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What Is The Difference Between A Vegan And A Plant Based Diet?

What Is The Difference Between A Vegan And A Plant Based Diet?

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Since diet has become a hotly debated topic in our culture, there are many misconceptions that traverse the online community. We're here to dispel some myths and keep you as informed as possible.

Much like the debate about the keto diet vs carnivore diet, there are some key differences between a vegan diet and plant based whole food diet that are worth exploring.  

While both a vegan diet and a whole foods plant based diet removes dairy, fish, poultry, meat, and honey, there are interesting variances to consider when determining which one is right for you.

We'll dig into this question by examining both of them independently.  




A vegan diet seeks to eliminate the use of all animal products entirely. This means not only excluding any dietary use of animals, but also in clothing, jewelry, perfumes, lotions, and other household items. 

Veganism is a philosophy that posits sentient animals, such as cows and pigs, are worthy of moral consideration, and should be included in our sphere of human ethics.

Jeremy Bentham, an English scholar and philosopher, posed the inquiry on the matter of animal rights, "The question is not if they can reason or if they can talk, but can they suffer?"

Since animals can suffer in the same way that humans can, despite their presumed lower intelligence, then one who practices a vegan diet would aim to eschew any product that contributes to the suffering of animals for moral and ethical reasons. 





Like the vegan diet, a plant based whole foods diet also eliminates the use of any animal ingredients.

However, those following a plant based whole foods diet will also avoid any processed ingredients such as preservatives, acids, refined sugars, oils, and highly refined carbs (crackers, white bread, candy, soda, etc)  

As it sounds, one who practices a plant based whole foods diet will consume vegetables, legumes, mushrooms, fruit, and grains as close to their natural form as possible. 

While a plant based whole foods diet does not strictly forbid cooking, the use of cooking oils and high heat methods to break down foods are typically avoided as well. 

While a vegan may also follow a plant based whole foods diet, someone who follows a plant based whole foods diet may not necessarily be engaged in the ethical position of veganism (or animal rights). 

A plant based diet is strictly about health, where as veganism is all about protecting animals from pain and suffering. 





The main difference between a vegan diet and a whole foods plant based diet is that a vegan can still enjoy junk foods like candy, soda, chips, and even highly processed imitation meats and beverages such as vegan chicken nuggets or vegan burgers, even vegan milkshakes.  

The only qualification of a vegan diet is to eliminate all use of animal products or anything tested on animals. 

A vegan diet does not necessarily have to be healthy, as a vegan could easily subsist on a variety of high calorie, heavily processed junk foods. 

In today's market there are many vegan sauces, cheeses, meat substitutes, and sweets that would be considered just as unhealthy as many of the processed foods one enjoys on the Standard American Diet. 

A whole foods plant based diet, on the other hand, is an anti-inflammation diet that has been scientifically proven to reverse some of America's leading causes of death. 




It all depends entirely upon your world view. If you wish to be a vegan strictly for the animals, but aren't as concerned about health, you can enjoy a vegan diet that contains processed foods such as veggie burgers and vegan pizza. They even have vegan "crab" cakes!

If you're concerned about reversing disease, reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol, improving blood pressure, etc, but you're not as worried about the welfare of animals, then you can adopt a plant based whole foods diet that doesn't contain any processed vegan foods.

A diet rich in plant foods and limited animal foods, such as the Mediterranean Diet, may be right for you.   

If you care about your health, animals, and the planet, then adopting a vegan plant based whole foods diet will suit you greatly! 


Thank you for stopping by and reading our article. Before you go, check out our line of Vegan Shirts!


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