what is the difference between vegan and vegetarian diet?

what is the difference between vegan and vegetarian diet?articles

In this post, I will discuss ” what is the difference between a vegan and vegetarian diet?”.

First of all, I am the kind of person who matches 99% to the term “a vegan”. But, I don’t want to categorize myself as a vegan. I am a person who has my own feeling about things and reality as same as you have your own feeling. Nobody has the same feeling. It is natural. We don’t need to categorize ourselves because of the difference in feeling.

In the past, categorizing people with idea and feeling created conflicts over and over again. For example, different religions, different countries, different politics, different skin colors, different classes, etc. We have been insisting each other as “we are right, they are not right, and, we are better than they are.”.

We don’t need that anymore. We have evolved into 21st-century humanity and will evolve to 22nd-century humanity.


What is a vegan?


We don’t need to categorize ourselves because of the difference in diet. However, using the word vegan is sometime more convenient in real life in the US, European countries, and most of other countries. In the restaurant, it is easier to say “I am a vegan” than to explain for 3 minutes “I don’t eat this, that and those”.

By the way, in Japan the majority of people don’t know the word vegan. Everywhere I go, I have to explain. Usually, I realize that they don’t have a vegan menu.

OK. So, what is a vegan?

A vegan is a person who doesn’t eat and use any animal product. A vegan doesn’t eat meat, fish, egg, dairy product, honey, and, any kind of animal product.


I can say I am 99% vegan Because I am using a pair of leather sandal which my wife gave me. Although I don’t buy it, I am OK to lick honey if someone serves me. In the eyes of strict vegan people, probably I am not a vegan. But, it is easier for me to say I am a vegan in a restaurant. That is why I said as such.

Some people become vegan because they believe that an animal has the same soul as a human does. They don’t want to use an animal as a thing, commodity, or labor.


For example, the milk industry.

As you know, mammals such as human, dog, or cow produce milk only when they are pregnant and give birth. If you want to produce milk from a cow, you have to make a cow pregnant all the time. Then, what happens to a baby cow? If it is a female, it becomes a milking cow or meat for a human to consume. If it is a male, it becomes meat.


I agree and feel that animals have the same quality of life value as we humans do. But, I also feel plants have the same quality of life value as humans and animals do.

That means I am on a vegan diet not because of animal life value.


Then, why do I eat plants?


I enjoy eating plants from the bottom of my heart. The relationship between me and them is based on joy. I am joyful to eat them. They are joyful to be eaten by me and become a part of my life. I am grateful they offer their life energy and nutrition to me. They are grateful to be eaten and become another form of life expression.


In fact, we are one. Eating is one way of expression of the oneness. For the process of being one, I eat them and they happily become my body. With the body which was given by plants, I live fully who I am. This is how I give back to the earth who give me all kind of needs such as oxygen, sunlight, water, and, nutrition through plants.


In some countries such as India, there are many enlighted people who don’t even eat food, they get their energy from the air and from the sun. Ultimately everyone goes to the state. Before I am at the state, I take plants growing on the mother earth as my energy source. So, I am still dependent.


But, then why I don’t eat an animal?


It is simple. I don’t feel they are offering their meat with their joy. With the synchronization, I don’t feel joyful to kill the animal and eat them. They know I don’t need their death and a piece of meat for my survival and spiritual fulfillment. I know that too. Eating them means I am against my true self, which means I am not living fully who I am. If I eat them, the resistance brings me to physically and mentally sick. All kind of sickness comes from the suppression and resistance about who truly I am.


Why I have to eat something which I really don’t need. Why an animal has to give their precious lives to me who actually don’t need? Even they can make me physically and mentally sick by giving their lives to me. Otherwise, they can live their life fully with joy. Or, they can give their lives and meat to someone who really needs to eat for his survival and fulfill his dependency on animal life.

For animals, giving her lives and meat to someone who is dependent on it is the expression of unconditional love. It is like a mother wants to sacrifice her life for saving her child. By receiving a mother’s sacrifice, the child learns how much he is loved unconditionally. Until the person realizes an animal’s unconditional love, the person will keep eating animals and animals will keep feeding him.



What is a vegetarian?


A vegetarian is a person who doesn’t eat meat or animal product.

Some people eat fish, dairy product, egg, honey, and don’t use any animal product such as beef, pork, and chicken. They are called a pescatarian, or pesco-vegetarian.

I was a pesco-vegetarian before I become a vegan. I was eating fish when someone offers to me. Each time before I eat fish, I imagined and asked myself, “can I kill a fish with my hands?” The answer was “yes”. Then, I ate. One day, the answer was “No”. So, I stopped eating them. My dependency on fish life has completed. Craving to fish meat completely disappeared.


A lacto-vegetarian is a person who eat the daily product but doesn’t eat meat, fish, and egg. A vegetarian in India means a lacto-vegetarian.

If you eat egg, but not eating meat, chicken, fish, and dairy product, you are ovo-vegetarian.





A vegan is one kind of vegetarian who doesn’t eat and use any kind of animal-related product. Depending on the difference in preferences and feelings, there are several kinds of vegetarian.


There is no such thing which one is the best diet. Everyone has different feelings. I am a vegan because this is the best and joyful diet for me at the moment. It is as if there is no different life value between carnivore animals such as a lion, a crocodile, or eagle and herbivore animals such as an elephant, rhinoceros, or cow.


We all have a different role in this reality. The role in the play of reality is all up to you. You can be against or suppress who really you are, or can live who really you are with your choice. What diet you choose is a practical exercise about that.


If you have any comment or question, please post below.
Thank you!


  1. April says:

    I enjoyed reading your article. It really explained in detail the difference between a vegan and vegetarian and your thoughts about it. I think it’s sad that they take baby cows from their mothers so people can have milk. I stopped consuming most dairy in the last year. Just haven’t been able to give up butter yet. And I had no idea there were different kinds of vegetarians either. Thank you for this information.

    • Koichi says:

      Hi, April. Thank you for reading my article. That is beautiful you are cutting dairy products. I know butter is very attractive. My wife also loves to eat butter. So, I understand. Maybe you can try other plant oils such as olive oil as Spanish people do. It is quite tasty.

  2. Timotheus says:

    Thank you for this article that made a very clear distinction between vegan and vegetarian. I understand where you are coming from regarding the consumption of meat of other living beings. And I am grateful that you also understand that everyone has their choice of diet.

    Now that I understand the terms better, I realize that I try to eat as a vegan whenever I can. Especially when I eat alone. But when I dine with friends, family or colleagues, I go with the flow.

    • Koichi says:

      Hello. Thank you for reading my article. When I started to be a vegan I did same as you mentioned, going with flows. And, eventually, I lost my appetite to any animal product. So, I am very happy with your intention and action! Thank you again!

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