Vegan word scrabble on blue plate

A Beginner’s Guide to Vegan Terminology

It sometimes seems like vegans have a whole new language to themselves. From aquafaba to carnism, vegan terminology like this great to have in your vocabulary as a new vegan.

So to help you out, here are 18 words and phrases I think everyone should know before embarking into the vegan world.


A to Z | Your Guide to Vegan Terminology


The liquid from a can of chickpeas. Can be found as an ingredient in some recipes.

Animal By-Products

Material derived from the body of an animal like fat, flesh, milk, eggs, etc.


Bone Char

A material made out of charred animal bones used to filter white sugar. I talked more about vegan sugar in my post on vegan pantry staples.



The opposite of veganism. A belief system that conditions people to eat certain animals over others.


Daiya (pronounced day-uh)

The original vegan cheese brand.


Ethical Vegan

A person that went vegan for animal welfare.


Factory Farming

Industrial facility that raises large numbers of farm animals in unethical conditions.


Health Vegan

A person that went vegan for health reasons.

Junk Food Vegan

A vegan that has a diet mainly consisting of processed vegan food.


Nutritional Yeast or Nooch

A cheesy, nutty seasoning that’s high in protein and B vitamins.


Related: Nutritional Yeast Benefits + How to Use It



A diet that emphasizes whole foods like plants, grains, and nuts, while minimizing meat, dairy, and processed foods.


Related: Plant-Based vs Vegan | What’s the Difference?


Raw Vegan

A vegan that only eats food raw or cooked below 104-117°F.



A plant-based meat replacement made out of wheat gluten.



The idea that one animal species is morally more important than another.


Related: 6 Books to Combat Speciesism



A plant-based meat replacement made out of soy.


A person who does not eat meat, but consumes animal by-products like dairy, eggs, and honey.


Related: What Does Vegetarian Mean? Definition, Diet, and More



A person who forgoes animal and animal by-products in their food, clothing, and other products due to ethical and moral reasons.


Related: What Does Vegan Mean? Definition, Foods and More



An annual challenge where people go vegan for the entire month of January.


A Final Note

Learning your vegan terminology is a must-have when navigating the vegan world. Were you surprised about any of these? Share your thoughts below!

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