Explanation Between The Vegetarian Versus Vegan Difference & Introducing 7 Additional “Diets”
We all know vegans, vegetarians and the “regular eaters” (omnivores). The basic rule of this distinction is known to be the enjoyment or renunciation of products of animal origin. Sounds quite simple and comprehensible, right?
But, what about terms such as rawism (raw foodism), fruitarianism or flexitarianism? You ask yourself: “What is behind the vegetarian vs vegan difference, and are there actually similarities and distinctions?” I’ve got you covered, and I’ve done my research to provide a little more clarity for you.
First and foremost, the vegetarian differs from the omnivorous eater by refraining from eating meat. Vegetarians, however, don’t equal vegetarians. Generally speaking, vegetarianism means a diet in which, mostly for ethical reasons, sometimes also for health reasons, people eat plant-based foods and goods produced by animals, such as milk, eggs, and honey.
The vegetarian dispenses with meat, fish and products derived from it, such as gelatin. Often it is very difficult, though, to leave out all by-products as they’re often not declared on the labels. This means that some juices or cheeses are manufactured or filtered using animal products, such as lard used in baked goods, e.g.
In the case of vegetarianism, we can distinguish other subcategories, too.
Ovo Lacto Vegetarian
As the Latin concepts ovo “egg” and lacto “milk” already reveal, these are vegetarians who do without meat and fish, but they still consume eggs and dairy products.
Lacto Vegetarians, on the other hand, do not only remove meat and fish from their meal plan, but also the eggs.
By contrast, the ovo vegetarians consume eggs, but no dairy and neither meat nor fish.
Some people mockingly like to refer to flexitarians as “part-time vegetarians. The flexitarians advocate for a more moderate meat intake and make sure it’s meat that doesn’t come from factory farming. Meat rarely comes to the table here, and only on special occasions.
Many vegans, but also vegetarians, believe that the flexitarians are hardly different from the regular omnivores. Most flexitarians, unlike vegetarians and vegans, are more concerned with their healthy diets than with animal welfare. On the other hand, it could be argued that the consumption of meat here is at least in a reduced form; they reject factory farming, too, and don’t support it.
I, personally, believe that the flexitarian diet is the healthiest and probably best for all involved. If everyone would cut back on their meat consumption, as flexitarians do, then there’d be no use for mass production and slaughter of the animals, and our economy would be thriving as well.
I think it’s also the best-balanced diet. Too much meat just isn’t healthy either, yet, a small amount once in a while does supply certain nutrients which are hard to come by when on a strictly plant-based diet.
Those who continue vegetarianism consequently end up being vegans. Vegans follow a purely plant-based diet with a renunciation of all products from live animals such as eggs, milk or honey.
They also make sure to transfer this form of nutrition to all areas of their daily lives, This means that they do not use animal products such as leather for shoes and bags or wool for clothing.
In addition, there are some other forms of nutrition that we do not want to withhold from you for the sake of completeness.
The so-called “fish vegetarians” do without meat, but they fancy fish, eggs, milk, and honey. Not all pescetarians eat crustaceans (lobster, shrimps, crabs) and mollusks (snails, mussels, octopuses, etc.). In addition, the fish must not come from mass stock-breeding, either.
The nutritional form of the raw foodists is in principle open to all types of food. By its very nature, however, there is a great deal of overlap with vegetarians and, in particular, vegans.
The followers of this diet heat their food to a maximum of 104 degrees Fahrenheit, or they just leave it in the raw state.
Enzymes and vitamins should be preserved. In theory, they may eat meat and fish provided that the food remains only slightly heated or in its natural state. Fruit and vegetables are, however, usually a raw foodist’s main source of nutrition.
I wrote a dedicated article regarding the raw food diet, including benefits, pro, cons and more in-depth info.
The term Fruitarian stems from “fruit” and “vegetarian.” They, too, rely on a plant-based diet, but in an even stricter sense. Because they don’t just want to do harm to the animals, they don’t want to do harm to the plants from which their food comes from, either.
Fruitarians, therefore, consume only fruits and vegetables that already have fallen from the tree or shrub, or that can be readily picked from the plant. In other words: Fruitarians eat what nature voluntarily offers, or herbal products whose extraction does not harm the plant. Thus, they consume berries, nuts and seeds.
They, furthermore, feast on vegetable and fruits such as pumpkins, tomatoes and avocados, legumes such as beans and peas, as well as cereals.
Tubers, roots and leaves of food crops such as beets, spinach, leeks, potatoes and onions, on the other hand, are taboo, since, when harvesting, the mother plant and its root work would be damaged.
On the one hand, the fruitarians consume food that has a large list of minerals and vitamins, and on the other hand, this very limited food choice also leads to the risk of malnutrition.
While proteins fall short easily in this form of the diet, high fructose intake can lead to elevated cholesterol and sugar levels due to the high consumption of fruit. It is quite clear that when choosing this form of nutrition, you need to be particularly careful that you can cover all the important vitamins.
The freeganers are a politically motivated group that basically does not exclude food in the diet. The produce, however, must not come from commercial trade, because their intention as political activists aims to point out poverty and people’s consumer behavior. Thus, they basically feed only on home-grown, gifted, discarded or found food.
With this diet, they cut out all forms of carbohydrates, but eat a massive amount of fats (including animal fats). We have plenty of info regarding the Keto diet, including pros, cons, side effects and benefits ) here on our website Be my guest to stop by and read up on it as much as you desire. Here’s one good article for starters.
Paleotarians & The Paleo Diet
Feeding on food that was already available in the Stone Age. People also call this form of diet the Stone Age diet or Paleo diet.
The selection of this form of nutrition includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, honey, eggs, and meat. In return, paleotarians do not consume dairy and cereal products.
This tends to be more a form of a lifestyle. It follows the idea that the human organism has been accustomed to this type of nourishment for 2.5 million years. Therefore, people can easily digest their food choices.
Then again, it could be argued that man now needs less energy than he did in the Stone Age. Furthermore, high protein content also seems to be of concern.
As you clearly recognize, nowadays you truly are, to a greater extent, what you eat. Due to the variety and possibilities offered to you, you can freely decide what you want to consume and why; basically a really great thing!
Personal note for my co-creators
So, there you have it – Vegetarian vs vegan difference explained. Thank you so much for reading my article. I truly hope you’ve enjoyed it and that it is helpful. I’d be very happy to hear from you. Thus, please leave a comment below with suggestions, questions or even your own experiences with diets. Your opinion and thoughts are important to me.
Oh, I wanted to let you know of another diet that’s worth taking a look into if you want some change and start eating healthier -The Nordic diet! Here’s the link to my article; please, enjoy:
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Last but not least, I’m sending you much love, happiness, harmony and an abundance of all good things. Please, do not forget: You are beautiful, precious and unique regardless of what others say about or do to you.
I want you to always keep in mind how special you are, and that there is a wonderful reason why you are here on Earth. This world needs you, and I thank you for your existence. Please, keep on shining…Always!