“Vegan diet is not for everyone,” a heard times and again. In the beginning I wanted to disagree and show just how wrong those who think that way are, but with time, experience and reflection, I realized that they are right… in my kind of way. While they meant that vegan lifestyle is not truly optimal for everyone, or that our physiology is not designed to be vegan, I disagree, but I do agree that not everyone can or will do vegan and do it right. Today you will learn about people who should and should not follow a vegan dietary lifestyle. Let’s start with 4 types of people who should be vegan.
Before we start, however, let’s’ define vegan for this post. When I say vegan, I am talking about people who eat a whole foods (no junk, no processed foods, including oils, sugars and too much salt), plant based (eat no animal flesh or byproducts) diet and practice a kind (compassionate) living.
One more term you will read in this article and might wonder about is vegangelizing. Vegengelizing, defined as a verb, is:
- Convert or seek to convert (someone) to vegan lifestyle.
- Preach and spread the vegan “good news” :).
With that said… onward!
4 Types of People Who Should Be Vegan
1. The Kind Type
Unfortunately it was not me in the beginning. Some people become vegan for ethical reasons, i.e., they respect all life enough not to want eat other living, breathing creatures. I applaud them! Sometimes I hear of some, as young as 6-8 years of age, naturally shying away from animal flesh. I call this lucky bunch the “natural” vegans. They instinctively know that eating animals is wrong.
The only one possible drawback I find with the exclusively ethical crowd is that some, while loving animals, forget to love their bodies the same way, ending up consuming too much processed, sugary, salty and oily vegan foods. Thankfully, with all of the plant education these days more and more end up becoming not only ethical but also health minded vegans.
2. The Desperate Type
That was totally Hubby and I in the beginning. We started out as health vegans. I personally never even heard or had known about vegan lifestyle until I started to research how I could save my Husband’s life, and, eventually, reverse my ailments too. We were DESPERATE and willing to do whatever it took to get healthy, including cutting out all flesh foods (meat, dairy, eggs, etc.) so that we could survive and not depend on medications for the rest of our lives.
The desperate type are the people who are in dire need of a miracle and need to save their lives. They are the cholesterol, coronary, cancer and other ailment ridden population of our society. If it takes going vegan to save their lives–just like us, they will do it. They simply need someone to show them the way and they will become faithful followers.
There is a faction in this movement that, having regained their health, will slide back into their old ways or continue to use animal products, having grown a little too certain that they are now invincible, or they succumb to their old food addictions and societal pressures.
3. The Smart Type
These are the people who might not be sick yet, however, they might have seen enough evidence to know that plant based living is the way to go to prevent serious health issues and to save our planet as well; it makes sense to them, so they become vegan. Horray to all of you who fall into this camp–mind over traditions!
4. The Smart and Kindly Desperate Type
While we (Hubby and I) did not start in this category, we certainly fall into it now. Having become educated on the benefits of a whole foods, plant based diet we know that it is the smart thing to do, and would not want to go back to our old eating ways. We are desperate to keep our health, which we regained as a results of us going vegan. Having grasped the fact that no one needs to die to keep us alive, we grew compassionate to all things living, so we are now kind (ethical) vegans too.
This is the type of people who have embraced the best of all worlds, which means they will be rooted in their healthy, vegan, kind ways. Their new convictions will keep them from backsliding, the science behind their reasoning will keep them strong, the compassion they grew for animal friends will keep them from temptations, and they become the best advocates (vegangelists) of a whole foods, plant based, conscious living.
Having covered our basis of who vegan lifestyle and diet is for, let’s move onto those who will qualify under “Vegan is not for everyone”.
4 Types of People Who Should NOT Be Vegan
1. The Ignorant
That was me! You cannot desire something you do not know about. 10 years ago I did not even know the word vegan, let alone what it meant. Before someone could desire a certain lifestyle, one needs to know that such lifestyle is possible. Some of such people, once introduced to options, gladly choose the right ones! I get a lot of folks, who fit into this category, in my BODY BY PLANTS Boot Camp program. Most, once they see just how easy and fulfilling vegan living is, become full-time committed health super heroes.
2. The Addicted
In our information age less and less people can fit into the latter “ignorant” category–we simply know and hear too much to not know. The addicted type might know the truth and might even agree that a vegan lifestyle is beneficial for our health, but they cannot commit themselves to making a change. You can normally tell these people apart when you hear them say:
- “I would rather die than give up my meat!”
- “I would rather have another knee surgery than live without steak!”
- “I want to eat healthier, but I cannot live without “real” butter and eggs.”
Or just, “I cannot live without…” (fill in the blank).
I’ve had a few going through my program, who really wanted to change, but came up with every excuse possible as to why they cannot succeed:
- their friends take them out to places without vegan offerings
- their in-laws are in town and they have to make meat meals for them
- their kids won’t eat healthy
- their spouses are not supportive
- their cat died and now they are grieving, so, they eat the foods they love to cope with the loss
Sounds too funny to be true? Believe me, I heard about every excuse in the book! The truth is, THESE FOLKS ARE ADDICTED (!), and, unless they deal with the core of the problem, they will NEVER succeed with a vegan (or simply any healthier) lifestyle. A lot of the times food addictions are tied to much deeper, often emotional, issues that need to be resolved.
My suggestion, which I ALWAYS practice in my life, to have this problems fixed–suck it up! Rip off the band-aid! Go cold turkey! You are a grown up, so think and act like one! You are stronger than the foods you eat!
