If you are just about to set out on a journey of changing your diet to plant based or vegan, you may be wondering what is the difference between the two? Plant based v vegan are two similar ‘ish’ diets but have completely different reasoning behind them.
We are going to dive into both lifestyles and give you an overview of what they mean day to day. The world has changed significantly over the last few years and these are certainly lifestyles that are more prevalent than ever.
In almost every restaurant nowadays you can come across a vegan option, however is ‘plant based’ as easy to come by on a standard restaurant menu? Is one diet more common that the other?
There are quite a few differences, from lifestyle, to ethics, this is our explanation of the two!
What is The Difference Between Plant Based and Vegan?
First of all let’s dive right into veganism. Vegans usually make their lifestyle choice based on animal ethics.
They believe animals are other beings and should not be subjected to cruelty and essentially murdered for the purpose of human food consumption.
With social media giving animal rights activists a voice, more and more people are seeing the dark realities of slaughter houses and the pain animals are put through for human pleasure.
The coverage has certainly helped to catapult veganism into the forefront of peoples minds. So many people may not have previously associated their food with the pain and torture before it reached their plate.
Vegans make this connection and choose not to eat any animal products for this reason.
Vegans very much care about animals and make a number of decisions about their lifestyle based on this.
For example, a vegan will not buy any product that has exploited animals in any way. Here are a few of examples of things a vegan will not buy:
- Leather clothing or products
- Woolen clothing or products
- Products tested on animals
- Any product containing animal products
- No meat, dairy, poultry or seafood of any description
Veganism has been described by others as a religion or a belief. It encompasses the whole person and their morals rather than being a diet alone.
Another reason a person may become vegan is because of climate change. As we all know. green house gases are affecting the earth in ways we could have never imagined before.
It is becoming more and more evident that animal agriculture is playing a significant role in climate change. It is something that is effecting all of us.
Some people will decide to cut out all animal products, from food to leather and everything in between in order to reduce their carbon footprint.
The greenhouse gases omitted from cows is astronomical and seriously damaging to the planet. This is only a small proportion of the overall issue.
Deforestation due to animals needing to graze is causing another catalogue of problems. From pushing wild animals out of their natural habitat, to cutting tonnes of much needed trees down to make way for grazing, it really is damaging.
Crops are grown to feed the animals meaning the entire agricultural process is using land to feed the animals so the meat eater can have a steak essentially.
It takes 2393 litres of water to produce one small meat burger patty according to The Huffington Post. This is far from economical and equally as damaging to the planet.
According to One Green Planet Organization, half of the worlds land is considered habitual and 50% of that is used for agriculture.
77% of that is used for animal agriculture, yet the meat and dairy industry only supplies 33% of global protein. This is not sustainable as the population grows, we need more productive ways of feeding ourselves.
With these worrying facts and statistics, climate change is now a growing reason why individuals are turning to veganism.
Veganism In Recent Years
With veganism on the rise, so is the market! There are a tonne of options out there nowadays, from vegan cheese, to mock vegan meats and vegan ice-cream, to vegan yoghurts. You can find anything you want!
Once upon a time vegans did not have these processed options and so naturally lived on whole foods, pulses and legumes etc.
Vegans were seen as healthy but unfortunately with the processed options on every shelf, the healthy part of being vegan has diminished and been replaced with the plant based movement.
Veganism use to encompass both lifestyles and now plant based has been rebranded due to the growing options. We will come onto that in a sec!
What Vegans DO Eat
Vegans eat everything aside from animal or fish based products. More often than not, they will eat a lot of nuts, legumes, beans and pulses for protein. Not to mention fruit, vegetables, and yeah, all those processed vegan foods too.
Check out our fun vegan grocery list here.
If you are considering going vegan, we have a great guide to get you started with making the transition to veganism.
So we have gone into vegansim in depth, now it’s time to have a look at the plant based lifestyle. In general most people choose a plant based diet for health and fitness reasons.
Plant based generally does not eat any animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. However this is not for ethical reasons and is entirely around the health benefits.
Those on plant based diet will not eat the processed foods, for example tofu or a pre-made vegan ready meal. Although the meal may be technically ‘plant based’ the processed element of it will rule it out for most plant based diets.
Some people refer to this diet as whole food plant based or WFPB as it is more of an accurate description.
Technically veganism is plant based and this new emerging strain is certainly more on the health conscious side of the fence. WFPB diets will also non include foods such as oils or refined sugars.
What Plant Based Dieters Do NOT Eat
Here is a list of things of what plant based dieters do NOT eat:
- Avoids animal products in general
- Does not eat processed foods
- Avoids refined sugar
- Avoids flour
- Avoids oil
What Plant Based Dieters DO Eat
Plant based dieters very much focus on the quality of food and may only purchase organic foods. They will eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, pulses, beans and legumes. This is the essence of a plant based diet.
This does not translate to things such as clothing and other beauty products in general.
However a plant based lifestyle may be conscious of products containing chemicals. In general they may also be very conscious of fitness and work out regularly.
The Key Differences Plant Based V Vegan
The key differences between plant based v vegan are ethics and lifestyle choices. Of course it’s possible to subscribe to both lifestyles.
Vegans care about animal rights and most probably about the devastating effects of climate change on the planet. They will not use any animal products of any description, nor use something that has been tested on animals.
The plant based lifestyle is related to health and well being. In general they will not eat processed foods, oils or refined sugars.
The Whole Food Plant Based VEGAN
I know its an absolute mouthful but there will also be vegans who are vegans for the animals but also for health reasons.
So in theory, they may describe themselves as WFPBV or whole food plant based vegans to make sure people know they are doing it for ethical and health reasons.
There will inevitably be further crossovers between plant based v vegan lifestyle. Of course those on a plant based diet might care greatly about climate change but may not be as concerned about animal rights.
I hope this article helped you to understand the key differences between the two buzz words of the century! There are a tonne of intricacies and possibilities.
As always we love getting your feedback, please leave us a comment and we will get back to you. Do you have any other points about plant based v vegan??
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