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Contrary to popular belief, vegan and plant-based are two different things. A vegan omits all animal products from their diet and lifestyle and does so for life. Whereas, plant-based refers to a diet that omits animal products and focuses on plant foods. Although a meal plan for a plant-based diet may look remarkably similar to a meal plan for a vegan diet, there are key differences to note.
A plant-based diet is motivated by the health benefits, and the word itself is quite literal, meaning that the diet is based on plants. A plant-based diet could mean a completely vegan-friendly diet, or it could mean a mostly vegan-friendly diet (with a few animal products in between). An individual who doesn’t fully cut out animal products, but rather cuts down on them, can be deemed a flexitarian or reducetarian. Still following?
People can choose to follow a plant-based diet for a few weeks, months, years or for life. You may have heard of celebrities like Beyonce going plant-based for a health kick or to get in shape before a show. As you can probably tell, it's not quite as strict as veganism because it doesn't have rules, other than to eat plant-based!
So if you are someone looking to reap the health benefits of veganism and would like the choice of changing up your diet, going plant-based will work for you!
The term vegan was coined by a British woodworker named Donald Watson in 1944 and has grown more popular ever since. I don't think a day goes by without the word vegan featuring in the news somewhere around the world.
Veganism is essentially a stricter form of vegetarianism. Vegetarians cut out meat, whereas vegans go the extra mile and cut out anything from (or made by) an animal including dairy, eggs, and honey. Most people who follow the vegan lifestyle are motivated by ethical and environmental reasons. For example, they believe animals are our equals, not food, or they would like to reduce their impact on the planet.
Vegans do not only omit animal products from their diet but their everyday life, too. A vegan household will only contain cruelty-free beauty products, cruelty-free cleaning products, and animal-free clothing and furniture.
Finally, the vegan lifestyle is not necessarily about health. You can quite easily follow a vegan diet while only eating fatty foods like french fries, plant-based meat, dairy substitutes, and vegan snacks (also known as a junk food vegan). So if you are someone looking to live in line with your morals and live more compassionately, then veganism will be perfect for you.
The health benefits of being vegan and plant-based are considerably similar:
You're more likely to get your 5-a-day
It may reduce the risk of certain cancers
It may reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease
Less saturated fat and cholesterol
Plants are high in nutrients
Strengthens your immune system
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