Meet Sudanese and South Sudanese Vegans and Vegetarians. Yes, They Exist.

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All over the world, there has been a rise in veganism and vegetarianism, mostly out of compassion for animals and a personal responsibility towards sustainability and reducing carbon emissions. It is believed there are at least one billion vegetarians worldwide. Among all the countries, India ranks top with nearly 38% of the population being vegetarian because of the country’s religious beliefs.

And now, the trend has found its way to Sudan and South Sudan. The Sudanese cuisine is meat heavy and a majority of the Sudanese and South Sudanese people are carnivores or meat eaters. However, some Sudanese men and women have found ways to say no to meat. They have chosen to become vegans or vegetarians and have introduced ways to turn popular Sudanese dishes meat-free.

Vegetarianism and veganism

Vegetarianism is the practice of eating food obtained from plants and abstaining from meat. Veganism was born out of vegetarianism, and vegans not just abstain from eating meat but also all animal products like diary, honey and eggs.

People are drawn to vegetarianism for a multitude of reasons, some of which include religion, ethical motivation, health, environmental conservation, economic factors, dislike of meat and culture.

Vegetarians and vegans generally eat a diet of grains, pulses, nuts and seeds and fruits and vegetables. Vegetarians, who are not vegans, also eat dairy products and eggs but completely abstain from meat, poultry, seafood and animal by-products like gelatine.

There are also other forms of plant-only or herbivore diets such as:

  • Fruitarianism and Jain vegetarianism permit only fruit, nuts, seeds, and other plant matter that can be gathered without harming the plant. Jain vegetarianism also includes dairy, but excludes eggs, honey, and root vegetables.
  • Macrobiotic diets consist mostly of whole grains and beans.
  • Lacto vegetarianism includes dairy products but not eggs.
  • Ovo vegetarianism includes eggs but not dairy products.
  • Ovo-lacto vegetarianism (or lacto-ovo vegetarianism) includes animal products such as eggs, milk, and honey.
  • Pescetarianism includes fish and possibly other forms of seafood.
  • Pollo-pescetarianism includes poultry and fish, or white meat only.
  • Pollotarianism includes chicken and possibly other poultry.

500 Words Magazine spoke to some Sudanese and South Sudanese vegans and vegetarians from around the world who’ve shared their story about their meat-free lifestyles. Find out more on 500 Words Magazine.

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