The debate between vegans and plant-based dieters has been going on for a long time. So I wanted to break down the differences; they are not the same, and it can get confusing if you aren’t fully informed. You might think you are vegan…but are you really??
So…what is plant-based eating?
At first glance, the term “plant-based” seems pretty self-explanatory – the commitment to eating a diet that consists mainly of whole, plant foods. However, plant-based eating isn’t just about the addition of whole, plant foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, & nuts and seeds, but also the elimination of ALL animal products including meat, fish, eggs, dairy and other animal byproducts from the diet.
Due to the elimination of animal products in a plant-based diet, it’s easy to see why one might think plant-based diets are the same as vegan.
So…what is the big f*#@! difference?
Veganism is a philosophy deeply devoted to animal rights, and being a vegan is a lifestyle choice that involves diets, politics as well as ethics. Vegans not only eliminate animal products from their diet, but from all other aspects of their lives as well. We are talking no leather, no fur, no wool and no silk. Also, no products derived from insects (i.e. honey and beeswax) or toiletries that may be derived from and/or tested on animals (i.e makeup, lotions, soaps, etc.).
When it comes to the foods eaten, “plant-based” overall involves whole, plant foods and NOT just foods considered to be “vegan”. EXAMPLE: French fries and Oreos are technically vegan, but are not typically considered to be “plant-based”, because neither product resembles that of their original plant form.
On the flip side, a “plant-based” meal may by definition be vegan (adj.), but a person who follows a plant-based diet is not necessarily a vegan (n.) because while they may only consume plant-based foods, they may also choose to wear/use products that are derived from animals.
So…what am I?
I like to keep it simple and simply consider myself a happy herbivore 🙂