Vegan vs Vegetarian Definition – Definition and Health Findings

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HELLO EVERYONE!

Definition of Both

Vegetarian = not containing meat consisting wholly of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy products

Vegan = a strict vegetarian who consumes no food (such as meat, eggs, or dairy products) that comes from animals



This is a good start to the Vegan vs Vegetarian definition but let me explain it a little further.  The main similarity between the two diets is that they do not consume any Meat.  That means no red meat, white meat, fowl, fish or shell fish.  Literally no meat is the main similarity between the two diets.  The distinct difference between the two diets is that Vegan’s do not consume any animal products what so ever.  While Vegetarians consume milk, cheese, honey and any other animal products as long as it is not animal meat.

So in short, Vegans are all plants all the time while Vegetarians couple their plants with dairy products.

Now that we have that clear.  I would love to share some insights on why I believe the Vegan Diet is the more superior diet of the two.  I believe that the Vegan diet is more superior due to dairy side effects, animal and environmental welfare, scientific health findings, and my own personal testimony.  I hope that this post will help give you all the information you need in choosing between the two diets.

Don’t We Have Our Own Milk?

First off.  Just let this resonate.  Off the top of my head,  I can think of Goat’s, Cows, Apes, Dogs, Cats and probably a lot of other, if not all, mammals producing their own milk.  They produce their own milk for their own kind.  So why do we need their milk if we have our own source of milk from our own species.  It does not add up.  That is why there are so many people who can not consume animals milk because their bodies can not digest the animals milk enzymes.Baby-milk-bottle

I really challenge you the reader, to go against social norms and think about if its natural for us to drink cow’s milk.  A milk that is suppose to help a baby cow grow rapidly more in size in a short period of time.  This is why us humans have our own milk that comes from our own mothers.  In fact, the longer infants drink breast milk the higher IQ test scores they receive as adults.  There are a lot of other studies out there that show the benefits of infants being breast fed longer than to those infants that were not breast fed at all or not breast fed the appropriate amount of time.  Lastly, when was the last time that you have seen an adult cow drink cow’s milk?  They do not.  Adult cows drink water.  Just like adult humans are not suppose to drink human milk.  We are not supposed to be drinking breast milk or any milk for that matter once we reach a certain age.  It is time to stop consuming dairy of any kind and realize that this is not natural for humans to be doing.

Welfare for Animals and Human Kind

I am super excited about my diet but I am even more excited about reading all of the vegan studies and vegan literature.  Education is power.  Knowledge and scientific evidence is becoming more readily available to us regarding the benefits of a vegan diet.  Recently,  I have started reading a book called, “Main Street Vegan” by Victoria Moran.  She has tons of facts and interesting findings.  One of them is how 90% of the global grain and soy that we grow is being used to feed livestock.  Just think about that.  That is a lot of produce we are growing to feed animals in return for them being slaughtered for their meat.  The meat that has very little nutritional value except for their protein.  The meat that is full of cholesterol and fat that has been linked to the three most common deaths of our generation; Heart Disease, Stroke and Cancer.  Also Type 2 Diabetes for that matter.

Cow-laying-in-grass

Back to the 90%.  That is an alarming number.  It is not only 90% of produce being used but also 90% of land that is being used for little value.  We are knocking down trees and taking up a lot of space for little to no return.  We should be using this land for tree restoration and shelter for the ever growing human population.  Mainly, we should be using this 90% of produce to help our world hunger problem.  Just think of all the people we could help feed.  People that desperately need nutritious food.  We must start rethinking our diets for the sake of mankind.  The evidence is becoming overwhelming.  More studies will be coming out proving how beneficial an all plant based diet is for our world.

Scientific Health Findings

There have been a lot of different studies within the last decade between these two diets.  A lot of these studies have included meat diets, vegetarian diets and vegan diets.  Vegan diets have come out on top in all of these social experiments regarding human health.  There are a lot of different studies that I have read on but here is one on the matter of weight loss.  It has shown that Vegans lose more body fat and can achieve a smaller waist line then a vegetarian diet or meat diet.  It also shows how an all plant based diet can help you prevent gaining weight.  Just from my own experience, I can attest to eating the same amount of food as I did on my old diets but my weight has remained the same.

