Plant-Based vs Vegan is one of the first questions asked when someone is considering a change of diet.

Many people think they are the same thing but they have a number of clear differences.

This article will be discussing the differences between veganism and plant-based eating. I will also be looking at some of the pros and cons of both options. You may already be familiar with the terms but I’m going to explain the basics and why they matter. 

It is simply an introduction to the topic so that you can understand what is meant by plant-based vs vegan. 


What is a vegan diet?

Let’s start by defining what “vegan” means. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, vegan is defined as: 1a : not eating any food derived from animals; specifically : a person who does not eat foods derived from animals b :living or having one’s life in accordance with ethical principles relating to the treatment of animals 2a : using no animal products or by-products (as cosmetics or drugs) b : abstaining from the use of animal products, especially as a diet.

What is a vegan in plain english? A vegan is someone who does not eat or use animal products. This includes milk, cheese, eggs, butter, honey, wool, fur, leather, etc. It also includes any food that has come from an animal, such as meat, dairy and honey.

What is plant based?

Plant based is like a vegan but is far more focused on health rather than animals.

The term “plant-based” means your main aim is to eat anything that comes from plants, fruits, nuts and seeds and whole foods. You many sometimes here it referred to as a WFPB wholefood plant based diet.  Excluding sugar, oils and wheat. 

A plant based diet is about removing processed foods, sugars and oils from your diet.

Some people on a plant based diet will consume animal products, such as eggs, dairy or honey but that is personal preference

Plant-Based vs Vegan

Plant-Based vs Vegan is about what you want from your diet. Are you most concerned about animal welfare and abuse then you will be focusing on a vegan diet / lifestyle. Are you only focusing on your own personal health you not so focused on animals, then you are on a plant based diet.

Vegan – Lifestyle choice – Where zero animal products are acceptable

Plant Based – Dietary Based – Where the focus is on health

Plant based Vegan – Lifestyle & Health – Embarrasses both, removing everything animal derived as well as following a strict no processed foods, sugar, oils and white processed products. 


The Vegan Society is a non-profit organization that promotes veganism and animal rights by providing information, public education and advocacy. It has been active since 1944 and is currently based in the United Kingdom. 

According to the Vegan Society, the world’s first vegan society was founded in 1944. Today, there are over 1 billion vegans worldwide, which means 1 in every 7 people on the planet is a vegan!

Why would anyone want to be a vegan? Stop the suffering of animals, help the environment and be beneficial to your health.

Plant-Based vs Vegan Benefits

Plant-Based vs Vegan benefits can offer benefits for the planet but plantbased main benefit is your health.

Vegan Benefits – Becoming a vegan offers great benefits for health, the planet and most of all the lives of animals. The primarily focus is not to at add to abuse of animals. The farming of animals can be cruel and shocking and their damage on the planet and its resources are huge.

Plant based diet benefits – Plant-Based Eating can offer huge amounts of health benefits. There is plenty of research how following a plant based diet can reverse diseases as well as make your body healthier.
Plant-based diets also have the added value of being less intense on the World resources and animal suffering depending on what you choose to include in your diet.

Plant based vegans – The joint benefits of being a vegan and plantbased.

Plant-Based vs Vegan Questions

There are many questions you may have on Plant-based vs Vegan and here I will try and answer them quickly and simply for you.

Can you be plant-based but not vegan?

Yes, A vegan is mainly focused on animal cruelty and will not consume or use any products derived from an animal. That includes cosmetics, household products, and clothes like leather and wool, they will not contribute to the abuse of any animal in any way.

Plant-based diet as is centrally focused on health and diet and you will often find people happy to include honey in their diet or wear clothes made of wool.

Is Vegan healthier than plant-based?

No generally speaking, a person following a true plant based diet core focus will be on health and nutrition so will have no processed foods, sugars or fats in their diet. Whereas a vegan may choose to include these in their diet as they are still animal product free.

Like all “diets” people make their own choices and a vegan person can also be plant based focused on food and nutrition.

Personally I am both. I am vegan but totally follow a plant-based diet for my health. I call myself a plant based vegan.

Why do people say plant-based instead of vegan?

There is a very big difference between Plant-Based vs Vegan 

Vegan – Lifestyle Choice. Remove ALL animal derived foods and products

Plantbased – Dietary Choice –  Totally health focused on diet. Will not eat processed foods, sugars and oils but many may not remove animal derived products like cosmetics or clothes that originate from animals
Some may choose to eat some animal products like honey. Plant based 

Plant Based Vegan – Removes all animal products from life as well as totally focused on food and will not eat anything with ingredients only wholefood plant based.

Does plant-based mean dairy free?

Yes, dairy free.

Plant-Based vs Vegan on dairy consumption? Pant based diets do not include any diary just like a vegan diet.

Can vegans eat plant-based meat

Plant based meat, vegan meats or fake meats yes definitely, it generally plant based diets that would not eat fake meat, vegan meat or plant-based meat because of being a processed food rather than pure ingredient.

If you mean grass feed meats no definitely not. No animal products are consumed.

What are the negatives of a plant-based diet?

Plant based diet does have a few problems because you need to learn a new way to eat and prepare foods so this can take time. 
need to make sure you have a varied, colourful diet
Cooking everyday needs planning.
Anything that is made up of ingredients is no good only cook with whole ingredients.
Negatives to a vegan diet it how many products have hidden non vegan ingredients in them and takes time to learn. Also manufacturers change ingredients far more often than you would believe so it is a continuous circle of checking and rechecking. 

Are eggs OK on plant-based diet?

Plant-Based vs Vegan on the consumption of eggs?

Plant Based – No eggs should not be part of a plant based diet but like all diets rather than lifestyles you can eat them if you wish. But if you are following a true plantbase diet you would not eat eggs.

Vegan – No eggs on a vegan diet as they come from an animal.

Can I have coffee on a plant-based diet?

Good quality Black coffee yes as it contains antioxidants which can help reduce the risk of certain diseases. 

Do you lose weight on plant-based diet?

Definitely you can lose weight on a plant based diet. But like all diets you need to stick to it and try and add some exercise. I don’t like to think of a plant based diet as a diet but rather a lifestyle change for the rest of your life.

What happens when you switch to plant-based diet?

Making that decision to switch to a plant based diet is the first and biggest step. 


Switching to a vegan diet? Personally start with small changes, even just a few days a week to slowly learn and read the ingredients on everything. We went cold turkey and it was hard spending hours reading labels and understanding what was vegan and what wasn’t. There are many hidden non-vegan ingredients in your food you will be surprised.

Is peanut butter plant-based diet?

Yes and no. Read the ingredients in your chosen peanut butter brand. Pure nut peanut butter with 100% peanuts yes but other brands add oils and palm oils and this would not be suitable.
Is peanut butter Vegan? Yes and no. Peanut is vegan but some add palm oil which many vegans choose not to include in their diets due to the destruction of the forests and environment for many animals.

Are potatoes plant-based food?

Potatoes are a plant

If you want some potatoes aim towards a colour potatoes like a sweet potatoe

Are chips plant based? No because of the oil added to them

Are chips vegan? Yes they are but do check ingredients and if getting fast food confirm how they are cooked because could be cooked in the same fryer as animal products

Is white rice a plant-based food?

Plant-Based vs Vegan on white rice?

Plant based diet – No

Vegan – Yes

White rice is derived from a plant but white rice is highly processed and depleted any of the healthy nutrients. 

It has a high glycemic index, which means your blood sugar levels will spike and thus increase hunger, and could lead to overeating.