Difference Between Vegetarian and Vegan


Main Difference

There is always confusion in some terms which are used commonly, people either don’t know the difference or consider them to be the same things and apply them in daily lives. Two such terms which are very similar and are considered same but are different from each other are vegetarian and vegan. Looking at the names, the first impression one gets is that vegan is the short form of vegetarian which is not true. These are different from each other, and those differences are given here in detail. The similarity between these two types is that both include any vegetables. Diet is important to health-conscious people and therefore they take care in what they eat. The simplest way of differentiating them is that vegetarian food there are vegetables included along with other products such as milk and eggs. For vegan food, it does include vegetables but people who follow this do not consume any products which are made from or come from an animal. It can include anything from dairy products, oil, eggs and even skins. Both these types also differ on many issues. Vegetarians are of the view that killing animals and eating them as our food is wrong. Vegans, on the other hand, believe that it is entirely wrong to use animals in every way for our satisfaction and not just killing them. A vegetarian diet does include fruits and vegetables which are low in calories but are fibrous. Vegans also eat similar food, but they do not consume products such as salads which include a hint of milk or eggs and believe that it provides long lasting health benefits. Vegetarians have strong views on the environment too, they think that producing meat and other products takes a lot of energy and the way this is done is harmful to the environment and increases global warming. Vegans have similar ideas but are stricter as they believe trying to produce milk and eggs also consumes energy it is far better to just grow fruits and vegetables. Both have certain religious and political reasons as well as personal views on why they abandon the use of meat and consume just green products. Further explanation on both these types is given in the following paragraphs.

Comparison Chart

PurposeDo not consume meatDo not consume meat
ConsumptionSpend their life on vegetables and fruits and product such as milk and eggs.Do not even consume eggs and other dairy products.
BeliefsBelieve that killing animals for human consumption is wrong.Believe that using animals for human gain is not acceptable in any way.
FoodConsume all types of salads available in the market.Have to be careful even while choosing vegetable and fruit salads.

Definition of Vegetarian

These kinds of people have become very common in America and Europe where people abandon the use of meat from their lives citing different reasons which include not killing an animal for human usage and to take healthy food instead of fatty material. They believe that all the recourses which are spent in producing meat can be devoted to growing more vegetables since they can easily help in reducing the food shortage. It also helps people get rid of problems such as heart attacks, obesity, and an increase in cholesterol levels. They are not against the use of milk and eggs and consider such products as a healthy alternative to meat.


Definition of Vegan

Initially, they were seen as a type of vegetarians, but they have some strict stances towards animal and their utility. Vegans believe that people should not consume animals and their products in any way, including eggs, oils, and dairy products. They are of the view that such practices which are used to produce all these materials can be spent elsewhere, and it will also help in stopping the increasing temperature of the globe. Some of the more extreme ones do not even wear clothes which are made from animal skins a firmly think that animals have the right to live just as human beings do.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. Vegetarians do not consume meat in their daily routines and spend their life on vegetables and fruits and product such as milk and eggs. Vegans along with abandoning meat from their lives do not even consume eggs and other dairy products.
  2. Vegetarians believe that killing animals for human consumption is wrong. Vegans believe that using animals for human gain is not acceptable in any way.
  3. Vegetarians are of the view that a lot of energy is spent on producing meat which can be utilized to grow green products. Vegans are of the opinion that there is no point in wasting energy on any sort of animal related activities as it corrodes the environment and contributes towards global warming.
  4. Vegetarians consume all types of salads available in the market while vegans have to be careful even while choosing vegetable and fruit salads since they can contain traces of dairy.


People differ in the way they eat and the way they have some views about a particular topic. There are many differences between terms Vegetarian and Vegan which make sure people do not confuse them because many consider it the same thing. This article helps in making the views stronger by explaining them in detail.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss