Advertising
Advertising

The Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian (No They Aren’t the Same)

The Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian (No They Aren’t the Same)

I’ve recently been on a date with a girl. When I told her that I don’t eat animal products, she asked me curiously: “So are you vegetarian or a vegan?”

“Wait what, do you know the difference?” – I replied. She answered with: “I think so, vegans completely avoid animal products while vegetarians sometimes eat eggs and dairy.” The definition was basic, yet spot-on. Needless to say, I was impressed.

Most people don’t know what veganism is nor the difference between vegan and vegetarian. In this article you will learn the difference between vegan and vegetarian so you are educated and can decide which one of those two are most suited for you.

What is veganism

Veganism is defined as:

“the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.”

To put it simply: Vegans neither consume or buy anything that comes from an animal.

    While most vegans act this way because of ethical reasons, the reasons don’t matter – the actions do. Behind veganism there’s often a cult.

    At its heart [of veganism] is the healing power of compassion, the highest expression of love of which man is capable. For it is a giving without hope of a getting. And yet, because he would free himself from many of the demands made by his own lower nature, the benefit to man himself would be incalculable.
    – Vegetarian World Forum

    Donald Watson coined the term vegan in 1944 (almost hundred years after the word vegetarian was founded) . He first meant vegan to be known as ‘non-dairy vegetarian’, until the Vegan Scoiety (yes, there’s such a thing!) defined it as:[1]

    “the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals”.

    Interest in veganism exploded in the 2010s.

    What is vegetarianism

    Vegetarianism is defined as:

    “the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, and may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter. “

    To put it simply: Vegetarians don’t consume or buy anything that is directly correlated to animal slaughter. Namely: No meat and often also no byproducts of animal slaughter, for example: gelatin, which is obtained from boiling skin, tendons or ligaments of cows or pigs.[2]

      The word vegetarian was first used in 1839 and was refered to a “vegetable diet”. It’s commonly known to be a compound of vegetable and the suffix -arian.

      The earliest findings of vegetarians date back to 7th century BCE.[3] It is said that the Greek teacher Pythagoras has advocated a vegetarian diet.[4]

      Advertising

      The difference between vegan and vegetarian

      Vegetarianism is the generic term of veganism. To put it blunt: Veganism is the more hardcore version of vegetarianism.

      When I started this journey of minimizing animal products, I first followed a vegetarian diets for a couple of months. To get used to it and build up the necessary knowledge for following a vegan diet. In fact most vegans started out as being vegetarians and then minimized their consumption of animal products until they’re getting on the vegan level.

      One may become a vegetarian for a variety of reasons – humanitarian, health, or mere preference for such a diet; The principle is a smatter of personal feeling, and varies accordingly. Veganism, however, is a principle – that man has no right to exploit the creatures for his own ends – and no variation occurs.
      – Vegetarian World Forum

      Veganism completely minimizes the exploitation of animals, while vegetarianism only minimizes direct slaughter. To reduce the pain caused on animals the most, one follows a vegan diet.

      One might not directly kill an animal by buying an egg of a chicken for example, but the nature of the competitive animal industry makes it necessary to eliminate male chicks immediately once their born. Over 3 million male chicks get killed like this (Warning: Graphic) every year.

        This also stems resentment between the veganism and the vegetarianism community, as vegans feel vegetarians are closing their eyes off to obvious suffering. I recently read a sticker on a vegan restaurant that said: “Vegetarian isn’t enough!”

        This is the reason I’m an advocate of veganism, as it always was an all-or-nothing case for me.

        Watch this video about all the reasons on why you should go vegan:

        Advertising

        How to become a vegetarian (without overwhelming yourself)

        The best way you can start becoming a vegetarian is by getting knowledge. Reading this article is a great first step: How to Become a Vegetarian (It’s not that Hard as You Thought!)

        After that you should start slowly. The goal is to minimize all the meat in your diet.

        But instead of eliminating all meat from your diet, eliminate one animal at a time.

        For instance: start with beef. Don’t eat it for 30 days. Then eliminate pork in addition to beef. Continue to eliminate a category of meat every 30 days.

        Eventually you’ll elimate all meat and seafood, but because of the gradual approach, it won’t feel unmanageable.

        The key here is to keep it sustainable.

        A word of caution: You may experience resistance and questions about becoming a vegetarian, especially from close friends and family that don’t want to change. Be kind when answering questions and don’t preach the benefits of vegetarianism.

        Lead by example – then let them follow.

        How to become a vegan (a step-by-step guide)

        I’ve eaten meat my entire life. Maybe I even ate too much. I’ve followed the typical bodybuilding diet, rice and chicken with nearly every meal. This someties resulted in over 1 kilogram of meat a day.

        Advertising

        Since more than 3 years I’m following a vegan diet and I have never looked back. While the original steps to go from meat eating to vegetarian are the same as to become a vegan, the vegan just goes a tad bit further.

