Plant-Based vs Vegan: Difference and Comparison

The vast majority of people are leaning towards a healthy diet for a variety of reasons such as health, environment, ethics or they might be looking for a fresh beginning.

Plant-based and vegan are very popular diets. It may get confusing to understand what all plant-based and vegan diets constitute and the difference between both of them.

Key Takeaways

  1. Plant-based diets prioritize whole, unprocessed foods but may include animal products in limited amounts, whereas vegan diets exclude all animal products.
  2. Veganism extends beyond diet to exclude animal-derived products in clothing, cosmetics, and other aspects of life.
  3. Plant-based diets emphasize health benefits, while veganism emphasizes ethical and environmental considerations.

Plant-Based vs Vegan 

Plant-based refers to a diet or lifestyle that is focused on consuming mostly whole, plant-based foods. Veganism is a lifestyle that aims to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, not just in diet, but also in other areas of life like clothing, cosmetics, and entertainment.

Plant Based vs Vegan

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Plant-based means that a person with a plant-based diet excludes animal food products or limits them to a huge extent. It specifically talks about one’s diet alone.

The term can be used to indicate a diet is primarily or mostly comprised of plant foods. It can be seen as a plant-forward diet and originates from plants.

Vegan refers to a person who has a way of living in which they exclude all types of animal products to stand against animal cruelty and exploitation.

It is a type of diet devoid of any animal products directly or indirectly such as meat, eggs, and dairy products. A lot of people are following veganism in the present world.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPlant-BasedVegan
Flexibility Plant-based is a flexible diet and no strict restrictions are held on the animal products used. It is an austere lifestyle and follows defined guidelines. It is entirely deprived of animal goods use. 
Belief in animal crueltyPlant-based does not necessarily mean that suffering on animals is prohibitedNo Animal abuse or ill-treatment in direct or indirect ways is tolerated.
Affect on lifestyleNo effects on own lifestyle or others.The belief affects people and other aspects of their life. 
Health levelIt is a healthy diet as it avoids the use of any processed foods.The healthy depends on the type of food eaten and processed food is not healthy.
Challenging or not Less challenging due to openness to animal by-products.More challenging to completely change your daily habits. 

What is Plant-Based?

Plant-based is a broad term that indicates plant-forward and whole-foods-forward meals. Plant-based diets include a combination of whole foods, processed foods, whole plant-based items raw or processed.

They also tend to avoid oils and processed grains. There can be numerous reasons for a person to practice plant-based diets.

The focus of plant-based diets is to incorporate more whole foods into the diet. It does not necessarily mean that the person will avoid actions, products, and services that involve any exploitation of the animals.

Animal proteins are easily welcomed in a plant-based diet.

Plant diets are seen as a great accompaniment in treating breast cancer, heart diseases, and illnesses such as diabetes and obesity.

Bread, seeds, plant milk, nuts, seeds, fruits, grains, legumes, tofu, vegetables, and tubers are some of the plant-forward items that are incorporated into the diet.

The drawback of any plant-based diet is the lack of nutrition. The major component of a plant-based diet is the addition of whole foods.

Various types of vegan food exist but they are processed. Food such as cheese, chicken nuggets, boxed vegan food such as mini-meals, etc. are plant-based but can not be consumed by a person practicing a whole-food plant-based diet.

plant based 1

What is Vegan?

A vegan diet commonly referred to as veganism is a way of life.

It is a philosophical practice to stand against animal cruelty and lead to significant lifestyle enhancements to incorporate a healthy and ethical way of living. It is devoid of any products that may come from animals.

The vegan diet is enriched with goodness and improves the health of the person immensely. It is a philosophy to advocate for animal rights through visible lifestyle changes.

It generates from a desire to protect animals and live a sustainable life. It advocates avoiding animal products in other spheres of life too such as in clothing like leather jackets, shoes, dresses, wallets, belts, and more.

It is a comprehensive and difficult stye of living and takes constant diligent efforts by the person. Vegan diets help reduce weight.

Healthy lifestyle choices also show a huge impact on BMI due to the number of calories in a vegan diet. It is essential in diabetes and manages blood sugar levels.

The diet is also helpful to terminate the future possibilities of Type 2 Diabetes. As per various studies, it has been seen that a vegan diet improves the conditions of the heart. 


Main Differences Between Plant-based and Vegan

  1. Plant-based diets are focused to incorporate plant nutrition and whole foods to improve the health of a person. Vegan diets involve changes in the whole way of living. 
  2. Plant-based diets are a complete diet and do not require the addition of any supplements to deal with the lack of protein and meats when consumed with non-vegetarian options. A vegan diet requires supplementing with dietary supplements and vitamins.
  3. The plant-based diet is a part of a vegan diet as the food items such as whole foods, grains, nuts, plant-milks, vegetables, etc. constitute vegan food as well.
  4. Preparing plant-based food is easier than vegan food due to the type of available food choices for a vegan diet. 
  5. Plant-based is not restricted to animal suffering and may use animal products such as boots, leather bags, honey, milk, go to Zoos and Aquariums. 
Difference Between Plant Based and Vegan

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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