Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated rejection of the commodity status of animals. A follower of either the diet or the philosophy is known as a vegan.
Dietary vegans refrain from eating animal products, not only meat but also egg and dairy products and other animal-derived products. The term "ethical vegan" is often applied to those who extend the philosophy beyond diet into other areas of their lives. Environmental veganism refers to avoiding animal products on the premise that harvesting or industrial farming of animals is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.
The term vegan was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson when he co-founded the Vegan Society in England. At first this meant "non-dairy vegetarian" and later that one "should live without exploiting animals".
A sharp distinction between humans and “animals” is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them–without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeeling toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us.