Science-test-tubes

The experiment also goes into detail about how a vegan diet has less cholesterol then a vegetarian diet.  If anybody knows anything about eggs then you know that they are loaded with cholesterol.  The same cholesterol that contributes to the 3 main causes of death to humans that I covered in the previous paragraph.  Vegan diets also are supreme in almost every single health category.  Just look it up on google if you have any doubts.  The findings go on and on.  You can find more scientific findings on how the Vegan diet is the best for your health by going to this websites homepage.

My Own Diet Testimonies

I have tired a lot of diets.  I have done meat and veggies.  I have tried vegetarian.  I have tried the Pescatarian diet.  Now I am doing the Vegan diet and I could not be more happier.  Meats and dairy made me feel good in spurts but the after affects made me feel less energetic and sedated to the point where I didn’t feel like moving.  However, with an all plant based diet, I am feeling the most energy I have ever felt.  I feel like nothing is slowing me down and I am able to sustain energy like never before.  My work days feel shorter and I feel more productive.  My sleep cycle feels better and also my skin looks clearer.

Fruits, Veggies, Grains, Legumes and Nuts/Seeds are my new food staples.  My weight and body fat has gone down.  My stamina and focus have gone up.  I want everyone to experience the benefits of this diet.  I hope everyone can experience the pureness and cleanliness of this diet.  Marilyn and I want to help everybody be able to enjoy this diet easily.  Committing to this diet seems intimidating because you do not know where to start.  Don’t worry.  Just click here for Vegan Recipes and click here on how to stock your home when you go to the grocery store.  We want to ensure that your transition to an all plant based diet is as smooth as possible.

corn-field-and-mountains

Thanks for reading and leave a comment or question below!

 

Eric

Hello I'm Eric and I am striving to educate people about plant based diets. I enjoy bowling, gardening and nature in my free time. Marilyn and I hope you find our site helpful in learning about a proper Vegan diet.

58 Responses

  1. It’s very interesting to find out more about the vegan lifestyle, as it’s something I would never take on, therefore it is something I do not have enough knowledge about (naturally). 

    I do go along with you on the point about milk – I’ve actually never liked the stuff, even as a kid, and it regularly made me gag. To put it simply – I found it unnatural and repulsive. 

    I’m wondering if there are any health concerns linked directly to the vegan lifestyle, seeing as humans as mammals do seem to have evolved in diet from the hunter/gatherer times?

    • Yes very good point Chris.  I have not looked into health concerns for Vegans yet.  I do know that there is a scare in the amount of B12 we consume.  However, there are B12 supplements that I have heard are good enough to use.  I also know that we are apparently low in omega 3 fatty acids.  I will do more research on this and hopefully come up with solutions to these concerns. 

  2. Hi Eric

    .I was vegetarian for fifteen years but one day three years ago I took a challenge to eat meat and give it up again. It isn’t so easy the second time around. Meat is so addictive! So, since then I have been eating only white meat and fish. But still, I feel sad for the animals. I also definitely find that my joints ache when I have too much dairy but then again I get extremely bloated from eating too many vegetables. Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with bloating as a vegan? In the times I have been plant based I have been having quite a lot of beans too since I work out and am keen to get enough protein.

    Thanks

    Andy

    • Yea great point Andy.  I myself, have been finding out that I am getting bloated too.  I do not know what the answer is for now.  I would think probably eating 5 small meals a day so that our stomachs do not have so much food at one time in it.  I would also look into eating lentils and quinoa more.  I know smoothies also help me feel less bloated and keep my energy up throughout the day.  I will look more into this.  Thank you for the comment Andy.

  3. Hi Eric,

    No doubt being vegan is the best thing people could do. One of my friends has lost 20 pounds just by stopping eating meat and dairies. Lots of my friends are vegan, and practice Yoga and they look fantastic!

    I also want to try to become a vegan, but it’s not going to be easy because my children love meat.  Anyway, I’ve seen a program on TV with a Doctor saying that he suggested to one of his patients that has cancer to stop eating meat immediately. I think that meat makes grow the tumors. However, the answer’ patient was: I rather die than to give up on my meat. Can you imagine how people are addicted to meat?  It’s unbelievable!

