plant-based v. vegan

labelIt’s important to be clear when sticking another label on yourself as they have the habit of being self-limiting. Yesterday, I confessed to being an introvert by which I mean I am very happy with my own company not that I am a predominantly self-interested person, quite the opposite, but I do need regular doses of one-time and concentrate best when it’s quiet, unlike DD who concentrates best with youtube and netflix.

On the subject of labels, I’ve been wondering about “plant-based” and “vegan”. Are they interchangeable?  A little bit of googling later and it seems the former is typically used when referring to a diet that is completely drawn from plants and their products, usually as unprocessed  or as “whole” as possible. This means obviously fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, and seeds. The term does not always drive other lifestyle choices like the shoes you wear or the political party you vote for e.g. you could wear a plant-based-Tory label. The latter seems to motivate choices that go beyond diet, which makes it uncomfortable for me to be writing this as I sit on my old leather sofa. Vegan dietary choices do of course include the plant-based components but also processed products like tofu, almond milk and (for me) gingernut biscuits, which of course don’t grow on trees but contain no ingredients derived from animals.

With all this in mind, I have to hang my hat on the vegan tree even though I sort of like the sound of ‘plant-based’ better, for I wouldn’t buy another leather sofa, would buy a vegan pair of shoes, and will vote for a political party that puts the greater needs of the world at the top of its agenda. But, and this is why labels are so limiting, what label do you choose for yourself if you’ve made dietary choices wider than plant-based, you buy handmade shoes from Church, and TTIP is not something overly concerning you?

PS – i wonder if Church could ever be challenged to make a vegan edition of their fantastic brogues?


6 thoughts on “plant-based v. vegan

  1. Labels are so tough – I never know if I should say vegan or plant-based… and sometimes I just end up saying “veg-friendly.” I just like to think I am doing the least harm and most good! Nice post.


  2. A lot of points to ponder here as I consider various dietary changes post chemoradiation treatment and plough my way through all the terminology that other folk seem to already know. I’m glad you brought this up. Excuse all my dreadful puns! I admit to being momentarlly confused by your last paragraph until I realized Church was a shoe shop and not a place full of pews! Mea culpa


    1. Thanks for your comment, Christine. I can’t imagine how much information about diet and lifestyle for you to evaluate post-treatment. Yards not miles of it! I wish you really well with that. When I started looking into this I was already a vegetarian, but I have discovered so much about nutrition because I have to pay attention e.g. vitamin B12 is a must and I have chosen to take a supplement in case I am missing out. And, I was fascinated to learn more about sugar, which is of course vegan, but not in the least bit good for us in the quantities that we typically eat. I’ve written a couple of blog posts about both. And, Church shoes, yes they are handmade beauties that last a lifetime and they will repair shoes in the traditional way. Out of my price range and only in leather, but who knows, maybe they could be persuaded to do a vegan special for a charitable cause (wishful thinking!)


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