These days, people follow so many different diets that it can be hard to keep up with all of them. Many of them, such as vegetarianism and veganism, have only minor differences and can be easily confused. One of the newest trends is eating a plant-based diet, which may sound like veganism but is actually quite distinct from it. In this blog, we are going to look at the differences between veganism and a plant-based diet.
Veganism is often regarded as a step above vegetarianism. In addition to not eating any meat, vegans will refrain from eating any product that is derived from animals. This includes everything from dairy & eggs, to honey and gelatin-based products such as jelly sweets.
Like vegetarians, a love of animals is the main reason most vegans avoid eating meat. The reason that vegans avoid eating animal products is that they disagree with the way the animals are treated so that their products can be farmed. For example, cows are milked by machines for most of their adult lives, not just while nursing, and calves now have to be fed by a bottle to survive. Vegans believe that this constitutes cruelty and upsets the natural order, and so refrain from any animal-derived product. For these reasons, most vegans will also avoid animal-based non-food products, such as leather or certain makeup products.
While someone who eats a plant-based diet could love animals just as much as a vegan (or non-vegan), morality is not the basis for this diet. Rather, people who eat a plant-based diet are usually most interested in the personal health benefits, and try to stick to food that is as organic as possible. This means avoiding food that has been genetically modified, grown with pesticides, or processed.
If veganism is a step above vegetarianism, then eating a plant-based diet is a step above that. There are a lot of things you can eat if you are on a vegan diet that you cannot eat on a plant-based diet, such as white flour or refined sugar. So chips, which are technically plant-based, could be eaten by a vegan, but not someone on a plant-based diet.
Although the two sound similar, there are important distinctions between vegan and plant-based diets. While one is concerned primarily with the treatment of animals by giant corporations, the other is also concerned about how those same corporations grow their crops, and ultimately what ends up going into the customers’ bodies. While switching to one of these diets can be inconvenient, both have their health benefits, and an increasing number of options for consumers is making it easier to make the switch every day.