Vegan Before 6 But Then Kill All The Animals You Want?

By Ted

Vegan Before 6 or VB6 is a new diet plan that I saw featured on The Today Show.

The basic premise is to eat an all plant based diet before six, but after six the dieter can eat all the animals he/she wants.

My first thought about this plan is that it is a bit of a contradiction. Vegan is more of a philosophy than a diet. Vegans do not want to harm animals in anyway, even using them for their fur, milk, or eggs.

Therefore, it’s impossible to be “vegan before 6”. A more accurate title would be “vegetarian before 6” or “plants only before 6”. In reality, this type of idea is called a flexitarian diet.

VB6 in a Nutshell

VB6 was written by Mark Bittman, who after being faced with pre-diabetes decided to try to reverse the condition by following a vegan diet. However, he only followed a vegan diet before 6. After 6 he ate whatever he wanted within moderation.

By eating this way, he lost 35 pounds and improved his blood numbers. Being a food writer by profession, he decided to do more research and develop his personal eating plan into this book.

Before Six

  • No animal products including dairy and eggs.
  • No refined grains
  • No refined sugars
  • No processed foods
  • Healthy plant fats only

After Six

Dieters can technically eat whatever they want, but are encouraged to eat within moderation, choose lean meat options and still include a lot of veggies.

Bittman believes that a lot of diets fail because they are too restrictive. On the other hand, his Vegan Before 6 plan allows dieters to experience the health benefits of following a plant based diet, but still enjoy the foods they love and get the vitamins often deficient in strictly vegan diets.

28 Day Vegan Before 6 Meal Plan

VB6 includes a 28 day meal plan in order to help dieters transition into this method of eating. The majority of the book is devoted to plant based recipes that teach readers how to cook vegan and prepare all the meals in the meal plan.

I Like the Concept

I do like the concept of VB6 and this is similar to the diet I follow, but I only have meat on the weekends. I don’t consider it a vegan diet, but mostly plant based.

Beyond my problems with the semantics of using the term “vegan” in the title of this diet, this seems like a good way to help people transition into eating more plants and less animals. This has not only positive health outcomes, but helps to ease the environmental impact mass, commercial animal farming has on the environment.

What do you think? Can you be a “part-time” vegan?

Vegan Before 6 is available on Amazon.


  1. Linda

    I think the argument over how the book is titled is absurd. Bittman does mention that his doctor said to become vegan and then states why he won’t become one 100%. He does explain through the book that he is relaxing some things before 6. I too would not go vegan, I like poultry, seafood and cheesecake too much. I do think it’s a workable approach to dieting for someone like me, and I hope I am able to follow it without getting cravings as I am a sugar addict. I hope it will change my bad habits to some extent and even help me to shed some unwanted pounds. I have an initial goal of 20 pounds in 6 weeks , my birthday.

  2. Jeff

    Herein lies the reason why so many people are put off vegans. It’s the smug, pofaced and holier than thou attitude you have. ‘Wa wa wa, you can’t use my word wa.’ It’s childish, who cares? As long as people are eating more plants it’s all good and more animals are saved from the factory farm as a result. I would’ve thought you would welcome something like this but instead you choose to moan about your precious little word being used.

    How can you tell if someone is a vegan or not?

    Don’t worry they’ll tell you.

  3. Michael Foster

    You are incorrect in your assumption that a plant based diet is somehow better for the environment. Commercial vegetable farming has a far greater impact on the quality of the topsoil, a precious natural resource not to mention the deforestation that occurs to grow profitable plants, not to mention the impact of transporting all these plant based products that do not grow in our local environs. A real solution is to be a locavore and eat wild caught/hunted animal products and locally grown non commercial vegetables Just one excerpt of many for you: “The Cranfield University study found that switching from British-bred beef and lamb to meat substitutes imported from abroad such as tofu and Quorn would increase the amount of land cultivated, raising the risk of forests being destroyed.”

