The Vegan Ladder

The vegan diet is one of avoidance and people often come by it first through vegetarianism. Maybe it was a visceral reaction against eating animals but they soon find out that the non-direct parts are just as bad and go vegan. Well, sometimes. Anyway, but once you’ve had that taste of righteousness through eschew-ment there’s a tendency to seek the “next level” going towards raw foodism (and beyond). I’ve heard it describes as a “ladder” but it’s more like a slippery slope that plunges into newage bliss as you become ordained as a minister of ignorance holy.

So let’s break down the various steps one may go through on their vegan journey of which there are more than 5 levels unlike a common misconception:

Vegetarian – No meat diet but often dairy and eggs (and sometimes seafood) are included. Meat, being animal flesh is the most obvious form of animal which is why it’s usually top of the list for people to cut out.

Vegan – No animal products of any kind in any product purchased. It started as an ethical concern towards animal but is now relegated to a mere diet.

Raw Food – No animal products (usually) and no cooked foods. The philosophy centers around the appeal to nature that no other animals cook their food. That same argument could also though, explain human’s success.

Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, etc – This is where it gets really goofy. When somebody’s disorder requires them give up a specific ingredient for allergy or intolerance some people take that as a sort of cargo cult science and think: “makes them healthy, must make me healthy, ingredient must be bad for everybody. SHUN THE GLUTEN OMG!”.

Fruitarian – This ups the ethical bar from eschewing the killing of animals to the eschewing the killing of plants. Only eat what the plants offer up to you, you filthy plant murderers!

Breatharian – This adds some magic into the mix by attempting to eschew all food and subsist only on sunlight like plants. To do this you sungaze. You look into the sun. I wish I was kidding.

Paleo – Now that you’ve nearly killed yourself without food you go back to eating the same stuff like everybody else except by everybody else I mean everybody else 10,000 years ago. Now THAT is the ultimate appeal to nature. Makes sense that many rawfoodists jump right to paleo.

In a time where mortality rates are dropping and modern medicine is kicking ass why are there these obsessions with specialized diets? You’d think we would be grateful to just having enough of anything to eat. Many on this earth would be so lucky. Not for us, we gotta fetishize diet and flaunt our abundance.

6 comments to The Vegan Ladder

  • Jonathan

    Is there a point to this? Are you suggesting that a philosophy of animal rights necessities this progression of dieting? Are you a recovering fruitarian?

  • Diets of omission lead many astray as the diet becomes the goal. I was never fruitarian, no.

  • Amy

    Ha – I love it. So amuzing how the Raw Fruit people all leap immediately into Paleo once they find their diet is not working.

  • “In a time where mortality rates are dropping and modern medicine is kicking ass why are there these obsessions with specialized diets? You’d think we would be grateful to just having enough of anything to eat. Many on this earth would be so lucky. Not for us, we gotta fetishize diet and flaunt our abundance.” ~ I think this nails a general trend in our culture to look for a unified explanation of everything in food…. and there proliferates an army of ‘alternative health’ crystal waving, muscle testing, allergy pushing phoneys to facilitate it. Until recently I ran an ethically veggie B&B but you’d be astonished at how many folk think this is carte blanche to indulge any and every style of dietary micromanagement. It’s not funny when guests make you jump through the catering hoops demanding a vegan gluten free soya free sugar free diet because some crystal waving nutjob says it will solve all their problems and then you see them out eating pizza!

    • I really feel for any business who tries to cater towards vegans. They’re not consistent in their demands and will always find something to gripe about. It’s the NOT VEGAN game.

      When my work got a new chef I made sure to talk to her about what vegan meant. Later I come to find out another “vegan” did the same and told her oil was verboten. I’ve since given up on educating what “vegan” is to food producers, it’s a lost cause.

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