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Vegetarian vs. Vegan: What's the Difference?

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What's the difference between vegetarian and vegan? While vegetarians and vegans have one big thing in common (they do not eat animals), the two lifestyles are not interchangeable. A vegetarian or vegan lifestyle looks a little different for everyone, and becoming vegetarian or vegan can bring about so many benefits for animals, the planet, and your health!

Read on to learn about the key differences between vegetarians, vegans, pescatarians, reducetarians, flexitarians, and more. 

Is Vegetarian and Vegan the Same?

No, vegetarians and vegans are not the same. In general, vegetarianism is a diet, while veganism is a lifestyle. Vegetarians omit meat from their diets, while vegans omit all products that directly exploit animals, including meat, eggs, dairy, honey, gelatin, fabrics like fur, wool, and leather, and cosmetics tested on animals. The motivation behind someone living a vegan lifestyle is usually learning about the animal agriculture industry, as well as animal agriculture's effects on the climate. Did you know that animal agriculture is responsible for for an estimated 18 percent of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions?

Sometimes vegetarians are fueled by those same ethical motivations, sometimes people go vegetarian primarily for health reasons, and sometimes people go vegetarian simply because they do not like eating meat. There's no wrong reason to start living a more compassionate lifestyle!