Vegetarian vs vegan: what’s the difference

Almond milk or cow's milk? Eggs or no eggs? Vegetarian or vegan?

You hear the “V” word thrown around left and right and you know that it has something to do with what is often jokingly referred to as rabbit food. But then, you recently realized that vegan isn’t short for vegetarian—veg or veggie is—and that said words refer to two distinct eating habits. Neither eat meat, that much is clear. So what is the difference between vegetarians and vegans?

1 The Definition of Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism is the diet adopted by vegetarians. It includes every food group save for meat and fish. Yes, fish. By definition, a vegetarian regime excludes fish and other seafood. People who consume tuna, salmon, shrimps and other kinds of aquatic animals but don’t eat other kinds of meat are called pescatarians (or pescetarians from pescetarianism).

2 The Definition of Veganism

In opposition to vegetarianism and pescetarianism, veganism is a lifestyle rather than a diet. People who eat like vegans but don’t apply the cruelty-free mentality to all aspects of their lives are considered plant-based rather than vegans. So what is it? Veganism is the exclusion of all animal-derived products. This excludes dairy and eggs diet-wise, as well as things like leather and beauty products tested on animals among other things.

3 The Difference between Vegan and Vegetarian

The major difference between vegetarians and vegans diets is essentially dairy and eggs. Vegetarians include these animal by-products, while vegans don’t. However, one’s plate is not the only aspect in which these two ethical decisions vary. Vegetarianism is only food related, while veganism also refers to cruelty-free lifestyle choices.

 

Basically to dairy and egg or not to dairy and egg is the main question when it comes to vegetarian vs vegan diets. That, and what kind of milk you like with your Oreos.


Cover credit: @healthy_ish | Instagram