and xenotransplantation. Many people confuse the rejection of animal experiments with a stance against medical progress. This is not the case at all, and organisations such as the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine demonstrate that there is considerable professional support for the case against animal experiments, on both moral and scientific grounds. The Dr Hadwen Trust funds non-animal based research.
And finally, some light relief
  Vegan cartoons from Vegetus, and 101 reasons not to be a vegan. And don't miss the excellent "Little Book of Vegan Poems" by Benjamin Zephaniah.