Plantbased, Vegan, Vegetarian: Key Differences

You have heard these words before and may be wondering how Plantbased, Vegetarian and Vegan is different from one another? Like me, I also got curious about differentiating them since I’m a plantbased practitioner.

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Plantbased Poster

It is in the internet, news, social media and food menus. You may even have a friend who practices one of these diets and you got curious and confuse at the same time. One of the common question asked for a person that practices this diet is where do you get your protein?

In this article, you will find information that will help you understand and differentiate these Three diets.

1. Plantbased Diet

The plantbased diet is primary focus on foods coming from plant sources. It ranges from the likes of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains/grains, nuts, legumes, and soy products like tempeh and tofu as meat replacement. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber the later many of us don’t get enough.

A person practicing plantbased can vary like one may prefer wholefoods while someone may enjoy plant sourced processed foods like mock meat. There is no restriction whether they will use animal products like leather goods.

We are now overflowing with information about a plantbased diet and how to start if you want to try it because of the health benefits it gives.

plantbased wholemeal bowl

2. Vegan or Veganism

It was in 1944 when the word Vegan spread, it happened when a request from a small group of vegetarians to have a separate section of the newsletter that is devoted to nondairy vegetarianism was turned down. It was Donald Watson who chose the word vegan derived from the first three letters and the last two letters of vegetarian.

During 2010 veganism has started to become increasingly popular. Many people have become more aware of the negative impact of animal agriculture in the planet and its negative effect to health and because of that many have started transitioning to this lifestyle.

This diet does not only focuses on plant source food, they may also adapt and rely on plant processed food. There is a total exclusion of animal products and byproducts. They avoid animal consumption and does not use products made from animals and products tested with animals.

Most would say that being vegan is more than just a diet it is a lifestyle and one of their advocacy is to create awareness that all creatures have the right to live. Check out some of these Vegan products to help you get started.

a person holding a vegan burger

3. Vegetarian Diet

This type of diet is the oldest practice among the Three, with the earliest records found in ancient India. The idea of Vegetarian diet practices non consumption of meat and fish. It has also been associated first with religions like Jainism and Buddhism in which there should be no violence with animals.

vegetarian favourite Avocado toast with egg

However there are different classifications when it comes to being Vegetarian.

  • Vegan – they do not consume animal products and by-products.
  • Ovo-Vegetarian – avoids meat, chicken, fish and dairy products but consumes eggs.
  • Lacto-Vegetarian – avoids meat, fish, chicken and eggs but they consumes dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese.
  • Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian – they avoid meat, chicken and fish but consumes eggs and dairy products like cheese, yogurt and milk.
  • Pescatarian – do not consume meat and chicken but consumes fish, eggs and dairy products.
  • Flexitarian – they are mostly Vegetarians or Plantbased but with minimal or occasional consumption of meat, chicken and fish.

I hope that you will find this article useful whether you are curious with the key differences of Vegan, Vegetarian and Plantbased diets. Maybe you wanted to be aware of the health benefits. You have to make sure you get the right amount of nutrients and vitamins that your body needs.

Source: Images are from unsplash.

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34 thoughts on “Plantbased, Vegan, Vegetarian: Key Differences

  1. Brief and on point – I love this article! If anyone had any doubts, they should have cleared by reading it. Although I don’t fall into any category, I am more a lacto-ovo-vegetarian than a meat consumer. Still, I understand the cumulative damage that adds to global destruction. I follow your recipes any chance I have -then I go and destroy everything with a barbeque (rarely, though, if that’s an acceptable excuse?)

  2. Thank you for writing this, it is so confusing sometimes. I call myself vegetarian but I veer towards a vegan diet more days than not. I keep chickens you see… (make great pets) and I feel it’s too wasteful to ignore their eggs. (There’s no cockerel so they’re never going to hatch.). I gave up milk as it broke my heart hearing the calves cry for their mums. I’ve been veggie all my adult life.

  3. Great article! I just learned I might follow flexitarian diet rather than plant based diet. So many confusing types so thank you for sharing

  4. Wow that was so interesting! I’ve always wondered what the differences were when it came to vegans, vegetarians and plant based diets. Who knew there were so many classifications to vegetarians. The flexitarian one made me laugh and I don’t know why. I feel like if I was a vegetarian, I would be a flexitarian lol – Josie xxx

  5. Great job of explaining the differences! I wish more people understood the differences in vegetarian types. I enjoyed the background of each and had no idea that the vegetarian diet had been around for so long!

  6. I’ve always been intrigued in plant based, vegan and vegetarian lifestyles. I am trying to learn more because my 4 year old has no desire and very infrequently eats meat. I’m not sure if this is a phase or not, but I’m trying to respect his wishes and provide more non meat options.

  7. I followed a strict vegan diet for two years … back then I had to explain the difference … nice job here.

  8. There are so many different versions of plant based diets it’s hard to keep up sometimes! I’m glad you broke it down 🙂

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