Do you love vegetables? We do! Golden ears of corn standing tall in the fields…green, leafy heads of lettuce sitting in a row…sweet peas nestled in a pod…these are the things we look forward to eating when the harvest comes!

Did you know that there are some people who eat a diet that consists only of plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains? We call these people vegetarians. Vegetarians make a choice — for a variety of reasons — not to eat meat.

Some people, though, take vegetarianism one step further. Not only will they not eat meat, but they refuse to eat any type of food (and sometimes even refuse to use any type of product) that comes from an animal. We call these plant-based eaters vegans.

For example, a vegetarian might pass up a slice of pepperoni pizza and have a slice of plain cheese pizza instead. A vegan, however, will pass on the plain cheese pizza, too, since cheese is a dairy product that comes from a cow.

Likewise, vegans will avoid other non-meat foods that come from animals that vegetarians might otherwise eat. Examples of such foods include eggs, butter and milk.

Many vegetarians choose to eat only vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains for health reasons. A vegetarian diet is usually low in fat and cholesterol. It’s also often high in fiber and low in calories.

Vegans might choose to avoid all animal products for health reasons, too, but many of them have other concerns. Vegans often choose their diet based upon a belief that animals should not be used by people for food or to make consumer products of any kind.

Have you ever thought about being a vegetarian or a vegan? Before making any kind of a choice to follow a specific type of diet, make sure you discuss it with your parents, as you’ll need their help.

In addition to buying the right kinds of foods, you’ll also need an adult’s help to make sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs. Meat provides protein, iron and other important vitamins and minerals. These nutrients may be missing in a vegetarian or vegan diet if you’re not careful to replace them with non-meat foods or nutritional supplements.

Today, veganism is becoming more popular and mainstream. More and more vegan restaurants are opening and many professional athletes have turned to a vegan diet to improve their health and performance. Studies have shown that vegan diets can help to reduce many health conditions, such as heart disease.

Most grocery stores also now offer a variety of vegan alternatives to popular products. For example, cow’s milk is often replaced by almond milk or soy milk. These alternative types of milk also can be used to make vegan versions of cheese. You also can find soy used to make meatless versions of traditional meat products, like hamburgers.

 

52 Join the Discussion

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  1. That was a nice video. It made me hungry. My class goes on wonderopolis almost every day. I only respond at home. My little sister Sophie really likes going on wonderopolis with me. I think tomorrow’s wonder is about teeth.

    • We think it’s SO GREAT that you share Wonderopolis with your sister, Sophie, at home, Emilie! It’s awesome that you and your classmates visit us at school, too! You are a WONDERful Wonder Friend and we hope you have the best day EVER! :-)

    • Thanks so much for sharing what you think tomorrow’s Wonder might be about, Clay! We like your guess! Learning about dentists would be quite interesting! :-)

  2. I am not a vegan or a vegetarian. I love to eat meat. It is like the best food in the world. I like this wonder because it shows that people can be different when it comes to food. Wonderopolis, do you like to eat meat?

    • We really appreciate your positive, respectful attitude about today’s Wonder and how you said you liked learning some of the differences in what people eat, Cassidy! Some of us here in Wonderopolis only like to eat vegetables, but some of us really like to eat meat, too. We are all respectful of each other and our different food choices, though! :-)

    • That’s a SUPER guess, Rahul! We like it a lot! We think zippers would be something WONDERful to WONDER about! We hope your guess is correct! :-)

  3. I know someone who is vegan and someone who is vegetarian. I bet I can’t be a vegan for one single day, I love meat and chicken also I like eggs, cheese and milk. :-)

    • Thanks for sharing that you have both vegan and vegetarian friends, “Wonder!” We like your honesty in whether or not you would enjoy being a vegan, too. It is a choice that many people make for lots of different reasons! We hope you have a FANTASTIC Friday! :-)

    • We’re sure there are LOTS of Wonder Friends who would agree with you about that, Zac! Thanks for sharing your opinion with us today! :-)

  4. Hi wonderopolis. I did not know what a vegan was, but my mom told me. It is when you don’t eat meat or stuff that comes from animals. We are not vegan. I will come back this summer and see the WONDERful wonders and comments. Have a happy WONDERing day.

