Over the last few years, diets that completely eliminate the consumption of animal products have grown in popularity. However, the confusion of terms is practically the order of the day , so not everyone is clear about the differences between being vegan and vegetarian.
Let’s try to dispel the doubts about it to know how to distinguish both consumption trends.
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What is vegetarianism
The vegetarian diet is based on eating foods that do not have animal origin. For this reason, the first product that is eliminated is animal meat (obviously, fish is included), while the consumption of cereals, vegetables, fruits, vegetables, nuts or legumes is promoted; among others.
In addition, followers of a vegetarian diet also do not eat anything whose ingredients include any animal products, such as different dyes to color foods or fats of animal origin found in certain products. Therefore, they must know which are the brands that do not use this type of additives when they go to buy at the supermarket.
Of course, vegetarianism does not prohibit eating eggs, dairy products or honey, even if they are food obtained from the breeding of live animals. However, this last aspect is optional, since some vegetarians, for ethical reasons, avoid this type of food by all means. As we will see, there are differences between vegetarians and vegans.
What is veganism
Although its key principle is the suppression of foods of animal origin, there are more differences between vegans and vegetarians than you might initially think.
Thus, veganism is directly opposed to the use of animals to benefit from them, which leads not only to a diet without meat, dairy, gelatin or eggs;but also to the purchase of clothing that is not made with animal skin or hair , or dyed with animal dyes, in addition to the rejection of sports, zoos and circuses where animals are exploited for the recreation of the staff.
Differences between vegans and vegetarians
Beyond not eating meat (fish is also included, for the less awake), there are basic issues that make up some of the most notable differences between being vegan or vegetarian, to avoid falling into confusion and promote a wrong image of what each of these lifestyles really represents.
1. Intake of foods of animal origin
The first difference between vegans and vegetarians is that, while the latter do tolerate (although they do not force)drinking milk, consuming eggs, honey or jellies in some diets ; vegans do not admit eating anything that comes from animals or that has been produced by these creatures.
2. Using products of animal origin
The very definition of veganism makes us understand that it is not only about not eating anything that has an animal origin, but also avoiding the commodification of animals to use them in the textile or leisure industry.
For this reason, they make use of clothes that have not been made from skin, wool or wax and that do not use dyes to color said garments. In the same way, vegans also do not use cosmetics made from animal fats.(such as shark or whale), nor do they buy anything from brands that test their products on animals. Therefore, they must do a lot of research to find out which companies they should ignore when shopping.
Some vegetarians would not be so considerate of these types of issues.
3. Nutritional deficiencies
The difference between vegans and vegetarians in this aspect is a matter of proportions, so, although both diets imply a certain degree of nutritional deficiencies, vegans would be more predisposed (due to the characteristics of their diet) to lack vitamins like B12, as well as calcium (due to the non-intake of dairy products), iron, iodine or zinc (components that are found in many of the foods that they deny).
In both diets, they must compensate for this lack of nutrients by trying to increase the intake of foods that contain them in less quantity or by having to resort to vitamin supplements. If there are also health problems, such as anemia or variants of it (associated or not with the decision not to eat meat), with even more reason.
4. They start from a different base
We could say, as we have been seeing throughout this writing, that vegetarianism has to do only with a meat-free diet(and of products of animal origin if the person chooses it voluntarily); but that does not imply other deeper issues that concern vegans, such as what we commented about the use of non-animal materials for making clothes.
In other words, veganism can be understood as a lifestyle with ethical implications (where animal rights come into play), without forgetting other issues such as concern for the environment, health or even others that are sustained under a religious guise.
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Types of vegetarians
Each one of these modalities of vegetarianism has the peculiarity that it allows eating certain products, while prohibiting the consumption of others. In either case, you can see the differences between vegetarian and vegan. These are the most frequent characteristics of the vegetarian diet:
It is the most followed diet within vegetarianism and is characterized by not consuming meat or fish, but being able to integrate both eggs and dairy products into the diet.
vegetarianism This vegetarian variant includes people who, except for eggs, do not eat anything else of animal origin. However, it is not valid that they are just any eggs, but they must be from free-range chickens, that is,not reared in cages and whose eggs have not been fertilized.
It is the opposite face of the previous case. These are people who do not eat meat or eggs, but rather dairy products and their derivatives: milk, cheese, butter or yogurt. In addition, this diet is supported by religions such as Buddhism or some of the branches of Hinduism, which advocate this option so as not to cause harm to any living being.
Types of veganism
Veganism, for its part, also has particularities that will allow us to verify its differences with respect to vegetarianism. Next, the 3 characteristics of veganism.
1. Ethical or strict veganism It
would be the standard definition of veganism, that is,Do not eat meat or any product whose manufacture has used animals.
veganism Subtype of veganism that ignores animal products, as well as those that must be cooked. The argument in favor of this practice is that, by cooking food, it loses its nutritional properties . Eating them raw is the best way to absorb the maximum nutritional value.
3. Fruitarianism or frugivory
Another widespread variant that allows us to see the differences between vegans and vegetarians is frugivory, a diet that consists of feeding on the parts of plants that can be uprooted without damaging them and allowing their regeneration, such as seeds or fruits. hanging from some of them.
This subtype of veganism aims to reconnect the individual with the primitive habits of the human being, who once had to survive by collecting the fruits and seeds he found, before opting for a carnivorous diet.
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