Vegan and vegetarian eating often cause confusion, as both have plant-based eating as part of their principles. They are two alternatives to traditional diets that eliminate the consumption of meat as part of their philosophy about health and life.
They are two lifestyles based on very similar habits.. Although both faiths place great tangible importance on dietary control, they are also philosophies and lifestyles. So what are the differences between being vegan and vegetarian?
Differences between veganism and vegetarianism
Veganism and vegetarianism are different positions with different habits. Although the diet between one and the other is very similar and they share as one of their fundamental principles not to eat meat, they are separated by deep distinctions.
Within each of these two positions, there are differences that include or exclude certain foods, the way they are prepared and even their origin. We explain here what are these 3 fundamental differences between being vegan and vegetarian..
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Their positions on the consumption of food products of animal origin 2.
Neither vegans nor vegetarians consume meat, but vegans go further than that. This is the most notable difference between veganism and vegetarianism.
On the one hand, vegetarians eliminate from their diets all types of meat from any kind of animal. This includes fish and seafood. This is an alternative to increase the consumption of all kinds of vegetables and natural foods to promote the health of the body, without eliminating milk and its derivatives, eggs and honey..
These three products continue to be consumed because they are not harmful to health, much less in moderation. This is also due to the fact that vegetarians consume foods prepared from different ingredients, which may include these three basic foods: cakes, cookies and some desserts.
Due to all this, it is understood then that the reasons why vegetarians do not consume meat, in great part is due to seek to eliminate one of the types of food that they consider to have a greater amount of toxins and harm to health. Although there are also vegetarians who share a principle of vegans: respect for animals.
The reasons why vegans do not consume meat, go beyond food. Vegans firmly believe that the life of all living beings should be respected and that animals should not be products at the mercy of human use and exploitation. For this reason they also do not consume animal products.
The main difference between being vegan and being vegetarian is that vegans do not consume meat or any food derived from or produced by animals.. They do so for ethical reasons and out of respect for the life of animals. Vegetarians do not eat meat, but they do eat its derivatives, and although their reasons may also be ethical, they are more related to the type of food they eat.
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2. Positions on the use of all types of animal products
Being an ethical stance, vegans do not consume other types of animal-derived products, they do not only deprive themselves of meat. As is well known, many industries involve animals in their processes in one way or another.. The food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, textile and entertainment industries all make use of animals in some way.
Either by using the animals’ own bodies, such as their skins, bones or antlers, or by consuming the products they produce, such as honey, milk and eggs. They are also often used to test the efficacy or possible adverse reactions of foods, cosmetics, creams and medicines.
The entertainment industry is no exception. Zoos, circuses and movies are often disrespectful to animals and subject them in cruel ways just to serve the entertainment of the public. All these activities are strongly rejected by vegans, so they do not consume any product that requires such practices.
Vegans are extremely careful not to use for their personal use or consumption, any type of product that involves any type of animal cruelty.. So, in addition to food, vegans transfer this ethical stance to all aspects of their lives, taking care that no animal has been used in any of them.
On the other hand, as already mentioned, vegetarians only restrict animal meat from their diet, vegetarians only restrict animal meat from their diet.. They do so mainly for health reasons, although ethical reasons of care for the environment and respect for animal life may also be involved.
However, some vegetarians do consider eating meat, if it is organic. In other words, it is possible to certify and assure that the animal from which the meat comes, was raised in natural, respectful conditions and without adding any type of substance to provoke its accelerated growth.
3. The type of food preparation
Another difference between being vegan and being vegetarian, are its derivations and the way of preparation. As in all the currents and social positions, there are ramifications or slopes that derive from the main idea of veganism.. Thus, there are ovo-lacto-vegetarians, lacto-vegetarians, semi-vegetarians, flexitarians or raw vegans.
The differences between one and the other are small, and usually lie in the habits of consumption, or in the licenses that are given. in some cases in the way food is prepared, as in the case of flexitarians, who may consume a little meat on certain, often social, occasions. Some of these tend not to consume processed foods in any form.
Vegetarians tend to continue the trend of mixing foods and cooking them. That is to say that their food is processed before being consumed. In the case of vegans, most of their dishes consist of the raw foods themselves, simply presented and combined in a certain way or crushed and ground.
It is often common for vegans to choose to prepare some products themselves, such as dressings or jams.The aim is to ensure that they are prepared in a way that respects not only animals but also the environment. Vegetarians, on the other hand, may be more inclined to buy ready-made products.
Because of all this, the consumption habits of vegans and vegetarians are significantly different. While vegans increasingly resort to sourcing natural ingredients and preparing the products they require themselves, vegetarians focus solely on everything related to food.
For all these reasons, the difference between being vegan and vegetarian has to do with their philosophies and conception of health and life.. While vegans maintain an ethical stance and a philosophy of life that respects animals and the environment. Vegetarians are people focused on health care through a meat-free diet.