The term “industrial vegan” was first popularized in 2021 during the popular tv show, The Hustler by entrepreneur Craig Fergusson.
After watching the show, the term was trending for quite some time and made headlines on a number of vegan blogs and news channels.
So, what is an industrial vegan?
Simply put, an industrial vegan is somebody who only eats foods that are NOT industrially farmed, raised, or processed. For example, an industrial vegan would not eat “vegan meat,” as it’s the product of modern food processing.
In my opinion, an industrial vegan diet is very similar to the whole foods vegan diet, which consists mainly of eating natural, unprocessed foods. I have to admit, though, that I like the term “industrial vegan” a lot more.
In today’s post, I’ll explain exactly what industrial vegans eat, compare it to a traditional vegan diet, and unpack the four most common types of vegan diets. After this post, you may just call yourself an industrial vegan!
What Do Industrial Vegans Eat?
Personally, I think the diet should be called an “anti-industrial vegan” diet, as the whole point of the diet is to avoid industrially-processed food. I’m not the one who coined the term, though, so I don’t have any say in the matter…
So, what does an industrial vegan diet look like on a day-to-day basis?
As I mentioned, a whole foods vegan diet is pretty much as industrial as it gets. So, an industrial vegan would mostly consume all-natural, minimally-processed foods.
Ideally, your food wouldn’t consume any artificial chemicals, GMOs, or go through industrial processing. Any preservatives would have to be naturally-derived preservatives.
And, of course, it’s still a vegan diet, so an industrial vegan wouldn’t eat meat or consume animal products.
If you visit your local Whole Foods Market, you’ll realize that there’s an ever-expanding number of processed vegan foods. Whether you’re into vegan cookies, vegan brownies, or vegan “meat,” there’s something out there for you.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that there are all of these meat-free substitutes. Although I mostly try to eat all-natural food, I indulge my cravings for sugar or meat substitutes from time to time.
However, a lot of processed vegan foods contain just as much sugar and fat as the real thing. They may even contain more chemicals and artificial ingredients, which can be detrimental to your health in the long run.
The idea behind an industrial vegan is to avoid all of these potentially harmful additives by avoiding processed food altogether. Check out Dr. Oz’s take on vegan burgers to learn more:
Being an industrial vegan also goes a step further.
Optimally, an industrial vegan wouldn’t consume any mass-farmed or industrial processed plants.
Instead, they would try to eat fruits, vegetables, and plants obtained from small farms or purchase organic fruits and veggies that weren’t contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, or GMOs.
Vegan vs. Industrial Vegan: What’s The Difference?
Once you start getting into the semantics of specific vegan diets, I’ll admit that things can get a little bit confusing.
That’s why my main advice to people is usually, “Just do what feels right.”
Every person has different dietary needs and intolerances. So, while one person may feel great after eating a plant burger, the next person could get bloated and acidic from the extra sodium and fat.
To help you understand the difference between a traditional vegan diet and an industrial vegan diet, I put together this simple table:
|Traditional Vegan||Industrial Vegan|
|Avoids meat and animal products altogether. Instead, eats primarily plant-based foods. Most vegans may also eat artificially produced or semi-plant-based vegan substitutes as well.||Avoids meat and animal products, opting for plant-based foods instead. However, industrial vegans won’t consume any of the artificially produced or grown plants or vegan food that a regular vegan would.|
|Use vegan skincare products that are made by big-name brands.||Use all-natural skincare products that are made using only organic ingredients, such as handmade soap.|
|Consume non-animal sweeteners like corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, or stevia.||Won’t consume any commercially produced or processed sugars or sweeteners.|
|May wear synthetic fabrics or faux leather, which contribute to a lot of pollution and toxins in the air and waterways.||Will instead wear handmade plant leather and organic threads that are minimally processed.|
What’s The Point Of An Industrial Vegan Diet?
There are two main reasons why somebody would choose an industrial vegan diet.
The first reason is for health reasons. Eating clean, unprocessed whole foods has been scientifically proven to be healthier for our bodies. It can also help prevent disease and help us live longer.
The second reason is for environmental reasons. Although processed vegan food is animal-free and plant-based, it’s still made in a factory. These factories often produce large amounts of greenhouse gas, contributing to global warming and air pollution.
By avoiding processed foods altogether, you’re not only saving animals but you’re reducing your carbon footprint and taking a step to support a cleaner planet.
The Four Types of Vegan Diet
When making the switch to a vegan diet, people are usually motivated by one of four different motives.
Some are motivated by multiple or all of them! Personally, I’d say that the industrial vegan sub-niche is motivated by at least three of these motives.
1) Ethically-Driven Vegans
Ethical vegans avoid meat for animal cruelty reasons.
By refusing to eat meat, use animal products, or consume products tested on animals, they actively save animal lives and send a strong message to producers, “We won’t continue buying any products that use (or are tested on) animals.”
2) Religious Vegans
Religious vegans are those who choose to abstain from meat for religious reasons.
For example, many Hindus are vegetarian (which is slightly different from vegan) and believe that animals contain eternal souls. Some animals are even deemed as holy.
3) Health Vegans
Health vegans are those who choose a plant-based diet for health reasons. Many doctors have proven that plant-based diets are incredibly healthy and can prevent disease, lead to weight loss, and help you live longer.
4) Environmental Vegans
Environmental vegans are those who choose their diet to minimize their impact on the planet. It’s estimated that the meat industry accounts for 15% of global greenhouse gasses, which is a big deal.
Conclusion – Should You Try Industrial Veganism?
If you want to eat healthier and make a positive impact on the environment, then an industrial vegan diet could be a perfect choice!
You’ll have to kick many of your favorite vegan snacks and cravings, but if you have the willpower you’ll be a lot healthier for it!
If you want to take things a step further and really transform your body, then a raw vegan diet may be an even better option (or experiment to try).
To keep reading, check out my post on the raw vegan diet and how much weight it could help you lose next!