Raw veganism is a diet which combines veganism and raw foodism. It excludes all food of animal origin, and all food cooked above 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit). A raw vegan diet includes raw vegetables and fruits, nuts and nut pastes, grain and legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea vegetables, herbs, and fresh juices. There are many different versions of the diet, including fruitarianism, juicearianism, and sproutarianism. Sometimes the definition of a raw vegan diet is loosened to include vegan diets with at least 75% raw foods.
In addition to the ethics of eating meat, dairy, eggs and honey, raw vegans may be motivated by:
Some raw vegans believe that cooking foods destroys the complex balance of micronutrients. They may also believe that, in the cooking process, dangerous chemicals are produced by the heat interaction with fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Often, based on their energy levels and how a person feels when eating a raw diet, individuals believe it is a healthier diet.
Some raw vegans are concerned about deforestation and sustainability. The use of wood or fossil fuels for cooking is harmful to the environment. Packaging used in non-raw foods creates more waste; by purchasing only raw vegan foods, waste production can be reduced. Also, with completely raw foods, any food left uneaten can be put in a compost pile to be used as fertilizer later, reducing waste levels. Non-raw and salty foods cannot be composted.
Spiritual and/or philosophical reasons
Many dedicated followers of a raw vegan diet place importance on spiritual gain. Ruthann Russo states, “The raw food movement looks at the way food, living, treatment of the earth, our treatment of each other, and our quest for physical, spiritual, and mental health all fit together.”