It could be. But not always.
For me? Yes, plant-based and vegan are the same. Like I explained in my ‘What is Plant-Based’ post, a plant-based
diet lifestyle focuses on whole and minimally processed plants like dark leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes. And like I mentioned in my ‘What is Vegan’ post, a vegan diet is a lifestyle that excludes all animal products. Since I eat mostly whole and minimally processed plants and I exclude animal products from my lifestyle I consider myself a plant-based vegan.
But what’s all this “yes and no” business about? How can eating plants not be the same as vegan? Here’s what I mean:
When I first cut out all animal products from my diet two things were happening; one, I lived off of vegan junk food like chips, vegan ice cream, all the pasta and packaged food because two, I had no idea what I was doing I just knew I didn’t want to eat animals anymore. Obviously that wasn’t very “plant-based” but it was “vegan” since I wasn’t consuming animal products.
Second example: the husband. Eddie and I eat the same things (in different amounts) about 6 days out of the week. But if we go out to dinner or if there is a special event chances are that he’ll order something that includes animal products. Obviously that isn’t “vegan” but it is “plant-based” because the majority of the time he eats whole and minimally processed plants.
So, is plant-based and vegan the same?
If you ask me then yes, plant-based and vegan is the same. But for you it might be different. You might only be interested in getting healthier and adding more plants to your diet but you’re not ready to give up eating animals. Or you might not care about eating plants, you simply want to stop eating animals. Or you might consider yourself an aspiring plant-based vegan.
DOES IT MATTER WHAT YOU CALL YOURSELF?
That’s entirely up to you.
If you ask me I’d say yes it matters, to a certain point. I believe that our food choices reach far beyond personal preference as they affect others and the environment. There are so many issues associated with what we eat and I feel that food “labels” encourage people to take control of their plate and raises awareness about why our choices matter. For this reason I don’t shy away from saying I’m vegan or plant-based. Does that mean I eat perfectly all of the time? Or that I’m judging you because you might eat meat or an entire chocolate cake every once in a while? Absolutely not.
If you ask my husband he’d shrug and say “it doesn’t matter, I’m not vegan but I eat vegan.” And I completely understand and respect that too because labels are not perfect and they certainly don’t define who you are. I’d also have to agree with Eddie when he says “just eat less junk, less meat and more fruits, vegetables and plants and you’ve got the best of both worlds (saving animals and getting healthy).”
So if labels stress you out then don’t “label” the way you eat, simply eat less junk and more plants and call it a day. If you’re like me and you like describing the way you eat (even if it’s not always perfect) as vegan, plant-based or anything else then go on with your bad self.
If you’re here because you want to go vegan/vegetarian or plant-based then you’re in the right place. If you’re here because you’re sick of diets and have a few pounds you’d like to get rid of then you’re in the right place. If you’re a meat eater and you “could never go vegan” but you want to be healthier and add more plants to your life then you’re also in the right place.
I choose to be vegan for the animals and I eat plant-based for me but I created this website for YOU. All labels aside I believe that eating healthy shouldn’t be as complicated as it currently is and eating fruits, veggies and plants should be the norm. So whether you had a green smoothie or nine cupcakes for breakfast I’m cheering you on as you continue or start your plant powered journey!