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The Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian

The Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian
From Lifehack - April 12, 2018

Ive recently been on a date with a girl. When I told her that I dont eat animal products, she asked me curiously: So are you vegetarian or a vegan?

Wait what, do you know the difference?I replied. She answered with: I think so, vegans completely avoid animal products while vegetarians sometimes eat eggs and dairy. The definition was basic, yet spot-on. Needless to say, I was impressed.

Most people dont know what veganism is nor the difference between vegan and vegetarian. In this article you will learn the difference between vegan and vegetarian so you are educated and can decide which one of those two are most suited for you.

What is veganism

Veganism is defined as:

the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.

To put it simply: Vegans neither consume or buy anything that comes from an animal.

While most vegans act this way because of ethical reasons, the reasons dont matterthe actions do. Behind veganism theres often a cult.

At its heart [of veganism] is the healing power of compassion, the highest expression of love of which man is capable. For it is a giving without hope of a getting. And yet, because he would free himself from many of the demands made by his own lower nature, the benefit to man himself would be incalculable.
Vegetarian World Forum

Donald Watson coined the term vegan in 1944 (almost hundred years after the word vegetarian was founded) . He first meant vegan to be known as non-dairy vegetarian, until the Vegan Scoiety (yes, theres such a thing!) defined it as:1

the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals.

Interest in veganism exploded in the 2010s.

What is vegetarianism

Vegetarianism is defined as:

the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, and may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter.

To put it simply: Vegetarians dont consume or buy anything that is directly correlated to animal slaughter. Namely: No meat and often also no byproducts of animal slaughter, for example: gelatin, which is obtained from boiling skin, tendons or ligaments of cows or pigs.2

The word vegetarian was first used in 1839 and was refered to a vegetable diet. Its commonly known to be a compound of vegetable and the suffix -arian.

The earliest findings of vegetarians date back to 7th century BCE.3 It is said that the Greek teacher Pythagoras has advocated a vegetarian diet.4

The difference between vegan and vegetarian

Vegetarianism is the generic term of veganism. To put it blunt: Veganism is the more hardcore version of vegetarianism.

When I started this journey of minimizing animal products, I first followed a vegetarian diets for a couple of months. To get used to it and build up the necessary knowledge for following a vegan diet. In fact most vegans started out as being vegetarians and then minimized their consumption of animal products until theyre getting on the vegan level.

One may become a vegetarian for a variety of reasonshumanitarian, health, or mere preference for such a diet; The principle is a smatter of personal feeling, and varies accordingly. Veganism, however, is a principlethat man has no right to exploit the creatures for his own endsand no variation occurs.
Vegetarian World Forum

Veganism completely minimizes the exploitation of animals, while vegetarianism only minimizes direct slaughter. To reduce the pain caused on animals the most, one follows a vegan diet.

How to become a vegetarian (without overwhelming yourself)

How to become a vegan (a step-by-step guide)

Conclusion

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