Vegetarian and vegan diet: are they really the same?

Vegetarian diet, Vegan diet, Ketogenic diet or Zone diet, although they are all famous types of special diets, however, a lot of people do not well understand them.

Especially, when it comes to Vegetarian and Vegan diet, majority of people are confused between them.

They always ask themselves questions like: What are they? Why do people follow them? And are they really the same thing?

Are vegetarians and vegans the same?

The answer to the question above is definitely a no, even if it is true that Vegan diet is actually a type of Vegetarian diet, but, it does not stop vegetarians and vegans from not being the same.

In other words, being a vegetarian does not necessarily mean that you are a vegan, so, they are obviously not the same.

However, besides being different, there are a lot of similarities between vegans and vegetarians as well.

But, before discussing similarities and differences between them in details, let’s define each of them at first.

Vegetarian diet: A vegetarian diet is a diet that does not include any meat, poultry, or seafood, it is a meal plan made up of foods that come mostly from plants.

Vegan diet: A vegan diet is a diet that includes only plant-based foods, no animal proteins or animal by-products such as eggs, milk, or honey.

Conclusively, A Vegetarian diet can be considered as a general concept for not eating animals meat, but, on the other hand, a Vegan diet is more specific to not eating any animals extracts in addition to their meat.

Similarities between Vegetarians and Vegans

1. Not eating meat


With no need for stating, it is easy to conclude that this is the first similarity, since both Vegetarians and vegans prohibit eating any kind of meat.

Red meat, poultry and seafood, all are not included in neither the vegetarian or the vegan diet.

2. Saving animals


A lot of vegetarians and vegans, almost all of them, tend to cut off eating meat for the purpose of saving animals in the first place.

They find it inhuman to kill other living creatures in order to get your food while you already have a substitute.

Simply, they believe that both human beings and animals are created to live on plants.

So, they mainly depend on fruits, vegetables and nuts to get their food.

As a result, if you know a vegetarian or a vegan, you will find him really offended if he saw a cow or a chicken being killed.

Also, they get annoyed when they pass by a butcher and watch killed animals being offered for sale.

On the other hand, they always spread hashtags that call for animals rights and convincing people to go vegetarian and vegan.

3. Aiming for a better health


People who follow vegetarian diet and vegan diet, they both agree that not eating meat is healthier for their bodies.

Even though meat contains a lot of nutrients, mainly protein, however, they think that it is easy for them to get the nutrients needed for their body to function through plants.

Actually, they stop eating meat in order to save their bodies that meat can cause.

From these diseases:

  • E. Coli from grounded beef.
  • Salmonella from poultry.
  • Scrapie from lamb and mutton.
  • Heart diseases.
  • Diabetes.
  • Cancer.
  • Cholesterol.
  • Obesity.
  • Stroke.

4. Saving more money


Needless to say that vegetables and fruits are definitely cheaper than meat.

Some vegetarians and vegans think that there is no reason to spend too much money on buying meat, poultry or fish as long as there is a substitute that can replace meat in benefit and also in recipes, then, it would be a waste of money if you still buy meat.

New research suggests vegetarians can save at least $750 more than meat-eaters per year.

Differences between vegetarians and vegans

1. Eating animal products


A vegetarian person can normally consume eggs, milk, cheese or butter.

On the contrary, a person who decided to follow the vegan diet can not do the same.

Also, since honey is derived from an animal, vegans do not eat honey.

2. Using products made from animals


Clothes made from animals wool, cosmetics that include animals fats, brushes made from animals hair or bags and shoes made from animals leather.

All of these are products that use animal parts in their production process.

A vegetarian can use these products with or any other products that include animals extracts with no problem.

However, a vegan is not friendly with using such products, so, a vegan always makes sure that products they buy from stores do not any animals parts.

3. Supporting circus


Circus is a special kind of entertainment that existed for centuries.

Circuses are a group of performers that may include acrobats, clowns and trained animals.

Vegans are against training animals to perform in a circus or in any show in general.

Unfortunately, training animals requires a lot of abuse and mistreating to them, which is actually unacceptable and unmerciful to anyone, not only for vegans.

However, vegans took the step to not support this industry and to stop visiting circuses.

How are vegetarian diet and vegan diet classified?

Since vegetarian and vegan diets are not the same, so, they are also classified differently.

Each of them has various types depending on the way of consumption animals meat and animals products.

Here is the classification of each of them.

Classification of vegetarian diet

Vegetarian diet is classified into:

  • Lacto Ovo Vegetarian: It is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, poultry and fish, but, it can include eggs, milk, cheese and any other dairy products.
  • Ovo Vegetarian: They are vegetarians who either include only eggs from the animal by-products, or they are those who only exclude eggs. So, it is all about eggs here.
  • Demi Vegetarian: They are vegetarians who consume fish, eggs, other dairy products but not meat.
  • Semi Vegetarian: They are vegetarians who sometimes voluntary control their meat intake.

Classification of vegan diet

Vegan diet is classified into:

  • Ethical Vegans: The most common type of vegans, they are vegans who put their ethics first, in other words, they care about animals well being and saving the environment before anything.

Additionally, ethical vegans do not consume any animal products or by-products, either for food or personal use purposes.

  • Plant Based Vegans: They are vegans who only consume plants based foods, which grow from the ground only.
  • Raw Vegan: They are vegans who do not eat any animal by-product or any food that is cooked above the temperature of 115-degree Fahrenheit.

This is because they think that this food will lose its nutrients and enzymes completely.

Frequently asked questions about vegetarians and vegans

Since vegetarians and vegans are a minority in the society, therefore, most of people do not clearly understand everything about their lifestyles.

As a result, they start asking a lot of questions and they are too curious to get a convincing and a satisfying reply.

In the other hand, people who are thinking about taking the step to go vegetarian/vegan need to understand all about it.

So, here are some questions and the answers to them.

1. Do vegetarians and vegans get the same amount of nutrients an omnivorous gets?

Actually, researches have stated that animal protein is the best protein.

However, there are a lot of vegetables, fruits, nuts and fungi that can provide a great amount of protein and other nutrients. For example:

  • Mushrooms
  • Eggplants
  • Almonds
  • Oats
  • Broccoli

Also, vegan meat is a great substitute to animal meat regarding the benefits it gives.

2. Does vegetarian/vegan food taste good?

The answer is yes! You can cook vegetarian/vegan food in different ways giving totally different tastes.

People mistakenly think that vegetarian/vegan food is boring or bad tasting. But, this is not right at all.

Internet, television and cooking books offer a very wide variety of delicious and easy recipes.

All you need to do is to put some effort in searching for the good ways to cook your food.

3. Can vegetarians and vegans own pets?

A lot of vegetarians and vegans think that since a vegetarian or a vegan is against eating meat.

Therefore, they will logically be against owning pets who definitely eat meat.

Also, they might think that considering a living creature as a property is unfair.

However, this is not the concept that all vegetarians and vegans adopt.

Some find it normal to have a pet and to get it used to following your food system.

Another point is, they think it is merciful to pet an animal and take care of it.

Accordingly, owning a pet or not is not a rule that all vegetarians and vegans agree on, it simply depends on how you view it.

To make a long story short

Vegetarians and vegans are not the same thing, even though they both have the same base and also have a lot of things in common, however, each of them has its own identity and concepts.

Finally, whatever the lifestyle you choose for yourself, you are still able to get the nutrients, food enjoyment and satisfaction you need.

You just have to well understand the lifestyle you will choose and be convinced with what you are doing.

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