The Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian (No They Aren’t the Same)

Recently I've been on a date with a girl. When I said no to products of animal origin, he asked me curiously: "So, are you vegetarian or vegan?"

"Wait, do you know the difference?" – I replied. She replied: "I think so, vegans completely avoid products of animal origin, while vegetarians sometimes eat eggs and dairy products." The definition was basic, but in plain sight. Needless to say, it impressed me.

Most people do not know what veganism is or the difference between vegan and vegetarian. In this article you will learn the difference between vegan and vegetarian so that you have an education and can decide which of the two is the most appropriate for you.

What is veganism?

Veganism is defined as:

"the practice of refraining from the use of animal products, particularly in the diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the state of the animal's basic products."

To put it simply : Vegans do not consume or buy anything that comes from an animal. [19659008] While most vegans act in this way for ethical reasons, the reasons do not matter: the actions do. Behind veganism there is often a cult.

In his heart [of veganism] is the healing power of compassion, the ultimate expression of love of which man is capable. Because it is giving without hope of obtaining. And yet, because he would be released from many of the demands made by his own lower nature, the benefit to man himself would be incalculable.

– Vegetarian World Forum

Donald Watson coined the term vegan in 1944 (almost one hundred years after the word vegetarian was founded). First he meant that vegan would be known as & # 39; non-dairy vegetarian & # 39 ;, until the Vegan Scoiety (yes, there is such a thing!) He defined it as: [19659010] 1 [19659012] "The doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals".

The interest in veganism exploded in the decade of 2010.

What is vegetarianism

? Vegetarianism is defined as:

"the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, and may also include abstaining from the byproducts of animal slaughter."

To put it simply: Vegetarians do not consume or buy nothing that is directly related to the killing of animals. Namely: without meat and, often, neither byproducts of the slaughter of animals, for example: gelatin, which is obtained from boiling skin, tendons or ligaments of cows or pigs. 2

The word vegetarian was used for the first time in 1839 and referred to a "vegetable diet". It is commonly known that it is a compound of vegetables and the suffix -arian.

The first findings of vegetarians date from the seventh century BC. C. 3 It is said that the Greek teacher Pythagoras has advocated a vegetarian diet. 4

The difference between vegetarian and vegetarian

Vegetarianism is the generic term for veganism. To put it bluntly: Veganism is the hardest version of vegetarianism.

When I started this journey of minimizing products of animal origin, I first followed a vegetarian diet for a couple of months. To get used to it and accumulate the knowledge necessary to follow a vegan diet. In fact, most vegans started out as vegetarians and then minimized the consumption of animal products until they were at the vegan level.

One can become a vegetarian for a variety of reasons: humanitarian, health, or simple preference for such a diet; The beginning is a bit of personal feeling, and varies accordingly. Veganism, however, is a principle: that man has no right to exploit creatures for his own purposes, and no variation occurs.

– Vegetarian World Forum

Veganism completely minimizes the exploitation of animals, while vegetarianism only minimizes direct killing. To minimize the pain caused to animals, one follows a vegan diet.

One can not directly kill an animal by buying a chicken egg, for example, but the competitive nature of the animal industry makes it necessary to eliminate the male chicks immediately once they are born. More than 3 million male chickens are killed like this (Warning: Graphic) every year.

Male chicks are not useful for the egg industry

This also provokes resentment between veganism and the vegetarian community, as vegans feel that vegetarians are closing their eyes to obvious suffering. I recently read a decal in a vegan restaurant that said: "Vegetarian is not enough!"

This is the reason why I defend veganism, since it was always an all-or-nothing case for me. [19659034] Watch this video on all the reasons why it should be vegan:

How to become a vegetarian (without being overwhelmed)

The best way to that can start being a vegetarian when getting knowledge. Reading this article is a great first step: how to be a vegetarian (It's not as difficult as you thought!)

After that, you should start slowly. The goal is to minimize all the meat in your diet.

But instead of removing all the meat from its diet, eliminates one animal at a time .

For example: start with beef. Do not eat it for 30 days. Then eliminate the pork in addition to the beef. Continue eliminating one category of meat every 30 days.

Eventually you will choose all meat and seafood, but due to the gradual approach, you will not feel unmanageable.

The key here is to keep it sustainable.

One caveat: You may experience resistance and questions about being a vegetarian, especially from close friends and family members who do not want to change. Be kind in answering questions and do not preach the benefits of vegetarianism.

Pray with the example, then let them follow.

How to become a vegan (a step-by-step guide)

I have had meat all my life. Maybe I even ate too much. I have followed the typical diet of bodybuilding, rice and chicken with almost all meals. This sometimes resulted in more than 1 kilogram of meat per day.

For more than 3 years I have been following a vegan diet and have never looked back. While the original steps to go from eating meat to being vegetarian are the same as to becoming vegan, the vegetarian simply goes a little further.

I have written 8 steps to be a vegan here:

How to Vegan (Step by Step Guide for a Physical Trainer)

I highly recommend that you read step 7 and step 8, since it is the main difference between Vegan and vegetarian.


To put it simply, veganism is the hardest version of vegetarianism.

Vegans aim to reduce the exploitation of all animals to an absolute minimum, while vegetarianism mainly reduces direct violence on animals (eg, slaughter).

This is also the reason it now has a cult status, since veganism is more about a compassionate lifestyle than about eating behavior.


Featured photo credit: QualityGains.comvia

[1] The Vegetarian World Forum: Defined Veganism
[2] Wikimedia: What is a vegetarian? Imanism: Benefit or damage to health
[3] Source: Olivelle, translator. from the Sanskrit original by Patrick (1998). Upaniṣads (Reissue ed.). Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0192835765.
[4] Borlik, Todd A. (2011) Ecocriticism and Early Modern English Literature: Green Pastures. New York, New York and London, England: Routledge. pp. 189-192. ISBN 978-0-203-81924-1.

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