Vegetarianism And Veganism: What Are The Major Differences And Motivations
Everyone has their own likeness and beliefs when it comes to eating choices.
Among those that made up their minds to stop eating meat, some choose to be vegetarian, at least at first, and some others take an additional step towards veganism.
Though they might seem very equal in many ways, the belief diversity inherent to the choice of each one of them, and the innumerable nutritional differences related with these two diets, can make one group differ a lot from the other.
So we will present you what you should know about the major differences between these two diets, their overall characteristics and the motivations behind them.
What is Vegetarianism?
Vegetarianism, by its name, is a plant-based diet that contains all nutrient-filled veggies.
This diet refrains from eating any type of meat, poultry, seafood, or any animal slaughtered for meat.
Many still believe that only meat can deliver essential nutrients, but a vegetarian diet can also fulfill the purpose.
The vegetarian diet is vastly spread around the world and is categorized into three specified terms:
Along with eating a plant-based diet, Lacto-vegetarians do eat dairy products such as milk and cheese, but excludes poultry, meat, seafood and eggs.
On the other hand, Ovo-vegetarians eat plant-based food alongside with eggs, but excludes all types of poultry, meat, seafood, and dairy products.
For Lacto-ovo-vegetarians, both eggs and dairy are permitted, but poultry, meat, fish and seafood are excluded.
Moreover, this diet plan also helps losing weight.
What is Veganism?
Veganism is a top-rated and highly growing trend in this new world.
Vegan people avoid any kind of animal origin food like milk, cheese, meat, eggs, honey, chicken, fish, etc.
Moreover, they even steer clear of any ingredients that have anything to do with animals.
It is a purely plant-based diet that helps nourishing your health and soul with nutrients plus the satisfaction from eating a 100% cruelty-free food.
This plant-based diet has a higher content of fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, and many phytochemicals and a fat content that is more unsaturated.The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition – Oxford Academic
Even the fat contained in this diet is more unsaturated, meaning that it is healthier for the human body for various reasons.
Veganism is richly diverse in all kinds of fruits, nuts, grains, seeds, veggies, beans, and even pulses.
You’ll never go out of options for eating colorful, tasty foods in a vegan diet.
The statistic indicates that out of 100 test subjects, 81% of the vegans reported no chronic disease, and only 19% reported 6 disease conditions.
What Are The Motivations To Switch To Vegetarianism and Veganism?
This two diets are directly concerned with ethics.
Those who chose a plant-based diet are more likely to change their complete lifestyle, and not just their eating choices.
Plant-based diets in general values animal’s lives and consider it offensive to do any kind of cruelty to them.
Examples of cruelty could be testing eatables or makeup products on animals or slaughtering them for meat.
Moreover, some people find animal-based diets more environmentally unhealthy, due to the toxic chemicals and antibiotics used in raising them.
Beside ethical reasons, people who switch to vegetarianism or veganism can do so motivated by religious or health concern reasons.
How Can One Shift To Vegetarianism and Veganism?
You can switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet slowly by following these simple steps:
- Plan your meal plans for a week and only add meat on weekends
- When dining out, order food with less meat quantity
- Use meat alternatives
- Be creative and add multiple colorful fresh veggies when cooking your meal
In spite of all the colorful benefits, vegan and vegetarian people can have a very low intake of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and Ca.
That’s why they should always replace vitamins and nutrients with a daily intake of dietary supplements according a medically recommended dose.
Above all, make sure you always study the subject and have a method to control your calorie intake.
Don’t push yourself beyond limits just because you made a decision to “never eat meat again”.
Believe in the “slow and steady wins the race” process.
Slowly you will find yourself switched to a meat-free diet and tempting towards veggies.
The Bottom Line
Many of us misinterpret the differences between these two diets and consider them the same, although they are relatively different from each other.
Both vegetarianism and veganism diets don’t eat meat.
Vegetarians can eat animal-based foods like poultry, eggs, meat, seafood, dairy, etc.
Vegans in the other hand do not eat any sort of foods or products that comes from animals.
They not only refuse to eat animal-based products, as they also avoid products in general that are interrelated to animals, including accessories, bathroom items, apparel, makeup products, etc.
- Pawlak, R. (2017) Vegetarian diets in the prevention and management of diabetes and its complications. Diabetes Spectrum, vol.30(2) pp. 82–88.
- Tantamango-Bartley, Y., Jaceldo-Siegl, K., Fan, J. and Fraser, G. (2013) Vegetarian diets and the incidence of cancer in a low-risk population. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, vol.22(2) pp. 286–294.
- Medawar, E., Huhn, S., Villringer, A. and Witte, A. V. (2019) The effects of plant-based diets on the body and the brain: A systematic review. Translational Psychiatry, vol.9 Article 226.
- Huang, R., Huang, C., Hu, F. B. and Chavarro, J. E. (2016) Vegetarian diets and weight reduction: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of General Internal Medicine, vol.31(1) pp. 109–116.
- Craig, W. J. (2009) Health effects of vegan diets. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol.89(5) pp. 1627S–1633S.
- Dyett, P. A., Sabaté, J., Haddad, E., Rajaram, S. and Shavlik, D. (2013) Vegan lifestyle behaviors. An exploration of congruence with health-related briefs and assessed health indices. Appetite, vol.67 pp. 119–124.
- Epstein, S. S. (1990) The chemical jungle: Today’s beef industry. International Journal of Health Services, vol.20(2) pp. 277–280.