Vegetarians Vs Vegans
I think it is easy to assume that everyone knows the difference between Vegetarians and Vegans. Yet, after a few conversations with family and friends, I realised that some do not understand the difference. Hence, this blog post.
Fair warning, after reading this, all your doubts may not be clarified because everything can not be addressed in one post. All I can hope is that it creates a curiosity to research more.
Also, Team Veganist is here to answer your questions. Comment below and let us know!
Who are Vegetarians?
In simple, Vegetarians don't consume meat and fish. They do consume by-products of an animal. Straightforward examples of by-products are eggs, milk, honey, gelatine, etc.
Who are Vegans?
Vegans' consumption is a little more complex. They do not consume any:
- Animals (meat, fish)
- Animal by-products (dairy, eggs, honey, animal leather etc.)
- Products that use animals in their production process (cosmetics animal testing, circus using wild animals, animals like monkey are used for coconut plucking to produce items like coconut water bottles ).
Honestly, I can go in depth in to each of above three elements, but I am not going to do that here (maybe another time).
Why are animal by-products considered non-Vegan?
A lot people ask the question, why do Vegans not consume egg or dairy, given that no animals are killed in the process.
There is no short answer. For sake of being concise, I will try my best! There are so many harmful practices in these industries that are appalling and shocking. Did you know that majority of the male chicks are passed through a conveyor belt to a commercial blender as soon as they are born because they can't produce eggs and have lower value to the egg industry? Did you know that each female chicken is kept in a steel cage sized just to fit her so 1000s of chickens can be crammed in to a shed? Did you know female cows are artificially inseminated to be able to produce milk consistently? Did you know that a calf is taken away from the mother cow right after birth, to preserve the milk, most likely to slaughter or to live the same fate as the mother? This is only the tip of the ice-berg. The above are some of the reasons why Vegans are strongly against contributing to animal cruelty in all industries.
Reasons to go Vegan
Most of time you will think that Vegans are animal lovers, hence the switch. Yes, for the most part. There are also other reasons. Some believe (of course, there is research to back this claim) that a Vegan (plant-based) diet is healthier than a non-vegan diet. Others do it for the planet. “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK.
Veganism is a lifestyle
I'd be a lot richer today if I got a dollar every time I said, Veganism is a lifestyle. For Vegans, it is more than food. Food is a predominate part. However, they look at all aspects of their lifestyle to ensure each purchase is a conscious one; from the extraction of raw materials to production to packaging to distribution to final consumption. At least, they try! No one is perfect and no one is trying to be. They just do their best when making decisions.
Hope this briefly answered your question on the difference between Vegetarians and Vegans, and we open the stage for any questions you may have. Remember, whether you are Vegan or Vegetarian, we appreciate your choice. Our purpose is to educate and provide you with information.
- Fellow Veganist