Vegans vs Vegetarians: Why Taking A Small Step Is Better Than Doing Nothing

We’re settling the debate of vegans vs vegetarians!
Picture of a pear on a yellow backdrop to illustrate the debate of vegan vs vegetarian
Vegan vs vegetarian: What’s the difference between both lifestyles? Read on to find out!

It’s time to settle the confusion! When it comes to the great debate of vegans vs vegetarians, we’ve got you covered. Here are definitions, advice, and opinions on why taking small, attainable steps is much better than doing nothing at all!

Let’s dive into the big topic of vegans vs vegetarians!

Vegans or Vegetarians? Whichever lifestyle you’re aligned with, it’s undeniable that it requires huge sacrifices and immense changes in daily habits. Going vegan or vegetarian isn’t merely something one can accomplish on a whim. It is a commitment, and can oftentimes be challenging if one isn’t ready to take the leap. In order to decide which choice might best suit your personal goals, we first need to understand their differences.

Close up of chia seeds in a jar.
Making the switch to veganism can be as simple as making the swap from eggs to chia eggs in baking!

Vegans vs Vegetarians: What’s The Big Difference? 

In order to pinpoint the crucial differences between vegans and vegetarians, it’s necessary to highlight where they intersect. Let’s be clear: There’s no actual beef to be had in the vegans vs vegetarian debate. After all, both aim to promote health and kindness to animals – a win in our books.

Both vegans and vegetarians eschew meat and animal products. However, the latter lifestyle provides a wider range of customisation. Some vegetarians opt to eat dairy products and eggs, whilst pescatarians allow seafood, dairy products, and eggs.

In contrast, stricter vegan diets exclude all animal products from meat and dairy to animal by-products like gelatine and honey.

Why A Vegan or Vegetarian Life Is Worth Looking Into

Sure – it’s possible to live a healthy and balanced life with no dietary restrictions. However, going vegan or vegetarian goes the extra mile with benefits to your personal health and to mother nature. Studies show that diets including vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds provide well-rounded nutrition. These ingredients are also generally higher in heart-healthy fats and provide dietary fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Altogether, this buffet of healthy things is low in saturated fat and high in nutrients that help to combat disease.

In contrast, those who eat a lot of meat and animal products consume more saturated fats. This can increase bad cholesterol in the body, leading to higher blood pressure, BMI, and chances of contracting chronic diseases. Differences aside, it can be observed that vegans and vegetarians are likelier to enjoy better health and longevity. These diets can help control blood sugar levels, lower risks of heart disease and certain cancers, and even reduce inflammation.

Beyond The Health Aspect

Health benefits aside, there are numerous other reasons one may choose to take a side of the vegans vs vegetarians debate. And it makes sense: both lifestyles promote health and goodness as a whole.

The vegan mindset, however, posits that we can do better for our animals. Vegans want to ensure animals are not harmed or exploited by decreasing demand for meat and other animal products. A vegan or vegetarian diet also protects the environment by using fewer resources. Did you know that less water and land are generally required to produce greens in comparison to farming animals?

The TL;DR of this? You can lower your carbon footprint by choosing a salad over a burger.

Whichever lifestyle you find yourself gravitating towards, the onus definitely lies on the individual to make the best, informed choice.

What Can Vegans Eat And Use?

In the argument of vegans vs vegetarians and which you should opt for, it’s imperative to know the difference. Vegetarians can fall under very different sub-categories depending on their dietary exclusions. With that in mind, we’ll be taking a closer look at the vegan diet instead! If you’ve been wanting to give vegan living a chance, here’s what you need to know.

