What is the Difference Between Being Plant-based and Being Vegan?

You have heard of people being vegan and you have heard why they became vegan, but have you heard of being plant-based and not being vegan? Is there a difference between being plant-based and vegan? Or are they one-in-the-same?

Well they used to be, but things have changed overtime and we are going to talk about what the difference is and why there is a difference now. But before we get into that just know that I am not a doctor or nutritionist and I am not trying to push you into any diets or say there is medical reason for changing your diet.

I am just a mom who has gone plant-based and have thought about transitioning into a more vegan lifestyle. I am in no way perfect, but I want you to have as much information that I can give you on something that you are interested to know more about.

Without further ado, let’s get on with it.

What plant-based means?

Plant-based is a pretty simple concept. It means only eating foods that are made from plants. There is nothing more to it.

You eat fruits and vegetables that are either eaten as whole foods or processed into foods that are similar to their non-plant-based options. So if you used to eat chicken nuggets and loved them, but want to go plant-based then they have a similar food called chick’n nuggets that are made out of, you guessed it, only plants.

What Veganism has become

At first, being vegan meant that you were eating only plant-based, which it still is, but it has grown to more than just-food. Over the years being vegan grew to avoid the use of any other animal products. Things like leather, makeup products that were either made with animal products or tested on animals, wool, silk, etc.. 

This is why when people say they are vegan and someone sees they have some sort of animal product clothing they get heated. Which makes sense, but doesn’t make any sense at the same time.

Now veganism is ever-changing and growing in new areas than just food and the use of animal materials. Whereas being plant-based isn’t always changing because it just means not eating animal products, nothing more.

Being plant-based doesn’t mean you are vegan

When it comes to plant-based eating it doesn’t automatically make you a vegan. And I would suggest not saying you are vegan whenever someone says something about not eating animal products otherwise you might face a lot more unneeded scrutiny. It is dumb and I get that but save yourself the annoyance that comes along with claiming to be vegan if you only want to eat plant-based.

Otherwise, just know that having a “vegan-diet” is just being plant-based, but some of the vegan specific foods are just a more expensive label and certification for the brand. Which of course the vegan labeled foods make it easier to find whether it has animal products in it, but there are many foods that you may eat on a daily basis that just don’t have any animal products in it anyway.

If you are Vegan then you are plant-based

As much as being plant-based doesn’t make you vegan, being vegan actually does mean that you are plant-based. Since veganism means avoiding all forms of animal products that means you have to have a plant-based diet to be vegan.

Though being vegan does put more emphasis on a larger scale of animal consumption and cruelty-free products instead of just food-related goods. I won’t go too into detail here, but there are actually many types of vegans from those who put more emphasis on the environment as a whole to those who fully ban all forms of animal products even if it affects the environment more, etc.

Why is there a difference?

The main difference between being plant-based and being vegan is that plant-based is about your diet and being vegan is a larger concept of avoiding all forms of animal products.

Now the main reason there is a difference is that veganism has grown to more than just the food you eat, but not everyone wants to make the change beyond food. So they needed to have a term for just eating plant-based foods instead of adding it to everything that veganism now entails.

Now don’t get me wrong many people may start a “vegan diet” and give up or they love being plant-based and later on want to transition to a more vegan lifestyle. That’s great, but that doesn’t have to be for everyone. If you feel that you love being plant-based, but the vegan lifestyle isn’t for you then that is great too.

You don’t have to push yourself into something you are not, but if you want to take a shot being plant-based and maybe become vegan further down the line then go for it. If you want to check out some recipes on plant-based/vegan foods then I have a Pinterest board for these recipes or you there are some great options on Vegan.com to consider as well.

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