Vegan vs. Vegetarian
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Sports and Health

Vegan vs. Vegetarian

What's the difference?

WHAT IT IS

  • Vegetarianism is a diet in which a person does not consume meat, including fish.1
  • Veganism is a diet, and often lifestyle, in which a person does not consume meat and products that contain animal byproducts.2
  • A vegan lifestyle can also include cutting out non-food products that harm animals, such as cosmetics or clothing.3
  • People make this choice of diet based on health benefits, religious reasons, or medical requirement.4 17

WHY IT MATTERS

 

There are still many public opinions on what is healthy for the body.5 While there are several clear benefits to a plant-based diet, there are also hidden negative consequences. Since diet is a personal choice, it is beneficial to know all the facts.

BENEFITS

Sustainability

Each person consumes an average of 75 pounds of meat per year.7 Some believe this is a lifestyle that Earth cannot sustain indefinitely.8

 

 

Ethics

Many who follow a plant-based diet do so because they feel it is morally wrong to consume animals. This is a fight often led by PETA.9

 

 

Enriched diet

Numerous studies reveal that a plant-based diet provides more medical benefits and contributes to a longer and healthier life.10

SIDE EFFECTS

Missing nutrients 

Those who do not eat meat may be missing out on vitamin K and vitamin D, as well as protein and other nutrients.11

 

Vegan dieters are at risk of deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D3.12 Dairy products are a common source of calcium in the American diet.12


 

Cost

Those maintaining a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle may spend more money than someone consuming a meat-based diet, as fresh produce can cost more.13

 

 

Limited options

Although more people are choosing plant-based diets, there are not as many meat-free products available which can make the switch difficult.14

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • PETA has created guides to shopping for a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle across various income levels.

  • Intensive farming, or "factory farming", causes harm to the environment that potentially outweighs the food it provides.15

  • The plant versus meat-based diet debate is a persistent topic on a variety of social media sites.

 

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Many refer to vegan as “plant-based", but there can be a big difference.6

  • How will the debates on diets change as the population grows?16

  • Do the animals we eat deserve the same treatment as our pets?

  • What might cause you to chose a plant-based diet?

Key Vocabulary