Vegan vs. Vegetarian vs. Plant-Based

Credit: @brookelark

I've been asked by a few people what's the difference between vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based. It's all fairly simple and the main point is to stop the harm to animals.

So, what's the difference?


Vegan

I think vegan is the easiest one to explain and the best lifestyle choice, duh! ;) Veganism is best described as a LIFESTYLE (not a diet) in which you do your absolute best to not contribute to the abuse of animals, the planet, and your own body. You do not consume flesh or animal byproducts and you also do not use products that are made from or tested on animals.

It's all about being compassionate towards animals, the planet, and other humans.

Many people worry about deficiencies or not eating enough when they think of veganism. It's honestly incredibly easy to not only eat enough but to be a healthy vegan too! If you're really worried about deficiencies and not just using that as an excuse, you can always supplement. There's nothing wrong with taking a supplement, especially when you're first getting the hang of eating a variety of plant foods. If you're eating a large variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds, you're going to be fine! You can also get your blood checked for any deficiencies and ask your doctor which supplements or foods he'd recommend to increase your levels. There are many options out there.

You should also take it upon yourself to do your own research and form your own thoughts and opinions. Our bodies and needs are different from person to person and we should eat what makes us feel happy and healthy. I researched veganism, what vegans eat, and what vegans wear all before making the switch. I wanted to make sure I was informed and ready to start my new lifestyle. Of course, if I had questions I'd ask other vegans or do more research online. I'd learn from reading books, vegan websites, vegan YouTubers and blogger, and also I'd just learn by trial and error on my own.

There are tons and tons of vegans online that can help you on your journey. Don't be afraid to ask questions or to just ask for help. The greatest feeling is helping someone learn about veganism and it's even better when people actually commit to veganism! Also, don't forget that you might make some mistakes. There's nothing wrong with accidentally buying the wrong bread, eating that bread instead of throwing it in the trash, but then making sure you buy a vegan friendly bread next time! It's all part of the learning process.

No one is perfect.

Vegetarian

"a person who does not eat meat :  someone whose diet consists wholly of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy products"
So you don't eat animals, great! But you still eat things that come from animals. I do not consider vegetarianism to be a lifestyle. It's really just a diet. You don't necessarily abstain from using products that test on animals or that come from animals (leather, beeswax, etc.)

Vegetarianism is a very popular and well known diet that a large portion of the world follows. You probably won't have to explain this one to any of your friends and family since it's that popular.

You can read more about vegetarianism here and here!

Plant-Based

So plant-based is something new I've seen people use to describe their diet. 

What does it mean? Well, someone who calls themselves plant-based just means that they're basically vegetarian. They don't eat animal flesh but will occasionally eat products that come from animals. So it's pretty much just a trendy way of saying you're vegetarian. Again, it's not exactly a lifestyle, just a diet.
I totally recommend veganism and yes, that's totally biased but I don't even care. I feel so proud when I say "No, I won't eat that because I'm vegan", I don't feel limited and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. I still get to eat my favorite foods but I just have the added bonus of not feeling guilty about any of it. Even when people try to shame me for being vegan or try to persuade me to stop believing in the ethical treatment of animals, I just brush it off. At the end of the day everyone is going to make their own decision. Eat whatever you want, it's your choice. Vegan or not, you still need to eat to live but if you do decide on making the switch to veganism, there will always be friendly vegans out there that will help you find information and awesome new recipes for you to try.

I hope this was helpful. If it wasn't, I'm sorry. I just thought it would be a little helpful to talk about the difference between vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based. I obviously favor veganism but that's just because I've been vegan since 2013 and I truly believe it's an amazing lifestyle. If you have any question, leave me a comment below and I'll try my very best to share with you any thoughts or tips I may have.

xo,
Elle

No comments :

Post a Comment