Freegan: Meaning, Definition, Freegan Vs. Vegan

freegan meaning definition

Freeganism is a new movement and lifestyle that involves reducing waste and minimizing one’s environmental impact by rescuing and using discarded goods, especially when it comes to saving food (“dumpster diving”). In contrast to vegans, freegans may eat animal products if they are found or rescued from being wasted, but they do not actively seek them out. Let’s now explore freeganism in a bit more detail:

Are Freegans “Lazy Vegans”?

Maybe you have already the term “freegan” in connection with someone who eats a primarily plant-based diet but is not ready to exclude all animal products yet. The alternative terms you may have encountered “lazy vegan” or “flexitarian”. It is true that there is little difference between “freegan” and “flexitarian” when it comes to diet, both of these groups minimize their consumption of meat and other animal products while still eating some in limited amounts. However, freegans are more vocal eco-activists than flexitarians and are usually much more involved in dumpster diving.

What is Dumpster Diving?

A “bounty” from a dumpster dive.

Dumpster diving is a means of rescuing discarded goods, primarily food. To dumpster dive, freegans typically search through the contents of dumpsters, often behind grocery stores or restaurants, to find unspoiled and edible food that has been thrown away. They may also search for discarded household items and other goods that can be reused or repurposed.

While the practice of dumpster diving is legal in many areas, it is important for freegans to take precautions to ensure their safety and avoid trespassing on private property. Freegans may also share their rescued food and other goods with their community through “free stores” or other means of redistribution.

Are There Any Famous Freegans?

Freeganism is not a movement or lifestyle associated with high-profile individuals. It is generally practiced by individuals or small groups who are committed to reducing waste and minimizing their environmental impact through practices such as dumpster diving and reducing consumption.

While there are no notable figures specifically associated with freeganism, there are many well-known environmental activists and advocates who promote sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices, such as:

  • Bea Johnson, the author of “Zero Waste Home”, author, speaker, and minimalist
  • Lauren Singer, the founder of the blog and shop “Trash is for Tossers”
  • Rob Greenfield, an environmental activist and author who has undertaken several high-profile environmental projects, including living in a tiny house and wearing only clothes he found in dumpsters for a year
  • Greta Thunberg
  • Jane Goodall
  • Al Gore


To sum up, freegans care a lot about the environment and don’t like to see food being wasted. For this reason, they engage in dumpster diving and minimize the consumption of meat for environmental reasons, similarly to many flexitarians. However, in contrast to vegans, they might still consume some animal products occasionally, especially if they find meat or dairy products in dumpsters that would otherwise rot if they didn’t eat them.

Freeganism is a fast growing trend worldwide, especially among young people. Would you like to see if you could become a freegan as well? Feel free to continue reading Veggiepedia via related articles and pages below:

  1. Vegan Recipes
  2. Vegan Ingredients
  3. Vegan Video Courses
  4. Vegan Books
  5. Vegan Supplements


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