Walk into an eatery, and you would find that a group of friends is poring over the food choices. Just before they call the steward to take the order, you realize that some of them friends are looking for something vegan.
Now, you have always known what vegetarian is, and perhaps you thought vegan and vegetarian are interchangeable terms but no!
The difference between Vegetarian and Vegan can seem blurry in the beginning:
For people who do not follow either of the diets, the difference between the two can seem daunting. Here is the simplest way to understand the difference between them. Once you are through this, you will realize that decoding both the diets is so damn simple; really!
The core difference:
As of principle, vegetarians do not eat animals. Whereas, vegans will steer clear of any animal products per se. So while a person who follows a vegetarian diet may not eat any animal; they may be open to consuming products that are either directly or indirectly are from them; for instance, eggs and cheese.
Why do Vegans choose to cut off animal products from their diet completely?
There may be as many reasons as there are vegans. However, here are three blanket reasons why vegans will not take kindly to anything derived from animals. They are:
- A lot of vegans turn to zero animal product diet to switch to healthier living;
- It agrees with their religious thoughts and beliefs and
- Because they have moral restrictions about not harming animals, either directly or indirectly.
What are the rules that one must follow to follow the vegan diet?
There is only one clear cut rule about following the vegan lifestyle, and that is saying no to anything that is even remotely derived from animals. However, vegetarianism is a more mild form of nutrition where the followers can be of the following different types:
- Ovo-Lacto vegetarians who will consume eggs and dairy products but will not touch meat, poultry or seafood at all.
- Lacto vegetarians are those that will consume milk and other dairy products, sans eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood.
- Ovo vegetarians will consume eggs and not the rest.
- Pescotorians or pesco vegetarians are those that will include seafood in their diet conveniently leaving the rest aside.
Do Vegans have Animal wellbeing on their minds?
There is an excellent reason to decipher that vegans passionately care for animals. A majority of the vegans worldwide will shy away from wearing anything derived from animals, such as leather, suede furnishings, accessories made from animal skins, wearing woolen or silk clothing/accessories and also shunning cosmetic products tested on animals. They believe in procuring products where there is no form of harm done to animals at all.
Does becoming a vegan means a shrinking shopping list?
Well, to begin with, a vegan has to double-check the ingredients label to know for sure if the product that they are picking up contains zero animal products. This can be a tall order because a lot of things that seemingly look vegetarian and sit on the vegetarian shelves of the supermarket may have little traces of animal or animal extracts in them.
Take, for instance, the case of low-fat yogurt that may contain gelatin derived from cows and buffaloes. Even candies contain animal fats and gelatin. Chocolates may be vegan, but if they have milk or milk soluble in them, it becomes unfit for a vegan to consume.
Our best advice is to get yourself a good vegan cookbook – there are plenty of great award winning books available online.
Ordering at the restaurant can mean double-checking the method of preparation of vegetarian dishes!
Vegans may have to check with the steward or the chef if the dishes like soups and salads do not contain stock from animal meat. It can be a bit tedious, checking out the labels and the ingredients that go into food. But the satisfaction that they derive from nutrition that involves zero cruelty to animals can give them a big high.
Here is how Vegans can supplement calcium and Vitamin B12:
While egalitarians and Lacto vegetarians derive their calcium and vitamin D and B12 nutrition directly from eggs and dairy products, vegans have to supplement their diet with a lot of dark green leafy vegetables. They can also take in supplementary pills for vitamin D and B12.
Vegans have a lot on their plates, thankfully!
If you are one of those who are seriously considering becoming a vegan but is doubtful if you will feel deprived of all your favorite foods or that you will give in sooner one day; please take our advice and relax! There is no shortage of nutritious or delicious foods for that matter for a vegan. There are scores of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and beans that used in combination with plant-based dairy substitutes which can create drool-worthy dishes in your vegan kitchen. You will need to begin one day, and you will look back and thank yourself that you took that step!