Veganism and vegetarianism are very overwhelming topics to those who don’t know much about the lifestyles. Many people admit that they are “turned off” by the idea of going vegan or vegetarian because of the way these lifestyles are portrayed in the media. So I thought that I would dedicate this blog post to try and explain the differences between veganism and vegetarianism and the benefits of switching to those lifestyles.
DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert in either of these lifestyles and I do not claim to know everything. I just recently became vegan and I am continuing to expand my knowledge 🙂
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s start with vegetarianism.
The definition of vegetarian is “a person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, especially for moral, religious, or health reasons”
That definition sums up the lifestyle pretty well, but of course everyone is different. For example, some vegetarians will also not eat any animal bi-products or wear fur, where there are other vegetarians who will.
Here are the different types of vegetarians:
Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Do not eat meat, poultry, or fish, but do eat eggs and dairy products.
Lacto vegetarians: Eat no meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, but do consume dairy products.
Ovo vegetarians: Eat no meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products, but do eat eggs.
Partial vegetarians: Avoid meat but may eat fish (pesco-vegetarian, pescatarian) or poultry (pollo-vegetarian).
A major reason that some people choose to go vegetarian is for health reasons, here are some of the main health benefits that can come along with the diet.
Health benefits of going vegetarian:
- Less risk of stroke and obesity
- Having lower cholesterol
- Lesser chance of developing kidney stones
- Helps reduce the risk of cancer
- May improve mood
- May improve symptoms of psoriasis
- Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduce risk of cataract development
The definition of vegan is “a person who does not eat or use animal products”
I don’t think this definition explains vegan well and that is because there is a difference between eating vegan and living a vegan lifestyle. If you live a vegan lifestyle you do not eat any animal products or and you don’t use any products that are tested on animals or contain animal by-products.
Personally I have not taken the full plunge of purging all of my household and cosmetic products that have been tested on animals or contain animal by products as of yet, but hey maybe in the future.
There are many health benefits that come along with going vegan, but one I would like to highlight in particular is the increase in energy that you will have. I am not a morning person at all, but when I started eating a vegan diet it became a lot easier to get out of bed.
Health benefits of going vegan:
- Reduces risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, hypertension, stroke, obesity and some cancers including prostate and colon cancer
- lessens bad breath and body odor
- Boosts energy levels
- Can help with arthritis
- Can help with skin conditions
I hope this article was somewhat informative and helpful to anyone who is thinking about changing their diet/lifestyle.