Believe it or not, there isn’t just one type of vegan. Everybody finds veganism a different way, whether it be ethics, health, saving the environment, and so on. There is by no means a perfect way to be a vegan. Every vegan is different and unique in their own way; the one thing in common being the abstinence from animal by-products.
To help you better understand the difference, I have thought of four different types of vegans as well as three different vegan diets, and clearly distinguished between them.
An Ethical vegan found their way through ethics, meaning they care about the animals and the environment. An Ethical Vegan does not consume any animal by-products such as meat, fish, eggs, cheese, dairy, honey, etc. They do not wear leather, fur, silk, or any other clothes made from animals. They also do not use cosmetic products that were tested on animals, and usually refrain from shopping in stores that sell these products. As well as they do not support the entertainment exploitation of animals, such as zoos and circuses. This is a great type of vegan because they believe in equality for all living beings, and do not support the exploitation of animals in any way.
Let me make one thing clear before I begin: a person who is plant based isn’t necessarily a vegan, just like how not all vegans are plant based.
Someone who follows a strictly plant based diet means that they found this lifestyle for health purposes. Perhaps they care about the animals, but perhaps they do not. Sometimes an individual who follows a plant based diet still may consume honey or fish oil, and may also wear leather or fur, or still use products that contain animal by-products.
However, a lot of the time, there are Plant Based Vegans. This means that these individuals either found veganism for ethics first, and then found plant based living, or vice-versa. Either way, they have both ethics and health on their side. This is a pretty awesome lifestyle to follow because, like stated before, you are saving both the planet and the animals, while simultaneously becoming healthier.
And just to clarify what a plant based diet is for those who are unaware: it is an individual who only eats foods that originate from the ground, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, etc. These people also try to avoid anything processed, greasy, or refined. Remember that when you hear the word Plant Based, it is 100% associated with health. Whereas an ethical vegan may indulge in vegan junk food (as long as no animals were harmed), someone who follows a plant based diet typically tries to stay away from the junk food, and remain eating plant based foods.
A raw vegan is also predominantly driven to this lifestyle for health purposes. A raw vegan is an individual who does not eat any animal by-products as well as anything cooked above 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius). They live this way because they believe any foods cooked above this temperature have lost their enzymes and nutrients. Benefits of a raw vegan diet are weight loss, more energy, clear skin, improved digestion, and improved overall health. Raw vegans also do not eat anything that has been processed such as refined sugars, breads, etc.
Some examples of raw vegan foods are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, roots, fresh herbs, raw spices, seaweeds, raw nut milk, raw nut butters, cold pressed oils, unprocessed olives, pure maple syrup, dried fruits, vinegars, raw cacao powder, and unpasteurized soy sauce.
People who live this lifestyle believe we should be getting our food in its most natural, original state; no killing, no processing, no cooking.
Junk Food Vegan
Finally, the Junk Food Vegan. This is an individual who is usually driven to veganism for ethics, whether it be the animals or the environment. These people do not care what they are eating, as long as no animals were harmed in the process. People often think that just because you are vegan, that it automatically means you are healthy. This is incorrect because there are tons of vegan treats and junk foods. Examples include: Oreos, twizzlers, white bread, soda pop, chips, fries, aunt jemima pancake mix, certain chocolate frostings, faux cheese, faux meat, etc.
Junk Food Vegans may also smoke and drink alcohol, as long as it does not contain any animal by-products. Someone could be a vegan and never eat anything that resembles a plant. So yes, vegans can be unhealthy.
Types of Diets
801010 is a vegan diet where one gets 80% of their calories from carbs (fruits and veggies), 10% comes from healthy fats (avocados, nuts, etc), and the other 10% comes from protein (leafy greens). Hence the break down, 80%-10%-10%. Most individuals who follow the 801010 diet are predominantly raw.
Because most of these carbs such as fruits and veggies are lower in calories, you have to eat A LOT of one thing. Most people who follow this diet usually have monomeals, which consists of having one type of food in large quantities. For example, they eat entire pineapples and watermelons in one sitting, as well as 10 bananas in one smoothie, or six whole mangos. This is a wonderful diet full of enjoying healthy foods in abundance.
High Carb Low Fat (HCLF)
Individuals who follow a High Carb Low Fat diet do exactly as the title presumes. They eat high quantities of high-carb foods, and try to eat little amounts of fats. Good carbs are foods such as fruit, vegetables, potatoes, rice, and sometimes grains. Foods with healthy fats are avocado, coconut oil, and nuts; so these individuals try to have minimal of these ingredients.
Be warned, people who follow a HCLF diet eat a lot. They usually have 10 bananas in one smoothie, or 6 potatoes for dinner. That rule does not apply to everybody though. I myself follow a high carb low fat diet, however I eat smaller amounts of the same foods that most people do. Lots of bananas, potatoes, rice, pasta, veggies, salads, etc. Do not be afraid of carbs; they are not the enemy. There is a huge difference between good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates.
Raw Till Four
The ‘raw till four’ diet is a popular fad trending on Instagram and Youtube. It incorporates the diet of a raw vegan lifestyle, but only until 4pm. It was created by Youtube sensation Freelee the Banana Girl.
This diet is quite simple actually. You just need to eat a fully raw breakfast and lunch, then enjoy a nice cooked meal for dinner. Many people who follow this diet would have a smoothie for breakfast, a salad or fruit platter for lunch, then potatoes, rice, stir-fry, or pasta for dinner.
Every vegan is different and unique in their own way. Not every vegan eats plant based or raw and not every vegan eats junk food! So if you are considering switching to this lifestyle, do not fear or panic because someone else is eating fully raw and you want to enjoy some vegan cupcakes. Just eat whatever you feel you want, and always listen to your body. Never force in more calories than you need, or try to shape your diet to someone else’s expectations. I’m sure whatever your reason for choosing Vegan is a good one.
For more information, check out the links below:
The 801010 Diet Book by Douglas Graham: http://www.amazon.com/The-80-10-Diet/
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell (Plant Based Diets): http://www.amazon.com/The-China-Study
Freelee The Banana Girl on Youtube(High Carb Low Fat): https://www.youtube.com/user/Freelee
Loni Jane on Instagram(801010): http://instagram.com/lonijane#
Ellen Fisher on Instagram(801010 Raw Vegan): http://instagram.com/ellenfisher#