fbpx
topimg

Vegetarian, Vegan, Plant Based. What’s The Difference?

The media use the words Vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based interchangeably, but the reality is quite different!  We will demystify these terms and help you understand the key differences and why it matters.

 

Vegetarian

Vegetarianism is probably the best known and longest-running 'plant-based diet. Until the 1990's it was probably the only 'plant-based diet that 99% of people had even heard of. Vegetarians eat everything that isn’t meat (or meat derived, e.g., gelatine). Traditionally, when very few plant-based processed foods were available, this meant following a pretty healthy diet. These days, as we gain more knowledge, we are learning more about the negative impacts of dairy and eggs (on our health, the environment, and animal welfare). These make up the primary source of protein for many vegetarians. Pescatarianism is a subset of vegetarianism; it is a diet that also includes seafood.

 

Pro

- Easy to get started. Some people use vegetarianism as a stepping stone to an entirely plant- based diet.

- Easy to get B12 and Vitamin D from animal products without needing a supplement

 

Con

- Dairy and eggs still contain high levels of cholesterol and saturated fat

- In terms of environment and animal welfare, it’s nowhere near as beneficial as a fully plant- based diet

 

Vegan

Veganism is a philosophy of compassion rather than a diet. Veganism centres on the concept of animal welfare and so includes both diet and lifestyle factors. Vegans do not use products derived from animals (such as meat, honey, dairy, leather, wool, beeswax etc.). As such, it isn't a way of eating, but rather a way of living. These days people may become vegan for health, environmental or animal welfare issues. For many people, it is a combination of all three.

 

Twenty years ago, being vegan meant following a healthy diet simply because few options besides beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and tofu were available. With an abundance of plant-based junk food available nowadays, many vegans will identify as vegan for the animals, a.k.a. junk food vegans.

 

Pro

- Adopting a vegan lifestyle is the most environmentally ethical way to live
- Animal welfare is at the forefront of veganism

Con

- Going vegan takes a significant commitment and takes a while to adjust fully.
- The 'vegan' label carries a lot of baggage these days. Many people associate veganism with the loudest members of the community.

 

Plant-based

Plant-based eating, sometimes called a plant-based whole food diet, focuses on eating whole foods with an emphasis on health. It is the only one of the ‘plant-based diets’ that can actually be called a ‘diet’ – because it does advocate one particular way of eating. A plant-based diet doesn’t include animal-based products and puts health at the forefront of dietary choices.

 

As we learn more about human nutrition, it is becoming apparent that an entirely plant-based diet is one of, if not the healthiest, ways to eat. Plant-based nutrition doesn't exclude vegan comfort food. Still, it emphasises consuming most calories from nutrient-dense, plant-based whole foods. You can choose to live a vegan lifestyle or not and still be plant-based.

 

Pro

- Emphasis on health above all else
- Highly beneficial way of eating for the environment and animal welfare

Con

- Going fully plant-based takes some time and is not just a diet to jump straight into without some forelearning.
That's why we're offering you a 30% discount on our plant-based nutrition course, Plant Based Basics.

 

If you want to learn how to eat a healthy plant-based diet, simply subscribe to our newsletter, and we'll send your discount code along with a wrap-up of all our top news straight to your inbox. You'll get hours of on-demand video, along with a 30-day eating plan and recipes. To sign up or learn more, just click here.

What Is The Plant Based Treaty?

As individuals, tackling the climate crisis can feel impossible. But, aside from changing your diet, there are other things you can do. One way is by getting involved with initiatives that will pressure governments to take urgent action. One such ini...

Just in time for Veganuary, the famous Doughnut Brand Krispy Kreme has launched three new vegan doughnuts.   According to the company, the vegan doughnuts will be totally new flavours, including Fudge Brownie Bliss, Caramel Choc Delight and Appl...

Plant Based Supplement Guide

If you tell someone you’re considering a plant-based diet, chances are the first thing they’ll say is ‘but what about….?’ While it’s true that some supplementation is necessary on a plant-based diet, people generally misunderstand...

Easy-Peasy Veganuary Guide To Success

Are you doing Veganuary this year? Check out this easy-peasy guide to help you succeed, and LOVE all your new foods.   1. Make a plan I know, I know. This seems obvious, but honestly, planning is the key to success. – Do your research (sta...

Magical Mushrooms Provide Plant-Powered Vitamin D

Why do mushrooms always get invited to parties? Because they’re fun-guys. Mushrooms are AMAZING! They’re not quite animals and not quite plants. With over 12 billion species, they’re a magical kingdom of nutrient recyclers that make up a vital ...

Fantastic Buddha Bowls and How to Make Them

Buddha Bowls are the bomb, right? Versatile, satisfying, and photogenic – they’re a staple of plant-based diets. But, have you ever wondered, why a Buddha bowl is called a Buddha bowl?Well, after a little Googling all I could find was a vague def...

New Study Shows How Much Ditching Meat Can Impact the Environment

Irish meatless meat company Thanks Plants has launched a report outlining the direct impact people can have on the environment by switching to a plant-based diet. The Green Report, compiled by Toward Zero Carbon, shows how replacing animal products i...

Documentary Eating Our Way to Extinction Promotes Plant Based Eating For The Environment

“Eating Our Way to Extinction” is a timely documentary with an urgent message and backed by a host of Hollywood names. Narrated by Kate Winslet and supported by Leonardo Di Caprio, this documentary is much more than a fleeting video messa...

What Fruit & Vegetables Are In Season In Ireland? The EUFIC Have Launched An Online Guide

The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) launched Europe’s very first interactive fruit and vegetables seasonality map today. It provides accurate and reliable information that helps navigate in an easy way towards healthier and more sustainab...

IKEA Adds Further Plant Based Products To Menu

The Swedish Furniture Giant Has Added More Plant-Based Options To Further Expand Its Vegan Menu Offerings For Veganuary And Beyond IKEA is widening its plant-based and vegan options for customers who visit their in-store cafeterias, a spokesperson fo...