  4. cilantrogirl

    Take a look at Wikipedia. There are numerous types of vegans, from ethical, to dietary, to environmental.

    • Michael Foster

      HAHA wikipedia

  5. Kelly

    I completely you agree with you that vegan is a lifestyle… While it may get the concept across quickly to people VB6 is offensive to those who have made the choice not to eat meat because, as Andrea said below – they want “to avoid animal suffering or exploitation of any kind”. Thank you for creating awareness around this! I am dwindling down my meat eating with baby steps as I just saw this video and love animals:
    Thanks! Kelly

  6. Andrea

    Vince is right. I had this argument with my own son, who IS vegan. The word has a definition; and that is to avoid animal suffering or exploitation of any kind. You cannot be a plant-eating fur-wearer and call yourself vegan, that would be absurd. You are eating a plant-based diet. And good for you, but you are still not vegan. It doesn’t mean any one of us is perfect, it means we do our best.

  7. Spectra

    I have a feeling he chose the title so that people would have some guidelines as to what to eat/what not to eat during the more restrictive part of the day. I don’t agree with calling the plan “vegan before 6”–it’s more like “No meat or animal products before dinner”, but that would be too long for a book title, I suppose.

  8. jc

    There are many reasons why the number of vegans has doubled in the US in less than 3 years. Here are two uplifting videos to help everyone understand why so many people are making this life affirming choice:

  9. Michelle

    I have to say I’m a bit confused about what Ted means when he says vegan is a philosophy. Most vegans and vegetarians do have a philosophy about not harming animals, but there are most definitely both vegans and vegetarians who choose those diets for health reasons alone. There’s no prerequisite that someone following either diet must subscribe to any philosophy. I just don’t see why “vegetarian before 6” would be anymore appropriate than “vegan before 6”.
    I like that this book promotes eating less animal products because I do believe most Americans eat far too much meat and dairy, though the “before 6” things like somewhat arbitrary.

    • Vince

      Vegans do not restrict their dietary choices for health reasons. It is becuase they believe in the philosophy that encompasses animal rights, non-violence and harm reduction. A true vegan lifestyle abstains from all animal products including but not limited to clothing containing animal products and items tested on animals. Each Vegan must determine what is reasonable for their life and the part of the world they live in. The philosophly does not require an absolute adhearance, as many things are completely out of our control.

      A person may choose to adhere to a plant based diet for health reasons, but may not believe in the politics of animal rights and non-violence. These people are simply on a plant based diet/lifestyle. Moreover, one can be vegetarian and not believe in the philosophy of Veganism.

      I am not making a judgement as I applaude everyone’s efforts to reduce the amount of animal products in their life, but there is a difference between veganism and plant based diets/lifestyles.

      • NaturallyFee

        Vince – I would have to disagree. The term vegan refers to not consuming or using meat or animal by-products. People’s reasons for that may vary. Some are about animal rights, some are for religion, some are for the benefits of the environment and some are for health. There is no requirement that in order to call yourself “vegan”, you have to be going it for the sake of the animal. The problem with just using the term “vegetarian”, is that I have found most people and places still include dairy and eggs in that. So I think vegan is really the best terminology for him to relay the idea behind the book.

        But that’s just my two cents.

        • Ted

          There is a distinct difference in the definition of vegan and vegetarian as Vince pointed out.” Vegan” is more than just what you eat whether it is for ethical or religious reasons, however, vegan isn’t meant to refer to diet alone. Its true meaning has been watered down, simplified and misunderstood by many . All vegans are vegetarians but not all vegetarians are vegans.

          • Athonwy

            Vince and Ted are correct. There is no such thing as a dietary Vegan. Veganism is a philosophy that, when practiced, seeks to avoid animal exploitation as much as possible. If you are eating a plant-based diet for health reasons you are not Vegan. People have co-opted and abused the term for their own selfish purposes or out of ignorance, but that doesn’t make their usage correct.