Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian

Main Difference – Vegan vs Vegetarian

Most of you must have heard the two words vegan and vegetarians and must already know that both vegans and vegetarians do not eat meat. But have you ever wondered about the difference between the two? The main difference between vegan and vegetarian is that vegans tend to reject all animal related food whereas vegetarians consume dairy products.

Who is a Vegan

A vegan is a person who doesn’t use any type of animal related product. This includes food such as meat, fish, dairy products, as well as other products clothing and household items which are made from animal products or tested on animals ( fur, leather, wool, etc.) Being vegan, therefore, is not just a diet, but a way of life.

The decision to become a vegan might be motivated by many factors like health concerns, ethical and moral reason as well as religious beliefs. Vegan diet is usually based on grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Tofu, mushrooms, soya, wheat-based gluten are common substitutes for meat. Although vegan diets tend to be higher in dietary fiber, folic acid, magnesium, iron, vitamin C and E, and phytochemicals, it is lower in dietary energy, saturated fat, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12. A vegan also has to take more dietary supplements due to these deficiencies.Main Difference - Vegan vs Vegetarian

Who is a Vegetarian

A vegetarian is a person who doesn’t consume meat. The term meat here implies poultry, seafood, insects, etc. and any part of an animal’s flesh. But vegetarians, unlike vegans, consume dairy products and other items which have been made with animal products.

Vegetarianism can be prompted by many reasons. Religious beliefs, moral, political, cultural, environmental concerns, health-related issues as well as personal preferences can motivate a person to be a vegetarian. There are also a number of vegetarian diets which include or exclude certain food.

For example, Ovo-vegetarian is a person who eats eggs, but not other dairy products whereas Lacto-vegetarian is a person who consumes all dairy products except eggs.

It is also important to note that terms pollo-vegetarian and pesco-vegetarian do not actually belong to the category of vegetarianism. Pesco-vegetarian is a person who eats fish, but not meat whereas a pollo-vegetarian consumes both fish and chicken.Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian

Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian


Vegans tend to reject all animal related food

Vegetarians do not consume fish, meat, and poultry.

Dairy Products

Vegans do not consume dairy products.

Vegetarians consume dairy products.

Animal related products

Vegans do not use animal related products such as clothing or household items.

Vegetarians use animal related products.

Lifestyle vs Diet

Vegan can be termed as a lifestyle.

Vegetarian is a diet.


Veganism provides protection against common food allergens like seafood and dairy.

Vegetarianism doesn’t provide protection from allergens like dairy.

Dietary Supplements

Vegans have to take more dietary supplements.

Vegetarians take less dietary supplements.Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Vegan” by Elina Mark – Own work via

Vegetarain” by By Peggy Greb, USDA ARS – (Public Domain) via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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