Vegetarianism -vs- Veganism

Sharita Warfield

Vegetarianism and Veganism are both plant-based diets that revolve around eating little to no animal products. Both are fantastic for the environment and continue to grow in popularity as they can come with many benefits. These benefits include:

  • Reduce your body weight
  • Better control of blood sugar levels
  • Improve your overall health
  • Improved blood pressure and blood flow
  • Can help lower your cholesterol
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease

However, while they are very similar and come with amazing benefits, they have some marked differences. Let’s discuss!

Four differences between Vegetarianism and Veganism:

  1. Vegetarians can eat eggs and dairy. While both diets exclude meat, vegetarians continue eating eggs and dairy products while vegans exclude all products sourced from sentient beings.
  2. The honey debate. Vegetarians, for the most part, eat honey. However, some vegans will eat honey and others will not. Because honey is created by bees, it goes against the textbook definition of veganism. However, bees make an excess of honey. Because of this, if the honey is ethically and sustainably sourced, some vegans will eat it.
  3. Veganism requires supplements. Vegans have to supplement for B12. B12 is a vitamin that is primarily derived from animals and animal products. Because of this, a person eating no animal products will most likely be deficient. Vegetarians don’t have this problem, because B12 is found in eggs, milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  4. Veganism is a lifestyle. Last, veganism is much more than abstaining from eating animal products. Veganism is about abstaining from using animal products altogether. This includes the use of fur, wool, and leather, and vegans will not buy from companies who test on animals, either.

Making the Choice…

Both vegetarianism and veganism are great dietary eating habits for improving overall health and helping the environment at the same time. However, veganism is harder to stick to. If you’re just starting out on a health-food journey, it’s best to start with vegetarianism as there are several variations of a vegetarian diet:

  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: Following a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet allows you
    to continue to enjoy dairy products and eggs.
  • Lacto-vegetarian: On a lacto-vegetarian diet, you can consume dairy
    product but do not eat any meats or eggs.
  • Ovo-vegetarian: The name gives you a hint that you are able to eat eggs
    on this diet. However, you must stay clear of any meat-based and dairy
    products to stay true to this diet.
  • Pescatarian: This diet is a fish and seafood diet that many people love. It
    is classified as a semi-vegetarian or flexitarian as it does not adhere to the
    rules of regular vegetarian diets.

You have many options to choose from when jumping into a vegetarian diet. Take your time and find what works for you. Then you can think about moving on to veganism at your own pace. Book a Dietary and Nutrition appointment at Serendipity Lifestyle and Wellness Spa to learn more from Dr. Sharita!


Be sure to check with your physician before starting any new dietary eating pattern.