    Have you become vegan gradually? I wonder if it would be easier 🙂

    Thank you for this excellent post!

    • Hello Daniella,  That story you shared on rather dying then eating meat is crazy!  I have gradually become a vegan over the last 3 years.  Now I feel great.  I am sure there is probably a study relating meat to tumors.  Health concerns is the biggest reason why I am now Vegan.  I do not want to have health complications when I am older.  Thank you for the comment.

  4. Saying I’m amazed at my discoveries on this post is just an understatement. Such an excellent and highly informative post. Thank you so much for clarifying my misconceptions. I thought vegan is an abbreviated format of vegetarian. I never knew that there was more to it. I am also working on giving up the consumption of animal related meals or foods and I want to strictly become a vegan. Thank you so much for this.

    • Thank you for the kind words Ro,  we will be posting vegan recipes to our website shortly.  Hopefully our recipes will give you a good transition from your current diet. 

  5. Well, I find it a good thing to learn more about this lifestyle. I didn’t know that there was a difference between vegan anv vegetarian because I thought it was the same thing but vegan was only a shortened form of vegetarian. All the same, ithjnk it’s beautiful that some people are actually out there that do not only care about our kind but also about the animals. On your argument about the milk, I agree with that too but it’ll be really hard for me to switch to this diet really easily. Do you think there’s any help I can get?

    • Thanks for the note Henderson.  We do believe it can be easy to transition to a vegan diet.  Hopefully in the fall and winter we can outline a game plan for aspiring vegans to make this transition the healthy and fun way.  Stay tuned!

  6. Hello Eric, I am not on any form of the diet, but I am a big fan of the vegan diet and their concept as to why they feed the way they do. Well, the knowledge of vegan and vegetarian is really nice and I actually didn’t have a clear understanding of it before now. However, either of them is nice since there isn’t any animal in the meal, and knowing the vegan diet top every other diet mentioned in this post makes it really enticing to me. Thanks for sharing .

    • I understand Benson.  I actually think that consuming dairy over meat, in the short term could hurt your health more then if it were the other way around.  I do not have any facts regarding this but I always noticed that when I had a lot of dairy before turning vegan that I always had more throat and nose issues.  Hope that gives you another opinion.  

  7. Thanks for the clarification between vegan and vegetarian.  Although, I have a predominantly plant-based diet, I don’t think I’m up to living without meat and dairy products.  There’s a lot of controversy about what’s good and not good when it comes to diet and nutrition.  I’ve come to the realization that one size does not fit all.  I’m not saying a vegan diet is bad.  If it works, no need to change.  The article was good.  Keep up the good work.  Take care.

    Bob

    • Thank you for your opinion Bob.  I believe the popularity in the Vegan diet right now is due to the mistrust on how the animals are living and cared for before they are taken to slaughter.  The research has shown that how they are being fed and kept are inhumane.  Thus causing a lot of problems with in our bodies.  We will be here if you ever decide on turning to a vegan diet and can help you out.  Thank you for your comment. 

  8. I love this article and I have to be honest usually i’m not a huge fan of the vegan/vegetarian conversation. I love the portion that discusses milk. I’ve actually had this conversation with a lot of people and it’s amazing to me how many people actually do not agree! There is a wealth of research not only on breast feeding but humans and the consumption of cows milk!!! Thank you for bringing more light to this issue! 

    • Thank you Tara.  It is very important that people are informed and learn the truth.  The media and government have an agenda and it has been very good at directing us towards animal products.  However, we need to be informed on how these animal products are affecting us.

  9. The scientific health findings concerning this subject is still amazing to me. Now I saw not much difference in taking milk from cow or from our own species and I will agree with the point of leaving their products to them but I love processed cow milk. What do I do? Please advice

    • I understand Smoochi.  We love experimenting with different plant based milks.  In particular we love Oat milk.  Occasionally, we like cashew milk too.  Fortified Soy and Almond milk is good too but not as sweet.  I hope that helps you out.

