In many instances, the terms vegan and plant-based are often used interchangeably. You may hear someone call themselves a vegan, or say they follow a plant-based diet, while you’ll also hear someone else ask if a particular food is vegan. But what do each of these terms mean, and what (if anything!) is the difference? Let’s delve into the concepts of veganism and being plant-based and look to gain a more comprehensive understanding of each and what that means from a health, diet, and lifestyle perspective.
Formally, this is the designation of a diet and lifestyle that avoids all animal products. From a dietary perspective, this includes all dairy, meat, and eggs, as well as honey, meat-based broths and other animal derived products, such as gelatin, collagen, and some selections of alcohol. For many people, this also extends as far as the products they consume or use outside of food, including refraining from wearing leather or other animal products, and often being vocal and passionate about animal rights and animal welfare. For some people who choose to adopt the vegan denotation, it is as much from an ethical and animal wellbeing perspective as it is from a health and consumption perspective.
The plant-based perspective, for many people, is often more from a personal health and wellness view, whereby individuals are trying to eat more plants and avoid eating animal products because of their own health. Many people express that avoiding dairy, meat processed foods with these ingredients in them allows them to have more energy, feel better physically, think more clearly and much more. In essence, a plant-based approach is often only one part of a holistic approach to improving overall health and wellness. The other components include, for example, increased diligence towards sustainable self-care practices, regular exercise and a concentrated effort towards less stress and more sleep.
While neither approach is right or wrong, the key differences are that they both often have different ulterior motives and underlying beliefs and philosophies, and this is what typically drives the individual to adopt the lifestyle in the first place, or to continue to follow it moving forward. What those beliefs are and the philosophies one may prescribe to, are indeed individual and unique and this is what allows this lifestyle to be so broad and all-encompassing.
At the end of the day, both of these are simply a label for a way of eating, a lifestyle, or a specific pattern of dietary habits, decisions, and selections. In many cases, an individual will opt to use one over the other, both or none, depending on their preference for labelling and categorizing themselves.
Regardless, the main focus is that they all have an underlying theme of optimizing the health and wellbeing of one’s self, others, plants, animals, and the planet as a whole. If this sounds like the type of theme you would like to adopt in your life, contact Savor Living today to learn how you can get started with plant based and vegan meal services as the first step in your journey.