Lets Rename Vegan to Hevegan

Veganism is trendy and a simple name is good for marketing. Veganism should be very contributing as it can achieve 3 important objectives if it is implemented correctly. First, it helps saves the world as eating less meat can help reduce carbon dioxide emission. Figure 1 shows how serious the greenhouse emissions of meat consumption. Beef, for example, would emit 221.63gCO2e per gram of beef protein, in comparison with 4.62gCO2e per gram of wheat protein. [1]

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Figure 1 Greenhouse Gas Emission per gram of Protein, source: https://ourworldindata.org/meat-and-seafood-production-consumption

Second, veganism can help save animals. Thousands of animals are currently found living in ‘inhumane’ conditions on farms [2], and are found to be abused with antibiotics. Veganism may be a way to change the current large-scale animal cruelty situation.

Third, veganism can help save human lives. There has been some scientific evidence supporting a whole food plant-based diet is conducive to good health and prevent chronic diseases. [3]

However, the third point may be misleading. Vegan food can only be non-animal-based, but may not be a whole food. More importantly, veganism may not be healthy. There have been many articles discussing about the unhealthiness of veganism, for example, “A vegan diet laden with refined grains like white rice and bread; juices and sweetened drinks; cookies, chips and crackers; and dairy-free ice cream is hardly a healthful way to eat.” [4]

Last week, I have conducted an experiment by myself. I have ordered in advance a vegan meal on a plane. Unexpectedly, they served me sweetened drink and muffin, refined grains like white bread, and gave me margarine. They are vegan by definition, but cannot be regarded as healthy foods.

Thus, I suggest a new term HEVEGAN to stand for Healthy Vegan, so that we can really achieve the above 3 purposes:

Since there are still controversies on the healthiness of whole food, it is better to use the term Healthy Vegan without specifying which types of food are healthy. It may take time to have more scientific studies to confirm what are healthy foods.

Lets rename Vegan to Hevegan, to help save more lives!


[1] Ritchie, Hannah and Roser, Max (2017) Meat and Seafood Production & Consumption, August. https://ourworldindata.org/meat-and-seafood-production-consumption

[2] Blakeley, Kiri (2017) California poultry ranch is charged with animal cruelty after thousands of chickens are found crammed into cages so small that they were laying eggs on top of dead birds, Dailymail, Feb 8. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4202404/Poultry-ranch-charged-inhumane-animal-cruelty.html

[3] Flink, Tanya (2018) Plant-based Diet May Prevent Chronic Disease Among the Elderly, Says Study, Livekindy, March 30. https://www.livekindly.com/plant-based-diet-may-prevent-chronic-disease-among-elderly-says-study/

[4] Brody, Jane (2017) Good Vegan, Bad Vegan, The New York Times, Oct. 2. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/02/well/eat/good-vegan-bad-vegan.html

ecyY is the Founder of Real Estate Development and Building Research & Information Centre REDBRIC

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