  10. Hello, I really want to first appreciate your effort in putting this great website together and writing this article to help us u dey stand what true vegan stands for and create proper difference between a normal vegetarian and a vegan. I have gotten more insight from your article. Thank you very much

  11. This article is really awesome for educating vegans and non -vegetarian on their health benefits and how to meet body requirements. 

    Who are vegans and  who  are vegetarians? 

    Vegans eat no animal products, while vegetarians don’t eat animals, but may eat products that come from them (such as dairy and eggs). People typically choose these diets because of health concerns, religious restrictions or moral concerns about harming animals. Both vegetarian and vegan diets may provide health benefits, including reduced body weight, lower cholesterol levels, and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease by they have their deficiency.   

     I prefer been a vegetarian than a vegan and that is because vegan diet may be better than a vegetarian diet for controlling weight and reducing the risk of certain disease, however, if not well planned, a vegan diet is also more likely to cause nutrient deficiencies but Vegetarian diets can be healthy and may even lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  By eating a variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, soy products, and whole grains, vegetarians can get adequate nutrients from non–meat source. 

    Thanks for the article. 

    • Believe it or not,  mostly everyone on this planet is nutrient deficient with the current diet that they are consuming.  So you are completely correct that a lot of vegans are nutrient deficient.  However, if you know what you are doing, then you can live on a vegan diet and still consume all of your nutrients.  Thanks for the comment.

  12. I am so glad you included this explanation. I read another one of your posts and was wondering about the difference between vegetarian and vegan.  I am still beginning to explore the world of vegan. I was wondering – since you have converted – was it hard for you to give up things like cheese, sour cream, yogurt, etc.?  Those are staples in my diet and I am not sure how hard it is to give up all of that.  I have started using nut milks for a lot of stuff – but can you make yogurt with nut milk or do you just have to learn how to get over the craving?  What about cheeses? I understand that milk is not good for you – but I really love cheese. Also, how hard is it to get enough protein that your body needs to do well?

    • Hello Janice.  Yes there are a lot of transitions when you first try a vegan diet.  I believe that there is no wrong or right way in starting this diet.  Whether you start cold turkey or that you cut a little out at a time.  As long as you start, that is the important part.  Once you start you will find that there are a lot of substitutes to your old favorite foods.  Hopefully, I can create a great substitutes post that gives ideas for you on how to eat like you normally are but with vegan food.

  13. This was a very interesting read. I never thought about milk like that, drinking cows milk feels so natural but when you really think about it it’s not natural at all! Also the fact about the IQ scores is very interesting. I heard somewhere that most humans are actually lactose intolerant to some level? Is this true? I’d be interested to know more about that.

    • Hello Kay.  Yes, a lot of people are lactose intolerant.  And whether people want to believe it or not is because drinking cow’s milk is not a natural process for humans.  Thank you for your comment. 

  14. wow. I was captivated by this article. Thank you!

    I liked all your points. I kinda knew that our species wasn’t meant to drink milk from a different species but when you mentioned that adult cows don’t drink cows milk nor do adult humans drink breast milk,  I had to stop and pause there for a moment. You really drove your point home. I guess this is part of the grand design. Thank you. After reading this article, I am convinced to adopt a vegan diet. 

    Sonny

    • Thank you Sonny.  That point really hit me hard too.  It has been clear for me then that dairy is a big no no for us to consume.

  15. Hi Eric

    The question to which diet is better has gone around for a long time and medical opinion is that a balanced diet from all food groups  is the best. In this way you can get all the vitamin, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the right proportion. The arguments  are varied but an interesting fact is that a large proportion  of people are lactose intolerant implying that they never evolved to be able to process lactose.  This tells us that the western diet has involved to consume milk products, whilst others have not. 

    In terms of vegan or vegetarian everybody  is entitled to follow their own. Some plants are quite toxic as well, so there is no clear cut to which is the best. 

