Given the recent legalization of magic mushrooms, several questions have emerged, including the inquiry into whether magic mushrooms can be considered vegan. When we examine the core principles of veganism, it becomes apparent that magic mushrooms share similarities with regular mushrooms in this regard. To gain a clearer perspective, let’s understand the fundamentals.
- Mushrooms are reproductive parts of certain fungi, distinct from plants or animals.
- In the world of biology, mushrooms belong to the Fungi kingdom, separate from the Plantae and Animalia kingdoms.
- Veganism involves a plant-based diet, avoiding animal-derived foods and products.
- Magic mushrooms are 100% vegan.
What are Magic Mushrooms
Magic mushrooms go a long way. Indigenous communities are historically recognized for their use of magic mushrooms as a gateway to the spiritual realm. In the 1960s, magic mushrooms became popular, especially among hippies. Today, some people use them at parties and music festivals, while others view them with a more holistic approach, using them therapeutically to treat depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Magic mushrooms are a unique type of fungi that contains psilocybin and psilocin, its active components. According to studies, these substances can influence parts of the brain connected perception of time, our ability to think about the past, and our understanding of ourselves. Hence that’s why people often report feeling more in tune with the world around them.
In biology, mushroom serves as the reproductive part produced by certain types of fungi. It’s somewhat similar to a plant’s fruit, but instead of seeds, it generates countless microscopic spores within the gills or pores beneath its cap. Mushrooms are fungi, forming their own distinct kingdom.
Veganism and Its Principles
There are various ways to embrace vegan living, but a common thread among all vegans is following a plant-based diet that excludes animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish, and insects), dairy, eggs, and honey. They also avoid using products made from animals, items tested on animals, and establishments that exploit animals for entertainment.
People choose veganism for different reasons. Some do it due to their opposition to practices that exploit animals and their beliefs against animal cruelty, while others are motivated by environmental concerns. Regarding food choices, certain foods like mushrooms may seem confusing as they’re not actually plants. That’s why many vegans who are interested in psychedelics might ask themselves are magic mushrooms vegan or not? That’s why we decided to unfold the curtains and reveal the truth once and for all.
Are Magic Mushrooms Vegan?
Well, it’s true that mushrooms are alive, but they aren’t classified as animals, and this distinction is significant for vegans. While they were once thought to be more similar to plants, recent scientific understanding has changed. Nowadays, mushrooms are considered to have a closer relationship to animals in terms of their evolution, genetics, biology, and chemistry.
Although they used to be seen as plant-like and are now understood differently, the key point remains: mushrooms are not animals. In the world of biology, there are six categories called kingdoms, each containing living organisms. This includes the fruits and vegetables that vegans eat, which are part of the Plantae kingdom.
Magic mushrooms, like all mushrooms, belong to the Fungi kingdom and are distinct from both plants and animals. Since they are not part of the Animalia.
While mushrooms are commonly associated with vegetables, they do not fit the botanical definition of vegetables. Vegetables are typically parts of plants that can be eaten, like leaves, stems, roots, or seeds.
As already mentioned, mushrooms belong to the fungal kingdom and are distinct from plants. They represent the reproductive structures of fungi, emerging from mycelium, which is the network of threads below the ground. Unlike plants, mushrooms lack chlorophyll and cannot perform photosynthesis. Instead, they rely on decomposing organic matter for nutrition.
Although mushrooms don’t fall under the vegetable category, they are often utilized as substitutes for traditional vegetables in cooking. They can be prepared in plenty of ways and used in a variety of recipes. Mushrooms serve as excellent side dishes or even as main courses. Even magic mushrooms can be used for creating outstanding magical recipes.
Difference Between Mushrooms & Vegetables
All types of fruits and vegetables come from plants. Some vegetables like artichokes, peas, and tomatoes are parts of the plant that are used for reproduction. Other vegetables, like celery and spinach, are consumed as a whole plant or a significant portion of it. Whatever the case, all plants share the same fundamental process of harnessing energy from the sun, known as photosynthesis, by utilizing the chlorophyll within their cells.
Sometimes mushrooms are classified as “fruits..” However, it’s important to note that while mushrooms do not fall into the biological category of vegetables, they also do not unequivocally fit within the definition of fruits. Despite this, their characteristics do lean more towards those of fruits than vegetables.
The visible mushrooms that we consume are essentially the reproductive components of fungi. Their primary purpose is to grow and disperse the reproductive elements known as spores, which can be likened to the seeds of a mushroom.
In light of this perspective, mushrooms can be regarded as a form of fruit. The key distinction, however, lies in the fact that mushrooms do not originate from traditional plants and do not necessitate the presence of flowers or the process of pollination that is commonly associated with fruit production in the plant realm.
Debunking the Myths
There are online discussions about this topic. For instance, there is some debate about whether or not magic mushrooms are vegan since they thrive in cow dung, which is essentially an animal product.
While the soil is composed of remains of animals and other species, it doesn’t make magic mushrooms non-vegan. With that logic, plants wouldn’t be vegan as well due to the soil composition. Also, magic mushrooms can be grown on various other substrates and grains, making them 100% vegan.
While magic mushrooms, like all fungi, are not technically categorized as plants, they’re not animals either. They’re not fruits, they’re not vegetables, but they indeed are vegan. The core principles of veganism lie in abstaining from the use of animal products and minimizing their exploitation.
From a biological standpoint, mushrooms do not fit the criteria of animals, making them inherently compatible with vegan principles. Therefore, if you are a vegan, you can freely consume your magic mushrooms and enjoy the journey!