What Is the Meaning of Lifestyle?
Lifestyle is generally the attitudes, interests, behavioral orientations, and behaviors, of an individual, society, or group. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his 29th book, The Case of Miss R. with the more modern term, “the basic nature of human beings as established early on in their lives”. The original meaning was to reflect upon the habits of the wild animals in the natural environment. This concept has been extended to human beings, and we refer to this as a Lifestyle.
We may divide a human’s Lifestyle into three broad categories, including vegan lifestyle, anti-vietical lifestyle, and other types of restrictive lifestyle. A vegan lifestyle may involve avoiding all animal products, including milk, eggs, honey, leather, fur, and tropical birds. A strict vegan Lifestyle could include drinking only organic or fully green juice, preparing all meals from scratch using fresh fruits and vegetables, consuming no fats, salts, sugars, or sweets, abstaining from sex until marriage, and avoiding all animal products in daily exercise and recreation. Anti-Dietary Lifestyles include restricting certain foods, including caffeine, alcohol, fizzy drinks, chocolate, fried items, peppermint, chocolates, nuts, wheat products, confectionary, junk food, soft drinks, tea, coffee, and wine. There are also other types of restrictions in the vegan and anti- vegetarian Lifestyle.
The most popular forms of these three broad lifestyles are vegetarian, vegan, and minimalist lifestyle. Vegetarian Lifestyle suggests that to be a vegetarian is to abstain from consuming meat, fish, and shellfish. Vegan Lifestyle includes eating animal-originated foods only. A vegan lifestyle may involve a degree of animal protection by refraining from animal consumption such as eating shelter animals, traveling in an automobile with animals inside, using space in one’s house for the purpose of sheltering animals, owning at least two types of pets, and keeping dead animals on your property for later use. Minimalist Lifestyles is a type of veganism that involves minimal consumption of foods, which include mostly fruits and vegetables.
As indicated by the definitions above, there are many different definitions of these lifestyles. The meaning of each of the three lifestyles can be compared through the lens of cultural psychology. Cultural psychology describes people’s responses to environmental factors and their interactions within a given culture. It further states that these factors influence our attitudes, beliefs, values, thoughts, and feelings toward other individuals and things. Since human beings are the result of several generations of living under different cultural conditions, these individual lifestyles are deeply ingrained into our thinking patterns, feelings, and behaviors.
Within the mass culture, all three life-styles can be found, except for vegetarianism. In the mass culture, people are more interested in buying products that have fast and easy results. This is why most products in the mass culture are processed and have quick effects on the consumers’ bodies. In addition, as indicated by the definitions above, meat-eating and dairy-eating are considered unhealthy and are frowned upon by the masses.
However, by examining the definitions of the three lifestyles mentioned above, it can be seen that Adorno was wrong when he claimed that “Lifestyle” does not exist. The reality of our culture is a mixture of these three lifestyles: animal-oriented, rational, and rationalistic. Our daily life can only be described as a combination of the individual’s individual life-style and the mass-culture’s predominant lifestyle, with some variations between the two.