    Thanks

    Antonio 

    • Thank you for your input.  I do believe that the vegan diet is not a natural diet.  This is because there is not a natural way to consume Vitamin D and Vitamin B12.  Now there are ways to consume these vitamins but what about the people 100 years ago or even a 1,000 years ago.  The people who live in the “blue zones” (people who live the longest out of any groups of people) predominately eat all plants with occasional meat and dairy.  I do not out rule that eating meat and diary is bad for you but the health of those animals are suspect.  That is why I believe that at this point in time, and how animals are raised for slaughter, that we adopt a vegan diet so that we leave no doubt in what is entering our bodies.  Thank you for you comment Antonio.

  16. It can be difficult to distinguish vegetarian from vegan sometimes, so it’s nice to have quality information like you’ve provided here to help with our understanding of the two. Not knowing, being ignorant, can cause disdain. This information helps to alleviate this distaste so that non-vegans can appreciate it more and who knows, perhaps even incorporate vegan into their diet someday. Great question asking why we need other animals’ milk if we have our own. That really puts things into perspective. Interesting to see that infants who drink breast milk longer have higher IQs. I agree that a vegan diet can have larger implications such as with saving land and feeding people. You paint a nice picture here, one that I will share with friends, thanks and keep up the good work!

    • Thank you for the kind words Pentrental.  That part really hit home with me too, in regards to consuming our own milk and how animal milk is designed to make animals 5x as bigger.  I strongly believe that there is no benefit to drinking animal milk.

  17. Thanks for the clarification between vegetarian and vegan diets because I myself have often been confused about the differences between them. 

    That is an interesting point you made there regarding milk. I have never thought of it that way. But then again there are some individuals that cannot digest gluten either so that might cast a doubt over that theory. 

    Also if you think about staying away from milk, does that mean we will have to stay away from other milk-based products too like yogurt? Some of these products are important sources of Vitamin D, Calcium etc.

    After reading your testimony I might give the vegan diet a try as it seems to offer a lot of benefits and who knows I may be converted on a permanent basis!

    • Thank you Tosyn for your comment.  We would love to help you create a vegan diet.  We want to focus on Recipes and more articles in the near future and primarily this spring and summer.  However, into the fall and winter we will be trying to compile information on how to eat a healthy vegan diet.  We believe that there is a lot of “want to” when it comes to people wanting to be vegan but not a clear set of directions when it comes to knowing “how to” be vegan.  We will let you know once we have this information.  Thank you.

  18. Hello there! This is an amazing article you’ve got here on Vegan and vegetarians, indeed there is a clear difference. For me as a vegan, I’ve been enjoying the adventure ever since I decided to fight for animals to live. At such, I’ve been able to convince aoat the whole of my family and I believe it’s cool that way!

  19. Wow great info, I been looking all over to find information on vegan recipes food and living so Im very happy to have found your site.! Awesome. I used to eat meat as a child although It was a forced thing i have never enjoyed it. I don’t eat meat and am only learning about how to cook and live healthy through vegetarian. Now if I can learn more I would love to become full vegan I just have never cooked or been brought up around any who doesn’t eat meat and dairy etc… Im really excited to found all your information this will help me a lot thank you so much, Very informative article.

    • Yes Krissie, we are planning on posting a lot of recipes here in the future to help out people with making quick and easy vegan meals.  Stay tuned. 

  20. Many thanks to you for sharing a beautiful and informative article with us. The main content of this article is the distinction between vegan and vegetarian, with different health benefits. Neither vegans nor vegetarians eat meat. However, while vegetarians tend to consume dairy products and eggs, a vegan avoids all animal products, including eggs and dairy, and often inedible animal-based products, such as leather, wool, and silk.

    My bodyweight is very high so I do a vegan diet. I avoid all types of eggs, including not just meat or dairy foods, during the vegan diet.In my opinion, there is no substitute for a vegan diet to keep the body healthy and to maintain a certain amount of weight.

    I really enjoyed reading it so I want to share this article on my social media if you give me permission.

  21. Hello ! Eric,  First of all thank you so much for sharing such an excellent article with us. Your article is really informative and I gained a lot of knowledge by reading your article which is very helpful to me .I am very aware of my health so I do a regular vegan diet. I knew there was a difference between vegan and vegetarian .It is very interesting to find out about the vegetarian lifestyle, as it is something I take for granted .  I loved the food made from milk  .Yet I avoided it so I was able to lose a lot of weight and I found it fascinating to watch.The plant-based diet has done more for me .

