What Types of Vegans Are There? Warning: “May Contain Dairy”

Picture this: you are strolling through the aisles of your local health food store looking for some staple items and realize you’re low on your favorite bread. As you’re skimming over the ingredient list, you see “MAY CONTAIN DAIRY” at the very bottom. Did a few drops of dairy slyly slip in your slices on accident? As a vegan, you’re unsure if purchasing this will violate your moral convictions or fall within the realm of an acceptable infraction… is there wiggle room? Being a vegan isn’t a one size fits all term; some vegans eat honey, wear leather, or digest drops of dairy. If you want to know which kind you are, chances are you identify with one or more of the following:

The Ethical Vegan- (Do Vegans Eat Honey?)

We all have our reasons for our lifestyle choices and there is nothing more respectable than someone who practices what they preach. Ethical vegans follow a code of high moral conviction. Once you watch one of those documentaries on factory farming, it can be hard to turn back. The Ethical Vegan philosophy doesn’t stop at diet but rather extends to the rest of life. They won’t wear a Gucci leather purse, lounge on leather interiors, or invest in any company that contributes to the exploitation of animals. The goal of an ethical vegan is to avoid participation, with purpose, in any way associated with harm to a living thing. They believe that humans don’t have a right to steal the life of another living creature or disturb its natural habitat. You will oftentimes see them at protests, rocking vegan stickers on their water bottle or posting activist images on social media.

The Plant Based Vegan (healthy)

Did you know that Oreos are vegan? Even though those delectable delights are the ultimate junk food dessert, they don’t include any animal products. But, just because they are vegan doesn’t necessarily make them healthy. The plant-based vegan focuses on their dietary choices and eats primarily whole, unprocessed foods (ok, well not always in the case of Oreos). To them, the main benefit of this diet is health and welfare benefits; a diet made from what the earth provides naturally can boost longevity and quality of life. Many of the vegan products on the shelves of supermarkets are marketed as healthy and plant-based, but be careful, as many are processed to the point where they could survive a zombie apocalypse. The Impossible Burger is a fantastic swap for red meat, but a health-conscious plant-based eater might swap this for a plate of whole grains, leafy greens, nuts & seeds. If it comes in a microwaveable package, your health-minded plant-based eater will probably pass.

The Practical Vegan

You’re over at your friend’s place for dinner and they cooked up a homemade meal that smells great. The only thing wrong? It has cheese. You don’t want to be rude and ask for special treatment, so you go with the flow and make sure to get back to your regularly scheduled diet tomorrow. The practical vegan tries their best to live the lifestyle while being understanding that sometimes life gets in the way and they must be flexible. This is like the popular term “flexitarian”: someone who follows a less strict vegetarian diet. The biggest perk about being practical is in the name; it takes the stress off going out to eat and enjoying time with family and friends, especially around the holidays. This kind of thinking goes against the all-or-nothing stigma that often surrounds veganism where if you cheat on your diet that you should just scratch it all, give up, and binge queso on the couch. This way of living would be great for someone with a busy lifestyle who still wants to contribute to the cause.

The Junk Food Vegan

Oreos are vegan. So are Airheads, Sour Patch Kids, and Fritos. Most people assume that if you’re a vegan that you are naturally the healthiest person on this planet. Sometimes that description fits the bill, but not when it comes to junk food vegans. They regularly consume these highly processed and sometimes genetically altered foods. Learning how to chef up vegan meals can be intimidating, and you may not know where to start. The convenience of pre-packaged vegan freezer meals or packaged snack foods makes it easy to eat on the run for the busy working adult or overworked college student. Fast-food chains such as Burger King, Duncan and Taco Bell offer fully vegan options, making late-night snacking easier than ever before. The experts recommend that your diet should mostly consist of whole foods to keep up nutrition and immunity, but the fact that you are cutting out animal products at all is still admirable.

The Die-Hard Vegan

You might know someone like this; they might pack all their meals from scratch or wear recycled clothing. Their commitment to the vegan lifestyle is admirable and they don’t often, if ever, waver from the strictest vegan principals. To them, either you are, or you are not (there is no middle ground or grey area). Die-hard vegans choose to avoid consumption of any animal product through diet or any other form of use. If they are buying furniture or clothing it is most likely made from environmentally-friendly fabric. They will avoid food cooked on the same surface as meat or dairy.  Cosmetics will never be associated with animal testing… These vegans are making a selfless contribution to our environment and animals. They hear the comment, ‘oh, I could never do that, it’s way too hard’ more times than they can count. If you are unwavering on your stance that nothing in your life will adversely affect a living thing, then you might be a die-hard vegan.

There are a million different diets that get pushed on us from the media and best-selling books. Although veganism is a hot trend, good health, love for living things and good environmental choices have staying power! However you choose to pursue your lifestyle, any healthy choices are commendable. Hopefully, by now you have identified with one of these types of vegans and can decide whether to bring the bread home or leave it on the shelf. If you are searching for a way to effectuate change in the vegan community through other sources than your diet, ‘Demand Vegan’ is a great start. Our portfolio provides you with a wide array of certified cruelty free companies. Invest according to your values and put your money with companies that further your cause in a fully diversified, comprehensive portfolio.

This report is a publication of Demand Wealth.  Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change.