Vegan And Plant-Based Diet - What Is The Difference Between Both
Image Credit: Veganism is not just about diet, it is about ones ethics | Pexels

There has been quite a noticeable shift in the way millennials and Gen z have decided to build their lives. While we have new innovations, an ever-increasing emphasis on social media and newer challenges, we are also seeing a trend that advocates for sustainable, empathetic lifestyle. When we talk in terms of food and diet, there are two buzz words that have been doing the rounds in the recent past – vegan and plant-based. While they may both sound very similar on the surface, there are quite a lot of differences between them that are hard to look past. While plant-based is just a diet, veganism has paved way to a whole new lifestyle altogether. Let us look at both and their main points of differences in an elaborate manner.

Veganism or plant-based? Which originated first?

In terms of which one of the two came first, it was veganism, which started in the 1940s in England. The emphasis of the vegan movement was to inculcate a lifestyle that is sustainable and is cruelty-free by not extracting any product from animals due to ethical reasons. While, the plant-based movement, on the other hand, came to being much later in the 1980s in the US. It started off as a diet that would be free from the outer influences of market that adds preservatives and causes obesity. So, going by the timeline, vegan lifestyle started making its mark first, and hence, is a more popular diet even today.

Plant based diet focuses on health rather than just ethics | Pexels

The main difference in vegan and plant-based diet is the fact that the former is not just limited to diet – it demands that you change your lifestyle for the better of the planet and all its stakeholders. It sees using animals as a means to get food or clothes as cruelty as it is against their will and natural instincts to provide for selfish human needs. Veganism talks about environment-friendly living, advocated cruelty-free practices like shutting the unethical dairy business and wearing clothes that are not derived by exploiting any living beings.

Plant-based diet, on the other hand, is solely focused on better health by eating food that is healthy. It may or may not have any meat and dairy source, but the diet is mainly extracted from plants, which makes the food nutritious. This is just a dietary change and does not demand any significant ethical and moral transformation from those who decide to take up this diet. The main focus of a plant-based diet is cutting out processed, fattening food and replacing it with healthy, satiating naturally available edible options.

What foods make up the vegan and plant-based diet?

As there are evident differences between the principal philosophy of both the diets, there are also different lists of what vegans eat and avoid and what plant-based diet includes and excludes. While no dairy or meat product is allowed in a vegan diet, plant-based diet has no such restriction. In a similar fashion, while processed and boxed vegan food is popular, plant-based foods are not supposed to be processed at all. It is always natural and fresh. Food rich in carbohydrates, fats and oil are consumed in vegan diet, but not in a plant-based ones that are oriented towards only eating whole food. Foods that are consumed in both forms of diet are whole grains, legumes, seeds, green vegetables and fruits.

So, if you are planning on transforming your diet and lifestyle and opt for a sustainable living, choose wisely. Veganism and plant-based are both diets that would take commitment, but will definitely benefit you in the long run. Take a decision according to the needs of your body and you will be ready to embark on this healthy journey.