Do you know anyone around you that practices the vegetarian or vegan way of life? It can be a family member, friend, significant other, neighbour or coworker. Nowadays, this kind of lifestyle is no longer unfamiliar as more and more people have started to embrace it. Therefore, for those of you who are still unable to tell the difference between the two, we’ve listed it down for you so that you’re able to be more attentive towards their respective needs and beliefs.
By definition, a vegetarian is someone who does not eat animal flesh aka meat such as pork, beef, chicken or fish. However, the term ‘vegetarian’ is very broad and can further be broken down into several categories according to their lifestyle choices for not all vegetarians are the same.
a) Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian – Don’t eat meat but do consume animal products such as dairy and eggs.
b) Lacto Vegetarian – Don’t eat meat and eggs but do consume dairy.
c) Ovo Vegetarian – Don’t eat meat and dairy but do consume eggs.
There are also two other types of vegetarian-related lifestyles; pescatarians and flexitarians. Pescatarians, in addition to having a mainly vegetarian diet also consume seafood. Flexitarians mainly eat plant-based food but they also consume meat and animal produce in moderate amounts. Since both lifestyles permit the consumption of meat which is against the main principle of vegetarianism, they can’t really be regarded as a vegetarian way of life.
Simply put, the vegan lifestyle is the hardcore version of vegetarianism as practitioners of this lifestyle don’t consume meat or any sort of animal products. This is because they view the harvesting of such products to be exploiting animals in an inhumane way.
Reasons for Being Vegetarian or Vegan
Although there are many reasons as to why some people choose to become vegetarians or vegans, these are the most typical ones;
Unfortunately, some people witnessed firsthand the slaughter of animals for their meat be it chickens, cows, goats or pigs and since then were unable to forget the sight as it has been branded into their brain. And from then on, whenever they see or try to consume meat-based food, the recollection prevents them from doing so.
Quite related to the point above, the feeling of sympathy towards animals stops them from consuming their meat or flesh.
3. Healthy Living
People who become vegetarians or vegans due to this reason view that meat is unnecessary for them to lead a healthy life. They might even feel that meat is just a hindrance to their healthy lifestyle for they can obtain the nutrients and proteins through other means that don’t involve animals. That’s why they opt to cut meat from their diet and instead consume plant-based food.
Hopefully, through the information provided here, we’ve helped you identify the differences and similarities between vegetarians and vegans which will help you to understand your loved ones or anyone around you with such a lifestyle better. But hey, if you’re the one with a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, express it loud and proud with a custom-printed t-shirt that says “Peace.Love.Vegan” or go the subtle route with “My body is a temple, not a tomb”.