Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Plant based and Vegan

The terms plant based and vegan both apply to different eating habits. The difference between the two comes with the decision of the vegan to avoid animal products at all costs  The plant based style of eating supports plant material as the basis of the diet but will allow some animal products into the eating plan.  The vegan does not eat animal products because of a life style choice and a dedication to the rights of animals and anti-cruelty.  Vegans will not eat any animal product, nor will they eat animal based products like milk, eggs and ingredients derived from animal sources.  Honey for example falls into the category of an animal based product because it is the tireless work of bees.  Plant based diets focus on whole plant foods as the core ingredients of the diet.  The motivation behind the plant based diet is often a health choice.  Plant based diets and whole foods are reputed to be a good source of defense against disease and cancer. At first glance the two could be seen to be following the same pattern, but there is an essential difference.  Vegans can incorporate plant based eating into their diet, but a plant based style of nutrition is not as dedicated to excluding all forms of animal products, therefore the Vegan can adopt plant based foods but not the plant based lifestyle as some animal products may be included if desired.  Plant based living does not embrace the dedication of vegans to avoid all animal products in their life style.


What is Plant-Based Nutrition?

Plant based means the basis of the diet is formed around whole plant material like fruit and vegetables.  The plant based diet includes whole foods made up of leaf greens, potato tubers, seeds, nuts, sea vegetables legumes and fungi like yeast and mushrooms.  Meat, milk, eggs, butter and gelatin are not plant based foods.  The plant based diet should not include what is known as ‘fragments’ because they are part of whole plant food but have been changed in some manufacturing process.  Flour, sugar and oil are fragments.  The plant based diet is focused on eating the whole plant, but some condiments, like mustard are acceptable since they are minimally processed.  There are many health benefits associated with plant based nutrition.  A reduction in heart disease, less risk of contracting chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity.  It has also been suggested that plant based diets reduce the risk of breast cancer.  The plant based diet does allow some flexibility and some animal products can be included.

What is Different About ‘Plant Based’ Nutrition?

  • It is a whole food way of eating, using plant nutrition as its basis.
  • The style of eating is focused on healthy living.
  • It is flexible to some degree, but the whole food concept is the most important feature for health benefits.


What is Vegan?

Vegan is another healthy style of eating, but the person who becomes a vegan will have a passion for animal rights.   The vegan will embrace  a philosophy that turns away from encouraging its member from eating anything related to animal products.  Vegans are devoted to their philosophy of not being involved with any animal products, including clothing like leather jackets and shoes.  Vegans avoid any food product or manufactured article related to animals.  Meat and meat products and food emanating from animals including eggs, milk, cheese, and honey are not acceptable on the vegan diet and lifestyle choices.  The vegan will not want to eat any food product that has been provided via the animal it is relevant to.  The vegan lifestyle is not an easy one to follow and some preparation and devotion to the sourcing the right foods is necessary. 

What is Different About ‘Vegan’ Nutrition?

  • Vegan nutrition does not allow the vegan to eat any produce associated with animals.
  • The Vegan philosophy keeps followers of this diet and style of living away from any animal product including clothing and leather goods.
  • Vegan food and lifestyle go hand in hand to protect their desire to avoid animal products. 
  • Preparing vegan food is challenging because of the types of food vegans can choose from.  Plant based food is part of the diet, but no foods connected to animals will be tolerated.


Difference Between these Two Eating Plans

  1. Contents

The two eating plans have similar contents from the plant based structure, but the vegan lifestyle is more prescriptive and does not allow any form of animal product to be included in the dietary requirements.  Some of the contents of the diet are transferable to both styles of eating.  Peanut butter and coconut milk will fit with both the plant based nutrition and the vegan nutrition content. The contents of the vegan diet are more defined while the plant based diet may only exclude meat, but still allow diary and eggs.

  1. Preparation

There is extra preparation required for both the diets because the raw food for this way of eating needs to be sourced, chopped and presented in its whole food or vegan state.  A vegan needs to make careful changes to their diet and not try to change radically all at once.  The contents of the diet require a transition stage as meat and dairy products give way to more fiber and plant related products.  Finding interesting ways to prepare food can be challenging.  Some foods like hummus are recommended as a dairy option instead of butter or spreads.  Hummus can be used as a plant based food and part of the vegan diet.

  1. Nutritional Supplements.

Taking part in a vegan diet or a plant based diet has dietary challenges due to the lack of meat and protein.  It is wise to source some dietary supplements and vitamins to add to the diet.  Vitamin B12 and vitamin D3, as well as heme iron, exist only in animal products.  Dairy, eggs and meat supply the body with these nutrients and vegans will need to supplement their diet when they no longer consume these animal products.

  1. Maintaining the Lifestyle

It takes dedication to the diet described in both cases.  The vegan and the plant based diet require specific foods and preparation.  It may not be the diet the family is following, and so special food will need to be prepared.  Entertaining and eating out will also be challenging although there are restaurants serving vegan food.

