There are many reasons why someone would choose to turn vegan. If you are reading this post, it’s likely you’re taking part in Veganuary 2021.
If you don’t know what this is, the basic premise is that participants follow a vegan diet for the month of January. Some people fall in love with the way they feel and stick to it for longer.
So this is one reason for turning vegan, effectively falling into it. What other reasons are there for turning vegan? More to the point, what types of vegans are out there?
reasons for turning vegan
ethics (for the animals)
For many vegans, the ethical connection they made between the animals and their plates was the driving factor to make the full commitment. Ethical vegans primarily choose to exclude animal products from their diet due to the conditions livestock is raised in and the way in which they are treated.
environment (for the planet)
There is overwhelming evidence to suggest climate change is accelerating. It is no secret that animal agriculture is a major contributing factor to the decay of the planet. For this reason, many people choose to become vegan as they become more environmentally aware.
Nutritional and dietetic research often proves the positive health implications of a well-balanced vegan diet. Even if you disagree with this, there is no argument that a diet rich in vitamins and minerals will help to boost your immune system. There is no better way to get these nutrients in than fresh from delicious seasonal produce.
Many people find it easier to ‘healthify’ their diet when they turn vegan. This is because most vegan meals centre around vegetables, meaning your intake is high.
There are many religions around the world that believe in preventing causing harm to other living beings. People interpret this in many different ways, and some choose to believe it promotes following a vegan diet.
A religion that is like this is Jainism, a religion popular across Thailand. Some Buddhists are vegan too, although not all are. Many Hindu people are vegetarian, although again this is not all. Christians are commonly known to give up meat and fish during lent. Jewish people have strict food rules such as following kosher practices during food preparation. In some cases these also extend to veganism as a dietary practise.
types of vegans
Whole food vegans, also referred to as whole food plant based vegans have a diet high in fresh, seasonal produce. People following this diet avoid processed foods, meaning that the foods they consume are in their ‘whole’ state.
Raw vegans do not eat any foods heated above 43 ? degrees Celsius. This is because they believe heating food to kill off some of the nutrients that occur naturally. This is true in some cases, however the reverse is also true in others.
Tomatoes contain an antioxidant known as lycopene. This is found in small quantities in the raw state, but when cooked this is found in much higher proportions.
raw til 4
This is a diet popularised by YouTuber and influencer Freelee (formerly Freelee the Banana Girl). The followers of this diet eat large, fruit-based mono meals during the day. These tend to be multiple mangoes or in some cases 10-banana smoothies!
People can eat a cooked meal after 4pm as their main dinner. This should be a low-fat carbohydrate dense meal such as roasted potatoes or pasta.
These are the fun vegans! Only joking, we’re all fun. Junk food vegans are almost the opposite of raw vegans. They enjoy finding vegan food that doesn’t feel like you’re missing out on all your non-vegan favorites.
Popular junk food vegan choices are things like chicken nuggets, vegan Ben & Jerry’s, and decadent vegan burgers.
other notable mentions
There are many people that follow gluten-free diets in 2021. Coeliacs do admittedly have a harder time being vegan than most, but it’s not impossible. Good gluten-free bread has been the bane of my life, as many varieties contain egg to act as a binding agent.
Fruitarians are people that only really eat fruit, with some nuts and seeds as supplementation. Most vegans do not follow this kind of diet, as it is hard to get a good balance of nutrients eating in this manner.
Freegans are the indie, capitalism-hating, cool aunt of the vegan family. While it is not for everyone, freegans do not believe in funding the capitalist society. Instead they get their food from company bins, many being able to find perfectly safe-to-eat foods that have been thrown away. If you are interested in this, please take care to follow the law and check the legality of your actions before you begin.
I hope that this article has helped you understand vegans a little more. Stay updated for more pieces throughout Veganuary!