Recognizing the Difference between Vegan and Vegetarian

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Recognizing the Difference between Vegan and Vegetarian
Recognizing the Difference between Vegan and Vegetarian

The term vegan may not be as popular as vegetarian. Both are assumed to be a lifestyle without consuming foods of animal origin, such as meat and fish. Although often considered the same, vegan and vegetarian have some differences

Vegan and vegetarian diets are generally followed for he alth, environmental or religious reasons. So, if you are considering giving up eating foods of animal origin and their by-products, you may need to know about the differences between vegans and vegetarians.

Recognize the difference between Vegan and Vegetarian - Alodokter

What is Vegetarian?

Vegetarian is a lifestyle by adopting a diet without consuming food of animal origin. These types of food include beef, mutton, pork, poultry, and seafood, such as fish and shellfish.

A vegetarian diet or diet consists of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. People who follow this diet can also eat mushrooms, such as portobello mushrooms. However, the vegetarian diet can be divided into several types, namely:


Do not eat red meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, but consume milk and their derivatives.


Does not eat all foods of animal origin and their by-products, but makes an exception for eggs.


The lacto-ovo vegetarian diet does not eat red meat, poultry, and fish, but eats eggs, milk and dairy products, including cheese and yogurt.

Besides that, there are also so-called flexitarians (semi-vegetarians) and pescatarians. Flexitarians don't eat red meat, but sometimes do eat chicken, fish, and milk and dairy products.

Meanwhile, the pescatarian diet does not eat red meat and poultry, but eats fish and seafood.

Although sometimes considered vegetarians, flexitarians and pescatarians still eat animal meat. Therefore, they are technically not included in the definition of vegetarian.

What Is Vegan?

Vegan is actually a type of vegetarian, but the restrictions on the types of food consumed in this diet are stricter. Some people view the vegan diet as an extreme version of the vegetarian lifestyle.

Vegan is defined as a lifestyle that seeks to avoid all forms of exploitation of animals, including for food, clothing, cosmetics or other purposes.

Therefore, a vegan diet does not only avoid animal meat, but also dairy products, eggs, and foodstuffs of animal origin. These foodstuffs include gelatin, honey, whey, casein, albumin, and fish oil supplements.

Knowing the Difference Between Vegan and Vegatarian

Basically, people who live a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle alike choose a diet that is sourced from plants. However, some people who follow a vegetarian diet still eat meat, fish, dairy, or eggs.

Ethically speaking, vegetarians are against killing animals for food, but consider the consumption of animal by-products, such as milk and eggs, acceptable as long as the animals are kept in adequate conditions.

On the other hand, people who lead a vegan lifestyle believe that animals have the right to be free, whether from consumption or other uses by humans.

Therefore, they also try not to use animal by-products, regardless of the conditions under which the animals were bred or cared for properly. An example is not wearing clothes made of silk, wool, or animal skins.

Benefits of a Vegan and Vegetarian Diet and the Risks

A vegetarian or vegan diet is considered he althier and can provide he alth benefits. A diet that focuses more on plant-based foods is also known to reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as:

  • Stroke
  • Coronary heart disease
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer, such as colon cancer and gastric cancer
  • Diverticulitis

In addition, plant-based diets, both vegan and vegetarian, are also known to be good for losing weight and maintaining an ideal body weight so as to prevent obesity. Vegan and vegetarian diets are also good for preventing high cholesterol.

However, vegan and vegetarian diets are also at risk of causing he alth problems, such as anemia and protein deficiency. This is because the two eating patterns forbid people who live them to get food from animal sources

In fact, foods from animal sources, such as meat and fish, are an important source of protein and iron to prevent anemia and protein deficiency.

Therefore, if you plan to become vegan or vegetarian, make sure your daily nutritional needs are met, especially protein, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, folate, and vitamin B12.

To reduce the risk of nutritional deficiencies, apply a he althy vegetarian diet to maintain a he althy body. If you have certain medical conditions, you should first consult a nutritionist if you want to try a vegan or vegetarian diet.

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