Plant-Based versus Vegan: Comparison Chart


Summary of Plant-Based versus Vegan: 

  • Both these diets are radical in their outlook.  However, the vegan lifestyle carries a dedication to animal rights and anti-cruelty.  The vegan takes the diet philosophy a step further into how people conduct their lives and their attitude to animal cruelty.  Avoiding animal products spreads into many areas of their lives  including what they eat.
  • There are health benefits to both the diets and following them will lead to preventing some heart disease, obesity, diabetes and possibly even breast cancer.
  • Following the vegan diet takes dedication and affects other aspects of the person’s life.
  • The vegan diet is not easy to combine with an active social life. 
  • The plant based diet is more flexible and allows some animal food products to be part of the diet if desired.
  • Both diets require supplements to take care of missing vitamins in their dietary choice, but the vegan should be more aware of the need for supplements.  The vegan is not including any animal products and therefore not allowing some essential vitamins and minerals, gained from the protein in meat and animal products, into their diet.  No exceptions to the abstinence from animal products rule are considered by the vegan.  The path of the vegan eating style is more difficult to follow.
Latest posts by Christina Wither (see all)

Sharing is caring!

Search DifferenceBetween.net :

Email This Post Email This Post : If you like this article or our site. Please spread the word. Share it with your friends/family.


  1. Vegans also avoid animal-based products in their choice of clothing, furniture and other products- for instance wool and leather. They also avoid products that have been tested on animals.

    Contrary to common assumption, eating a vegan diet is very simple and not at all inconvenient.

  2. “a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”

    It’s not a definition of a diet, and there are many other ways in which man exploits animals. Food, clothing, vivisection, entertainment, pet-industry, and more. Anyone genuinely living a vegan way of life will consciously avoid supporting any of these.

    As for the comments about needing supplements, etc – this is incorrect. There is nothing ‘lacking’ in a plant diet. We get everything we need from plants. Some people need supplements regardless of dietary habits.

    This piece also makes it sound prohibitively difficult to live a vegan life. It isn’t.

  3. “The terms plant based and vegan both apply to different eating habits” – No, they don’t. Veganism is not simply a definition of a diet, but a way of living. “The word ‘veganism’ denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practicable — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.” – Vegan Society of the UK definition of veganism. ‘Vegan’ is their word.

    There are many different ways in which humans needlessly exploit animals besides the ones mentioned in this article, and these are easily avoided. It’s not only about animal ‘products’.

    “The difference between the two comes with the decision of the vegan to avoid animal products at all costs” – No, it doesn’t. It’s not “..at all costs”. that’s just ridiculous.

    “The vegan lifestyle is not an easy one to follow and some preparation and devotion to the sourcing the right foods is necessary.” – again incorrect, likely based on assumption and no real investigation. It’s easy when you’re aware of how your choices affect the animals. Also we get everything we need from plants and don’t have any special need for supplements compared to anyone eating a typical omnivorous diet. You’re creating the impression that it’s a prohibitive way of life when it isn’t.

  4. Great blog you have got here.. It’s difficult to find excellent writing like yours these
    days. I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    • Full of inaccuracies, WFPB does NOT contain any animal products as food consumption, it is focused on health and longevity by eating whole plant foods.

  5. I’m a terrible chef, who hates the kitchen and cooking. I’m here to tell you that a vegan diet does not require supplements nor time-intensive prep. What’s easier than raw veggies, salads, beans and rice, slow-cooker one-pot meals, tofu scrambles, toast and avocado…I could go on, but you get the picture.

    Any diet requires that its followers learn about how to do it right before embarking, or they’ll not be healthy. That includes an omni diet. An omni may eat fried chicken, mac and cheese, veggies smothered in cream sauces, and fruit in syrup and think they’re doing great. Learning about veganism is no harder.

    And like the others have said, veganism is not a diet. It’s an ethical stance that applies across different areas of life.

    Thank you for writing about this. It’s helpful to call attention to it!

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

References :

[0]Thompson.R.Julie.There’s a big difference between a plant based diet and a vegan diet. Updated article June 22 2017.wwwhuffpost.com/entry/plant-based-diet-vs-vegan-dietPub.Oathbrand viewed 15/10/2018

[1]Pointing Charlotte. Vegan doc explains difference between plant based and vegan. Feb 4 2018 wwwlivekindly.co/diff-plant-based-vegetarian viewed 15/10/2018

[2]Nixon Lindsay. What is a plant based diet. 2013/07 www.happyherbivore.com The-difference-between-plant-based-and -vegan. Pub.Happy Herbivore inc viewed 15/10/2018.

[3]Image credit: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1367982

[4]Image credit: https://www.maxpixel.net/Vegetarian-Nutrition-Meatless-Lunch-Vegan-Eat-1404645

Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.

See more about : ,
Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder