Vegan vs Vegetarian – Difference and Comparison | Diffen

Posted: March 2, 2020 at 4:42 pm


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What Vegans and Vegetarians Eat

Most vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry, but they tend to consume dairy products (especially vegetarians in India) and eggs. Many vegetarians also do not eat products that contain gelatin or other animal-based products. Lacto-vegetarians consume dairy products, but not eggs; ovo-vegetarians eat eggs, but not dairy products; and lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat eggs as well as dairy products. There is also pescetarianism, a vegetarian-like diet that avoids meat and poultry but does include fish.

The vegan diet tends to be much stricter than most vegetarians' diets. Meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, and all other animal-based products, like honey, are entirely avoided. Moreover, any food or other (sometimes inedible) product that makes use of animals is avoided. This often extends to clothing, medicines, and anything else in which animals or animal products are used. For example, a vegan would not use leather shoes or belts, cosmetics that have been tested on animals, down comforters, gelatin medicine capsules, woolen sweaters, or fur coats.

Fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts are staples of both the vegan and vegetarian diets. Sometimes tofu is used as a replacement for meat-based products.

While some vegans may cite nutritional concerns or food allergies as the primary reason for adhering to their diet (dietary vegans), most adopt a vegan lifestyle for moral and political reasons (ethical vegans). The vegan point of view tends to be that animals are not here to be exploited by man, and that commercialization of animals involves a fundamental, inhumane component and lack of respect for basic life.

There are many reasons one might be vegetarian. A prominent reason is for health concerns, as the vegetarian diet is often high in fiber while also being and low in sugar and saturated fats. Similarly, some adopt vegetarianism due to growing concerns about food safety when it comes to meat. Moral and/or political reasons are also common; for example, some have embraced vegetarianism (and veganism) for environmental reasons.[1] Some religions, like Hinduism and Jainism, prescribe or encourage vegetarianism. Others, like some Christian sects, practice abstinence from animal products during Lent.

In general, most studies show vegans and vegetarians are as healthy, if not healthier than, their meat-eating counterparts. Veganism, in particular, is very good at eliminating common food allergens, such as shellfish and dairy. A plant-based diet is high in complex carbs from whole grains and root vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, etc.

There is ongoing study of the advantages and disadvantages of the vegan and vegetarian diets. Many studies have found cardiovascular benefits to both diets, and some suggest there is a lower risk of cancer among vegans and vegetarians.

An extensive study published in June 2013 shows that vegetarians live longer than meat eaters and are 19% less likely to die from heart disease. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, a Journal of the American Medical Association, was covered by the Wall Street Journal. Other key findings from the study include:

A rebuttal of the media reports of this study argues that correlation does not imply causation, and that the longer life span of vegetarians found in the study could also be attributed to the fact that the vegetarian group tended to exercise more, be married, consume less alcohol, and smoke less compared with the meat-eating group.

Overall, determining whether these diets directly affect long-term health outcomes is difficult. The different types of vegetarians are rarely studied against each other, for instance, and vegans and vegetarians often tend to be more affluent or health-conscious, both of which positively affect long-term outcomes.

A notable downside to the vegan diet is that vegans often need to take B12 supplements and sometimes (depending upon how thoughtful you are to craft a well-balanced diet) other dietary supplements, such as amino acids, iron or vitamin D as their diet tends to lack these essential nutritional components.[2] There is also a risk that a meatless diet does not contain enough protein, which is especially concerning for growing children.

There are varying results of studies on the environmental impact of diets. While no two studies arrive on the exact same conclusions, it is widely accepted that cutting down on meats and moving to a more plant-based diet would be more environmentally-friendly.

A 2014 study found that moving to a meat-free lifestyle would help reduce carbon emissions.

However, this does not mean that a vegan diet is necessarily the most environmentally friendly. Another study in 2016 analyzed the carrying capacity of ten diet scenarios, i.e., how much land would be required to feed 1 person under a particular dietary regime.

The study found that while a vegan diet is significantly more efficient than our current diet, it's not the most efficient diet there can be. That's because not all land is suitable for agricultural use. If grazing land can be used for cattle, and a certain portion of human nutritional needs are fulfilled by dairy, then a significant number of people can be fed.

A 2008 study by Vegetarian Times found that 7.3 million people, or 3.2% of the U.S. population, is vegetarian; even more are partly vegetarian, eating meat only on occasion. A majority of vegetarians are female (59% of women vs. 41% of men), and most are younger (42% are in the 18-34 demographic).

A 2012 Gallup poll found the number of American vegans and vegetarians to be even higher than what Vegetarian Times found, with 5% of the population identifying as vegetarian and 2% identifying as vegan. Most vegans and vegetarians in this poll were found to be female, single, liberal, and older in contrast to what Vegetarian Times found.

In 2010, the UK's National Center for Social Research released data from a 2008 social attitudes survey. They found vegetarians and vegans were much more likely to have higher incomes. They also found non-whites were more likely to be vegetarian or vegan than whites, and often for religious reasons.

Many well-known celebrities, activists and politicians, artists, and sports figures adhere to vegan or vegetarian diets. Famous vegans include singers Carrie Underwood and Erykah Badu, Olympic sprinter Carl Lewis, actor and musician Jared Leto, and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. Among vegetarians, there is Coldplay singer Chris Martin, comedian Ellen DeGeneres, Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi, and actors Natalie Portman and Peter Dinklage.

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Vegan vs Vegetarian - Difference and Comparison | Diffen

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March 2nd, 2020 at 4:42 pm

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