Vegans and vegetarians, although slightly similar, are also vastly different. This article will demonstrate the differences between Vegan vs Vegetarian, how they differ, and why.
A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat. Although this typically involves not eating fish, some do and in this case they are a Pescatarian.
Some are vegetarian because of religious beliefs (e.g. some Buddhists), however for many it is an ethical choice to abstain from eating meat.
Vegetarians still consume animal products such as dairy, eggs and honey, and may still choose to wear leather, wool or silk. The only ‘strict’ rule for vegetarianism, is that they do not eat meat. This includes gelatine, leading to certain jelly sweets being unsuitable for Vegetarian consumption.
Vegans however, not only abstain from eating meat, but from animal products altogether. They do not eat dairy products, eggs or honey, and for many ethical vegans they also do not purchase leather goods, wool, silk or beeswax.
People may choose to become a vegan for many reasons, including health, ethics, and the environment, however it is typically a combination of all three.
Arguably the main difference between Vegan vs Vegetarian is the consumption of dairy and eggs. Vegans do not consume dairy, as in order for this to be obtained, female cows are repeatedly artificially inseminated, have their babies taken away from them, and are abused until they can no longer produce milk. At this point, they simply become slaughter cows. This means that even though you may not be eating beef directly, but by purchasing dairy you are still contributing to the abuse and death of cows.
Where eggs are involved, male chicks are thought of as useless by the egg industry as they obviously cannot lay eggs, and are often disposed of in horrific ways. Hens are often kept in minuscule containers, forced to defecate and vomit on each other, all while laying more eggs than they are ever naturally supposed to produce. We have plenty more reasons on why to go vegan (trust us, there’s many).
Vegan vs Vegetarian
Although there are obvious differences between the two, some still get confused. Someone cannot be ‘half vegan’, as veganism is a lifestyle, not a diet in which you can pick and choose what to follow. In the same way a vegetarian who eats fish is no longer a veggie, but has become a pescatarian, a vegan who ‘sometimes consumes animal products’, is no longer vegan.