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Veganism Versus Vegetarianism: The Major Similarities and Differences Between The Two

In a world where more and more people are becoming conscious of the impact they have on the environment, it seems as though more and more people are also starting to make changes to their diet. Whether they are choosing to buy from local greengrocers or butchers, or whether they are choosing to give up eating meat altogether. The concepts of vegetarianism versus veganism have been bandied around a lot because of this, but with names so similar, it’s easy to get confused. What are the differences between the two? What are the similarities between them both? Well, wonder no more, because we have got all of the information you could possibly need. 

The similarities 

The biggest similarity between someone who adopts a vegan lifestyle and someone who adopts a vegetarian lifestyle is that they both choose to stop eating meat. In 2016, it was recorded that the average person consumed around 79 kilograms of meat every single year, but it seems as though that number is dwindling as more and more people are choosing to become vegan or vegetarian. 

There are so many reasons why people choose to stop eating meat altogether. This can be because they do not like the taste of it, this could be because they do not like the fact that an animal has to perish in order to fulfill the desires of a human being, or it could be because their body does not react well to eating meat. Both vegans and vegetarians have this in common, which means that they steer clear of everything from chicken, to beef, to pork, and so much more. 

The differences 

Of course, the fact that vegans and vegetarians both refuse to eat meat doesn’t mean that they are the same. There are still a few stark differences between the two, and many people believe that veganism is the more extreme of the two. That’s because vegans choose to avoid all foods that can be derived from an animal. This means that they don’t eat eggs, they don’t eat dairy, they don’t drink milk, and they don’t eat things like sweets which contain gelatine. 

There are a whole host of foods that contain animal products – even if they aren’t obvious about it – and it’s a vegan’s job to ensure that they don’t eat any of them. Because of this, their lifestyle is often referred to as being “plant-based” because they only eat foods that can be grown or harvested naturally, rather than coming from another living being. 

However, a vegetarian lifestyle is a little different, as they aren’t so strict on what they can and can’t eat. While those who adopt a vegetarian diet will not eat meat, they do not restrict themselves from eating other animal products. Although they do condone the slaughter of animals for meat, they may eat and drink foods that come from an animal in a more natural way. For example, they will eat eggs because chicken lay them on a regular basis. They will also eat the likes of cheese and milk, as these products are made from the milk of cows, goats, and sheep without harming them in the process. 

A lifestyle change

Whether you choose to become vegan or vegetarian, there’s no doubt about the fact that it not only makes a huge difference to the world around us, but also the animals involved. While it’s impossible to determine how many animals vegans and vegetarians save from making their way to the slaughterhouse each year, it’s certainly a huge number.

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It seems as though things are just getting better for these animals, as more and more people are choosing to change their foodie ways and ditch the meat altogether. Between 2014 and 2019, the number of vegans in the United Kingdom quadrupled, and with the inclusion of new and improved recipes and plant-based products, it seems as though these numbers are just going to climb.

When it comes to veganism versus vegetarianism, it’s important to know the differences. If you want to go the full hog – no pun intended – then immediately going vegan may seem a little daunting. So, it may be easier to become vegetarian to begin with, and then slowly make the transition. If you want to become a vegetarian and continue eating a few animal products here and then, then that’s okay too! Even small changes can make a big difference. 

Want more foodie inspiration, whether you’re vegan or vegetarian? Check out our food & drink section!

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