Vegan vs Vegetarian: What's the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

Vegan vs Vegetarian: What's the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

You're trying to host a party and someone says they're vegan. What does that mean and can you serve vegetarian food?

Or maybe you're trying to live a better plant-based lifestyle and you're unsure whether you're vegetarian or vegan. Or maybe you're both? 🤔

Don't worry if you're lost on the difference between vegetarianism and veganism. Most of us have been there!

In this blog post, we at Berde Eats will dive into the distinctions between these two to help you navigate the plant-based world better.

First, let's define the terms.

Vegetarianism is a dietary practice that involves avoiding the consumption of meat for various reasons such as ethical, religious, or health concerns. This diet still includes other animal products which varies from person to person.

Veganism, on the other hand, is more than just a diet. It's a lifestyle and way of living that extends compassion to everyone, as much as possible.

The Vegan Society defines veganism as "A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."

Now, let's explore the main differences between the two lifestyles in more detail, considering factors such as food choices, lifestyle, environmental impact, and ethical considerations.

Veganism vs Vegetarianism: The Main Differences

The main difference between the diet of vegans and vegetarians is that vegans completely eliminate all animal products from their diet, while vegetarians may consume some animal products, such as dairy and eggs, depending on their specific dietary preferences.

There are several types of vegetarians, including lacto-ovo vegetarians and lacto vegetarians. Lacto-ovo vegetarians exclude meat, fish, and poultry from their diet but still consume dairy products and eggs. Lacto vegetarians exclude meat, fish, poultry, and eggs, but still consume dairy products.

In contrast, vegans avoid all animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, honey, and any other products derived from animals, such as gelatin or certain food additives.

So while vegetarians consume dairy, take note that vegans don't! Use dairy-free food such as vegan ice cream, vegan yogurt, and even vegan butter for delicious food that caters to everyone. 😊

While vegetarians may consume some animal products, vegans aim to eliminate all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty from their lives, not just their diets.

This can include avoiding products made from animals such as leather, wool, down, and silk, as well as products tested on animals, such as cosmetics and household cleaners.

Need to send gifts that takes everyone's lifestyle in mind? Try these vegan accessories!

Ethical Considerations

Vegans often have strong ethical beliefs and are passionate about animal rights and welfare. They may participate in animal activism or support animal sanctuaries and shelters. On the other hand, vegetarians may choose their dietary lifestyle for health or religious reasons rather than ethical considerations. Vegetarians who choose their lifestyle for ethical reasons tend to go vegan! 🐄

Environmental Impact
Both diets have a lower environmental impact than a meat-based diet. However, a vegan diet may be even better for the environment due to reduced animal product usage, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions and less water usage.

Vegans also tend to be more environmentally conscious and may choose to live a more sustainable lifestyle by reducing waste, conserving water, and using eco-friendly products. They may also be more mindful of their carbon footprint and choose to use alternative modes of transportation, such as walking, biking, or taking public transit, instead of driving cars.


Overall, while both vegans and vegetarians are committed to reducing their consumption of animal products, vegans take it one step further by avoiding all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty in their lifestyle choices.

So if you're catering to both vegetarians and vegans in a party it's safer to provide vegan food that vegans, vegetarians, and even non-vegans will enjoy.

And if you're thinking of going plant-based, why not go vegan and have a better impact on our world? 🌏🌿

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