Plant Based Vs Vegan – What’s the Difference?

What is Plant Based? What is Vegan?

Knowing the difference between plant-based and vegan may seem like splitting hairs, but it’s not. Do you know the difference between a plant-based meat product and ground beef, a chicken strip, or an egg? Some plant-based companies use ingredients that are absolutely not Vegan.

New plant-based products are introduced nearly every day to encourage us to consume less meat and dairy. The documentaries and medical studies are proving a plant-based diet can eliminate disease and possibly save our planet from the harmful effects of factory farming.

There are philosophical differences of opinion about what is “vegan” and what is “plant-based”.  As you venture through your journey toward better health, understanding the difference between the two might determine what you eat, what you wear, and how you live.

See: What is Vegan, What is Not. Clarifying Blurred Lines

What is Plant-Based?

According to, A plant-based diet is a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

What Is Vegan?

According to  vegans chose not to consume dairy, eggs, or any other products of animal origin.

Veganism is a way of life that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, be it from food, clothing, or any other purpose.

What is Plant-Based Meat?

Plant-based meat manufacturers are using plant products such as peas, soy, and calves blood to create plant-based meat.

For instance, Just is a San Francisco-based company that created the Just Egg, made from Mung beans, that scrambles like a real egg.  Just is also working with Toriyama Waygu Beef to create a bio cell replica of the beef tissue.

Toriyama Waygu Beef grows the bio cells in freshly slaughtered calves’ blood in order to create the proper homeostatic environment for meat bio cells. It is the bio cell that contains the DNA properties.

Tyson Ventures is working with New Wave Foods, a San Francisco startup on a Vegan Shrimp product.  Puree of baby shrimp is injected into bio cells to replicate the shape, appearance, and taste of shrimp.

Beyond Meat creates ground “beef”, sausage, and burger patties made with rice, bean, potato starch, and beets (to give the meat a bleeding effect, like ground beef).

The Impossible Burger is made primarily of soy, water, and coconut oil.  However, the Impossible Burger creates a genetically engineered heme substitute.  Heme iron is found in meat.

See: Heme Iron vs Non-Heme Iron in Food

The Center for Food Safety has called on the FDA to recall the Impossible Burger due to the possible health impacts of genetically engineered heme.

For Vegans, bio cells grown in calves’ blood, baby shrimp puree, and genetically engineered animal blood can be barriers to these products based on the aversion to animal cruelty.

A vegan might skip the shrimp and create burgers from plants, beans, nuts & seeds.  For those seeking to eat fewer animal products that are fine with, or unaware of, these manufacturing methods, these “plant-based” products may be an answer to world hunger and the environmental devastation of factory farming.


As a vegan, it is exciting and encouraging to see so many new products on the market and such an interest in a plant-based way of eating.

As the major manufacturers come to the marketplace with meat, dairy, and seafood substitutes, how these products are created will either be off-putting or a non-issue depending on your perspective.

Our choices to eat less meat, dairy and seafood will benefit the world community, we will, however, need to be aware of how these alternative products are made and if they fit our desires and lifestyle.


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