The concept of clean eating is not new. It has been around for a very long time. However, it makes its way back as a ‘new’ health/food trend under a different name every few years. Vegan Straight Edge is one such trend that emerged in the late 1990s as an expansion of the straight edge lifestyle that gained immense popularity during the 1980s.
But what does vegan straight edge mean? What are the benefits of being a straight edge vegan?
This is exactly what we’re going to discuss today, so let’s get to the point without further ado!
What Is Vegan Straight Edge?
Vegan straight edge, commonly referred to by its abbreviation xVx, is an advanced vegan ideology that emerged from the straight edge movement in the late 1990s.
But what is the Straight Edge movement? Let’s take a quick look.
What Is Straight Edge?
Straight Edge (abbreviated as sXe, XXX, or simply X) is a subculture of hardcore punk that originated in the ‘80s (after the release of Minor Threat’s song Straight Edge, in particular) as a reaction to the excesses associated with the hardcore punk lifestyle. It called for the elimination of all forms of intoxicants from your life. These include abstaining from alcohol, smoking, and recreational drugs.
Over time, as the straight edge movement gained popularity and spread, different versions of it emerged, just like with any other movement. For some, following an intoxicants-free lifestyle meant avoiding prescription drugs and caffeine as well, whereas others expanded the ideology to also include refraining from animal products.
The latter group of people was called vegetarian or vegan straight edge, depending on their food choices.
Want to learn more about the straight edge movement? Check out the following National Geographic documentary:
What Is the Vegan Straight Edge Lifestyle?
As evident from the term, vegan straight edge is a combination of vegan and straight edge lifestyles. Since a vegan straight edge person follows the principles of both lifestyles, they usually abstain from using animal products in all areas of life (veganism) and all forms of intoxicants (straight edge).
Why Be a Vegan Straight Edge? Benefits of the Vegan Straight Edge Lifestyle
The vegan straight edge lifestyle is quite restrictive, and hence, many find it daunting. However, a healthy, sober lifestyle offers a range of benefits, which many people believe makes it worth living a highly restrictive lifestyle.
The benefits of a vegan lifestyle are far-ranging. It’s good for your health, the animals, the environment, and the planet that we live on. In fact, you can refer to my article “Why Go Vegan” for a detailed discussion on the various benefits of adopting a vegan lifestyle.
The straight edge lifestyle, on the other hand, also provides a range of benefits. For example, abstaining from drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and other intoxicants is not only good for your health but also gives you more financial freedom (all that drug stuff can cost you a lot in the long run).
The straight edge lifestyle also helps improve your quality of life, allowing you to be fully aware and to savor each moment, to spend time with people or on things you love, and to make good memories.
Keeping yourself away from intoxicants requires a strong will and dedication, especially in today’s world where alcohol, cigarettes, and drug use are considered normal. However, following a straight edge lifestyle in such a scenario will help you learn how to stand your ground against adversity.
All of this may sound a little exaggerated, but as they say, it’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference. In relation to this, a vegan straight edge lifestyle will benefit you in more ways than you could imagine.
Here are some of the reasons that a follower on a Reddit post shared on why you should commit to a straight edge lifestyle:
What Are the Challenges of the Vegan Straight Edge Lifestyle?
The biggest challenge that comes with the vegan straight edge lifestyle is that it may put you at risk of social isolation if you’re not surrounded by like-minded or considerate people. It is quite a challenge to abstain from alcohol if everyone in your circle drinks. Your lifestyle choices may also raise a few eyebrows at every social gathering.
Consequently, you might feel like the odd one out initially. But remember, it’s all for the greater good. And you will get used to it after a while.
To Sum Up – Is It Worth Being a Straight Edge Vegan?
While people may have several arguments against the vegan lifestyle (its diet, primarily), no one can justify the consumption of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and other stuff that negatively impacts your health, both physical and psychological. Hence, a straight edge lifestyle is worth following for everyone.
Having said that, if you have committed to the straight edge lifestyle, it shows that you value your health and life. So, why not take things a step ahead to further improve your health and life as well as that of other animals? Veganism helps you do just that. It advocates a lifestyle that is not only good for us but also for the animals, our environment, and our planet at large.
A vegan straight edge lifestyle may seem daunting, but it’s just another name for clean living, a concept that we all know and have been advocating for a long time.
Let’s answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the (vegan) straight edge lifestyle to help you gain a better understanding of this decades-old health and food trend.
· Do you have to be a hardcore punk to follow the straight edge lifestyle?
The short answer is no!
Straight edge may have emerged as a hardcore punk subculture, and many people get introduced to the idea from there only. However, it has long transcended the boundaries. It is now a way of healthy, clean living, just like many others.
· Do you have to be vegan to be straight edge?
Not necessarily. You can be a straight edge person and not a vegan or vice versa.
The vegan straight edge lifestyle can be termed as an advanced form of straight edge lifestyle where you’re not only concerned about your health and cautious of your lifestyle’s impact on animals, the environment, and the planet and seek to minimize that impact as much as possible.
· Is straight edge still a thing?
Contrary to common perception, the Straight Edge movement has not died. It may not be the ‘it’ health trend anymore and may have lost its strong relevance with the punk scene, but it’s still very much alive and has a dedicated community of followers.
There are also a large number of people who do not classify themselves as “straight edge” or are unaware of the movement but follow the healthy and sober lifestyle that it promotes.
· What does xVx mean?
xVx is the slang or short for straight edge vegans.
· Can straight edge followers drink coffee?
The original straight edge movement did not require abstaining from coffee or caffeine. However, over time, some people decided to also stop their caffeine consumption and their use of intoxicants, just like some people paired it up with a vegan diet. So, it’s just another variation of the straight edge lifestyle.
· Are there any famous people who follow the straight edge lifestyle?
There are many! Some of the popular names in the straight edge community, from different industries, include:
- CM Punk – Actor, commentator, and wrestler
- Ben Myers – English journalist and writer
- Beau Bokan – The frontman of Blessthefall; an American metalcore band
- Bif Naked – Record selling and award-winning Canadian rock singer, actress, and motivational speaker
- C.J. Wilson – Former professional baseball pitcher for the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels
If you found this article informative or helpful in any way, you may also enjoy my other vegan articles! Check out my article “Vegan vs. Pescetarian” to learn the difference between two leading modern food trends.