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Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian: What is the difference between a vegan and a strict vegetarian?

What is the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan? The difference between a vegetarian and a vegan is that a vegan diet cuts out all kinds of animal products, which means even simple dairy products like milk which is acceptable in a vegetarian diet. Both these diet forms are often confused unless the person themselves is a vegetarian or a vegan.

People with vegan or vegetarian preferences follow this diet for mostly the same reasons and that is the welfare of living species, precisely animals, and other environmental or health reasons. So, what is the difference between vegetarianism and veganism? Let’s get you to simple and easy to understand the difference between these two often confused terms vegan and vegetarian. So we are beginning with understanding each of the terms individually, here it goes!

What is a Vegan Diet or Veganism?

A vegan diet is a diet form that absolutely refrains the use of animal-based food products like dairy products, honey, eggs, etc. The basic philosophy behind is to stop treating them as products and commodities. So, we can say that if you are eating totally plant-based food, you are a vegan.

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Veganism may also be of two types; you are a vegan if you follow a vegan diet that is a plant-based diet but use other by-products which are made or produced with the involvement of animals like for instance a leather bag. But if you absolutely renounce all kinds of animal products – food or other by-products, you are an ethical or a strict vegan.

Some of the examples of food products for a vegan diet include grains, soybean, tofu, beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and all the things that can be made with a combination of these.

What is the meaning of the Vegetarian Diet or Vegetarianism?

A vegetarian diet form is similar to a vegan diet form except for a few changes that it does not totally abstain from the use of animal products. A vegetarian diet is based on plant-based as well as animal-based products like dairy products or even eggs. Yes, there are vegetarians who eat eggs too, we will come back to this later. So, what is a vegetarian diet of vegetarianism? If you restrict all forms of meat from your diet you are a vegetarian. Meats may include red meat, seafood, poultry, insects, or any kind of flesh of other animals.

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There are majorly four categories of vegetarians, let’s get to that. Beginning with strict vegetarianism, people who totally avoid the use of animal-based food like meat, eggs, etc. so you are vegetarian if you eat animal products like eggs or seafood. You are a lacto-ovo-vegetarian if you avoid meat but consume both dairy products and eggs. If you avoid eggs but eat dairy products you are a Lacto-vegetarian.

Interestingly, there are people who eat eggs but avoid consumption of dairy products and they are called Ovo-vegetarians: eat eggs but not products. The last category of vegetarians is Pesco-vegetarians or Pescatarians, who survive on a vegetarian diet but they consume seafood like fish, prawns, etc.

Difference between Vegan and Vegetarian

Differences Vegan Vegetarian
Consumption Plant-based food products Plant-based and animal-based food except for meat
Leverage May also avoid the use of animal by-products or food products that are processed with the help of animals like wines, honey, etc. Except for meat or flesh of animals, consume mostly all forms of animal products
Rigidity Vegan follow a more restricted diet Comparatively less rigid as other by-products can be consumed
Principle or Philosophy Against animal cruelty or exploitation or environmental reasons Moral beliefs and similar principles of vegan, against animal cruelty.