What's the Difference Between a Vegan and a Vegetarian Diet?
When I was about five years old, I asked my mom if I could be a vegetarian. Now, how I knew what a vegetarian was at that age beats me, but apparently I knew what it was. But, anyway... My mom told me no because I would only be eating fruits and vegetables, and my response was something along the lines of 'So.' And of course I received the typical 'no' in return.
Then when I was in 8th grade or so, I decided that I wasn't going to eat cows. At this point, I figure that they assumed it was a phase, and let me do it. I cut out most cow products, and after a year or so realized that my favorite me was cow and that if I'm cutting out hamburgers and other beef, I had to stop eating pogogee. I have been cow-free for about 7 years.
Around the time that I stopped eating pogogee, my cousin, who loves pigs, decided to attempt to stop eating pork, but she couldn't do it. I told her not to worry, and I'd take her slack.
So, anyway, this long drawn out story, and I'm still not a vegetarian, much less a vegan, but I am what some consider a semi-vegetarian, where I only eat chicken, turkey, and fish.
But, the confusion lies with the difference between what is a vegetarian and a vegan. Most people just assume all vegetarians are vegans and vegans are vegetarians, but there is actually a difference between the two. Check it out below.
What is a vegetarian
A vegetarian is one who just excludes meats from his, or her diet. There are different extremes and variences to vegetarianism, but for the most part a vegetarian does not eat meat, fish, or poultry, which includes any slughter by-products, shellfish, sea animals, or game.
Some of the vegetarian variences include exluding eggs, dairy products, and honey.
Types of vegetarians can include:
- Semi-vegetarian is basically one in which the person does not eat meat but may include fish and/or poultry in their diet.
- Lacto-vegetarianian is one in which the person eats dairy products but not eggs or any ther meat.
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarianian is one in which the person eats both eggs and dairy products, but no other meats.
There are even other dietary practices associated with vegetarianism that can include fruit and nut only diets and raw vegetable and nut diets.
What is a vegan?
Veganism is the more extreme of the vegetarian lifestyle. Basically, those who are vegans to do not include any food, clothing, soaps, or any other products that have animal products or animal by-products in them or used in making. They don't consume or use any of these products.
Below, you'll find a list of common animal products and animal byproducts.
Most people who are vegans are so because of the ethical concern of animal rights, as well as the environment, human health, spiritual rites, or other reasons. But, most of the time the reason is animal rights and the practices involved in factory farming and anmal testing.
The actual term "animal product" refers to any product that comes from animals for human use.
Common animal products include:
- Dairy Products
- Meat, Poultry, Seafood, Eggs
Common animal by-products include:
Animal products and by-products are used in countless products, and if you check the ingredients, you're probably not going to find 'This product contains cow,' but you'll find the by-product listed on the label. If you saw on the ingredients label of your favorite toothpaste, 'Contains animal product,' would you purchase it again? Probably not, but by listing gelatin and you'd probably never know.
As for animals products such as honey and silk, you will find some vegans who actually use the products as well as other insect products.
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