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Vegetarian vs. Vegan: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Vegetarians avoid meat but may consume dairy and eggs, while vegans exclude all animal products, including dairy and eggs, from their diet.
Vegetarian vs. Vegan

Key Differences

Vegetarians do not eat meat, poultry, or fish, but might consume dairy products and eggs. Vegans strictly avoid all animal products, including dairy, eggs, and honey.
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Both vegetarians and vegans often choose their diets for ethical or health reasons. Vegetarians object to killing animals for food, while vegans extend this to not exploiting animals in any form.
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Vegetarians can get protein from dairy and eggs, while vegans rely on plant-based sources like beans, lentils, and tofu. Both diets require careful planning to meet nutritional needs.
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Veganism often extends beyond diet, avoiding animal products in clothing, cosmetics, and other goods. Vegetarianism is primarily a dietary choice and might not include these broader lifestyle considerations.
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Both diets are seen as environmentally friendly, but veganism is often viewed as having a lower environmental impact due to the exclusion of all animal-derived products.
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Comparison Chart

Animal Products

Excludes meat, may include dairy and eggs
Excludes all animal products
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Dietary Focus

Plant-based, with some animal derivatives
Strictly plant-based
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Ethical Concerns

Focus on not killing animals for food
Extends to all forms of animal exploitation
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Nutritional Sources

Includes dairy and eggs for protein
Relies solely on plant-based protein sources
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Lifestyle Impact

Mainly dietary choices
Includes broader lifestyle choices
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Vegetarian and Vegan Definitions

Vegetarian

A vegetarian primarily consumes plant-based foods.
As a vegetarian, she enjoys a variety of fruits and vegetables.
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Nov 14, 2023

Vegan

A vegan strictly consumes plant-based foods.
As a vegan, he avoids all animal products in his meals.
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Nov 14, 2023

Vegetarian

Some vegetarians consume dairy products.
Being a vegetarian, she still enjoys cheese and yogurt.
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Nov 14, 2023

Vegan

Many vegans choose their diet for ethical reasons.
She is vegan to protest animal cruelty.
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Nov 14, 2023

Vegetarian

Many vegetarians include eggs in their diet.
As a vegetarian, he includes eggs for protein.
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Nov 14, 2023
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Vegan

Veganism is often part of a broader ethical lifestyle.
As a vegan, she uses cruelty-free cosmetics.
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Vegetarian

Vegetarians often choose their diet for health reasons.
She adopted a vegetarian diet for its health benefits.
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Nov 14, 2023

Vegan

Vegans avoid all animal-derived products.
Being vegan, she doesn't consume dairy or eggs.
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Nov 14, 2023

Vegetarian

A vegetarian abstains from eating meat.
He became a vegetarian due to animal welfare concerns.
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Nov 14, 2023

Vegan

Vegans often choose their lifestyle for environmental reasons.
He went vegan to reduce his carbon footprint.
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Nov 14, 2023

Vegetarian

One who practices vegetarianism.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegan

A vegetarian who eats plant products only, especially one who uses no products derived from animals, as fur or leather.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegetarian

Of or relating to vegetarianism or vegetarians.
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Vegan

(of a product or practice, especially food) Not containing animal products (meat, eggs, milk, leather, etc) or inherently involving animal use.
He eats a completely vegan diet.
This chocolate cake is vegan.
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Vegetarian

Consisting primarily or wholly of vegetables or plants
A vegetarian diet.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegan

(of a person) Committed to avoiding any product or practice that inherently involves animal use.
She is not vegan as she eats eggs and wears leather.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegetarian

A person who does not eat animal flesh, or, in some cases, use any animal products.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegan

Relating to vegans or veganism.
Yesterday I went to a vegan party.
She is interested in vegan philosophy.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegetarian

An animal that eats only plants; a herbivore.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegan

A person who does not eat, drink or otherwise consume any animal products
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegetarian

Of or relating to the type of diet eaten by vegetarians (in all senses).
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegan

A person committed to avoiding products and practices that inherently involve animal use, including all foods containing animal products, and to abstaining from direct and intentional harm to animals as far as possible; an adherent to veganism.
Our vegan-friendly shaving brush is made with synthetic bristles instead of badger hair.
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Vegetarian

Without meat.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegan

A vegetarian who does not eat any animal products, not even fish, eggs, or milk.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegetarian

Of a product normally made with meat, having non-meat substitutes in place of meat.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegan

A strict vegetarian; someone who eats no animal or dairy products at all
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Vegetarian

That does not eat meat.
I have a vegetarian brother
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Vegetarian

One who holds that vegetables and fruits are the only proper food for man. Strict vegetarians eat no meat, eggs, or milk, and are sometimes referred tro as vegans.
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Oct 19, 2023

Vegetarian

Of or pertaining to vegetarianism; as, a vegetarian diet.
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Vegetarian

Eater of fruits and grains and nuts; someone who eats no meat or fish or (often) any animal products
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Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is the main difference between vegetarian and vegan diets?

Vegetarians avoid meat but may consume dairy and eggs, while vegans exclude all animal products.
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Can vegetarians eat fish?

No, vegetarians do not eat fish; those who do are often referred to as pescatarians.
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Nov 18, 2023

Do vegans consume honey?

No, vegans typically do not consume honey as it is an animal product.
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Can vegetarians and vegans get enough protein?

Yes, both can get sufficient protein from plant sources, though vegans need to be more mindful of diverse protein sources.
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Nov 18, 2023

Are there health risks associated with vegan diets?

Vegans may need to be mindful of certain nutrients like B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids.
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Are all vegan foods healthy?

Not necessarily; vegan foods can also be processed or high in sugar and fat.
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Can vegetarians and vegans eat bread?

Yes, but they need to check for ingredients like eggs, dairy, or honey, especially vegans.
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Nov 18, 2023

Can vegetarians eat gelatin?

No, as gelatin is derived from animal collagen, it is not vegetarian.
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Do vegans use animal-tested products?

No, vegans typically avoid products tested on animals.
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Are vegetarian and vegan diets suitable for pregnant women?

Yes, with attention to specific nutritional needs like iron, calcium, and vitamin B12.
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Nov 18, 2023

Can veganism help in weight loss?

A well-planned vegan diet can be effective for weight loss, as it often includes high-fiber, low-fat foods.
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Is veganism more environmentally friendly than vegetarianism?

Generally, veganism is considered more environmentally friendly due to the absence of animal farming.
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Do vegetarians wear leather or silk?

Some vegetarians may wear leather or silk, while vegans avoid these materials.
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Nov 18, 2023

Do vegetarians and vegans need to take supplements?

Some may need supplements, especially vegans, for nutrients like B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.
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Nov 18, 2023

Is it possible to be a healthy vegetarian or vegan athlete?

Yes, many athletes thrive on vegetarian or vegan diets with proper nutrition.
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Nov 18, 2023

Is it more expensive to follow a vegan diet?

It can be, depending on food choices and local availability, but plant-based staples are often affordable.
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Can children be raised as vegetarians or vegans?

Yes, with careful planning to ensure they receive all necessary nutrients.
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Nov 18, 2023

Can being vegetarian or vegan reduce the risk of certain diseases?

Studies suggest that plant-based diets can lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
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Nov 18, 2023

Do vegans eat gluten?

Vegans can eat gluten unless they have a gluten intolerance or choose to avoid it.
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Nov 18, 2023

Are there vegan alternatives to popular non-vegan foods?

Yes, there are many vegan alternatives to foods like cheese, milk, and meat available in the market.
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Nov 18, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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