Vegetarian or vegan… what’s the difference ? If you are lost in the middle of all the definitions and vocabulary around this lifestyle, we understand you. It’s not easy to find your way when you start to take an interest in animal ethics
The team of Minuit sur Terre, a vegan shoe brand without any animal product, enlightens you to understand everything !
What is a vegetarian ?
A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat or fish. Nevertheless, a vegetarian will continue to eat eggs and dairy products.
We can also speak of ovo-vegetarian for someone who doesn’t eat meat, fish or dairy products, but who eat eggs. And even about lacto-vegetarian for someone who eats dairy products but no meat, fish, or eggs.
Vegetarianism is therefore a diet and it concerns food and not lifestyle.
Vegetarianism is more widespread than veganism, in Europe or even worldwide. Nearly 30% of the Indian population is vegetarian, mainly for religious reasons. About 2.5% of French people are now vegetarians.
An increasingly large part of the French population is moving towards flexitarianism. This means a reduced and rational consumption of meat and fish, of better quality. This new way of eating is often justified for health reasons, but also ecological reasons? Livestock farming has a disastrous effect on the environment. Its responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions, it is understandable.
What does a vegan eat ?
Veganism is also a way of eating. A vegan excludes all animal products from their diet: meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, honey, etc.
No panic ! Just because these products are not present in the diet of vegans does not mean that they have nothing to eat ! Fruits, vegetables, cereals, oilseeds, seeds, vegetable oils, spices… Plant food is very varied ! More and more alternatives to animal products are also sold everywhere, in supermarkets or organic stores.
About vegan food
It is now very easy to learn about vegan food. Go through the internet or many specialized books, and to learn vegetable cooking
Veganism is recognized by many associations of health professionals as a healthy diet suitable for all periods of life. The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, confirms it. Many athletes are vegan, like Venus and Serena Williams, Carl Lewis or Patrick Baboumian, the strongest man in the world !
If you adopt a vegan diet, you need to supplement yourself with vitamin B12. This vitamin is not found in plants and is important for good health.
So what is a vegan ?
It’s a person who not only has a vegan diet, but who also refuses animal exploitation in his whole lifestyle.
This means that vegans does not use any animal product to dress, to take care of themselves or their house (cosmetics, household products) or for entertainment. They don’t go to circuses, zoos, aquariums, and any shows that exhibits animals).
Excluding animal products from your dressing room means not wearing skin, fur or leather (thanks, for example, to Minuit sur Terre leather-free shoes). It also excludes wool, silk, feathers , shells, …
In short, not wearing all the materials that could harm the well-being of animals or participate in their exploitation (in often deplorable conditions). Leather is thus a disaster for animals, workers and the environment, which is why our shoes do not contain it and will never contain it.
For cosmetics and household products, this means not only excluding products of animal origin (for example, honey or beeswax) but also choosing products that have not been tested on animals.
Choose your path
Being flexitarian, vegetarian, vegan, or none of that? It doesn’t matter ! The important thing is not to label yourself at all costs, or to be flawless, but to make your way towards your convictions and try to respect them as much as you can.
No one is perfect, and if everyone does the best they can, things will be better. 😉
Hare, at Minuit sur Terre, we also try to progress constantly to bring you the most respectable products possible for animals, humans and the environment !