What’s the Difference Between a Plant-Based and a Vegan diet?
With all the different eating patterns out there, it can get hard to keep track of them all. There are two diets that are considered popular in the food world and it might be a bit difficult to tell them apart. While they sound like they are the same, a plant-based and a vegan diet are different from each other. What’s the difference between a plant-based and a vegan diet? To summarize it briefly, the difference is the extent to which an individual takes each lifestyle and eating pattern.
A Vegan Diet
I am a firm believer that any change in your diet is a lifestyle change. However, going vegan is different in that it impacts more than just the food eaten. Vegans eat solely plant-based thus, they don’t eat anything sourced from animals. This means vegans avoid meat, eggs, lard, dairy products, and sometimes even honey. However, vegans apply this avoidance of animal-products to all the things in their life. While avoiding animal-based foods, they also won’t use clothes, shoes, etc. that come from animal too (say goodbye to that leather jacket). Additionally, products tested on animals are also avoided. That eyeliner that was tested on animals? Yeah, that’s not going to cut it. Vegans are dedicated to sourcing products that don’t involve harming animals. Going vegan isn’t just a diet choice; it’s a lifestyle decision made based on moral beliefs.
A Plant-Based Diet
A Plant-Based Diet is not as extreme as a Vegan diet. This diet involves following a similar eating pattern as a vegan. However, a plant-based diet focuses on plant-based foods with limited to no animal products. A plant-based diet also doesn’t involve the same everyday product restrictions (so in this case, people eating a plant-based diet might still wear leather jackets and use hygiene products tested on animal etc.). The choice to follow a plant-based diet is not as morally loaded as it is to follow a vegan diet. Sometimes this decision is made in an effort to live a healthier lifestyle. This is because following a plant-based diet has been proven to provide a ton of preventative and overall health benefits to the people following it (Hever). Other times this decision is made out of respect for animals (much like making the choice to follow a vegetarian diet) without the need to take it to the extreme of avoiding all animal-based products.
Ultimately, the main difference between the two is simply the extent to which they avoid animal products. Vegans will avoid all animal products (even when it comes to clothing and soaps) and plant-based eaters will limit/avoid just animal food products.
Hever, Julieanna. “Plant-Based Diets: A Physician’s Guide.” The Permanente Journal 20.3 (2016): 93–101. PMC. Web. 26 Apr. 2018.