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Vegetarianism vs Veganism Essay Sample

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Vegetarianism vs Veganism Essay Sample

Thesis: Though veganism is a sub-category of vegetarianism, vegetarianism and veganism are two different words that almost have the same meaning but when defined, we realize that vegetarianism and veganism in spite of all of their similarities, differ from each other in such an important way that we should be able to differentiate one to the other with no difficulties.

I. Definition
A. What is Vegetarianism?
B. What is Veganism?

II. First similarity between vegetarianism and veganism is that they are not meat eaters
A. Vegetarianism
B. Veganism

III. Second similarity between vegetarianism and veganism is that they both consume fruits, vegetables and grains
A. Vegetarianism
B. Veganism

IV. Difference between vegetarianism and veganism is their personal belief or philosophy
A. Vegetarianism
B. Veganism


Vegetarianism or Veganism

Eating is the habit of consuming and providing food to the body in order to supply nutritional and medical needs to stay balanced and healthy. The kind of food that people eat defines their diet. There are several types of diet, some more effective and more healthy than others. Two of the most common diets used by humans are vegetarianism and veganism. Though veganism is a sub-category of vegetarianism, vegetarianism and veganism are two different words that almost have the same meaning but when defined, we realize that vegetarianism and veganism in spite of all of their similarities, they differ from each other in such an important way that we should be able to differentiate one to the other with no difficulties.

The free dictionary defines vegetarianism as “the practice of subsisting on a diet composed primarily or wholly of vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds, with or without eggs and dairy products” (“Vegetarianism”). Practicing vegetarianism is being at ease with the fact of subscribing to a strict diet that banishes the use of meat. A person who practices vegetarianism is called vegetarian. Almost similarly to vegetarianism “veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal product, particularly in diet, as well as an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. A follower of veganism is known as a vegan” (“Veganism”).

The first common point between vegetarianism and veganism that we are going to compare is that both vegetarians and vegans do not consume any type of meat whatsoever. They strongly believe that for health reasons their diet is better for the good functioning of the body. Valerie Waters in her book Why Go Vegetarian confirms:

It is widely believed that if you stop eating meat, you will definitely notice a great improvement in your overall health and general well-being. Studies have shown that vegetarians tend to live longer and enjoy a better quality of life than meat eaters. In many cases, doctors suggest that their patients stop eating meat –especially red meat – to help improve heart conditions, arthritis and diabetes, lower high cholesterol levels or to prevent cancer. (5)

Second similarity observed between vegetarians and vegans is that they both eat fruits, vegetables and grains. Since their diet restrains them from eating meat, they have to find protein, calcium, and other vitamins from other sources like vegetables, fruits, beans and grains. Pamela Rice confirms it “A diet of nutrient-fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains naturally provides abundant satiating fiber an imperative in keeping body weight safely in check” (54).

After developing the previous similarities above, let us compare vegetarianism and veganism by pointing out their difference. The major factor differencing vegetarianism and veganism is their personal beliefs or philosophy. Vegetarians do not eat meat for health purposes, but they consume animal products such as eggs, cheese or milk. On the other hand, vegans go a little further by not using anything that comes from the animal race. They believe that animals should not be sacrificed for any purpose. The Wise Geek organization acknowledges:

The vegan will often go beyond eliminating meat, dairy and animal products, to become an activist for animal rights. Generally, the vegan point of view is that animals are not here to be exploited by man, and that commercialization of animals necessarily involves a fundamental, inhumane component and lack of respect for basic life. (Wise Geek)

Unlike vegetarians, who do not put much emphasis on clothes made of animal skins, vegans do not wear nor buy furnitures made of skin or hair of animals. They value the life of animals. The Animal Equality Organization agrees “Vegans do not wear or use clothes, shoes or furnishings made with the skins, hair or feathers of other animals, including fur, leather, wool, feathers and silk . . . Instead, vegans choose to live a lifestyle that respects other animals as sentient individuals whose lives have meaning” (AEO).

To conclude, although vegans unlike vegetarians do not use any products originated from animals in their daily lives, both vegetarians and vegans can agree to the fact that eating meat increases the risk of some diseases. Both vegetarians and vegans choose not to include meat, poultry and fish in their daily nutritional diet. Through their similarities and their differences, vegetarianism and veganism are good diets to the good functioning of the body.

Works Cited

Animal Equality. Animal Equality. AE, 2011. Web. 25 Oct. 2012

R. Kayne. “What Is the Difference Between a Vegan and a Vegetarian?” WiseGeek.

WiseGeek, 24 Oct. 2012. Web. 25 Oct. 2012.

Rice, Pamela. 101 Reasons Why I’m a Vegetarian. New York: Lantern Books, 2004.


“Veganism.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation, 22 Oct. 2012. Web. 25 Oct. 2012.

“Vegetarianism.” The Free Dictionary. 23 jan. 2012. Web. 25 Oct. 2012

Waters, Valerie. Why Go Vegetarian. New York: Mixed Media International, 2012. Print.

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