What Is the Vegan Lifestyle?
Lifestyle is a person’s general attitudes, interests, behaviors, and social orientations. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his 1930 book, The Case of Miss R. With the implied meaning of “the basic nature of a person as established early on”. As we have seen, the word has two meanings, one of them being “conduct” and the other one being “lifestyle”. It seems to me that the word “lifestyle” could stand for either of them, but I will leave that decision to you.
In The Social Network, Mad Men’s Pete Campbell asks, “What is your lifestyle?” to which Don Draper replies, “Not much. We’re a group of people who like to be on our terms.” This exchange conveys two competing definitions of what a “lifestyle” might be.
According to the socially-networked world of the mad men, their lifestyle is defined by a series of egotistical values that are shared only by a select few. The lifestyles of these members of the so-called elite circle are dictated not only by their own personal beliefs but also by the beliefs and behaviors of the people around them. Pete Campbell points out that the definition of “lifestyle” in this example also contains a paradox. “Don’t those words mean that you are not interested in women at all?” he asks.
The word lifestyle, according to Alfred Adler, has two different meanings. On the one hand, you can perceive a lifestyle as a set of social practices and attitudes. On the other hand, you can also perceive a lifestyle as a set of emotional responses to life events. Basically, it’s a word that can mean anything from “group” to “personality.” In fact, some refer to it as the new personal code.
The meaning of the word “lifestyle” as applied to the lives of humans is a mixture of all the definitions listed above. Albertson points out that there are two key elements for a healthy lifestyle: respect for yourself and respect for others. He maintains that the vegan lifestyle combines both elements and provides a “new twist” on an old theme – respect for animals as well as respect for non-human beings. By adopting this minimalist lifestyle, Albertson says, people create a space that promotes health, happiness and creativity in their lives. Albertson points out that the vegan lifestyle and the “New York City vegetarian” cuisine are two great examples of how people who adopt a minimalist lifestyle can combine the good things found in traditional diets with elements found in the animal-oriented cultures of the world.
For those looking for more information on the vegan lifestyle, Albertson has a website where he offers “the big picture” on what it means to be a vegetarian or vegan and what his thoughts are on animal rights and responsibility. You can also find out how you can live a vegan lifestyle through books, classes, and other resources. There are also organizations, such as the Physicians Committee for Healthy Eating, a nonprofit organization committed to eating healthy and leading healthy lifestyles. The American College of Nutrition emphasizes “raw foods,” including plant-based diets and “whole foods.” “Vegans and vegetarians enjoy many of the same nutritional benefits,” according to the college. According to the American Dietetic Association, “vegetarians have low risks of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and other diseases,” while animal-derived foods have “negative health consequences.”