Lifestyle is the habits, attitudes, beliefs, and behavioral orientations of a person, group, or society. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his classic article, The Case of Miss R. in 1930. His concept has since become the basis for many important research studies of human behavior.
The word lifestyle itself came from two different linguistic forms. In German, “lammihache” meant “a way of life” while “lammihachricht” meant a luxurious life style. By creating a distinction between the two words, Adler sought to distinguish the two concepts by emphasizing the lifestyle characteristics of a person rather than the lifestyle choices made by those who described themselves as such. Thus, instead of “inflammihache,” we now use the more specific term “vegan lifestyle.” Adler’s concept is thus far the only one used by the medical community to demarcate two very different types of lifestyles.
The two lifestyle concepts are often compared, but not directly compared enough to say that they are truly similar. The word “lifestyle” can mean the same thing in both concepts. On one hand, a person might be said to be living a lifestyle, even if she is not engaged in any type of exercise, eating right, practicing yoga, practicing meditation, participating in a group or solitary activity, etc. However, this definition does not necessarily imply that a vegan lifestyle, vegetarianism, healthy diet, solo living, etc., are examples of lifestyles.
A new word, “blogosphere,” has been coined to describe this phenomenon. It comes from the word blog, which was once an online diary. In a blog, a person records her daily thoughts and feelings on a particular topic, usually in the form of a comment. The blogosphere refers to the online communities that dwell on a particular lifestyle, which includes healthy lifestyles, vegetarianism, yoga, meditation, exercise, politics, religion, pornography, drugs, food preferences, social media, etc.
Some examples of lifestyle blogs include those by vegetarians (blogs dealing with a diet), yoga practitioners, vegetarians who have created a blog to discuss the ethical issues of animal products, alcoholics (blogs dealing with alcoholism), and other healthy lifestyle enthusiasts. The word “blogosphere” was actually coined by entrepreneur and Internet personality Alva Czaia, who created a network marketing company called Just Sayin. The Just Sayin blog network continues to increase in popularity today. This type of lifestyle content may seem familiar to some readers; however, there are also blogs that are decidedly not lifestyle blogs, such as business magazines and news reports. In fact, there is a growing body of research indicating that many people do not engage in activities or consume activities that are considered to be unhealthy or that meet with the criteria for being considered unhealthy by the Lifestyle Alliance.
This alliance was created by exercise scientist Dr. Michael Allen, who is now a vegan health consultant. According to Dr. Allen,” lifestyles that are pure are good lifestyles. But when you cross the line into lifestyles that are too extreme, there is an increased risk for disease.” This information provides the basis for vegans and other proponents of a healthy lifestyle to claim that the terms “vegan” and “lifestyle” are not interchangeable and that a vegan lifestyle is significantly different than a strictly vegetarian one.