Contrary to popular belief, it is not all or nothing with veganism. Heck, it is not even all or nothing with vegetarianism. The following is a list of lifestyles which restrict the consumption of animals from the most lax to the most restrictive.
They abstain from eating meat…mostly. Sometimes meat whispers sweet nothings to them which they cannot resist.
It’s not all that simple, actually. Though a person might be a flexitarian because they cannot resist the taste of meat, others may live in an area where vegetarian products are difficult to get ahold of. They might also choose to eat meat as courtesy when a guest at someone’s house or when eating out with friends. Additionally, a person may eat meat to ensure they are getting vitamins such as iron and omega-3’s without paying too much attention to nutrition.
Pesco Pollo Vegetarians-
This is someone who stopped eating cows and pigs, but will still eat chicken and fish. Meat still beckons them, but only if it’s not red.
Perhaps this person finds more value the lives of cows and pigs than the lives of fish and chicken. Perhaps not. They may also be abstaining from red meat for health reasons. Or, like a flexitarian, find it more convenient to keep some meat in their diets.
This type of vegetarian says bye-bye to land animals, but still hangs on to the metaphorical fishing pole. That is, the only meat they’ll eat is fish.
Fish are definitely lowest in calories when it comes to meat, so a person may be ridding other meats for health. And, similar to the other types of meat-restricting types of lifestyles above, pescatarians may eat fish because it is more convenient to continue to include.
So, now we’ve said goodbye to meat, but not animal products. They can still have their milk and eggs, maybe jell-o, but no flesh will be on their plates.
Likely, a person who is lacto-ovo does not see eggs and dairy as inhumane as the animal is able to live. And of course, convenience is always a factor. And taste. Don’t forget about taste.
No more eggs. No more meat. But they just couldn’t say goodbye to milk or cheese or butter just yet.
They may not see dairy as inhumane, may not be in an area where vegan cheese is available, or seriously don’t know how to give up their favorite dairy products. Nevertheless, this person’s still got milk, but definitely not the whole cow.
Junk Food Vegan-
No more animal products for these lads and lassies. But wait…there’s vegan junk food? LOTS of vegan junk food!
Often vegan for ethics, the junk food vegan still indulges in processed foods and sugars. They are likely to eat frozen foods that are similar to the foods they were eating before going vegan. So, instead of basing their diets on plants, they eat the vegan alternatives to things like pizza, faux meat, ice cream, etc.
Whole Food/Plant Based Vegan-
Changing their diet all together are plant based vegans. They cut out processed foods and replace them with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds.
This type of vegan is probably experimental with cooking and loves discovering new meal alternatives. They may still eat pizza, but it’s not going to be premade. Everything this person will consume will be made primarily out of plants that have not been touched by factories.
The purest of the pure. The most natural of the natural. Vegan for predominately nutritional reasons, raw vegans avoid all animal by-products as well as anything cooked above 115 degrees.
The theory is that anything cooked above these temperatures has lost many of its nutrients. Needless to say, they also cut out anything processed and refined.
‘Raw Till 4’ Vegan-
Much like the name implies, Raw Till 4 vegans eat a raw diet up until 4:00pm.
Because many people enjoy warm meals, Raw Till 4 was created so persons could enjoy cooked food, but remain primarily raw. Very likely, these vegans would have fruit or a smoothie in the morning for breakfast. In the afternoon, they might have something like a salad. And in the evening? A nice cooked meal–likely with plant-based foods.
High Carb Low Fat-
This may be shocking, but high carb, low fat vegans eat primarily carbs (from fruits and vegetables) while limiting their fat intake.
This lifestyle boasts it’s high caloric intake, claiming you can eat as much as you want while remaining lean. Many have critiqued this theory–but most people on using high carb, low fat lifestyles are aiming to be lean.
That’s right. A lifestyle composed of primarily fruits.
It’s not as extreme as it sounds. Fruitarians’ goal is to not harm any plants in the process of harvesting their food. So, what qualifies as fruit is not necessarily what you might think of initially. Cucumbers, squashes, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes may also qualify for consumption in this diet. Though, some people may be more extreme than others–refusing to eat anything that has not already fallen off the tree naturally.
“But It Tastes So Good” is the number one excuse I get from meat-eaters on why they do not want to switch to a vegetarian/vegan diet. I am not out there to make everyone vegan. I do, however, want to share what food does to your body and to the world around you. Let me show you that being good to yourself and to the earth can taste just as good, or better, than what you are already doing (both literally and figuratively).