Here's What Makes Plant-Based Different From Vegan

Tackling climate change is a major global challenge that encourages everyone to look at how they can change their behaviors to benefit the planet. While politicians hold the immense responsibility of enacting widespread measures, individuals are being prompted to play their part too — with the reduction of meat consumption seen as key to protecting the environment (via The New York Times).

According to The Guardian, rearing animals for meat consumption amounts to a staggering 57% of all food production emissions. This includes carbon dioxide and methane (via EPA). Animal farming releases far more warming gases than crops, with cows being the worst contributor because they are reared for both milk and beef. 

This means that plant-based and vegan diets are sought by people wanting alternatives to the likes of beef, chicken, and pork. But how do the two diets differ from each other? They're certainly not the same thing, and you should take note of the distinct differences so that you can choose the right diet for you, and maybe even your family.

Plant-based foods may not avoid animal products

Which? explains that a vegan diet involves avoiding anything that derives from animals, including eggs, dairy, and gelatin (which Peta describes as protein from boiled skin). Sometimes, vegans will even choose to omit honey from their diets. Plant-based meals are less strict, and even though they mainly consist of vegetables, fruit, and grains, they may also contain eggs and dairy.

The freedom associated with plant-based diets is recognized by LiveStrong. You're allowed to occasionally eat meat if you can't satisfy a burning craving. This also makes a plant-based diet easier to stick to than veganism (which requires detailed meal preparations to ensure vital nutrients aren't missed out).

New Food argues a further difference between vegan and plant-based foods. While vegans remove any element of animals in their consumption to promote ethical eating, they are not necessarily always focused on health benefits. This contrasts with plant-based diets which often seek to showcase the natural boosts of consuming healthy foods.

There you have it! Which option will better fit your diet?