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12 Types of Vegans & Vegan Diets

Did you know that there are different types of vegans and different types of vegan diets?

While all vegans avoid animal products as far as possible and practical, there are different types of vegans and different vegan diets?!

With over 9.7 million vegans in the USA alone, it is understandable that not all of these people follow the same exact diet. Similarly, there are a few reasons why people adopt a vegan lifestyle from going vegan for health reasons to being an ethical vegan.

Yet, what are these different types of vegans? How many different vegan diets are there? Let’s find out!

Types of Vegans

Types of Vegan

The different types of vegans will list the reasons why people follow a vegan lifestyle and name them accordingly.

The four main types of vegans are ethical vegans, environmental vegans, health vegans, and religious vegans.

Ethical Vegans – Types of Vegans

types of vegans - ethical vegans

Ethical Vegan = Vegans who give a sh*t about the animals.

Ethical Vegans are true vegans who have chosen a vegan lifestyle, as they are firmly against animal-cruelty. This type of vegans don’t want their life to involve exploiting animals in any way. About one third of people who choose to go vegan, do it for the animals, including me.

Animals are sentient creatures that have a right to live. So, ethical vegans believe that killing them is wrong and have made the link that there is no difference between a dog and a pig or a cat and a fish.

Furthermore, ethical vegans not only abstain from eating animals, but also from using any animal products. That would include leather, silk, wool, honey, and anything else that might come form an animal.

Health Vegans – Types of Vegans

types of vegans - health vegans

Health Vegan = they give a sh*t about their body and health.

Simon Winch, the CEO of Veganuary, said, “health is now the second biggest driver for so many people going vegan“. After ethical vegans, health vegans are the most common type of vegans.

Thanks to documentaries like the Game Changers and awareness of how too much red meat can increase the risk of bowel cancer and heart disease, more and more people are choosing veganism for their health.

A study carried out by medical test company Medichecks showed a vegan diet could help cut the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. People involved in the research who went vegan had lower than average blood glucose levels and lower levels of unhealthy cholesterol.

Environmental Vegans – Types of Vegans

Types of Vegans - Environmental Vegans

Environmental Vegan = vegans who give a sh*t about the planet.

Another type of vegan are environmental vegans. These individuals go vegan as a way of living a greener lifestyle in a bid to do their bit for the planet.

Environmental vegans adopt a vegan diet to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, minimize their contribution to deforestation, and reduce pollution by not supporting animal agriculture.

And for good reason. Animal agriculture is accountable for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation systems?

Religious Vegans – Types of Vegans

Buddha - vegan for religion

Religious Vegan = they give a sh*t about animals for spiritual reasons.

Religious vegans choose a vegan diet due to their spiritual beliefs.

Jainism, for example, is a religion where its followers consume a strict vegan diet. Followers of this ancient Indian religion abhor all violent activity. This belief extends to their diet, which meaning they consume a non-violent vegan diet.

In Thailand, Jainism is widespread and there is even an annual vegetarian festival. Despite the name, this is a weeklong festival full of vegan food!

Additionally, some, yet not all, Buddhists observe a vegan diet. Furthermore, there are a few religious vegans who are Jewish. Many Jewish vegans are particularly concerned with kosher practices which is demonstrated in the documentary film If This Is Kosher.

Types of Vegan Diets

Types of Vegan Diets

Now you know all about the different types of vegans from the ethical vegan to the religious vegan, let’s cover the different types of vegan diets!

A vegan diet is a diet which consists of no animal products. Vegans abstain from eating animals or anything an animal has created such as milk or honey.

This means they consume lots of great things such as nuts, legumes, beans, tofu, vegetables, fruits, cookies, dark chocolate, vegan alcohol, potatoes, pasta, bread etc. If it does not contain animal products such as pesky whey powder or gelatin, a vegan can eat it!

Yet there are many different types of vegan diets. For health vegans they may avoid eating items which a junk food vegan would love! Similarly, there may be a few vegan diets in this list that you have never heard of. For example, ever heard of a freegan or pegan?! Read on to find out.

Whole-food Vegan Diet

whole foods vegan diets basket

Whole-food Vegan Diet = a vegan diet consisting of mainly whole-foods.

Individuals who follow a whole-food vegan diet favor a diet rich in whole foods.

These whole foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Whole-food vegans try to avoid processed vegan food.