Now, don’t get offended! I know that not everyone is like me, so, in my program, I do take a gentler approach ;), and work with such folks, who are willing to change, in a gradual approach manner. But those who are not willing to commit to the process, should NOT try to do it, because they will fail! Their health will continue to spiral down and the next thing you know, they will be blogging about how VEGAN LIFESTYLE RUINED THEIR HEALTH…
3. The Weak
Very similar to the last group, these folks are willing to change, and, with the right support, could make the switch, but, in bad company, they are simply too weak to say no to family and peer pressure. They do not like confrontations, they do not like being questioned about their decisions, they want to be left alone and go with the flow. They must stay away from going vegan for sure! If they do, because of their constant backsliding, which is bound to happen, they will experience enormous guilt and self-loathing issues; they will also show their friends and family that “vegan does not work” and is “too hard for a regular human to follow.”
My advice? Grow a back bone! Stand up to the world! Everyone does not have to love you, neither will they, no matter how hard you try. If your friends are not supportive, make new friends! If your family criticizes you… well, we cannot divorce our family, so lay down the law of limits–what they can or cannot talk to you about. You will be amazed at how great it feels to be the captain of your own fate for once! After all, if someone holds you back and you let them, they might end up dying a miserable unhealthy death, and will take you right along with them. At the end of the day, it is your life, so you need to decide if your health is more important than the next “feel good, please my friends” junk fest.
Someone said once: “I prefer to live long, not die long,” so, think which way you will end up existing when you make your choices.
4. The “In Denial” Type
That is the Paleo Diet, Weston Price, Atkins, Saturated Fats are Great for You, You CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT ANIMAL PROTEIN, etc., crowd. (Yes, go ahead, hate me for saying this, before you read the end of the post. Click off, unsubscribe–I won’t apologize for saying this!) Regardless of all of the independently done research and studies (studies not funded by interest groups), which point to the benefits of plant-strong living, they rain brimstone and fire on everyone who dares to think for themselves. They are the ones who will give you “5 REASONS FOR WHY YOU SHOULD NOT BE VEGAN”, tell you how “VEGAN DIET CAUSES BRAIN SHRINKAGE” or “POOR PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT IN CHILDREN”. etc. They will overlook and deny all facts pointing otherwise.
If you run into these folks, do not waste your breath on talking vegan to them! They are not going to listen! You will get frustrated and, possibly, angry. You will be provoked, disheartened, and, if you are new to the vegan living, without knowing all the whys and the hows of it, they will shake you up, leaving you questioning your decisions. Let them be!
I know, I know, you might have a friend, a parent or a child, who is nearly dying from some ailment and you know that going vegan (the way we do it here) could save their lives, just like it did yours, but they simply do not listen! You want to shake them, yell at them, and MAKE them eat right, but the truth is–you cannot make someone want to be healthy! It does not matter how close they are to you and how hard you try. My 80+ yrs young Mom has had two bone replacement surgeries (knee and hip), and I know that going vegan could save her, and get her off her high blood pressure meds, but, regardless of what I say, she does not want to change. My heart bleeds every time I think about losing her to some health problem, but I had come to peace with the fact that I cannot make her be healthy–she has to want it for herself first. It is painful, but I had to learn to let go, and so will you. Remember–you simply cannot save everyone!
Can You be Healthy and Not be Vegan?
If you were hating me up to this point for what I said, you will be glad you stuck around to hear me say: “Yes!” to this question.
As much as I do want EVERYONE to go 100% vegan (whole foods, plant based) the studies have shown that as long as dairy and junk (sugar, oils, processed foods and too much salt) are eliminated from our diets and animal foods intake is reduced to less than 5% of our diets (to about 2-3 times a week, and only about the size of a deck of playing cards), it is possible to reap great health benefits still. Hard truth to admit to, but, I am a grown up and I have to tell you the truth. It is not a kind way to live, but is can still be healthy. So, if you know of someone who is hard core set against an all vegan lifestyle, teach them this one thing–you can eat a dead animal every now and then, and still live a healthful life*. Maybe they will never go vegan, but if you stop over-vegangelizing them, take a soft and patient approach, they might listen and cut down on flesh foods intake, cut out junk, cut down on their salt intake, dump sugars and oils, and will still be here, keeping you company for years to come.
*Certain people who have already experience serious health ailments (coronary, cancer, etc.), should stay away from all animal foods and saturated fats to ensure longevity and avoid further complications.
Now that you know why vegan is not for everyone, make sure to subscribe to receive future posts in which I will tell you how vegan can be for anyone wanting to give it a try.
Want to go Vegan but Don’t Know How?
If you do not eat a fully vegan (whole foods, plant based, no junk or nonsense) diet yet, but want to give it a try, and simply do not know how to, I have a solution! You must enroll in the Vegalicious Online Boot Camp program: Body by Plants! I created it for people just like you! Since its inception just over a year ago, hundreds have gone through the program and reaped great benefits. I provide you with vegan meal plans, vegan recipes, accountability, calls and email support and teach you how to do vegan right and get the health and the body you deserve in 30 days! Make sure to check out the program and hear what program graduates had to say about it.
Which Type are You?
- Which type do you fit into? The enlightened “YOU HAVE TO GO VEGAN” crowd or “VEGAN IS NOT FOR YOU” crowd?
- Did you have any unpleasant, unsuccessful vegangelizing experiences? How did you deal with them?