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24 Jun 2016

Vegan vs. Plant-Based

"Vegan" is being bandied around the internet recently, which means the movement is spreading like wildfire. But because it's been catapulted into the mainstream with such velocity, it's starting to cause confusion. What is veganism? What is plant-based? Are they the same thing? No.

Vegans follow the philosophy that rejects the commodity of sentient beings and it's values are rooted in empathy, compassion, and consideration for all beings. Veganism is rooted in both ethics and politics and rejects the use of animals as 'things' to be used by the human race. This includes meat and dairy but also extends to other areas of life – skincare, clothing, supplements, cleaning solutions, drinks, art supplies, feminine hygiene, even sex – the list goes on. This can sound daunting at first but once you start building a mind-map of what to look out for, it's easy as pie... delicious vegan pie.

Some common ingredients to look out for when transitioning to a vegan lifestyle:

gelatine (skins and bones of animals)
carmine (red colouring derived from crushed beetles)
casein (animal milk proteins)
collagen and keratin (slaughterhouse proteins)
lactose (sugar extracted from animal milk)
lard and tallow (animal fat)
whey (milk-based by product of cheese)

Where veganism is a lifestyle choice, plant-based is a diet. A plant-based meal would be considered vegan, but someone who is plant-based is not necessarily a vegan. They may wear leather, take gelatine supplements, or wear makeup tested on animals. Where veganism is a way of life, plant-based is purely dietary and extends only to the table.

It can also be said that something that is vegan is not plant-based. While an Oreo is vegan (containing no animal derivatives), it would not be considered plant-based because it doesn't resemble a plant. A plant-based diet is usually comprised of whole-foods, fruit, and veg. It's a healthier, more natural diet that perhaps would reject confectionary like the Oreo.

Vegan and plant-based are not interchangeable, but they do both stem from similar ethics. It's important to know the difference if you are transitioning to a vegan or plant-based lifestyle, or if you're just a whole lot of confused about this whole thing!

— Coming Soon —