It's safe to say most Nigerians are not familiar with the term ‘vegan’ or plant based lifestyles and for those that are familiar they may have misconceptions about the lifestyle- vegans only eat salads all day, are protein deficient or too extreme.
The reality is that 99% of the food on the planet comes from plants, where about 1% comes from animals and animal by-products. Plant based protein (beans, quinoa, nuts, leafy vegetables etc) is easier to digest in the human body. According to Advanced Oxford English Dictionary- a vegan is a person who does not eat any animal products or animal by-products such as meat, fish, milk, eggs or honey. Some vegans do not use products made from materials deriving from animals such as silk or leather.
You may wonder, "How do Africans view plant based living?"
Many Africans view plant based living as foreign and influenced by Europeans and western culture. In the olden days, days when Africans think African; days when our bloods are still solely ours without external acculturation, African meals often contained plenty of vegetables, legumes and also meat. Meat was just a luxury. African meals were rich in nature and plant based products. In the contemporary age however, it is not. Local agriculture is ridden with chemicals, pesticides and poor practices that result in negative effects on our health.
Now, you may ask yourself, “Are there really vegans in Nigeria?”
Yes! There are vegans in Nigeria, though they are in the minority, there is a vegan community on Whatsapp, vegan bloggers that have adapted our local Nigerian cuisine to be 100% plant based, a restaurant for vegans, many brands starting to adopt vegan options to attract more health consciousness customers, social media pages dedicated to plant based content and items which is used as a driving force for Nigerians to see the awe-spiring benefits that could be gained from plant based living.