    • We really like your comment, Olivia! Thanks for hanging out in Wonderopolis with us today and learning about being a vegan! We can’t wait for you to visit us over the summer…it’s going to be a WONDERful time! :-)

  5. Some of us would not be able to live without meat. Ten of us like to eat vegetables, but it took Mr. Draper a long time to enjoy them. We think tomorrow’s wonder will be about who invented the zipper. They sure are helpful for our pants and jackets. Have a WONDERFUL Memorial Day Weekend! Congratulations on your 600th WONDER!

    • Thanks so much for congratulating us on our 600th Wonder, Mr. Draper’s Class! You guys ROCK! Did you know that YOU GUYS deserve BIG congratulations, too? Wonderopolis is such a FUN place to learn and explore because AWESOME people like YOU (and all of our other amazing Wonder Friends) visit us each day and leave us super comments! We wouldn’t be where we are today without you guys! :-)

      We hope you ALL have a WONDERful Memorial Day Weekend, as well! :-)

  6. Hey, my family was trying out to be a vegetarian for a week, but we haven’t done it yet, but it will be exciting. Thanks for sharing this with us. :)

    I think tomorrow’s wonder of the day is going to be what are scabs.

    • You’ll have to leave us another comment on this Wonder after you and your family have given vegetarianism a try for a week, OK, Jocelyn? We can’t wait to hear how your experience went and what things you liked and didn’t care for about it! Thanks so much for sharing your SUPER comment with us today! :-)

    • We’re so very happy to hear from you today, Olivia’s Mom! Thank you for sharing how much Olivia enjoys learning in Wonderopolis. That makes our day! She is a WONDERful young person and we value her creative, well-thought-out comments very much! Have a GREAT day! :-)

    • Hi, Caelah! We’re super sorry you can’t see the video for today’s Wonder! We include a video for each Wonder of the Day®. Sometimes we showcase videos from websites like You Tube and Vimeo. You might want to check with your mom or dad to see if there might be a video “block” that has been put on your computer to keep videos from certain websites from being played (to protect you and your brothers from accidentally seeing something not-so-nice on other internet sites besides Wonderopolis). We hope you enjoyed learning about vegans as much as we did today! :-)

  7. My parents call me the fruit and vegetable girl. When I was little, I would eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and I still do!!!!

    • We think it’s AWESOME that you eat lots of fruits and veggies, Mrissa! They are healthy and good for you! Thanks for stopping by Wonderopolis today! :-)

  8. Hello- This was a very interesting wonder today. We were wondering if a vegetarian or vegan person ever cheats on their diet? Do they sneak a little piece of steak every now and then? Three of us here would consider being a vegetarian, one of us would consider being a vegan, while sixteen of us love our bacon! A few of us are Muslim and do not eat bacon or anything that comes from a pig, but we still love other types of meat.

    Our guess for tomorrow is that it might be a wonder about a shark, alligator, crocodile, or maybe dentist?

    • Thanks for sharing all the different ways you guys like to eat, Mrs. Schrader’s Switch Class! We really appreciate you helping us learn a little bit more about your class! We really like your guesses for tomorrow’s Wonder, too! We can’t wait to see if one of them is what we will all be WONDERing about tomorrow! :-)

  9. My aunt is a vegetarian. She eats a lot of fruit and vegetables.
    She will not allow my two cousins to eat junk, but she does not know this…when they are at my house, we eat junk.
    She is as skinny as a skeleton.
    Your wonder friend,
    Julia

    • Hi, Julia! We appreciate you sharing about your aunt and your cousins. It’s great when our Wonder Friends make personal connections to a Wonder of the Day® like you did today! We hope you have a WONDERful weekend! :-)

  10. Mmmm…all that food looked very tasty.

    Congratulations on Wonder of the day #600. That is so many wonders and we just love all of them!

    Thank you Wonderopolis!

    • You guys are SO AMAZING, KF Dragons friends! We have been sharing your WONDERful song video with EVERYONE we know! You guys did an AMAZING job and we can tell you worked hard on it and had LOTS of FUN! It was a very special gift to give us…we really LOVE IT!

      Thanks for congratulating us on 600 Wonders…it makes us SUPER happy to know that you guys love them all!

