The Difference Between Vegan And Vegetarian

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Lately, veganism is getting a fair amount of press and attention. But what is the difference between vegan and vegetarian diets?

Vegetarian diets reportedly existed as early as 700 BC. There are several types, and people can practice them for a variety of reasons, including health, ethics, environmentalism, and religion.

Lately, veganism is getting a fair amount of press and attention. But what is the difference between vegan and vegetarian diets?

Here, I’d be spreading out the differences and little similarities between these two diets. I’d show you how they affect your health and the environment.

What Is A Vegetarian Diet?

Based on the Vegetarian Society view, a vegetarian does not eat meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish, or animal slaughter by-products.  Vegetarian diets contain varying levels of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. The inclusion of egg and dairy depends on the type of diet you follow.

The Basic Types Of Vegetarians Are:

  • The Lacto-Ovo vegetarians: Vegetarians who avoid all animal meat but consume dairy and egg products.
  • The Lacto vegetarians: These are vegetarians who avoid meat and eggs but consume dairy products.
  • The Ovo vegetarians: These are vegetarians who avoid all animal products except eggs.
  • The Vegans: vegetarians who avoid all products of animal and animal origin.

People who stay away from meat or poultry but eat fish are considered pescatarians, while part-time vegetarians are often referred to as flexitarians.  Although they are sometimes considered vegetarians, fishers and flex items do eat animal meat.  Therefore, they technically do not fall under the definition of vegetarianism.

What Is A Vegan Diet?

A vegan diet can be said to be the most rigorous method of vegetarianism.

However, veganism is currently defined by the Vegan Society as a way of life that seeks to exclude as far as possible all forms of exploitation and animal cruelty.

Veganism includes exploitation for food and any other purpose. Therefore, a vegan diet excludes animal meat and dairy products, eggs, and animal origin ingredients. These include honey, carmine, gelatin, shellac, albumin, whey, pepsin, casein, and vitamin D3.

Vegans and vegetarians often avoid eating animal products for similar reasons.  The most significant difference is the degree to which they consider animal products acceptable.

For example, both vegans and vegetarians can exclude meat from their diet for environmental or health reasons.

Nevertheless, vegans also choose to stay away from all animal by-products because they believe this has the most significant impact on their health and the environment.  In ethical terms, vegetarians are against killing animals for food but consider the consumption of animal by-products such as milk and eggs to be acceptable as long as the animals are kept in appropriate conditions.

Nevertheless, vegans believe that animals have the right to be free from human use, be it for food, clothing, science, or entertainment.

Therefore, they try to exclude all animal by-products, regardless of how they are raised or housed.

The urge and desire to avoid all forms of animal exploitation is the reason why vegans choose to forgo dairy products and eggs, products that many vegetarians have no problem-consuming.

Nutrition Considerations For Vegetarian And Vegan Diets

Research shows that vegetarian and vegan diets have a tendency to be low in saturated fat and cholesterol. They also have the tendency to contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy plant compounds.

Additionally, both diets contain a large amount of nutrient-rich foods.  These can include fruits, whole grains, vegetables, soy products, nuts, and seeds.

Furthermore, poorly planned vegetarian and vegan diets may result in a low intake of certain nutrients, calcium, zinc, particularly iron, and vitamin D. Both diets also tend to contain limited amounts of vitamin B12 omega-chain fatty acids.  Three long. However, the levels of these nutrients are generally lower in vegans than in vegetarians.

Which Is Healthier?

Extensive research shows that vegetarian and vegan diets can be considered appropriate for all life stages; thus, the diet is well planned.  An inadequate intake of nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and B12 can negatively affect various health aspects, including mental and physical health.  Both vegetarians and vegans may have a lower intake of these nutrients. Furthermore, in-depth research shows that vegetarians tend to consume slightly more calcium and vitamin B12 than vegans.

However, both vegetarians and vegans should pay particular attention to nutritional strategies to increase the absorption of nutrients from plant foods.  You may also need to consume fortified foods and supplements, especially for nutrients like iron, calcium, omega-3s, vitamins D, and B12.  Vegetarians and vegans should seriously consider analyzing their daily nutrient intake, measuring nutrient levels in their blood, and taking supplements accordingly.

The few studies that directly compare vegetarian and vegan diets report that vegans may have a slightly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and various types of cancer than vegetarians.  Additionally, vegans tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than vegetarians and seem to increase less as they age.

That said, most of the studies so far have been observational.  This means that it is impossible to say precisely what aspect of the vegan diet produces these effects or to confirm that diet is the only determining factor.

Veganism Is Much Deeper Than What You Eat And Consume

Although vegetarians and vegans may choose to avoid animal products for similar purposes, this option often extends beyond the vegan diet.  Indeed, veganism is often considered a lifestyle firmly anchored in animal rights.  For this reason, many vegans also avoid buying items that contain silk, wool, leather, or suede.

Additionally, many vegans boycott companies that experiment on animals and only buy cosmetics that do not contain animal by-products.  Ethical vegans also tend to stay away from circuses, zoos, rodeos, horse racing, and any other activities that involve the use of animals for entertainment.

Finally, many environmentalists adopt a vegan diet because of the benefits it has against climate change and its reduced impact on the earth’s resources.


