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Difference Between Vegetarian and Vegan

Vegetarian vs Vegan

A vegetarian is a person that does not consume meat, poultry, seafood or fish.  A vegan is a person that does not consume any product that is derived from animals.  These products include dairy products and other animal products.  Some vegans go to the extent of not eating even honey and yeast.  They would not even wear clothing made from animal products.  A vegetarian for that matter would not mind wearing clothing made from animal products.  He is more concerned only about his diet.  He is particular that his diet should not include meat, fish or poultry.

The diet restrictions adopted by a vegetarian are far more relaxed than those adopted by a vegan.  A vegan is more or less an animal activist.  He is against the slaughter of animals for the sake of food.  He shows his protest against the killing of animals by not wearing clothing made of animal products, sandals made of the skin of animals.  He does not use furniture and other items that are made of animal products in his home.  This makes him very strict when it comes to his eating habits too.  He would strictly say no to all kinds of food made of animal products, such as milk, cheese, meat and the like.

A vegetarian for that matter would not become an animal activist protesting against the killing of animals to make products, but would pay a lot of attention to his diet to see to it that it does not contain meat, poultry and fish.  He does not include sea food also in his diet.  He would not say no to foods such as cheese and eggs though.  He would also consume honey and yeast.  This shows that although there is not much of a difference between a vegetarian and a vegan, they both differ in their attitude towards animal products and diet.  A vegetarian would permit the use of furniture and other items made from animal products in his home.  He would not oppose to them being used in his home.  He would not participate actively in the movement against the slaughter of animals.  This is the reason for various divisions in vegetarianism.  A vegetarian can be a semi-vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian, ovo-vegetarian and ovo-lacto-vegetarian.  A semi-vegetarian is a person that occasionally eats fish.  An ovo-vegetarian is a person that does not eat eggs and he is considered a vegan.  A lacto-vegetarian is a person that does not eat dairy products and he is considered a vegan too.  A ovo-lacto-vegetarian is a person who does not eat fish, meat and poultry but who does eat milk products and egg.  In fact they are considered as the largest group of vegetarians.

Thus the major differences between a vegetarian and a vegan are;

  • A vegetarian is more concerned about his diet whereas a vegan is more concerned about animal slaughter.
  • A vegetarian does not include meat, poultry and fish in his diet whereas a vegan does not eat animal products such as milk and cheese.
  • A vegetarian does not mind eating animal products and wearing clothing made of animal products whereas a vegan is opposed to wearing clothing made of animal products.
  • A vegetarian is not an animal activist whereas a vegan is a compulsive animal activist all his life.


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  • http://twitter.com/mandikins mandi martin

    uhm…..you can definitely be a vegan without being a “compulsive animal activist all your life”. Some vegans only extend their beliefs in what they eat, but not necessarily what they wear or buy. 

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