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Vegan Vs. Vegetarian - The Differences

Updated on November 14, 2016

Vegan or Vegetarian?

Vegans and Vegetarians

To most people the differences between the dietary groups of Vegans and Vegetarians is small and insignificant. For those of us who follow the Vegan or Vegetarian diet however these small differences become not only important, but essential to how we run our daily lives!

So What is the Difference Between Vegetarian and Vegan Diets?

The main, over riding, difference between Vegans and Vegetarians is incredibly simple.  Vegetarians do not eat meat, vegans however eat no animal products.  If you are interested in becoming either vegan or vegetarian feel free to check out this great free collection of Free Vegan Recipes

So while a vegetarian will not eat beef, a vegan will not eat beef or drink milk.

The simple answer to why this divide occurs is on several levels, animal cruelty, dietary purposes and personal preference.

First off, Animal Cruelty.

Altering your diet for animal welfare is not uncommon, in fact it is often well thought of.  There is no doubt that many animals suffer, and this is the reason many people turn to veganism or vegetarianism.  The major difference between these two parties is that vegetarians tend to feel bad about eating the animal itself that suffered, similar to a guilt complex.  Vegans on the other hand tend to be more pro-actively boycotting all industries that thrive off animals.

Dietary purposes tend to differ, and seems to rest on peoples beliefs.  Many vegetarians do so as part of a diet, as well as vegans.  Both can help you keep in shape and help you lose weight, if done properly!  You have to be careful when following either diet however as improper vegan or vegetarian diet can cause heath problems due to malnutrition.  You can check out several Vegan Diet Advice tips on My Vegan Planet!

The final difference between vegans and vegetarians is personal taste, some people don't like the taste of meat that much, others feel queasy when they drink a drop of milk.  The truth of the matter is that people are different, some people like foods that others don't.

But whether you are vegetarian or vegan you can both enjoy some fantastic vegan recipes from My Vegan Planet 

The Blur Between the Defenitions

While Veganism and Vegetarianism both might seem clear-cut it is actually not at all uncommon to find vegetarians who eat fish, and even sometimes chicken as well as Vegans who eat things such as honey and wear fur coats.

This non adherence to the basic principles of the diet does annoy some of the more hardcore vegans and vegetarians, who do not feel that 'part time' vegans or vegetarians should class themselves as they do.

This close blurring of the lines is in my opinion a matter of non discussion, people can eat what they want as far as I am concerned, to some however it has led to outcry. 


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    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 6 years ago from Portugal

      Hey thisisoli, great hub you`ve got here! Even though I know how I feel so great every time I remove all animal products from my diet, I still eat some meat or fish (once or twice a week) and more regularly I also use yogurt... have you ever watch any of Dr. John McDougall videos? I recommend The Starch Solution... very, very interesting :)

    • profile image

      Carley 6 years ago

      Animal cruelty is the reason i've became a vegetarian. I'm only 15 but i think its a good choice for me. i've read that it makes a person feel alot better. :)

    • Online Money 101 profile image

      Online Money 101 7 years ago

      Yes, a vegan diet could necessitate that you pay attention to what you eat. The Wall St Journal recently presented an article indicating that those who eat a plant based diet have a much lower chance of getting various diseases including several cancers.

    • thisisoli profile image

      thisisoli 7 years ago from Austin, Texas (From York, England!)

      If you read it I do say improper diet. When you follow these diests, especially the vegan diet, you do need to learn a little bit about the foods you eat, since iceberg lettuce and cucumber are not going to sustain you.

      Many vagans also need to take iron supplements, and B12 suppliments.

    • profile image

      JitterBob 7 years ago

      Where the hell do you get off saying that vegan diets can cause malnutrition? That is a completely absurd and outlandish misconception. Vegetables have plenty of vitamins and contrary to popular belief, a more than significant amount of protein as well.

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      If you find a vegan who wears fur please send them my way so I can politely deal with them! lol. There is a difference in being a vegan and living the entire lifestyle (as I am) or people that are just consuming a vegan diet(which is totally fine with me...the more animals saved the better). What I can NOT stand however is someone that is consuming a vegan diet yet calls themselves "vegans" and still buys leather, fur, products tested on animals etc. This is so hypocritical. I'm going to check out your recipes! Great hub!

    • lisa brazeau profile image

      lisa brazeau 7 years ago from Canada

      Love the article! Thank you.