Vegan vs Vegetarian

Vegan vs Vegetarian

Ruby Reynolds, Staff Writer

Whether you’re trying to save the planet, or just trying to eat healthier, vegan and vegetarian diets are usually the way to go. They offer both health and environmental benefits that draw many people to them, but which diet is better for the environment and your body?

When trying to decide between the two, it’s important to assess the benefits. Emmie Satrazemis, RD, CSSD, said that “Both diets can add loads of nutrition to your day, but vegetarian diets have an edge with the potential for more protein dense options, along with calcium and vitamin D from dairy and eggs.” Since vegetarian diets include the consumption of animal byproducts, more vitamins and nutrients are able to be consumed. When on a diet like one of these it is very important to consider how you will continue to get the sustenance you need. According to Marisa Iallonardo of Insider Health, “vegetarianism is less restrictive, and those following a vegetarian diet opposed to those following a vegan diet will be at a lower risk for nutrient deficiencies, helping to prove that a vegetarian diet is ultimately superior.” On a personal note, I know that as a vegetarian I feel better about not eating meat.

When thinking about the environmental side, it is important to remember diets can be adjusted to be more earth friendly. Emmie Satrazemis, RD, CSSD stated that “Vegan diets have a possible advantage when it comes to sustainability and animal welfare, but vegetarian diets might be superior when it comes to nutrition and health benefits. Of course, all of this depends on how well vegans and vegetarians plan and execute their nutrition,” implying that a vegetarian diet can also reap the environmental benefits of a vegan diet if planned accordingly. 

On the opposing side, Satrazemis also said, Overall vegan diets have the edge when it comes to sustainability since dairy can require just as many resources as meat. Additionally, because vegans avoid all animal products and by-products there are likely zero animals harmed in the making of their meals.” Though veganism might be slightly better for the environment, vegetarianism is great as well because it both helps the environment while still giving your body the nutrients it needs. As well as this, vegetarian diets can be adjusted to better suit the environment. 

If you’re stuck between the two, the experts would recommend the vegetarian diet, but a mix of both diets is a great solution for those stuck between both!