    I will definitely convey your important article to my friends and they will be very benefited and will definitely share with you their new experience.Can I share your article on my social media?

  22. I share the beliefs stated here in this article. Being a Seventh-Day Adventist, I am also a Vegan, except that I consider myself a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian which means I consume a lot of vegetables but eggs and milk, too. But after reading this article you’ve shared here, I am reconsidering my position and may no longer consume milk. This article has made me aware that I may be consuming growth hormones too that are supposed to be for or intended for baby cows to hasten their growth. If I continue consuming milk, I may develop an illness, so because of this, I will not stop consuming milk.

    My question…

    If I become a strict Vegan and eliminate milk and eggs, how am I supposed to get the Calcium that I need? Are there any alternatives in vegetables or fruits wherein can get equivalent amount of Calcium?

    • Great question, Gomer.  Calcium is actually not too difficult to find in a vegan diet.  Collard greens and Kale will give you plenty of Calcium if you consume them everyday.  Also plant based milks are fortified with calcium.  CLICK HERE for more calcium help.

  23. i never knew this much detail about this two diet type and i must this a large chunk of knowledge that you have given out as i know this would help a lot of persons….For me i prefer being a vegetarian that a vegan as it would be impossible for me to stay with animal produce….

    • I understand Juliet.  It can be a difficult transition for a lot of people.  We are here to help if you change your mind.

  24. First of all, Thank you for sharing the difference between vegetarian and vegan. I enjoyed your article. I read your article and found a lot of information about the article. A Vegetarian is one kind of person who loves nature and don’t take any animal as food. Vegetable is their only product for eating. Again vegan takes vegetables only to get healthy and keep his body fit. Vegan doesn’t like meat that don’t mean he is a natural lover. He takes vegetables only to keep his body fit. That is the difference I know about it.

  25. First of all, thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful and informative article. I was looking for an article like this.

    After reading this article I got to know a pretty good idea about Vegan and vegetarian. But I love the portion that discusses milk. Truly I’m not a huge fan of the vegan/vegetarian conversation. But I read your article Very carefully because you write the article very nicely Plzz discusses more milk. It will be also helpful for like Vegan and vegetarian lovers.

    Once again, Thanks again for sharing this informative post. I will share the post with others. 😊

    • Thank you for the compliment Shamiimbd.  I try to do my best in writing these posts.  I am not the best of writers but I want each post to be an easy and clear read.  Thanks again.

  26. Many thanks for sharing such an interesting article with us. Before reading your article I didn’t know the clear definition of a vegetarian and a vegan. Now I am all clear about it and also I never thought about milk like that way. Drinking cow milk feels so normal however when you truly consider it’s not so much natural at all. I would like to share your article on my social media so that many people will know about it.

  27. Hello,I liked all your points. I kinda knew that our species wasn’t meant to drink milk from a different species but when you mentioned that adult cows don’t drink cows milk nor do adult humans drink breast milk,  In this way you can get all the vitamin, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the right proportion. I had to stop and pause there for a moment. You really drove your point home. I guess this is part of the grand design.  After reading this article, I am convinced to adopt a vegan diet.

    • Thank you Parveen.  It has made a lasting impression on me as well and has confirmed that other mammals do not drink milk when they are adults.  It is a very good point to realize that humans do not need cow’s milk ever.

  28. Thank you so much for sharing this great article with everyone. Your post helped me gain knowledge by defining vegan vs. vegetarian. I’m vegetarian I think vegetarian plays a big role in keeping me healthy. I saw my friends eating vegan. And they are suffering from high blood pressure and cholesterol.I think vegan lovers should eat a lot of vegetarian food in addition to vegan food. People should be aware of their health.

  29. Hi Eric! I was surprised that up to this points I didn’t know the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan. I have started my vegan diet a week ago and I used the terms as synonymous.And I’m surprised my friend didn’t correct me. I’m happy I read your post.

    Thank you very much for sharing your own experience too! I’m excited about this new change in my life!

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