      We hope you guys have a SUPER, GREAT, AWESOME, AMAZING, FANTASTIC Memorial Day weekend! :-)

    • We really like your comment, Amos! Thanks for sharing some of the types of food your family likes to eat and THANKS for visiting today’s Wonder of the Day®! :-)

  11. We think vegans are very uncommon. Clay lost the first comment by one minute! We have a T.V show that you guys might like Ninja Warrior or American Ninja Warrior.

    • We sure appreciate you guys sharing your opinion about being a vegan and also for telling us about those television shows, Clay and Seth! Thanks for hanging out in Wonderopolis with us today! :-)

    • Sharks have lots of teeth, Lily, so that’s a GREAT guess for the next Wonder of the Day®! We hope you had as much fun as we did learning about vegans and vegetarians today! :-)

  12. Hey, whats up everyone?
    Today’s wonder was pretty nutritious.
    I eat veggies, but I eat meat, too.
    Hey, do you guys play wizard101?
    If so, whats your wizard name?
    I’m rylee shadowsword.
    you should play it today!
    -YuGiOhNinja!!!!

    • Thanks for sharing that you like to eat both meat and veggies, YuGiOhNinja! We appreciate your comment today! We don’t play the wizard game, but we like playing other games and solving puzzles! Thanks for hanging out in Wonderopolis with us today! :-)

    • We agree, Alissa! That vegan food in the video for this Wonder DOES look YUMMY! Thank you for visiting Wonderopolis today and leaving us a WONDERful comment! :-)

  13. I think it is okay to be a vegan. For me, I think it’s very good because sometimes animals can go extinct. Are there vegans all over the world? Can kids be vegans?

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts about being a vegan, Giselle! We appreciate your comment! There ARE vegans all over the world, and YES! Kids can absolutely be vegans, too, as long as their parents make sure they are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need to help their bodies grow properly! :-)

    • We’re glad you like the music in the video for this Wonder of the Day®, Drew! We think it was PERFECT for a vegan fiesta, don’t you? We’re sorry we don’t know the name of the song. Because we choose videos from many different places to accompany our Wonders of the Day (like YouTube and Vimeo), we don’t always know everything about the people (or music) in them. We make sure the videos are safe for our Wonder Friends to view, though! :-)

  14. My family and I are vegan. We’re not strict about it, like I LOVE ice cream, so every once in a while, we’ll go out to eat or something or after swim meets I can get some ice cream. :). At home, we have sorbet and all the meals (except pizza) are vegan. It’s not hard at all being vegan!

    Bye, Wonderopolis!

    • Thanks so much for sharing what it’s like to be vegan, Erin! We appreciate you letting everyone in Wonderopolis know that it’s not difficult and can be lot of fun! You are a GREAT Wonder Friend for adding something extra AWESOME to this Wonder with your comment! :-)

    • Super comment about becoming a vegan, Jeff! It’s important to know what you’re eating, regardless of your preference for meat, vegetables and grains! We love your suggestion to learn as much as you can about a diet that’s right for you! Such a WONDERful suggestion– thanks for posting! :)

  15. I happen to be vegan and makes you feel much better and most people think that everything tastes bad but it tastes even beter than regular food.

    • WOW, thank you for sharing your thoughts about being vegan, Chris! We think it’s great that you feel better and you enjoy your food, too! We Wonder what your favorite recipe is? :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What is a vegan?
  • What’s the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan?
  • Can a vegan diet provide all the nutrients your body needs?

 

Wonder Gallery

veggies_shutterstock_82585993Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Do you think you could be a vegan? If hamburgers and chicken nuggets are some of your favorite foods, a vegan diet might not sound very appetizing. Don’t knock it until you try it, though.

Grab a friend or family member and head to the kitchen. Try a few of the kid-friendly vegan recipes below. You never know when you might discover a new favorite!

 

Still Wondering

Check out Science NetLinks’ Nutrition 2: Good Food, Good Health lesson to explore ways in which food provides energy and materials for our bodies.

 

Wonder Categories/Tags

Wonder What’s Next?

Zip on over to Wonderopolis tomorrow for a Wonder of the Day that really has some teeth!

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