Vegetarianism vs Veganism are they really one and the same thing? Which is better? Which is the healthier choice? Lets give you a comprehensive analysis on everything you need to know about Veganism and Vegetarianism.
What exactly is Vegetarianism?
A vegetarian is a person whose diet excludes products of animal cruelty. This includes; meat, fish, poultry, game, insects and also by products like fat, milk, stock etc depending on the kind of vegetarian they are. Vegetarians have a diet that consist mostly of plant produce like grain, vegetables, nuts etc.
Now from the description above, vegetarianism is the practice or act of being vegetarian. There are multiple types of vegetarians, each person has their own view and opinion as to why they become vegetarian. The major types of vegetarians are;
- Lacto-ovo vegetarians: This category avoids meat, but eat dairy and egg products.
- Lacto vegetarians: This category avoids meat and eggs, but eat dairy products
- Ovo vegetarian: People who avoid all animal products, except eggs
- Pescatarians: People who do not eat meat or poultry, but does consume fish.
What Exactly is Veganism?
Vegans are individuals who do not eat meat or any byproduct of animals whatsoever. This goes the extra mile by avoiding anything whatsoever that has to do with animal cruelty including leather products, honey, silk, wool, leather, soaps containing tallow, latex if it contains casein, or products tested on animals.
Now as always, people(vegans) tend to have their own personal opinion on things. Some have no issues with leather and most of the less obvious byproducts. Veganism is simply the practice of being vegan.
Now after these definitions above, you might be thinking, how is this even possible? This must be torture. Now it’s arguable as some might tend to disagree and state that life as a vegan isn’t difficult. It all comes down to your personal choices. Vegans do need to take some supplements to avoid certain deficits from abstinence of meat and animal byproducts.
Vegetarianism vs Veganism: Similarities
Vegetarianism and Veganism have a lot in common. Although their scope may differ, Vegetarianism and Veganism are both movements by people who see the need to protect animals and end animal cruelty. Both vegans and vegetarians avoid meat completely and focus on eating a plant-based diet that’s rich in wholefoods. They both look for alternatives to replace the consumption of meat and eggs.
Vegetarianism vs Veganism: Differences
There are “lines” drawn between these two movements. Basically, they both stand for the same thing, but as i said, people’s opinion differs and with that diversity comes lines. Here are some major differences between vegetarianism and veganism;
Both vegetarians and vegans stand for the same thing basically but veganism has grown to be a lifestyle in the public eye and not just a choice. They are seen as an activist group and tend to sensitize people globally on the need to protect animal rights.
This is probably the most debated aspects as you’ll always hear people debate; “I’m vegan and I’ve never had a health issue because of my lifestyle”. Most vegetarians consume eggs ans some animal by-products as long as they are being produces in a non-lethal, friendly and respectful manner. It is arguable that most nutrients produced by plants are inadequate for the human body especially for bone development and growth. So it is arguable yet reasonable to claim vegans are more prone to health issues that involve lack of these said nutrients.
Weight Gain/ Weight Loss
Losing weight can be burdensome and difficult for most people. Even non-vegans are often advised to begin a vegan diet to lose weight. In recent studies shown by the Nutrition Journal and the International Journal of obesity, vegans tend to lose weight faster than vegetarians and omnivores and on the other hand, vegans tend to gain the least weight on a 5 year span between the three.
Many vegan and vegetarian parents fear their children may suffer from undernourishment if they stick to their diet. Children need nourishment and a wide variety of nutrients to grow strong and healthy. That being said, Vegetarianism might be the more feasible choice as it has more gray lines and needs less planning.
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Both vegans and vegetarians both aim at saving the planet from animal cruelty and even climate change. But seriously let’s face it, vegans tend to be more loud, strict and brutal in their lifestyle and choices. This drive and resilience puts food manufacturers, livestock owners and restaurants in check. They now tend to “respect what they eat” or they’ll face the wrath of the vegans.
Major Criticisms to Vegans and Vegetarians
Remember when we said people’s opinion differs? Well tons of people disagree with the very concept of veganism and vegetarianism. Here are some of the major criticism directed to vegans and vegetarians;
- Society decides what’s right or wrong and if society decides that killing of animals is okay as humans in this case are top of the food chain, then it is indeed okay and should not be criticized.
- Plants are living things too. If the logic behind veganism or vegetarianism is cruelty to a fellow “living thing”, plants too are also alive and should be added to the list.
- Vegan or vegetarian diets are unhealthy especially to children and nursing mothers.
- Not everyone can be vegan.
- Vegans shouldn’t wear leather or cotton.
- The world is a cruel place, and creatures kill other creatures to survive, they always have, they always will.
It’s a little bit tricky differentiating the two because it all comes down to personal opinion. As we already mentioned, everyone has their reason for becoming vegan or sticking to it if they were born into veganism. But in the end, the movement and belief remains the same. There are some criticism to vegans and vegetarians but in the end we all need to respect people and their choices as long as those choices are unable to harm anyone. I hope you loved the article, let us know your thoughts using the comment section below. Cheers!