Over the last few years the words vegan and plant based have become more popular and more widely used to describe different lifestyles and choices.
For me it felt like the vegan lifestyle took off in the media and mainstreams shops about 2 or 3 years ago. It didn’t of course vegan has been around for a long time but I suppose the fashions change and it feels like being a vegan became fashionable. The word vegan actually was first termed in 1944 and veganism can be traced back to ancient Greece, Indian and eastern Mediterranean societies. You can see for yourself at the link https://time.com/3958070/history-of-veganism. The vegan lifestyle can also be seen in different religious beliefs where they believe that we should not inflict pain on animals. From a bit of googling it also seems that cave men and women although they did eat meat they may have been only opportunistic meat eaters surviving mainly on plants that were more readily available.
Skip forward to the present day and vegan food is so readily available. I have just been to the supermarket and picked up cheese, chocolate, milk, bread, a pizza and some sausages, all vegan and I didn’t have to read the packaging or worry about which brand to pick up. Its really bad for my waist line and bank balance but great for choice, variety and feeling like a normal person.
The plant based diet again is not a new thing even though again it is really only the last couple of years that I have seen it on packaging. It has become a bit of a buzz word but is well thought of and has positive connotations.
I feel that the label of vegan has some negative connotations over the last couple of years and people sometimes associate it with activism and extremism. Labels are a really bad way to define people but they makes us feel comfortable and more readily able to understand if we can fit people into categories – vegan, veggie, meat eater and so on. We all do it! Plant based seems to be the new popular phrase.
So what actually is the difference between the two labels:
Vegan – A vegan lifestyle is one where the person will completely eliminate any and all animal products from every areas of there life including from food, drinks, clothing and beauty products. For example I am a vegan and I wouldn’t choose to buy a leather bag as well as not eating animals and animal products. The vegan diet also doesn’t have to be healthy, it does tend to be healthier and include more veggies and a lot of people do choose a vegan diet for health but it would still be vegan diet if it is full of processed food. You could eat vegan chocolate for breakfast, chips for lunch with vegan cheese and pizza for dinner but still be a vegan.
Plant based – A plant based lifestyle is one that focuses on plant based products mainly but doesn’t necessarily eliminate all animal products. People on a plant based diet could eat meat but they would predominately be eating plant based food. Plant based doesn’t include clothing or toiletries. People who follow a plant based diet are normally (but not always) doing so for health reasons and so it is likely they will be eating leaner meats and lots of salad, fruits and veggies.
So you can see when it comes to food there may be little to no difference in what is being eaten but when it comes to lifestyle the choices may vary.
I also wrote a post on the difference between vegan, vegetarians and meat eaters so you can click here to read that What is the difference in diets between vegans, veggies and meat eaters.
Also if you are interested in the difference between vegan and cruelty free in terms of beauty and toiletries then you can read my blog post here What is the difference between vegan beauty and cruelty free beauty
I hope you enjoyed reading this and thank you.