Vegetarians and vegans can avoid consuming animal products for similar reasons, but they do so to varying degrees. There are many vegetarians, and vegans are on the stricter end of the vegetarian spectrum.  Both types of diets can be considered safe for all life stages, but vegan diets can even offer additional health benefits.  However, both vegetarians and vegans need to plan their diets well to avoid long-term health problems.



In general, vegetarians simply don’t eat animals or anything gotten from animals. A vegetarian is a person living and surviving on a diet of legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, algae, yeast, and other non-animal foods.

A vegetarian avoids food that consists of or has been produced with the help of products made or created from any part of the body of a living or dead animal. This includes meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, insects, slaughter by-products, or any food made with processing aids created by these.

There are several types of vegetarians. They are: Lacto-Ovo consumes both eggs and milk, Ovo consumes eggs, and Lacto consumes dairy products, but not chicken eggs. Pescatarians abandon meat such as beef, pork, and chicken but continue to eat fish. In general, this is where vegetarianism ends.

  • Veganism

Veganism is a life pattern and not a diet, a moral position, could be said to be a philosophy. The Vegan Society termed it a way of life that doesn’t support animals’ cruelty and exploitation for clothing, food, and survival.

Where vegetarianism can, and often does end, simply omit animal meat from the diet, veganism is termed to be the moral objection to the abuse, use, and taking advantage of animals.

For this cause, vegans do away with whatever that concerns animals and their secretions from their diet and avoid using products of animal origin (e.g., wool and leather), and avoid using commodities that have been tested on animals or contain animal by-products. For example, a vegan would avoid wearing clothes that include animal skin or design. They will also not watch movies or partake in sports that support the use of animals.

  • Dairy product

Dairy production is considered by many vegans to be even less ethical than meat production. To produce milk, cows must be pregnant. They are usually artificially impregnated. After giving birth, the calves are removed, causing great distress to the mother and the baby.

According to government data, around 95,000 calves (male calves) die during or around birth. This is because the industry cannot benefit from them as they do not produce milk and are therefore worthless. After the cows have gone through this cycle several times, they are sent to the slaughterhouse. It is a system that depends on the exploitation of the female reproductive system and on causing physical and emotional harm to animals.

  • Eggs

Egg production is also systematically cruel, as it is based on the mass slaughter of animals. Since the males do not lay eggs and therefore have no economic value to the producers, they are killed, often by gassing them or throwing them alive in a grinder. The females’ fate is even worse: they are kept in cramped, often bleak, and stressful conditions, laying eggs until they become useless to them, at which point they are killed.

  • Plant-based

Another phrase that is rapidly gaining popularity is plant-based: what does it mean? Herbal effects explicitly affect the diet. In its purest definition, a plant-based diet is limited to plant-based foods (such as a vegan diet), but also, plant-based dieters often limit their intake of processed foods and fats, choosing to eat this way for good health. A plant-based diet is not necessarily vegan, as you can follow this diet without adhering to veganism’s moral framework.


For many people, vegetarianism is a step on the road to veganism; It’s not always an overnight change, and many like to implement changes in their diet and lifestyle slowly.

Others may take a deep interest in animals but are unaware of the barbaric practices within the dairy and egg industries (generally kept hidden from public view).

But switching to a vegan lifestyle can be personally rewarding, as well as kinder to animals and the environment.

On a vegetarian diet or not, what are some non-meat protein sources?

The meatless protein sources that offer your health’s best value are “complete proteins,” which contain the essential amino acids your body needs. Some complete proteins include eggs, milk, cheese, soy, and quinoa. Some other excellent protein sources may not contain all amino acids, but they can be combined with other foods for a complete nutritional package. Below are a list of them.

  • BEANS:

Many forms of beans contain a large amount of protein per serving.


This is a wheat gluten-based meat alternative.


It is a yeast strain that has a cheese flavor. It can be sprinkled on food to add a hint of protein.


Ancient grains include spelled teff, barley, sorghum, spelled, and einkorn spelled. These ancient grains are richer in protein than common grains.

In addition to these foods, peas and other legumes, almonds, peanuts, oats, spirulina, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and sweet corn are good sources of protein for vegetarians. While it may seem like skipping meat products would make vegetarians protein-free, there are indeed a plethora of alternative sources of protein.


In the simplest word, veganism is the harshest and most rigid version of vegetarianism.

Commonly, the word vegetarian describes only the consumed foods; nevertheless, a lot of vegetarians lead a similar way of life. Being vegan, in the plain sense of the word, is beyond just dieting. Vegans are so committed, and they strive to avoid animal products in all aspects of their lives, including clothing, cosmetics, household items, and of course, food. Therefore, the strict vegetarian diet devoid of animal products is only part of living a vegan lifestyle. For many vegans worldwide, the transition from a standard diet to a new lifestyle occurs in stages. This can sometimes include switching to a variety of less strict vegetarian diets and then stepping up lifestyle changes once a strict vegan diet is achieved.

Vegans aim to minimize all animals’ exploitation, while vegetarianism mainly reduces direct violence on animals (e.g., slaughter). This is also why veganism now has cult status, as veganism is more about a compassionate lifestyle than eating behavior.