Vegan and Vegetarian? What’s the difference?

What’s the difference between being vegan and vegetarian? A vegan is a person who does not consume or use any animal products. This means not consuming any type of meat, in addition to eggs, diary, and other animal-derived substances. The term ethical vegan also applies to a vegan diet but in other areas in their lives, and oppose the use of animals for any purpose.


A vegetarian diet is a person who does not eat meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal). A vegetarian diet allows for the consumption of by-products from animals such as diary, honey, and eggs. Vegan and vegetarian diets are similar in the fact of not consuming meat, but the key difference is that a vegan’s diet is clean from all animal products and by-products.


Vegans also consider veganism a lifestyle rather than a diet, whereas vegetarians associate their food choices as a diet. An ethical vegan will not support eating animals or the by-products, as well as not wearing clothing with fur, leather, or any parts of an animal. They have to be consciously thinking about what products they buy and use that would not contain anything from an animal. For example when purchasing a car they would be making the decision to have a different material for the seats rather than leather.


A common grocery list for a vegan might be:

  • Green Lentils
  • Pasta (That is diary and egg free)
  • Vegetables (frozen and fresh)
  • Diary Free Yogurt
  • Peanut Butter
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Beans (black beans, chickpea)
  • Hummus
  • Brown Rice
  • Almond Milk
  • Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds
  • Quinoa

A common grocery list for a vegetarian might be:

  • Feta Cheese
  • Bananas
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Bread
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Brown Rice
  • Chocolate Milk
  • Veggie Burger
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Apples


The health difference in research is more favorable to a vegan lifestyle rather than a vegetarian. Since a vegetarian can still include diary and eggs, they tend to have higher cholesterol and more saturated fat included in their diets. Someone following a plant based vegan diet would benefit from lower cholesterol, decreased intake of saturated and trans fats, iron benefits, alkaline benefits, fiber benefits, decreased likelihood of food poisoning, and healthy weight maintenance. Whether you chose to be a vegetarian or vegan, the healthiest diet is a diet that is one of whole foods and limits processed refined foods.


Brittany Jaroudi

Brittany Jaroudi is a wellness lifestyle blogger from Pittsburgh PA. Currently she is working towards a plant based nutrition certification through Cornell University. She loves helping people achieve health through a whole foods plant based lifestyle. You can find her blog and social media accounts under the name The Jaroudis.

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