Plant-Based Diet, Vegan- What are You?
“ Are you a vegan?”
I get asked this question on a daily basis or whenever someone asks me about my dietary restrictions (also, I hate the word “restriction”!)
The short answer is “no”.
The longer answer is “ kind of, it depends, I don’t eat red meat or seafood, sometimes”?
WAIT! But did I not say I’m advocating a plant-based diet somewhere?
But before, anyone writes me off completely, hear me out.
The really long answer: I follow a plant-based diet. This is fundamentally not the same as vegan. And I have never felt completely comfortable calling myself as such because I have always felt that the term vegan is much more than just the foods.
So, what about my plant-based diet? Depending on who you ask plant-based means different things. Some people use it to describe a diet consisting of 100% plants with no processed foods. The scientific community, on the other hand defines plant-based as a diet consisting of predominantly plants. Not completely, but predominantly.
95% of my diet consists of plants. The remaining 5% could be anything from enjoying ethically raised, free-roaming, cage-free eggs or grass-fed butter to small scale organic honey. But I draw the line at red meat and shellfish. And also because I am a food geek and scientist, I like to know the provenance of my foods and how it was grown or farmed. The ethical considerations of how this food has ended up on my table has become an obsession for me because like what I said, you are really what you eat.
If I had to choose between a highly processed vegan burger vs. eggs that I knew came from free-roaming chickens, give me the eggs. This is my idea of balance and I love it!