Friday, 15 February 2013

Vegetarian vs. Vegan

This message goes out to those of you who cannot seem to understand that being a vegetarian and being a vegan is not the same thing.  Vegetarianism and veganism are similar – yes, this is true – however, there are many distinct differences between the two.

As discussed last week, vegetarians abstain from eating animal flesh, aka meat.  "The Vegetarian Handbook" states that vegetarians survive mainly on plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.; however, some also consume animal by-products such as eggs and milk.

Vegans, on the other hand, abstain not only from all animal foods and by-products, but also from using any products derived from animals, as defined by "The Vegetarian Handbook."  Essentially, a vegan is an extremely strict and emphasized vegetarian. 

Many vegan diets are comprised of wholesome, energy-filled foods.  These diets are designed with a focus on unaltered, unprocessed foods such as raw fruits and vegetables, buts, seeds and grains.  There is little to no consumption of anything processed; therefore alcohol, coffee, tea, soda and even tobacco are considered taboo. 

Vegetarian and vegan diets are both concerned for the well-being of animals; however, their commitment and the degree to which they take action vary.  So, to all of you who think vegetarians and vegans are all the same, hopefully now you will see they are not.  

Source: Null, Gary. The Vegetarian Handbook: eating right for total health. Revised Edition. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 1996. Print.


  1. This post was very helpful to me. I have always had trouble distinguishing the differences.

  2. I know another way to distinguish a vegan from a crowd... they'll most certainly tell you.

    I feel like "vegan" has become a buzzword as of late and people claim to be one with little knowledge of what it actually requires. I saw a gentleman hassle a waitress for vegan options in a restaurant last week, only to finish his dining partner's chicken noodle soup not 10 minutes later. Ridiculous.

    Another gem I overheard whilst eating out recently, "I'll have the Chicken Caesar Salad please, dressing on the side; I'm a vegan." DUMB!

  3. This post was super interesting for me. As a meat eater I knew the basic differences between a vegan and vegetarian but you cleared up a lot of the grey areas for me!

  4. Great information! Didn't know there are so many knowledge in vegetarians and vegans.