  • A vegan diet consists of plant-based foods, and eschews all forms of animal products – even by-products like honey and gelatine! As such, it’s incredibly important to read the nutritional labels of all your food – and to ask about ingredients when eating out.
  • An exhaustive list of possible vegan diet options would be impossible, but that’s good news – that means there are options in abundance! In general, however, vegans can count on enjoying a variety of plant-based foods including vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes, rice, tofu, and more. More and more vegan yogurts, cheeses, and ice creams are also becoming available in the market, which means you won’t have to give up your sweet tooth habits.
  • Living a vegan life doesn’t merely extend as far as your diet; choosing vegan products to use is also important. Sustainable plant-based options for clothing include cotton, linen, polyester, bamboo, hemp, denim, and more, whilst non-vegan options to exclude include: leather, fur, and wool.
Deliciously creamy and inimitable in its flavour - The Good Fat Co's pistachio butter is every bit as good as it looks. Vegans vs vegetarians does not apply; it's good for all!
Deliciously creamy and inimitable in its flavour – The Good Fat Co’s pistachio butter is every bit as good as it looks.

Starting Small: Why You Should Do It

Okay, we get it. Taking an instantaneous leap into veganism or vegetarian might be too much for most people to stomach. After all, longevity requires actual change, and this change can only be strengthened with time. As spiritual healer Phebby (@hugga444 on Instagram) shares, “I would recommend that those who want to be vegan make a small change a day.”

Dedicated to self-healing and also helping others with heating their bodies, minds, and souls from trauma, Phebby was once a longtime vegetarian, before deciding to make the full switch to veganism in 2017. While the derision and constant complaints from her friends proved to be detrimental to her mental health, self-esteem, and happiness, Phebby soon found peace and self-love, understanding that her kindness was a virtue as opposed to a weakness.

Phebby, the founder of HUG.GA, shares her thoughts on the vegans vs vegetarian debate.

“Stepping into the journey of self-love, I realised that my kindness is something I should really be proud of. I went vegan for the animals because I truly believe that every living thing on earth deserves love and freedom. What I’m doing is simply being the change I want to see in the world.”

On making the lifestyle changes one tiny step at a time, Phebby goes on to share that one should always trust themselves to make the right choice, and to remember why they wanted to start the journey to begin with.

“Start reducing the intake or purchase of meat, eggs, and dairy products. Give yourself time to make this change. If you crave meat, eggs, or dairy during this period, go to a restaurant. Don’t feel guilty, it’s just a process of transformation. Be patient in your own journey.”

Phebby, Spiritual Healer

Taking into account that this is a change that requires time, Phebby then goes on to reassure us that it is truly slow and steady that wins the race. “If you’ve really tried your best but still can’t change your diet, it’s okay. There are many forms of kindness, and showing appreciation is one of them.”

Dark chocolate cookies from Seven Tea One which are gluten free and great for both sides of the vegan vs vegetarian debate.
It may sound daunting to go vegan, especially in a land as abundant in food as Malaysia, but these dark chocolate cookies from Seven Tea One are proof that you can be good to living creatures, and still enjoy great tasting food.

In Closing

While going vegan or vegetarian comes with a wealth of benefits from an individual to a universal level, it’s understandably challenging. The important thing to note when trying for this lifestyle change is that judgment should be absent – instead of passing judgment on those who opt to live this lifestyle, try to understand their intentions.

Likewise, and from the other side of the fence, it’s okay to fail, just as it’s okay to decide this lifestyle is not for you at all. Ultimately, lifestyle changes that last the longest also take the longest to build – and just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, your personal journey should not be measured in time itself.

We hope you’ll give it a try, though! From observing Meatless Monday to choosing a veggie burger every once in a while, there are numerous small steps you can take to make your life, your community, and your world better!

Let Us Know What You Think!

Are you planning on trying a vegan or vegetarian diet? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to follow us on our social channels for more fun content, tips, and stories on your favourite local brands!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Gluten Free Cookies To Make Your Halloween Healthier!
Healthy granola shown in the kitchen.

Gluten Free Cookies To Make Your Halloween Healthier!

Gluten-free cookies and everything in between

Birthday Gift Ideas Your Scorpio Baes Will Love
Asian woman in a silver dress celebrating with a pink balloon and gold confetti for their birthday.

Birthday Gift Ideas Your Scorpio Baes Will Love

Happy Birthday to all our Scorpio babies!

You May Also Like