Vegan V. Vegetarian:

The Difference

Health awareness, and advocacy against animal-cruelty and saving the planet through healthy diet have been more heightened especially in the recent years. People are now more conscious with what they take into their body; Thus, you may have seen a fair-share of people counting calories before eating.

Veganism has existed for a much longer time than we think. Animal product avoidance is attested to going back more than 2,000 years. While Vegetarianism is reported as early as the sixth century BC, but the diet itself is far older – prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups rarely ate meat and survived most of the time on a plant-based diet. However, we are talking about a vegetarian movement from the middle of the first millennium BC. The Pythagoreans, so named after the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who developed the geometric Pythagorean theorem, were among the first people to call themselves vegetarians.

However, there are still confusions and lack of information surrounding Veganism and Vegetarianism.

What’s the difference between a Vegan and Vegetarian diet?

For a variety of reasons, some vegans and vegetarians opt not to consume meat and other animal products. A vegetarian diet forgoes meat, poultry, fish, and seafood, whereas a vegan diet forgoes all meat and animal products (including dairy, eggs, fish, and shellfish).

To give you a bit more figures, there are a few vegetarian diet variants, though, depending on whether you consume or abstain from eggs, dairy, and seafood (see table below).

Should I switch to Vegan Diet?

There are numerous health advantages of a vegan diet.

According to several studies, vegan diets often contain more fiber, antioxidants, and other plant components. Additionally, they seem to have higher amounts of potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E. Although you need to give up meat and other animal products when you transition from a standard Western diet to a vegan one, it is reported that even the iron content of vegan diets seems to be higher.

A vegan diet might be beneficial for those trying to lose weight. Consuming vegan food may also keep your heart healthy. Additionally, this diet could provide some defense against type 2 diabetes and some malignancies.

So, the answer depends on you.

Only when we have become non-violent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves.

-Cesar Chavez

Heart of the Matter:

Ultimately, being a Vegan doesn't only mean eating plant-based food. It is also passion and commitment combined. Passion for health, and taking good care of Mother Earth. So, are your desires align with Veganism's goals?

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