Vegan: a lifestyle not a diet

January is drawing to a close which means its officially time to stop trying to morph into Gwyneth Paltrow. Although undertaking that obligatory, strict post festive detox is said to help kick-start a healthier lifestyle it can also result in a hunger so severe that the rest of the year is spent making up for that month of abstinence.

Will power of the sort needed to sustain those saintly new years habits is not easy. It is a widely accepted fact that denying oneself of something, whether it be food related or not, only increases desire for that forbidden thing. People often revere at my ability to stick at the vegan ‘diet’ after so many years of eating animal products. I have come to realise that this is really a manifestation of our society’s warped eating habits and perception of food. Most people choose to ‘diet’ for a reason that is important to them whether this be to down to health, appearance or ethical purposes. This  makes it baffling that diets have become synonymous with transient phases in ones life.

Although it is good PR for veganism, its increasingly popularized use as a quick way to lose weight only to be dropped a few weeks later can be frustrating. Veganism is not a strict diet for the simple reason that most people choose to go vegan for ethical reasons. This means that instead of refusing foods because you can’t eat them you are saying no because you don’t want them. Surely this should be the reasoning behind any change in diet? That is my explanation for people that find it hard to fathom how someone can be strong enough to say no to meat, eggs dairy. After the initial transition will power just doesn’t come into it.

The Veganuary initiative has been encouraging people to try the vegan diet for the month of January. I hope that participants don’t join the hoards of other dieters ending the month with a sigh of relief and going back to old habits. Veganism is for life, not just for January.


3 thoughts on “Vegan: a lifestyle not a diet

  1. I describe vegan as an ethos not a lifestyle. A lifestyle to me is based on what activities you get up to, how you commute to work, whether you go to the gym regularly and if so how often, what do you like to do in your spare time, where do you like to go on holiday and so on. Other than that I agree with all the points that you have made about diet.

    1. I agree, I almost prefer ‘ethos’ actually. I like to use ‘lifestyle’ as veganism has affected where I eat and drink (according to vegan options), what clothes I wear and buy and what make-up I use and wear I buy it. It has also inadvertently affected my level of activity through improved energy levels.

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