Very simply put…
Veganism is a lifestyle which is 100% plant-based, completely eliminating the consumption of animals and animal byproduct from the diet and manner of living.
Vegetarianism is a diet that excludes eating all forms of meat but is still open to eating animal byproducts such as eggs and dairy.
While many people confuse both veganism and vegetarianism, there is quite a large difference.
In fact, veganism is more of a lifestyle and vegetarianism is a diet.
While it is true that vegans don’t eat any eggs, milk, cheese, or other forms of dairy, vegans also abstain from buying products that have taken advantage of animals.
- Leather Shoes
- Makeup Tested On Animals
- Certain Cleaning Products
- Certain Shampoo
- Fur Coats/Clothes
- Certain Detergents
- Anything Containing Gelatin
While many products may seem vegan, many household cleaning items and large makeup brands have been tested on animals to make sure they’re safe for humans.
Rabbits will be locked in cages their whole lives, only to be tortured and injected full of chemicals.
Clothes like fur coats are obviously not vegan. Many of the animals will be caught in human made traps until they are brutally killed for their soft fur.
But choosing to go vegan, completely eliminates the need for any and all of these products. That’s what veganism is all about.
To really know if something is vegan, you have to check the ingredients or product information label to find out the truth.
Something as simple as gummy bears which contain no meat or dairy, and may seem vegan, actually contains gelatin. Gelatin is a combination of leftover animal carcasses like bones and skin. It’s boiled down and used to make that sticky binding compound that we often see in jello, candy, and much more.
When it comes to diet, vegans only eat 100% plant-based foods.
Here’s a list of foods that vegans eat:
Legumes – Beans, Lentils
Fruits – Berries, Melons
Soy – Tofu, Tempeh, Edamame
Plant-Based Milk – Almond, Coconut, Soy, Pea
Grains – Rice, Pasta, Bread
Nuts and Seeds – Pumpkin, Walnuts, Almonds, Chia, Hemp
Vegetables – Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard
Keep in mind, this list is only a fraction of what vegans CAN eat. Everything few and far between of the categories on the list above is fair game. This also doesn’t count all the plant-based products, meat substitutes, and foods you can buy at stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
Companies like Beyond Meat and others are creating meat substitutes that taste just like real meat without the cruelty and harm that comes from the meat industry.
Give the Beyond Burger a try! It’s 100% made from plants and has the same texture and taste of real meat!
For vegetarians, the only difference in diet is the addition of animal byproduct. Vegetarians still eat all the foods that vegans do but also include dairy and eggs as well.
But vegetarian is a loose term because there are actually many different kinds of vegetarian diets:
Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: This is the typical and most common vegetarian diet. Doesn’t consume any form of meat, whether its beef, chicken, pork, or fish. These vegetarians consume dairy like milk, cheese, yogurt, as well as eggs.
Lacto Vegetarian: Lacto… standing for lactose, are vegetarians who consume dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt. Generally, they do not eat any eggs.
Ovo Vegetarian: Ovo-vegetarians do not eat any dairy but still consume eggs. Very close to veganism, minus the eggs.
Vegetarianism Still Promotes Animal Exploitation
“But I’m vegetarian, at least I’m not killing or eating any animals.”
While you may not be directly eating or harming any animals by eating milk, cheese, and other animal byproducts, the consequences of a vegetarian diet still hurts, exploits, and kills animals in the food industry.
Dairy Still Kills
Milk and cheese are produced by dairy cows. Dairy cattle are raised on large dairy farms in often the most gruesome and disgusting fashion. Their entire lives they only know enslavement and torture.
Dairy cows are constantly impregnated during their short lifespan, so they can constantly produce milk for their newborn. Sadly as soon as the calf is born, it is taken away from the mother so she can be impregnated again and produce another calf.
This puts a great toll of stress on the mother, who will spend weeks emotionally disturbed as any mother would.
She is then constantly milked and milked until she can’t milk anymore. And then she is sent off to slaughter to be used for making beef.
While the average cow will live up to 20 years old, dairy cows only live to be around 6 before they are shipped off to the slaughterhouse.
The newborn calves that are taken from their mothers will often be slaughter for veal (if male) or shipped off to become dairy cows (if female) once they’re old enough.
So while you may think your vegetarian diet of cheese and milk is good, you are continuing to push the horrendous industry of dairy and beef as well.
The Egg Industry Murders Newborns
Cruelty isn’t just the case for dairy. The egg industry is equally as disgusting.
As soon as newborn chicks are born, they are sorted based off of sex. The males are usually instantly ground up into meat just a few hours after hatching. They serve no other purpose in the food industry.
On the other hand, females serve a viable process of creating eggs, the stuff much of the world eats every day for breakfast and used to make other products.
Female hens will be raised in dark, dusty warehouses, crammed into tiny cages where they can barely move. They are pumped full of hormones so that they can constantly lay eggs around the clock.
A normal wild hen will only lay 10-15 eggs a year. Meanwhile, hens in the egg industry will lay up to 300 eggs a year.
The process kills many hens, leaving these egg warehouses a cemetery full of corpses.
So Which Is Better? Vegan Or Vegetarian?
While most people have difficulty giving up dairy and eggs, the ethical aspects of the food industry are too cruel to even consider.
The only time I advocate for vegetarianism is for those who wish to become vegan after eating a heavy meat-based diet for many years. Going vegetarian for a short period can help the transition.
Veganism not only has a tremendous benefit on your health but on the animals and our planet. The food industry is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and it also causes a great deal of pollution.
By going vegan you not only save lives, but water, forests, and help end world hunger.
Going vegan is a very simple choice you can implement into your life right now.
You won’t question why you went vegan, but why you didn’t go sooner.