Junk-food Vegan Diet

junk food vegan burger

Junk-food Vegan Diet = a vegan diet heavy on processed vegan food.

While few vegans sustain themselves on a diet of just vegan junk-food, the rapid development of vegan junk food means that vegans can once again enjoy a burger, ice cream, and hot dogs.

Some call these vegans, junk-food vegans. These vegans eat lots of processed vegan food and mock meats. That said, just because you enjoy these delights from time to time, doesn’t mean you’re a “junk food vegan”.

Raw Vegan Diet

raw vegan cake

Raw Vegan Diet = A vegan diet consisting of food that has not been cooked above 104° F.

A raw vegan diet is where individuals will only consume uncooked vegan food.

As the name suggests, they eat their vegan food raw. This stems from the belief that cooking food at high temperatures results in the loss of important vitamins.

That is not to say that all raw vegan food is cold. Raw Vegans can heat their food to 104° F.

Gluten-free Vegan Diet

gluten-free vegan dish

Gluten-free Vegan Diet = a diet consisting of vegan food without gluten.

A Gluten-free vegan diet consists of a diet where no animal products or gluten-containing ingredients are consumed. For those of you not too sure what gluten is, gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat (durum, spelt, wheat and einkorn), rye and barley. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape and acts as a glue that holds food together.

Some individuals, known as celiacs, are affected by an autoimmune disease called “celiac disease”. They cannot eat gluten without becoming ill.

Fruitarian Vegan Diet

Frutarian Holding Grapes

Fruitarian Vegan Diet Definition = a vegan diet consisting solely of fruit, nuts, and seeds.

A fruitarian diet is a type of vegan diet where individuals only eat fruits, nuts, and seeds. Though, this is a bit debatable as some fruitarians won’t even eat nuts and seeds.

Yet, some vegans who follow a fruitarian diet also consume beans, lentils and peas.

While there are many strains of fruitarianism, fruit is the main focus of this vegan diet.

Raw Till 4 Vegan Diet

Vegan Raw Till 4 Diet = a vegan diet where you consume raw food until 4pm.

Raw till 4 is exactly what it sounds. With this diet, vegans eat a raw vegan diet until 4pm.

Some people believe that eating raw food is better as many nutrients can be lost by cooking food. Yet, as not everybody wants to follow a completely raw vegan diet, this diet enables vegans to enjoy a hot vegan meals in the evenings.

On the Raw Till 4 Vegan Diet there are no restrictions on cooking vegan food at a higher temperature after 4pm.

Paleo Vegan Diet (Pegan Diet)

Paleo Vegan Diet Definition = A diet consisting of what vegan cavemen would have eaten.

The paleo vegan diet is a variation of the paleo diet. The paleo diet is also known as the caveman diet.

Individuals who follow this eat like humans from the Paleolithicum era. The Paleolithicum era was the early stone age, and the argument for this diet is that we evolved on this food plan.

Followers eat “pure”, unprocessed foods. This includes plenty of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts and seeds. Strict paleo vegans or “pegans” do not eat legumes, grains, or anything else that was not eaten in the early stone age.

Freegan Diet

freegan diet - dumpster diving

Definition of a Freegan Diet = A diet that consists of vegan food you find and don’t pay for.

Freegans follow a freegan diet to protest waste in capitalist society.

They do not buy food but live off what is thrown away by supermarkets and individuals. Seen as a movement which has stemmed from dumpster diving, freegans get their vegan food from multiple different sources, not all of which are legal.

Essentially a freegan diet is one which the follower consumes vegan products that have been found rather than purchased.

Types of Vegans Wrap-up

I hope this guide to types of vegans and vegan diets has helped you understand the world of veganism better.

What about you? Are you vegan for reasons not covered in this article? Does your diet fall squarely into a category not mentioned here? I’d love to hear from you if so. Feel free to reach out and let me know!

Randi Delano, Creator & Owner

Randi is the creator and owner of Veggie Visa, a leading vegan travel and lifestyle website. With over a decade of experience as a vegan, combined with her classical training in culinary arts from the Institute of Culinary Education and her certification as a health coach, she expert advice on the topic of veganism. A seasoned traveler who has explored more than 30 countries, Randi brings a wealth of experience and insight into vegan travel. Her work has been featured in renowned publications such as Marie Claire, A Women’s Thing, XOJane, and Happy Cow, underscoring her authority and influence.