What kind of a vegan are you?
Veganism in a generic sense implies that you refrain from eating meat, dairy, or anything manufactured from animal products. The most common reason for going vegan is to protect animals from being exploited for food resources. Similarly, a vegan lifestyle also has deep connections with environmentalism and concern for nature. However, very often, keeping the pressures of daily life in mind, it so happens that vegans may opt to tweak their principles or choices when it comes to opting for certain vegan practices.
As a vegan, you are free to choose what you believe in, to what extent do you intend to practice veganism and where do you wish to draw the line as all of it is entirely based on your personal set of beliefs. While some of us refer to ourselves as vegans in daily conversations, you may actually be a ‘dietary vegan’ who chooses to practice restraint with respect to your eating habits alone, not including meat and dairy products on your platter, but being comfortable using materials like silk, or wool. There also exists a category of vegans who are ‘raw vegans’ as they only eat plant foods that are uncooked or haven’t been heated above 90 degrees. In that case, your diet will include lot of leafy vegetables and vegetables such as radishes and carrots.
If you refer to yourself as a ‘fruitarian’, you probably believe in not consuming foods that kill plants and therefore, your diet will mainly comprise of fruits and nuts. To ensure that the fruit-based diet fulfills nutrient requirements, vegans belonging to this category include fruits like bananas, berries, oranges, avocado, olives and nuts like peanuts, almonds and apricots. Similarly, some kinds of vegans will also strictly eat sprouts such as legumes, lentils, whole grains and seeds such as flax seeds. Since sprouts are as it is high on nutritious content, these vegans seldom face problems of insufficient supply of essential supplements. You could also be a vegan whose major part of the diet could include juices made from fresh vegetables and fruits. In this manner, you will consume controlled quantities of sugar and could also include soy milk in your diet.
If you refer to yourself as a ‘vegenarian’, you are likely to fall under the category of people who have been vegetarians all along and wish to take a step ahead by excluding dairy products too, therefore making yourself a transitioning vegan. To start with, vegenarians may be seen experimenting with substitutes such as soy milk or peanut butter. Of the lot of vegans who are health conscious and intend to follow a vegan lifestyle primarily because of its health benefits, as a ‘straight-edge vegan’ you may find yourself exercising restrain when it comes to cigarettes and alcohol too as several animal by-products are used while refining alcoholic beverages.
Though most vegans avoid eggs, you can opt to eat eggs that come from chicken you have reared as done by people who fall under the category of ‘veggans’. Similarly, there also exist vegans who consider honey as an exception or those who do not mind indulging in vegan-friendly processed foods with high-sugar content. A lot of these categories can be determined by you as a vegan, depending on the foods that you can afford to strike off your menu and so on, keeping in consideration your own ethics and principles concerning the vegan lifestyle.