LIFESTYLE refers to a set of related concepts and ideas, which, at the most basic level, defines human beings as individuals who live and interact in a complex social world. Lifestyle is the cultural, behavioral, and attitudes orientations of a person, family, or group. The word was introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his influential article, The Case of Miss R. in 1930. In this article he described how people form a set of core beliefs about themselves, their background, their behavior, and their desires, which they hold to be true about themselves and their world in general.
The concept of LIFESTYLE has become increasingly popular over the past several years. One of its most important positive influences has been the work of American social psychologist Philip Zimbardo in the controversial prison study known as the Stanford Prison Experiment. The prison study examined the relationship between socialization and violent behavior among two groups of young men, one of which was placed in a solitary cell for the entire length of the experiment. The other group was housed with fellow inmates in what was essentially a large prison-like structure. The outcome was startling: The people who spent their time in the isolated environment were found to be significantly more violent than those who spent their time in a shared environment. Philip Zimbardo was fired from his job as a professor at Stanford after the release of the Stanford Prison Experiment, but his reputation remained intact.
Today the LIFESTYLE concept has come to play a major role in many areas of psychology, particularly in the field of lifestyle science. In particular, the word LIFESTYLE has come to refer to a particular brand of kitchen utensil, the so-called vegan lifestyle, and other forms of veganism and vegetarianism. This is because the founder of LIFESTYLE, Julia Gerson, had a vision of creating a “humanist” lifestyle that would eschew animal products and promote a healthier, more holistic approach to eating. She created the LIFESTYLE brand to provide something more exciting and distinctive to those interested in a healthier lifestyle, and she found it in the baking ingredients of certain staples of vegan cooking.
In some ways, veganism and LIFESTYLE overlap. Many advocates of healthy vegetarian lifestyles are also advocates of veganism and LIFESTYLE, since both lifestyles emphasize the importance of eating minimally processed foods as much as possible. Veganism and LIFESTYLE overlap because many advocates of vegetarianism and veganism also advocate some or all of these lifestyle choices as important parts of their overall health and wellness, if not essential components.
Vegans and vegetarians also overlap, but they do not share the same affinity for the lifestyle. One reason that Vegans and vegetarians do not feel strongly about the lifestyle may be related to word associations. For instance, it is not easy to conjure up images of a healthy vegan lifestyle, since most people would associate a vegan with plant-based foods that do not contain animal products. In contrast, it is much easier to conjure up an image of a vegan with a plate of organic eggs over a slice of pizza, which is exactly what the owner of LIFESTYLE, Julia Gerson, does on her website.
The Iron Mountain Diet and LIFESTYLE are two of the newest, most exciting examples of a “veganism” and “lifestyle” hybrid. While many traditional “vegans” have been co-opted by trendy, self-fashion-driven fashion styles, there is still a contingent of vegans (and vegetarians) who value health and a more natural way of life, above all things else. By creating a product that combines “veganism” with a “lifestyle” experience, Iron Mountain has created a product that can appeal to a wide range of consumers. It may also spark renewed interest in previously neglected forms of vegetarianism and veganism. Whether or not LIFESTYLE will become a new mainstream trend is anyone’s guess.