“Plant-based” and “vegan” aren’t actually synonymous?
Ok, I’m not sure if you’re as surprised as I am, but…
How It Dawned On Me
So I’m cruisin’ through FAQs about veganism, looking for something interesting.
I tend to see a lot of recipe posts and posts about transitioning. No surprises there, they’re kind of a dime a dozen.
Turns out, a lot of people wonder about the difference “vegan-friendly” or “vegan”.
So I type that into google and see what I can find, which leads me to a post on the byChloe blog about plant-based vs. vegan.
Side note, byChloe is a BOMB vegan restaurant. Check the website I linked to see if you’re near one.
Now that I’ve read into it, it seems obvious. Like, DUH, there’s a difference.
But at first, I thought the two terms were interchangeable.
But I was wrong. ENTIRELY wrong.
And here’s why.
#1. What’s Plant-Based is Vegan, But Vegan Isn’t Always Plant-Based
Did anyone else go vegan for health reasons?
Yay! That means you’re most likely plant-based.
A plant-based diet focuses on whole foods. This means lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc.
People who practice this diet eat NO animal products and very few (if any) processed foods.
Doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for indulgences like candy and cake.
Not that there’s anything wrong with this.
In the summertime, my diet is pretty much plant-based.
Fruit and veggie galore. Raw foods, delicious smoothies, and fruit salads.
But you know what else I love?
Swedish fish. And vegan muffins.
Which is why I call myself a vegan.
To be vegan, all you have to do is stay away from animal products.
Anything that don’t have meat, milk or eggs? You can eat it.
Is that a pun?
#2. Health vs. Ethics
So we mentioned that plant-based people are very much about their health.
Almost everything they eat is to keep their bodies and systems clean.
Your health is your wealth, after all.
But it’s about health. There’s not a whole lot of focus on avoiding animal products in other aspects of life unless it’s better for you.
Not a DAMN thing comes from an animal.
Shucks…girl, I got CLOTHES that are vegan.
And skincare, and nail care, and hair care…
In fact, if you’re looking for good vegan hair care products, I made a blog post about the products I use right now. You can view that here:
We don’t support anything that has the potential to exploit an animal.
I used to put honey in my tea, but I don’t anymore, because honey is a by-product that comes from bees.
Sometimes, the manufacturers assure that they harvest everything in an ethical fashion. But in the off chance that they might be full of shit, I’d rather not take the chance.
Which reminds me, there’s also a difference between vegan and cruelty free.
But that’s another blog post for another day.
#3. Lifestyle vs. Creed
Sorry for the fancy lingo. I like to bust it out every now and then.
“Creed” is a fancy word for “belief” or “faith”.
Like I was saying, plant-based peeps tend to focus on health and vegans tend to focus on ethics.
I’d consider both in the “lifestyle” category rather than “diet”.
I mean, when I hear the word “diet”, stuff like juice cleanses and water fasts come to mind.
These things have their place, but you can’t live your whole life consuming nothing but water.
But plant-based and vegan lifestyles are sustainable if you’re doing them right.
The difference is clearer in the wording.
When you talk about someone who eats plant-based food or uses plant-based products, that’s how you say it. The person does it, it’s not something that they are.
A vegan is a vegan. It’s part of their identity.
Also, you have the word veganism. (Prepare for a short vocabulary lesson).
According to Merriam-Webster, the word ism means:
A distinctive doctrine, cause, or theory
It also says that it means, “an oppressive and especially discriminatory attitude or belief”…
But let’s be real, that’s something people choose when they have nothing better to do.
So this is Ada Raven, The Singin’ Vegan Chick, telling you:
Don’t be that vegan. Don’t be that asshole.
Anyway, we have veganism, but no plant-basedism. (That doesn’t even look right when you read it.)
And that’s because veganism is a belief system. The diet’s only a piece.
So there are plant-based people, there are vegans, and there are plant-based vegans.
They’re VERY similar, but not the same.
But That’s Ok.
It’s cool to be an activist who likes to smash on dairy-free cookies.
It’s cool to be a health-conscious person who wants to lose some weight or decrease your carbon footprint.
And I’ll do you one more: it’s great to be BOTH.
I’m not condoning or condemning anything because that’s not my place.
My sole mission is to keep my side of the street clean and live a great life while I do it.
I do my best to treat other beings the way I would want them to treat me.
I don’t always succeed when it comes to petty arguments- #sorrybabe- but I wouldn’t want someone to kill and eat me…
…Or wear my skin….
So I won’t ever do that to anyone else.
(Thank God, because we have words for that kind of behavior in civilized society.)
All I can do is live that, be honest about it, and hope that other people can learn to live the same or similar.
But as usual, I have to ask you…
What Do You Think?
This is something that could turn into a touchy topic, so I ask that you be honest but kind. As kind as you can muster.
How would YOU describe yourself? Your mission in life or your lifestyle choices?
I wannna know.