        I’ve written down 8 steps to become a vegan here:

        How to Go Vegan (Step-By-Step Guide from a Fitness Coach)

        I especially recommend you reading step 7 and step 8, as it’s the main difference between veganism and vegetarian.

        Conclusion

        To put it simply, veganism is the more hardcore version of vegetarianism.

        Vegans aim to put the exploitation of all animals to an absolute minimum, while vegetarianism mainly reduces direct violence on the animals (e.g. slaughter).

        This is also the reason why veganism has a now cult-like status, as veganism is more about a compassionate lifestyle than a eating behaviour.

        Featured photo credit: QualityGains.com via qualitygains.com

        Reference

        [1] The Vegetarian World Forum: Veganism Defined
        [2] Wikimedia: What is Vegetarianism: Benefit Or Harm On Health
        [3] Source: Olivelle, transl. from the original Sanskrit by Patrick (1998). Upaniṣads (Reissued ed.). Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0192835765.
        [4] Borlik, Todd A. (2011) Ecocriticism and Early Modern English Literature: Green Pastures. New York City, New York and London, England: Routledge. pp. 189–192. ISBN 978-0-203-81924-1.

        More by this author

        Florian Wüest

        Qualified and experienced fitness trainer and online coach.

        Your Body on Caffeine Addiction: 70 Cups of Coffee in 7 Days The More Protein You Eat, the Faster You Build Muscles? The Low Carb Lie How I Learned the Importance of Cardio the Hard Way Fat Cells Used to Be Our Friends, Now They’re Enemies

        Trending in Physical Strength

        1 Weight Loss Plan And Program: Create Your Own One 2 The Lifehack Show: How Exercise Slows Aging with Judy Foreman 3 7 Digestive Supplements for Enhanced Digestion 4 17 Healthy Late Night Snacks for When Midnight Cravings Hit 5 Possible Side Effects of Probiotics (And Why They Usually Pass)

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on January 25, 2021

        What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

        What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

        It’s always fun to do something new, but often we fall into the trap of spending our weekends the same way.

        If you’re stuck in the same old routine, it might be time to try something new.

        Advertising

        Advertising

        What should I do today? No ideas?

        Everything listed here is something you can easily do no matter where you live, and even on a tight budget! Try out one of these 30 new things today, you’ll be happy you did.

        Advertising

        Try Out These 30 New Things To Do Today

        1. Visit a suburb in your city that you’ve never been to before, or somewhere you haven’t explored much.
        2. Learn ten phrases in a new language–what about Japanese, Italian or Portuguese?
        3. Listen to a genre of music you haven’t tried before–perhaps Jazz, Punk or Blues?
        4. Have a picnic in your local park complete with a packed lunch and your animal friends.
        5. Start a daily journal to write your thoughts in.
        6. Try a new cuisine–what about French, Lebanese or Korean?
        7. Visit your local library and borrow some books for the weekend.
        8. Plant some flowers in your garden. If you don’t have one, try an indoor potted plant.
        9. Visit a local museum or art gallery and view their latest exhibition.
        10. Learn a new skill–what about sewing, gardening or cooking? You’ll be surprised what you can learn in an afternoon.
        11. Say hello to a neighbor you don’t usually talk to.
        12. Make a card for a friend and send it to them with a handwritten note.
        13. Learn how to cook a new dish for dinner. We all get tired of eating the same thing, why not try making something new?
        14. Re-read an old favorite book. Don’t leave it gathering dust on your book shelf; get it out and read it all over again.
        15. Research the culture of a different country online–what about India, Guatemala or Sweden?
        16. Go for a walk or bicycle ride around your neighborhood.
        17. Watch a classic film like Casablanca, The Godfather or The Wizard of Oz.
        18. Make a photo album of a recent holiday you took. Don’t let your memories get lost on your computer hard drive; make a special keepsake album of your trip.
        19. Visit your local farmers markets and pick out some fresh produce. Farmers markets are full of delicious fresh fruit, veggies and more. Find your local market and take a visit.
        20. Plan a day trip to somewhere outside your city–it might be the seaside, mountains or another city!
        21. Check out what community events are running in your area and attend one.
        22. Make a birthday present for a friend. Handmade gifts are personal and much more special than anything you could buy from a store.
        23. Attend a play at your local theater. Support your local theater and have a fun night out at the same time.
        24. Volunteer with your local nature conservation society to plant some trees. Conservation societies are always looking for helping hands; do your bit and plant some trees.
        25. Be a tourist in your own city and visit all the popular tourist sites you’ve likely never been to (don’t forget your camera!)
        26. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to recently and have a good long chat.
        27. Put on your favorite song and dance your heart out. You might be surprised at how much fun you have!
        28. Invite some friends over for a BBQ. There’s nothing better than an afternoon spent with good friends and good food.
        29. Try out a new form of exercise like Pilates, tennis or swimming.
        30. Organize a clothing swap with your friends. You’ll have a great time, and save some cash and the environment all at the same time!

        Now that you’ve read my list of 30 new things to try today, my question for you is, “what new things will you try today?”

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Advertising

        Read Next