There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to vegans and vegetarians. How are they alike? How are they different? And what on earth do they eat?
Let me try to clear things up for you.
1. How are vegans and vegetarians alike?
Both vegans and vegetarians are primarily plant-based eaters. This means that they get most or all of their food from plants or from products that use only plants as ingredients.. Neither vegans nor vegetarians eat animals, but rely on plant-based substitutes for their sources of protein.
2. How are vegans and vegetarians different?
The main difference between vegans and vegetarians is that vegans will not eat anything that comes from an animal. So whereas a vegetarian would potentially eat cheese, milk, butter, and chicken broth (Because they are not directly an animal), a vegan diet will never include these foods because they come from an animal. Some strict vegans will not even consume honey because it is produced by bees.
3. What do vegans and vegetarians eat?
Just as with anything else, even vegans and vegetarians can fall into unhealthy eating habits by relying on vegan junk food. Just because chips and cookies are made from soy does not mean they are healthy to regularly eat, because oftentimes they are still loaded with refined sugar, refined oils, and refined flour. In an ideal world, a vegan diet as well as a vegetarian diet would be composed mainly of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains.
When searching for recipes that you could prepare for a vegetarian, you could make recipes that include some animal products like eggs or cheese. Recipes for a vegan would not contain any animal by-products whatsoever.
I hope this clarifies some common misconceptions about vegetarianism and veganism. All things said and done, both are a large step-up from the Standard American Diet.