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What is the difference between veganism and vegetarianism?

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salad, healthy food, vegan food

A diet loaded with plants can lower cholesterol, blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors. But what exactly is a vegan diet and how does it compare to a vegetarian diet? In this blog, we will look at the similarities, differences, and benefits of a vegan diet.

What is a vegan diet?

Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude all forms of animal use and exploitation, whether for food, clothing or any other purpose. That means no milk, eggs or butter- you name it, and vegans don't consume it.

Instead, they rely on plant-based alternatives to satisfy their cravings and get all the nutrients their body needs.

But veganism isn't just about what you eat. It's a lifestyle which seeks to cause the smallest possible harm to animals; avoiding leather, wool, silk, zoos, elephant rides, horse carriages, animal testing, and purchasing dog breeds are all part of that! 

What are the reasons to go vegan? 

People go vegan for a wide range of personal reasons—including health concerns like lactose intolerance, diabetes, and allergies; concern over animal welfare; and an interest in protecting the environment. The biggest difference between veganism and any other diet is that it embraces ethics, morals, and compassion as core values.

And with an abundance of alternatives to animal products nowadays – such as vegan protein powder, vegan meat, vegan milk and vegan leather – people can continue living a comfortable lifestyle without compromising their values.

What do vegans eat?

Vegans eat what you already eat, minus the meat, dairy, eggs, and fish. There’s an infinite variety of legumes, beans, fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds to choose from. 

The more of these foods you consume—which are high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants— the more health benefits you can experience. 

Plant-based foods are higher in fibre, and they can lower your risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, protect against certain cancers, and may even help delay ageing. Plus, there’s no evidence that vegans are more likely to be deficient in nutrients like iron.

What is a vegetarian diet?

Vegetarianism is the practice of avoiding the consumption of meat and sometimes eggs. In India, vegetarianism has been practised for centuries, so for hundreds of millions of people, a vegetarian diet which excludes eggs  is an essential part of daily life.

Similarly to veganism, many people become vegetarian for ethical, environmental and health reasons. But unfortunately, many people are unaware of the cruelty that dairy cows endure. We explain more about that here.

Vegan vs vegetarian

A vegan diet excludes all animal products and clothing derived from an animal for ethical, moral, and environmental purposes. A vegetarian diet may include certain animal products for various reasons, including religious traditions. We have defined them below.


Is veganism restrictive?

Veganism isn’t restrictive at all. In fact, there’s an abundance of options to choose from! Without meat or dairy, there are countless ways to enjoy childhood favourites like biryani and sweets. It would be restrictive to not explore the hundreds of flavours that plant-based foods can offer!

Is it better to be vegan or vegetarian?

Adding more plant-based foods into your diet is always a good idea, whether or not you’re trying to reduce your meat consumption.

However, a vegan diet has more advantages than a vegetarian diet when it comes to the ethical treatment of animals and using the least amount of resources to sustainably feed people. 

A study by the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and the Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology found that livestock emitted 15.3 million tonnes of methane (a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide) in 2021.

It also found that the Indian livestock population alone is big enough to raise the earth’s temperature by 0.69 millikelvin, and over the next 20 years, that number represents 14% of the total increase in global temperatures. 

Although there are many vegetarians in India, dairy products contribute to global warming just as much as meat does because the cows that produce them will eventually be slaughtered and exported for beef.

So if you’re left thinking: I’m already a vegetarian, does it make a difference to go vegan? The answer is yes!

What is the difference between vegan and plant-based?

Veganism is a lifestyle that encompasses not only a plant-centred diet, but also the moral, ethical and environmental aspects of food consumption. 

The biggest difference between these two diets is why people adopt them. A vegan diet tends to be the result of a lot of thinking and research, while plant-based eating may simply help someone improve his or her health.

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