Overview: Plant-Based Lifestyle

What is a Plant-Based Diet?

A plant-based diet is essentially what it sounds like – a diet based on primarily eating plants. Following a plant based diet means you eat food mostly or entirely derived from plants; including vegetables, legumes, fruit, grains, nuts and seeds.

Whereas veganism does not allow any food from animal sources, a plant based diet is less rigid. Dairy, eggs, seafood and meat are all allowed on a plant based diet, but to be eaten sparingly, if at all.

There are numerous diets that can fall under the umbrella of a plant-based diet. Here are some of these diets as defined by wikipedia:

  • Veganism: diet of vegetables, legumes, fruit, grains, nuts, and seeds, but no food from animal sources.
  • Vegetarianism: diet of vegetables, legumes, fruit, nuts, and grains, that may include eggs and dairy, but no meat.
  • Semi-vegetarianism: mostly vegetarian diet with occasional inclusion of meat and/or poultry.
  • Pescatarian: semi-vegetarian diet with eggs, dairy and seafood.
  • Flexitarian: semi-vegetarian diet that includes limiting meat intake daily and/or being vegetarian only on certain days of the week.

So, what is a Plant-Based Lifestyle then?

A plant-based lifestyle is more than just a diet. Instead it seeks to exclude the use of any animal products from your everyday life. This includes clothing, accessories, furniture, cosmetics, household products, etc.

No leather couches or car interiors. No blue suede shoes. No goose down blankets. No wool socks. No cashmere sweaters. Instead you can opt for more environmentally friendly plant based materials such as cotton, bamboo, or hemp.

Some products are sneakier than others, requiring you to check ingredients. Make-up often contains a multitude of animals based products. Your beer isn’t safe either, neither is your candy. Alcohol or beer can contain insinglass, which comes from fish, while candy and vitamins often times includes gelatin.

It may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be.

Take baby steps. The idea is to be mindful. By reducing your use of animal products, you are making a difference one purchase at a time. Eventually it will become habit, and some day down the line, you might find you’ve eliminated animal products from your lifestyle entirely. Go you!