A Vegan or a Vegetarian Diet – Part 1

Vegetarian diets have apparently existed since 700 B.C. There are a number of different types and people may choose to adopt them for various reasons, such as religion, ethics, health, and, for course, for the environment.

Vegan diets are more recent but have received a lot of coverage of late thanks to a more eco-friendly attitude brought on by increased awareness of climate change. Here, we’re going to take a look at how vegetarian and Vegan diets are similar and how they differ, as well as how each affects both the environment and your health. We all know that many environmentalists are adopting a Vegan diet but does being a Vegetarian have any positive impact on the environment as well?

Vegetarian diets

A vegetarian is someone who avoids eating meat, game, poultry, fish, shellfish, and animal slaughter by-products. Diets consist of vegetables, fruits, grains, pulses, seeds, and nuts. Whether eggs and dairy are included or not depends on the type of diet.

The more common vegetarian diets include:

Lacto vegetarians: Those who don’t eat animal flesh and eggs but who do eat dairy products.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Vegetarians who don’t eat any animal flesh but do eat egg and dairy products.

Ovo vegetarians: Vegetarians who don’t eat any animal products other than eggs.

Vegans: Vegetarians who don’t eat any animal or animal-derived products.

Those who don’t eat meat and poultry but who do eat fish are called pescatarians. Part-time vegetarians are often called flexitarians. While sometimes regarded as vegetarians, flexitarians and pescatarians eat animal flesh so don’t technically fit the definition of vegetarianism.

A vegan diet

It makes sense to regard a vegan diet as the most disciplined kind of vegetarianism. Veganism is a way of life that tries to exclude any form of animal cruelty and exploitation as much as possible. That includes any kind of exploitation: for food or otherwise.

A vegan diet, therefore, excludes not only animal flesh but also eggs, dairy, and even ingredients derived from animals. These ingredients include casein, whey, albumin, shellac, pepsin, carmine, honey, gelatine, and some forms of vitamin D3.

Vegans and vegetarians often have similar reasons for avoiding the consumption of animal products. The main difference is to what extent they regard animal products as being acceptable. For example, both may exclude meat for environmental or health reasons.

Vegans, however, also avoid all animal by-products as they feel that it has the largest effect on the environment and their health. With regards to ethics, vegetarians oppose animals being killed for food but are okay with eating animal by-products as long as the animals are kept in acceptable conditions. Vegans feel that animals should be free of any human use, whether it be for entertainment, science, clothing, or food.

Therefore, they avoid any animal by-products, no matter how the animals are housed or bred. The need to avoid any form of animal exploitation is why vegans opt to give up eggs and dairy- as many vegetarians have no objection to.