Can You Be a Part-Time Vegan?
Last updated on December 2nd, 2023
Is it possible to be a part-time vegan? Or is it all or nothing?
Are there different levels to being vegan? If this is baffling you then read on because we’re going to dive into this question that seems to be on people’s minds a lot lately.
What does it mean to be a part-time vegan?
Can you be a part-time vegan?
In short, no. But hold up, I’m not trying to be one of those judgy vegans telling you if you don’t become a vegan this minute, and do it perfectly, you’re worth nothing. Because that’s absolutely not true.
But, what exactly is a part-time vegan?
Is it someone who avoids animal products sometimes? But, isn’t that everyone?
Yes, every time someone eats an apple, a bag of chips, or an avocado on toast, they could be described as a part-time vegan. And I’m certain we all know some folk who would undoubtedly freak out at the idea of being a vegan of any type, but under this description, we would consider them part-time vegans.
Do we even need to label it?
Instead of the label part-time vegan, maybe a label simply isn’t necessary? How about going with something like “I’m reducing my meat and dairy intake” or “I’m trying to make changes to my diet to make a positive difference”. It’s still great because we all know that any step is a positive step. If everyone tried to follow a vegan diet, for even one day a week it would make an unimaginable change!
So, it’s far from nothing but…does there need to be an actual label?
The debate about part-time vegans has recently been fired up by Oatly – one of the biggest oat milk companies out there.
They’ve recently launched a marketing campaign to promote part-time veganism. And boy has this campaign incited a lot of opinions within the vegan community. Some getting very riled up by it while others seem to understand it and get their angle.
Personally, looking into their logic, I do kind of get it, but not sure I like it. In their marketing, they’ve used lines such as:
- “Part-time vegan ‘til I die”
- “Justice for the planet from 8-9 AM”
One of my worries is that it’s creating a hopeless feeling about veganism. If one hour a day is all a person’s challenge is, then it’s likely to make people believe becoming vegan is unachievable. Or once you become a part-time vegan that’s it, you’re done, and you can carry on that way til you die.
As a vegan, I, like most others, genuinely do want people to feel they can make the change. If this means people doing their best but having a slip-up or letting themselves off the hook now and again, that’s fine. But aiming for an hour a day? Is that the goal?
Are we making the idea of becoming vegan look so hard that an hour a day is a huge success?
Does the phrase part-time vegan dilute the message?
I think so. Again, not to discourage anybody from trying to make a positive change, but for those who are already vegan, especially for a while, then it’s likely to be much more than a diet. It’s who they are, it’s a way to fight for what they believe.
And It doesn’t stop with what they eat. It’s about what they wear, what they drink, what beauty and hygiene products they buy and so much more. So, it can be understandable that when a company is encouraging veganism for an hour a day til you die as the goal, it can be a bit frustrating.
Can you be part-time plant-based?
I suppose so.
A plant-based diet is often about eating foods that grow naturally and avoiding processed and unhealthy foods, often for health or environmental reasons. It seems to be less of a lifestyle and more of a purely dietary thing, so I suppose being part-time plant-based seems to make more sense than being part-time vegan.
But, here’s the thing, should we even worry about labels and statuses? Of course, there can be times when it’s useful to say I’m vegan, but that’s not the important part. Us all trying our best to make positive change is the thing that actually matters.
I have friends who are most of the way there, but occasionally just slip up or allow themselves certain things. If we tell them it’s not good enough maybe they’d stop their effort and that 95% reduction will be gone.
Does the Perfect Vegan Even Exist?
Are any of us even 100% vegan all the time anyway? If you listen to any of those keyboard warriors you’d be regularly reminded that plants have feelings too! LOL!
But actually, there are more than a few insects killed to get our veggies on our plates. I think there’ll always be something to be found. I guess the perfect vegan doesn’t exist.
Let’s not put off those who are doing their best! If you are trying to make a positive change, keep trying. And if someone calls themself a part-time vegan to help the process I’m not going to stand in their way.
If you’re trying to reduce the animal products you eat then take a look at these posts – How To Make Becoming Vegan Easy! & Why Vegans Don’t Eat Eggs. Aren’t they a natural part of a hen’s life?
Meet the Author
Meet Sinead O’Carroll: Vegan explorer, sustainability advocate and the founder of The Wondering Wandering Vegan. Embracing veganism since 2018 and vegetarianism since 2005, Sinead is armed with a Vegan Health, Nutrition and Lifestyle qualification, and is on a mission to share her passion for cruelty-free living.
With a taste for adventure and a heart for eco-conscious choices, she’s here to prove that vegans never miss out on flavour, fun or style. Join her in enjoying the delights of a vegan-friendly world! 🌱✈️🌍
Want to know more? Check out Sinead’s About page here.