What is the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian?

dawnwan

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As I wrote in my introduction. I do eat eggs, cheese, and milk, but I do not eat meat. I thought, if I did not fit into the category of a vegetarian, because I consume these products.

Now, I am wondering, if I fall under the category of a vegetarian and a not a vegan. Perhaps, someone more knowledgeable can fill me in and explain the difference to me between the two classifications.

Thanks!
 

Alexia

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Yes, you seem to be a lacto-ovo vegetarian so you eat eggs and dairy. These days it's less about labels but more of choice.

Vegans don't eat any dairy or animal by products and some vegetarians eat some dairy products without whey. There are also lacto vegetarians and ovo vegetarians, but essentially that's the main difference. Vegan diets are stricter, but there are no definitive hard and fast rules. Some vegetarians choose not to eat meat, but may still eat animal by products as it's not for ethical reasons.
 

Connie

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Being vegetarian is not just not eating meat. It is not consuming the flesh or other body parts of any animal, marine or land, so that includes fish and anything like oysters, shark meat, octopus etc. And it includes insects, the use of their bodies for dyes etc.

So if you have no animal, poultry, insect or amphibian/marine/fish in your diet including byproducts of that industry (what is the point of not eating meat if you consume goose fat or pork dripping?) then you are a vegetarian.

There is a debate about things like beer and wine. Personally I think it is just people preferring to blinker themselves to the problem because they like alcohol too much but a lot of wine and virtually all clarified beers are filtered through either fish swim bladders or charcoal made from animal bones. They are also out in my book, but then I don't wear leather boots or shoes unless there is absolutely no alternative (my mountaineering boots being an example when I bought them 20 years ago and given they have not worn out, I won't replace them until they do).
 

MrZekrom

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I'm also wondering what their differences are. At first, I thought that the two terms are synonymous but since Alexia gave the difference between them, I know now. Vegetarian and vegans are different from each other, just learned about it.
 

Josie

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Vegetarians don't eat meat, but do eat animal products (milk, eggs etc), vegans don't eat or use any animal products at all. Not judgey, it's just the way it is. You can wiggle a bit under vegetarianism, but veganism is pretty black and white :)
 

Sunflogun

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Yeah, that's the idea I have too. Vegetarians don't eat meat, but they do eat products from animal origin. If the issue is against the living conditions of the animals, vegetarians are also contributing to that. I am not lecturing as I still eat meat!
 

Alexia

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I think it's easier to say vegetarians don't eat animals but some do eat byproducts. It's hard and wrong to label people as such, because some people do it for health reasons rather then ethical ones.

Each person chooses their diet for different reasons, some people adapt their diet but I think it's wrong to say people contribute to the suffering of animals, because that would exist even if you didn't drink milk. It's like saying you won't be friends with a dairy or cattle farmer because of what they do, where do you draw the line?
 
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nytegeek

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It is interesting to see the differentiation drawn by both groups coming from either health or ethical considerations. It seems to me that many but not all of the people that are coming from an ethical perspective fall in the vegan camp.
 

Kamarsun19

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As I wrote in my introduction. I do eat eggs, cheese, and milk, but I do not eat meat. I thought, if I did not fit into the category of a vegetarian, because I consume these products.

Now, I am wondering, if I fall under the category of a vegetarian and a not a vegan. Perhaps, someone more knowledgeable can fill me in and explain the difference to me between the two classifications.

Thanks!
One simple way to know a vegan diet, we don't want anything with a face of anything that comes from anything with a face, No meat, dairy eggs, fish, or honey. thats's the main rules.